Ashley is our golden girl from the Golden State. Native to San Francisco and a former UCLA student, her initial passion in life has always been sport. A keen soccer, volleyball, and softball player, she presumed her life would involve continuing to play sports in her spare time and making use of her Master’s in Psychology during professional hours — and then she visited Las Vegas.
Making her first trip on a weekend getaway with three friends, Ashley immediately fell in love with Vegas, and it’s a relationship that shows no sign of diminishing. As well as being dazzled by the riotous sights and sounds that draw so many to the desert, Ashley found herself watching slots games and the people who played them, and wanting to find out more.
Upon returning home, Ashley focused on learning as much as she could about the mechanics of gambling and everything it has to offer. Combined with multiple trips back to Vegas, and a keenness to dabble in the online casino world when she couldn’t make the trip, Ashley’s aspirations began to change. She began to write articles in an effort to spread her ever-growing knowledge of the gambling world, focusing initially on casinos, but then expanding further into the sports betting and casino realm. Now, Ashley is a Contributing Editor of Las Vegas How To; our golden All-American-girl whose life took a surprising, but hugely rewarding, direction the moment she first inhaled Las Vegas’ dry, opportunity-rich desert air.
How to Make the Most out of your Trip to Sin City
Planning a Las Vegas vacation for the first time can be challenging, more so for those who want to get the best experience possible. The city has something unique to offer each visitor, regardless of their budget.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the average Joe or a millionaire; everyone is bound to have a great time. Vegas is a city that never goes to sleep, making it important to come up with a detailed trip Las Vegas guide.
We have prepared this traveling Las Vegas guide as a way of helping anyone looking to visit the city. It’s a no-nonsense guide that captures everything you need to know about proper planning.
Included in this Las Vegas travel guide are tips on budgeting for the trip, the best time, and places to visit.
A Las Vegas Guide for Every First Time Visitor
There’s a ton of information every person planning their first Las Vegas vacation ought to know if they’re to make the most of it. Below are our top tips on how to go about your trip to Las Vegas.
1. Learn Your Bearings
The first thing you need to know before boarding a plane for your trip Las Vegas is that the city has two main areas: The Strip and Old Vegas/Downtown.
Old Vegas/Downtown are terms used to the very first original gambling area. Its radius revolves around Freemont Street, better known as the northern parts of the Strip.
The Strip refers to the primary Vegas tourist zone and is where you’ll find all the iconic Las Vegas hotels and casinos associated with the city. Las Vegas Strip covers a distance of about 4.2 miles. The Stratosphere Tower on the northern side marks its start, while the Mandalay Bay marks the end on the southern side.
It’s hard to miss the Strip when traveling to Las Vegas through the McCarran airport.
2. Distances Are Much Farther Than They Appear
When going through a Las Vegas travel guide, the first thing to check is the distance between one point to another. For example, the Strip stretches for 4.2 miles, so maybe you want to take a cab to get around Las Vegas.
When observed on a map, it appears like a short distance, which you can cover on foot. However, it can take you several hours to walk from Mandalay Bay to Stratosphere.
The Strip is ever busy, which means there’re loads of things to see along the way. Don’t take things at face value and assume it will take a few minutes to move from point A to B.
As any Las Vegas guide worth its salt will inform you, there’s a need to check the estimated times it will take for you to walk to various places. A general rule of thumb is to allow yourself more time when planning your movements.
Pro Tip: Have you gotten lost while taking a stroll on the Strip? Use the tall tower (Stratosphere) located on the northern end of the Strip to correct your bearings.
3. Ensure You Remain on The Strip at All Times
Going on a Las Vegas vacation is all about having as much fun as you can while in the city of lights. The only way to achieve this goal is to stay on the Strip or within its boundaries. All the best action revolves around the Las Vegas Strip.
Ensuring you remain within its perimeters will save you lots of time and energy. Here’s where you’ll find the best sights and attractions of Las Vegas. Moreover, there’s no better way to heighten the experience of your first visit than by residing at one of its iconic casino hotels.
When looking for accommodation options for your trip to Las Vegas, consider the various centrally located hotels. They include:
Paris Las Vegas Hotel
When planning, note that the casino hotels don’t allow unaccompanied visitors under 21.
Pro Tip: If you have a limited budget or would prefer to reside at a much quieter place, consider the hotels located outside the Strip. Such hotels are cheap, quiet and ensure you don’t get too far from the action. A good example is The Signature at MGM. Its rooms offer exceptional views of the Las Vegas Strip.
4. Watch Out for The Resort Fees
Always make sure you’re aware of the resort fees charged by any hotel you’d like to stay at when traveling to Las Vegas. There’s a daily fee included in the total, and this may add up quite fast if you are not careful.
Read the fine print to familiarize yourself with the fees. You can use the rates charged by the hotel to get an understanding of the resort fees charged. The more expensive the hotel, the higher the resort fees.
Pro Tip: Consider making your reservations through platforms such as Booking.com. Often, the rates quoted on the platform will include the resort fees and any other applicable taxes. It’s the easiest way to prevent unpleasant surprises when checking out.
