If you’re about to embark on your very first Las Vegas adventure, you’re in for an exciting few days. You’ve already picked the perfect destination, whether it’s for the exciting shows or the over-the-top casino and club experiences. Before you take off, here are a few tips to keep that will make your experience more enjoyable along the way:
1. Plan your packing list ahead of time.
As a brand new Las Vegas adventurer, you might not know how to pack for the occasion. For the flight there, make sure you’re as comfy as possible. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice fashion for a nice pair of sweats or neck pillow. Once you’re in Las Vegas, base your wardrobe choices on the activities you have planned.
If you’re walking up and down the strip during the daytime, basic casual clothes will do just fine. For an evening performance or nice dinner reservations, plan to wear slightly more formal attire. Most importantly, your wardrobe needs to meet the criteria of any clubs you want to enter. You might be turned away at the door if you’re not prepared. Generally speaking, most clubs do not allow baggy jeans, sports hats, athletic shoes, shorts, cut-offs, capris, beanies, or jerseys. A collared shirt and dress pants or dress are likely the safest bets to make when it comes to club attire. Be sure to check out the specific restrictions or rules of the club you’re planning to attend online.
2. Prepare for the weather (especially the heat).
Las Vegas isn’t just known for its casinos; famously, this city stays pretty warm year-round. This is critical to keep in mind, especially if your flights are booked during the Summer months. Temperatures can easily rise into the high 90s and 100s during the hottest points of the day, which can take a toll on your body and stamina.
The key to overcoming the heat is sunscreen and water. Dehydration is common among Las Vegas visitors—and often it’s because they drink too much alcohol with too little water. Regularly drink water in between activities, dinners, or alcoholic beverages. You can also plan your activities to be mostly indoor or near a pool to cool off. Las Vegas pool parties are famous for their incredible DJs and exciting dancers, but you might also need the break to jump in the cold water!
3. Go beyond the Las Vegas strip.
There’s so much more happening beyond the Las Vegas strip, or the main stretch of casinos in downtown Las Vegas. If you don’t want to veer too far off that path and have access to transportation, consider visiting the famous Fremont Street. Fremont Street was the original Las Vegas strip in the early 1900s, and it wasn’t until a massive gambling ban was lifted in 1931 that the new Vegas began to rise up.
The “old Las Vegas” is home to multiple casinos, restaurants, street performers, art vendors, and more. You can even participate in the Fremont Street Experience, a light, and visual show, or zipline down the main corridor of the covered casino area.
4. Know the basics of poker or blackjack.
Everyone that visits Las Vegas needs to sit at the poker or blackjack table once! If you’re nervous to try gambling, start on the penny-slot machines to get yourself comfortable with spending a little cash. You can slowly work yourself up to sitting at a table with other players.
Before you sit down, make sure you have a basic understanding of poker rules and know-how high-stakes your game can be. The buy-in at each table will often indicate the level of players and money to expect. Beyond the basic rules of the game, you’ll also want to review basic poker etiquette (and the pet peeves that drive other players crazy): this can include not going high-stakes every hand, maintaining the game pace, or having appropriate conversations at the poker table. If it helps you feel more comfortable, shadow an experienced friend playing the game first before you give it a go.
5. Use promoters to attend events or get into clubs.
In order to get into a club in Las Vegas, it’s always better to have an inside ticket to the front of the line. For some, that may mean reserving a table inside the club ahead of time. For those that don’t want to spend money on bottle service, it’s as simple as finding a promoter that offers tickets or a spot on the guestlist ahead of time. All Las Vegas clubs have promoters working around the clock to get individuals to attend their events. If you’re not connected to a promoter in Las Vegas or aren’t sure where to find one, consider using an online tool like CompList Guest to help you find your evening plans.
6. Purchase your show tickets from reputable vendors.
Shows in Las Vegas can be fairly expensive, depending on the specific show you’re seeing and what time of day or night you’d like to attend. Like most performances outside of Vegas, if you purchase your tickets for the matinee instead of the evening, you’ll probably always get a better deal.
More often than not, you won’t have to purchase your tickets full-price from the main ticket counter at the casino. There are official discount ticket kiosks across the strip that you can use to your advantage. Keep in mind, some shows or residencies may not allow discount offerings and you’ll need to pay full price ahead of time. Additionally, be careful not to purchase from scammers—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, look for the “Tix4Tonight” booths along the main strip.
7. Take advantage of free shows.
Las Vegas can do damage to your wallet, and if you need to take a break from spending, there are other activities you can participate in without dropping cash. Some of the standout experiences include the Bellagio Fountain Show, CircusCircus Act, Fremont Street Experience, Silverton Hotel Aquarium, Fall of Atlantis at Caesars’ Forums Shops, Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes, and the Volcano at the Mirage Hotel.