5 TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TRIP TO LAS VEGAS
Congratulations, you’re coming to Vegas! You’re about to embark on what 41 million visitors to this neon paradise did last year. You can experience unforgettable restaurants, fabulous shows, a cornucopia of shopping and attractions that range anywhere from mild to wild, with options for all budgets. We’ve prepared for your visit with a list of tips you need to know to maximize your fun quotient, avoid wait times and unnecessary expenses. Follow this guide and you’ll look like a seasoned pro who has been to the city many times, rather than a first-timer straight off the plane. Now, let the adventure begin!
DON’T BUY DRINKS IN THE CASINO
If you’re going to play slots, video poker or table games, don’t purchase cocktails at a casino bar beforehand—wait until the cocktail waitress approaches you. In an effort to keep you gambling, the casinos offer free cocktails; you may have to wait a little longer for it, but you’ll save money. And if you’re hitting the clubs later, start your drinking on the casino floor so there’s less you have to spend—for any type of performance, even a DJ spinning, you’ll get hit with an additional live entertainment tax. Better to start early!
IF POSSIBLE, AVOID PEAK DINNER TIMES
The heaviest dinner times in Las Vegas are between 6-8 pm. If you’re flexible, it’s best to try and have dinner between 5-5:30 and 8:30-9 pm, particularly if you are visiting a buffet, as lines can get unmanageable at peak time and the multiple hours you spend in line could have been better served anywhere else! Certainly there will be cases in which dining early or late is simply not possible, but it never hurts to be aware of prime time.
KNOW THE COSTUMED-CHARACTER GAME
Sure, it’s fun to see someone dressed up as Elmo, Bumblebee and a Minion at various points along the Strip (including at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign), but be forewarned, if you stop to take a photo with them, they expect you to pay for it. Avoid a potentially nasty situation by either taking a pass or negotiating a price you feel comfortable with beforehand. In most cases, these costumed characters are at iconic sights you snap photos of anyway—but if you simply must have Big Bird in your photo at the Las Vegas sign, so be it.
DISTANCES ARE FURTHER THAN THEY APPEAR
We really wish that, on our first visit, someone had told us not to walk all the way from the Bellagio to the MGM Grand—sure, it doesn’t LOOK far, but a couple of blocks in and you’ll wonder what made you do it. The Strip is four miles long, and because the buildings are so close together, they appear closer than they really are—a two building walk from, say, Bally’s to Planet Hollywood is manageable, but any more than that, and you’ll wear out your walking shoes.
BE OPEN TO ANYTHING
When you come to the adult paradise that is Las Vegas, do so with an open mind. Things not going according to plan? Take a breath and go with the flow. It may lead you to something cool you may not have discovered otherwise. You never know what you’ll encounter when you walk down the Las Vegas Strip. But that’s half the fun. The people-watching in this town is AMAZING!
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