Vegas – just saying the name of the city can bring about all kinds of ideas, visions, dreams, excitement and adventure. Millions of people make the journey to Las Vegas each year. It is a premier location for vacations, weddings, and even business trips. How many movies and TV shows are set in Las Vegas, or tell tales of people seeking adventure there? Very few places are glamorized or dreamed about more than this city.
A trip to Vegas can be one of the greatest experiences of your life, or it can be a disaster of such magnitude that you will have painful memories for years to come. If you have never been to Vegas, but are considering making the trip, there are things you should do in preparation. You’ll want to make sure you have everything in place so that you will have a fun and successful trip.
A trip to Vegas is like any other vacation, buying a house or car, or hiring someone for a home improvement project – the more research you do, the better the experience will be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 5 mistakes Vegas rookies often make and how to avoid them.
5. Blowing the Budget
Why is the Strip so long? Why are there so many massive hotels and casinos? Because every establishment is making huge profits. They are making huge profits because so many people get swept up in the emotion of the gambling scene and spend massive amounts of money when they probably shouldn’t be. You should carefully plan out how much money you will spend each day. When the day’s allotment of funds is gone, head back to your room and watch TV – the free channels, that is or head down to the free pool. Plan ahead of time what activities you want to take in and how much they cost. Search for discounts for buying ahead of time. Having a plan and sticking to it will keep you from being the center of one of those stories about someone who went to Vegas and lost everything they had.
4. Not Knowing the Food and Drink Rules
In some casinos, beverages are free if you are playing casino games. (Of course, you still should tip your server.) This used to be the case at all casinos, but some have pulled back. Make sure you know the rules where you are staying, that’s another mistake rookies make in Vegas. You can usually get a player’s card that you can use for games and also for discounts on food and drinks. Look for sites like vegas.eater.com to find places where you can eat for less than the expensive hotel buffets. As with the first point, planning a food budget will ensure you have enough to get food in addition to having enough for entertainment.
3. Poor Activity Planning
The road known as “the Strip” is actually Las Vegas Boulevard. Maps do not paint an accurate picture of this road, that’s a mistake rookies make in Vegas. It is actually FOUR MILES long. It can be easy to say, “I’ll just walk from my hotel to this other attraction” and then get out there in the desert heat and get terribly dehydrated or even suffer from heat exhaustion. Many of the hotels are massive, and there is a good deal of walking even if you don’t go outside.
Make sure you know exactly how long it will take to get from one place to another. If it’s a long distance, carry water with you or take a cab or Uber. If you have a fancy new suit or great pair of high heels, you might want to save them for a day when you know you will only be in one place.
It’s also important to plan the sequence of your activities. If you spend the evening taking advantage of the free drinks mentioned above and have “one too many,” riding one of the thrill rides should wait until the next day after the drinks and hangover have worn off.
2. Skipping the Free Stuff
Many people have it set in their minds that everything in Vegas costs a ton of money – that’s another mistake rookies make in Vegas. Actually, there is plenty to do that doesn’t cost a lot. Websites like bestofvegas.com are places you can search for entertainment deals. The site vegas.com has a list of activities for $20 or less, including a number of free activities. There are plenty of free entertainment options as well, such as Bellagio’s Symphony of Fountains, The Mirage Volcano’s Exploding Fountains, High Flying Circus Acts at Circus Circus, Atlantis Fountain Show at Caesars Palace, and Big Elvis at Harrah’s Piano Bar.
1. Having Unrealistic Expectations
The movies and TV love to push the idea that an ordinary person can head to Vegas with a few dollars and leave with bags of money – literally. While this is technically possible, it can also be viewed as a mistake rookies make in Vegas. The vast majority of the time, you will only win a few dollars or nothing at all. David G. Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wrote for forbes.com about how slot machines are designed to give the house the edge over the gambler.
First off, stick to your budget. You simply need to have a set amount with which to gamble. When that runs out, walk away. If you do manage to win a big payout at a gaming table or machine, walking away might be a good idea then as well. The odds are that if you keep gambling, you won’t hold on to the profit.
One of the great aspects of the human experience is doing things that bring great satisfaction and which create memories that last the rest of our lives. A lot of people view a vacation to Las Vegas as a chance for such experiences and memories. By avoiding the mistakes rookies make in Vegas, you will set yourself up for those great experiences and memories, and also enough success that you can come back, perhaps even regularly.
Prepare yourself well and have a fantastic trip to Vegas!