Travel Tips: Going to Las Vegas

Las Vegas is probably my most favorite place on Earth. I first went there in 1998 and have pretty much gone at least once a year since.  I’m not much of a gambler, but I thoroughly enjoy people watching, shopping, seeing shows, and of course, eating at fabulous restaurants.

Also, the vibe is pretty laid back in the sense that as long as you aren’t doing drugs or being violent, you can do whatever strikes your fancy.

But, if you’ve never gone and are thinking about taking a trip to Sin City for the first time, here are a few hints that you might find helpful:

  1. Transport from Airport.  There are three ways (not including rental cars) to get from McCarran to your hotel. Cab, limo or shuttle. Shuttles are the most economical.  They usually cost about $6 to $8 per person.  The only drawback is that you have to wait for the shuttle to fill up and then you have to hope you aren’t the last one to get dropped off.  On the plus side, it’s a good way to see parts of the Strip.
  2. Tipping. You will pretty much have to tip anyone you interact with in the service industry.  I’m not kidding. Anyone who drives you, tip. The guy who hails the cab for you at the hotel & opens the door, tip. The Black Jack dealer, tip.  I don’t normally tip the front desk people when I am just checking in, unless they hook me up with some nice view or something…which has never happened. In other words, keep a decent amount of small bills on your person.  Luckily, most hotels have machines that will break a $20 for you.
  3. Walking. You will do a shitton of walking.  I believe shitton is approximately 2/3 of a marathon per day.  The hotels are giant.  Just going to the one next door is a trek. I rarely wear fancy shoes in Las Vegas.  It’s totally pointless. But hey, you don’t have to feel guilty about any calories consumed, right?
  4. Crowds. The casinos themselves are so big that it’s rare you will feel crowded overall.  Parts of the hotel might have poorly designed areas (I’m looking at you Paris), but it’s usually fairly manageable.  The sidewalks and pathways between the hotels on the Strip, are another story.  Even during the week they are busy.  Also, watch for those slappers.  They are the randoms standing on the sidewalks with pieces of paper that they slap to get your attention.  You probably don’t want what they are selling and if you do, gross.  You can usually see discarded slap papers along their route.  Don’t let your kids see them.  Then again, why are your kids in Vegas?
  5. Dining.  Whatever you do, don’t go to a restaurant you can find back home.  There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas and many of them don’t require a credit check and payment plan to enjoy a meal.

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