JR Swift’s Blog

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Vegas tips for virgins

Posted by jrswift on July 13, 2008

So here it is…ten tips for first time Vegas visitors.

1. Go on a weekend.  Ideally, make it a 3-day weekend and fly out on Thursday and back on Sunday.  Normally, I’d recommend spending more time and choosing a less-crowded time but the first time should be crazy so just do the weekend.  I’d still avoid special events when things will just be too crowded or expensive to enjoy your time properly.

2. Stay on the Strip but don’t spend a lot on a hotel.  Pick a decent hotel somewhere in the middle of things (Wynn to Mandalay Bay.)  Some good choices would include Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bill’s, Monte Carlo, Luxor.  Staying downtown or off-strip is a great choice for the Vegas veteran but you want to be in the middle of things.

3. Don’t try to do too much.  Almost everyone I’ve ever gone to Vegas with has ended up going back.  You’ll never accomplish everything you want and you’ll get frustrated.  On the off chance that you don’t feel the need to come back, you probably aren’t going to miss anything you wanted to see very badly.

4. Don’t rent a car.  You won’t need one.  You are going to want to drink and party and the last thing you want to be doing is driving under those circumstances.  If you want to visit outlying attractions, extend your trip a few days, rent the car only for those day trips and then turn it back in.  You are mostly going to be walking up and down the Strip so a car is a waste of money.  A few cab rides aren’t going to break you and it will be worth the trouble.

5. Pick a couple of things you really want to do and plan your trip around them.  Whether it is a restaurant, a show, an attraction or whatever, make plans to do them.  It is too easy to just spend your whole trip wandering around, gambling away your money and drinking yourself into a haze so having a couple of specific things to do will keep you (slightly) focused.

6. Bring a friend but not a posse.  You want to have someone to hang out with.  You don’t want to spend your whole trip trying to coordinate things with a half a dozen other people.  A significant other is fine.  A best friend might be better.  On the other hand, you need to know this is someone you can put up with for a few days.  If you’ve never travelled with them before, be cautious.  People reveal a lot about themselves when they are on the road.  You may not like what you see.

7. It should go without saying but don’t gamble away all your money.  Most people have been to a casino before so you should know if you are one of those folks who are likely to blow all your cash in a few hours.  Budget yourself and stick with it.  If you haven’t gambled before, the worst thing that can happen to you is to win.  Better to drop a couple hundred dollars fast than to win a couple hundred dollars fast.  The latter person usually ends up being the one who comes home with their tail between their legs.  If you must play, there are ways to do it without risking so much.  Play keno, bet the ponies or hit the penny slots.  You’ll still get some action but you won’t be risking as much.

8.  Go a little crazy.   This is Vegas so enjoy it.  Rent a limo for a few hours and drive up and down the Strip with a bottle of Patron.  Go to a fancy club and get bottle service.  Hit a strip club and get a few lap dances.  Drink too much.  Dance in public.  Hit on a girl (or a guy) you normally wouldn’t.  Don’t get arrested but push it a little bit.  This isn’t Disneyland.

9. Wander.  The best attraction in Las Vegas is Las Vegas.  Since this is your first time, everything is new and there is so much to see.  You could easily spend your whole trip just checking out all the casinos and you could do worse.  Comfortable shoes are a must.  It is not just the casinos but the people and the spectacle of it all that are must-see’s.  So see them.

10. Don’t worry about sleeping.  Plenty of time to sleep when you are dead. 🙂  This trip isn’t to rest.  Take an extra day off if you think you’ll need some time to recover.  Oh…and start planning your next trip.

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