The Sunset Strip is full excitement. But, if you are not prepared for your time Sin City, you could easily end up accidentally married by an Elvis impersonator. Here are some tips that will keep you from being caught off guard so that you can make sure you have the time of your life.
Be Prepared for the Climate
This one might seem obvious. Vegas can be brutally hot in the summer. Staying hydrated is crucial. At the same time, the air conditioning that blasts out of the hotels and gaming establishments can be frigid, which makes the streets outside seem even hotter. Bottom line: wear light layers and stay outside as little as possible.
Don’t Overlook Downtown
Prices when you are shopping on the strip can be quite hefty, so it’s worth spending a day or two downtown in “Old Vegas”. Getting there from the strip usually requires a cab, rental car, even an Uber ride.
Speaking of transportation, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can walk everywhere. The official strip is 4 miles long, and everything is scaled up so it feels closer than it really is. Even just getting from the front desk of your hotel up to your room a few times can fulfill your average steps-in-a-day quota.
Your basic options are: walk, take a tram/bus, hire a cab, or use Uber/Lyft. Walking shouldn’t be discounted if all you want to do is get next door. Trams and buses can be alright if you want to go the cheap route.
Cabs in Vegas can mean high prices and long wait times, but they are the obvious choice in a pinch. Uber offers rides that are much cheaper than a cab, and most hotels have special pickup/dropoff points just for Uber users.
Uber also offers a special and very Vegas-appropriate service: UberBLACK. Hire a car from here and be greeted by a luxury, black-on-black sedan that will take you to your destination in comfort and style. Compared to a cab or standard Uber service you might wonder, “How much is Uber Black?” Then again, it is Vegas. What other reason do you need to choose luxury and convenience?
Make Plans and Avoid Peak Times
Plan to avoid peak times. If you can eat dinner an hour earlier or a few hours later, you could avoid paying a lot extra in surge fees for your ride and avoid the bulk of the crowds. The same goes for shows and attractions.
Beware of Scams and Fees
Taking basic precautions and negotiating upfront will go a long way when it comes to avoiding scams and hidden fees. You should also remember to bring plenty of cash. ATM fees can be extravagant. So can “taxes” of complimentary shows. Make sure you are prepared for those extras.
Can’t Stand Smoke? Go Here
The casinos and bars in Vegas are a social smoker’s paradise. Modern ventilation systems have done a lot, but don’t be surprised in a cloud of smoke greets you anytime you open a door.
For anyone who happens to be smoke sensitive (or just can’t stand the smell) check out hotels like the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, and the Mirage. Plenty of other places have smoke-free zones, too.
Like Slots? Try This to Find the Best
The biggest draw for the Vegas Strip is, of course, gambling. Finding the best slots can be considered an art or a talent. Of course, there are 2 other tried and true methods:
Ask for the Slot Manager on any gaming floor. It might take a little while but it doesn’t hurt to ask directly, “Which machines have the lowest hold percentage on the floor?” Be nice and you will more than likely be pointed toward the exact machines they ask for. Of course, the percentage would still be high enough for the casino to make a hefty profit but at least you’ll have a better shot at scoring big.
Method two is more general. The machines on the strip are tighter than those downtown. It’s not just a rumor, these claims are backed up by the Nevada Gaming Commission’s reports.