5. Where Possible, Avoid Travelling During Public Holidays and Weekends
A cursory look at any Las Vegas travel guide will reveal that Sin City is among the most popular weekend getaways in the country. The city is ever crowded during the weekend nights and on public holidays.
Peak times in Sin City include New Year, Labor Day, Memorial Day Weekend, and the 4th of July. Visiting during peak times means you have to queue at all locations. Furthermore, certain activities may sell out, with accommodation options becoming scarce and too expensive. However, we all know that celebrating the holidays in Las Vegas is one of the most dreamy things to do with your partner, your family or your peers.
Pro Tip: Travelers looking to save money and avoid crowds altogether should plan their visits to take place between Monday and Thursday night. The period offers a quieter and more delightful stay. What’s more, you and your traveling party will get to enjoy significantly reduced rates and tons of midweek deals.
6. Take Your Time to Walk the Strip for the Best Attractions
While a typical Las Vegas guide will recommend using buses, Ubers, and trams when traveling in the city, there’re times when you’ll need to walk from one point to another. Any person who has been to Vegas will tell you there’s no better way to enjoy the city than by walking.
Don’t spend all your time holed up in your hotel room! Get out and stroll through the casino floors. Grab a snack or cold drink along the way and take in the Vegas atmosphere in all its glory.
Walking will enable you to enjoy all the Free attractions scattered throughout the city, including:
The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
The Bellagio Fountains
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Apart from the physical attractions, Las Vegas offers you a chance to watch people as they let loose and enjoy their best lives. It’s a city filled with people from all corners of the world, all looking to have a great time.
Pro Tip: The Flamingo Margaritaville Bar provides you the best opportunity to watch people. Its tables are designed to hang over the Las Vegas Strip. Here, you get to watch varying character casts, enjoy a tasty margarita, and take in the Vegas atmosphere.
7. Pack a Pair of Comfortable Shoes
At all costs, don’t forget to pack or carry with you a pair of comfortable shoes when traveling to Las Vegas. Let no one fool you into believing you’ll look glamorous strutting along the Strip in a pair of the latest designer high heels.
Packing the wrong pair of shoes can easily ruin your Vegas holiday. A simple look at what visitors to the Strip are wearing can help you discern the rookies from the regular visitors. It’s not uncommon to find women walking barefoot, with their shoes tucked in their arms.
Pro Tip: Pick a pair of comfortable shoes that fits in well with the season you would like to vacation in the city. Packing the wrong type of shoes will soon lead to sore feet and a ruined vacation.
8. Carry a Sweater, Sun Protection, and Some Water
The Las Vegas travel guide you have been thumbing through has probably mentioned that the city is located in a desert. Deserts are characterized by harsh weather conditions, making it necessary to carry a sun hat, pair of sunglasses, and sunscreen on your visit.
While at it, consider packing a reusable water bottle to carry with you as you explore the city. Preparing for the sunny conditions calls for you also to be ready for the cold AC indoors. There’s a huge temperature difference between the indoors and the outdoors.
The difference becomes noticeable immediately you enter a restaurant, shop, or casino. Use the shawl, light jacket, or light sweater we mentioned earlier to cover up when indoors.
9. Alter Your Biological Clock
Sin City never sleeps, which means it runs 24/7. It’s one of the few cities globally with so much for visitors to see and activities to do that most businesses remain open throughout. The lack of windows and visible wall clocks in casinos means you can quickly lose track of time.
Casinos want you to get lost in their offerings, which explains the lack of windows and clocks. Getting lost in space and time can be good or bad for you, depending on how well you perform on the slot machines or blackjack table.
If you’re intent on getting the most out of your vacation, consider making adjustments to your routine. The city comes alive at night, so consider extending your sleeping hours to allow you to stay out later at night.
Pro Tip: Try to keep a schedule to prevent you from losing track of time. It also pays to beware of all the decisions you’re making. Don’t make any important or life-changing decisions when the body is tired or sleepy.
10. Book Early to Help You Save Time and Money
As mentioned above, Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, which means it’s always busy. If you have set your mind on seeing a specific show, eating at a given restaurant in Las Vegas, or visiting an attraction, make sure to book early.
Making a reservation before visiting provides you with ample time to get the experience you were hoping to get at the said facility. Online bookings are cheaper and easier to make than physical ones.
Moreover, it leaves you with ample time to enjoy the said attraction as you won’t have to queue at the ticket office. Popular trips and tours to consider for your trip include:
High Roller at the Las Vegas Ferris Wheel
Shark Reef Aquarium
Hard Rock Café on the Strip
Big Apple Coaster
Stratosphere Tower Observation Deck
Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tours
All the tips for your next Las Vegas trip in a nutshell
Las Vegas is a city worth visiting by every person. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or just trying to make your way in this world. With proper budgeting and a well-detailed itinerary, you can have the time of your life in the city.
Adequate planning and adherence to the ten tips listed above will ensure that you enjoy all the city’s offerings. Keep the weather in mind when packing to make sure you pack the proper attire, depending on the places you intend to visit and the activities you want to engage in.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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