So this post is a little different than previous posts, but I feel it is a very necessary topic. I usually stick to Michigan travel, but with just recently getting back from an extended weekend in Las Vegas, I couldn’t resist sharing some useful tips I picked from my time in Sin City!
Vegas is amazing. Period. Point. Blank. There is so much to do and see that it can be overwhelming at times. With everything going on, you would think it would be easy to stay busy, but there are some things you should definitely consider before planning a trip to Las Vegas, and some things to remember while you are there. Here are 9 tips I compiled and will be following on our next trip out to the desert!
1. Stay in an older hotel/casino if you plan on staying on the Strip. There are some AMAZING hotels/casinos on the Las Vegas strip- and because of how amazing they are and because they offer so much, the costs can be staggering. There are older casinos you can look into to save some money. We stayed at the Luxor (the big pyramid with the Batman-like signal light at the top), which is at the end of the Strip opposite the Stratosphere. It is not as updated and doesn’t offer as many specialties, such as extravagant shopping or big name restaurants. Also, there are tons of surrounding hotels not directly on the strip where you could cut some costs to reserve money for other activities (just make sure to follow my next tip if you plan on staying off the strip).
2. Look into all different types of transportation while in Vegas. If you need to get around in Vegas- there is no shortage of ways to travel: bus, cab, rental car, Uber, Lyft, limo, shuttle, and finally, knees to chest 🙂 When traveling, you have to weigh cost versus time. Yes, a cab will get you there faster (if the driver takes routes off the strip), but you will pay a lot more than if you were to take a bus. Here is the trade-off: we took a bus to Fremont street because there were very limited shuttles available, and the trip down the entire strip at 9pm took AN HOUR (*ouch*), while a return trip in a cab took about 12 minutes. A 24-hour bus pass is $8 while a cab ride down the entire strip can average anywhere from $25-$45 depending on the route the driver takes. Uber and Lyft are also options since they will pick you up anywhere, but these cost a lot as well. If you are traveling in a group, splitting costs of rides is the best way to go.
3. Look into weekend buffet passes. Vegas is known for buffets- almost every hotel offers a buffet where you can eat almost any type of food until you burst. They aren’t cheap…the buffet at our hotel was $17-$23/person per meal; however, our hotel offered a deal: for a $40 pass you could eat all day with unlimited mimosas until 4pm. Eating 3 separate meals at the food court can average you $20 per meal. I am convinced there is no cheap way to eat in Vegas unless you drive far away from the strip to a local Mickey D’s -ew-. Some hotels offer 24-hour buffet passes which could be a huge money saver.
4. Look at other options for drinks. Obviously not everyone drinks, but if you do drink alcohol, be prepared to shell out outrageous prices to drink in Vegas. A single mixed drink with well liquor can run you $12-$15. A Bud Light that would typically cost you about $8 for a six-pack, can cost $5-7 for a single beer. There are other options though. If your hotel has a refrigerator, consider bringing your own drinks before you head out for a night of fun. There are much cheaper party stores off the strip where you can stock up. Also- consider Fremont Street 🙂 We headed down to the ‘Old strip’, and found an outside bar where I got a 21oz. tall beer for $7, versus $13 on the Strip.
5. Do things other than party! Vegas is a place to get crazy, drink, party, stay up late and hit the clubs! Vegas is also a place that offers SO much more. There are countless shows, concerts, and performances that will entertain you and that you won’t see anywhere else. As mentioned before, there is also Fremont street. This was probably my second favorite thing in Vegas. The old strip boasts cheaper drinks, free entertainment in the form of street performers and artists, and the famed light show and zipline. If you are going to Vegas, I highly recommend setting time aside to visit Fremont street.
We also rode the HighRoller which is 550ft high and credited as being the world’s tallest observation tower. I was terrified only enough to not want to miss the gorgeous night-time view from that high up!
6. Get in touch with club promoters/hotel staff if traveling with a group and going clubbing. Vegas clubs are the best. You can find clubs that play any type of music, have live performers and offer drink specials. The trade-off here is that you may wait in very long lines and pay cover charges ranging from $20-50. If you use Instagram, you can get in touch with club promoters whose job it is is to fill these clubs with people. If you are traveling with a group of people (and this applies to mostly women), you can set up times to show up and skip the line and cover charge. The goal for the club is to get as many people in as possible with the hopes that you will spend money on drinks. This is one tip that can save lots of money if clubbing is your goal.
7. Watch out for hidden fees. At various times throughout our trip we needed cash (like for splitting cab rides). We found out the hard way that ATM fees inside our hotel were a whopping $6.99!!!!!! Then we went ahead and checked our bank statement to find out that our bank then charged us $2.50 for withdrawing from an ATM not associated with our bank. This hurts my heart. Approximately $10 fee to take out MY OWN MONEY. Be wary of things like things and bring cash or find a bank. Also, the sales tax in Las Vegas is 8.1%, up from 6% here in Michigan.
8. Bring comfortable shoes for walking the strip. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I highly recommend walking on the Strip- it is a lot of fun. At night you can see the pretty water show in front of the Bellagio along with many performers. You also get to see all the lights and brightness which never stops.
I say to wear comfortable shoes because although the Strip is technically 4.2 miles (sounds totally doable, right?), it ends up being much, much longer if you add in the detours you have to take with escalators, stairs and over head crosswalks. It’s not an easy walk.
9. Go Hiking!! Last, but certainly not least is my tip to get off the Strip and get some hiking in. Las Vegas is essentially a valley surrounded by mountains (which make for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets). We did a short 2 hour hike at Red Rock canyon that was GORGEOUS. By far my favorite thing I did while in Vegas- so backwards, right?! The trail we hiked was only 1 on the 14-mile loop that is Red Rock canyon. I will be posting about this hike in entirety later!
So there it is folks! My 9 tips for visiting Las Vegas! We are definitely planning on returning to Vegas in the future. There is no possible way to squeeze in everything in one single weekend, even if it is an extended weekend! So return, we must 😉
Please, please, please share any tips you have for taking a trip to Las Vegas- I would love to hear them!