What you should know before you arrive in Vegas
So you’ve booked your flights, you’re looking at hotels and currently planning a trip to Vegas. If you’ve never been to Vegas and are looking for some travel tips, here are a list of things that you should know before you travel:
1. Don’t use the cash machines in hotels - bring cash with you (even if you don’t intend to gamble)
This may be a no-brainer for some but for people like me who operate completely cashless, this was an issue. I don’t gamble and didn't intend to but I changed my mind pretty quickly when I got there. I wanted to try out the slot machines. As I didn’t bring any cash with me, I had to use the hotel cash machines which charge up to $10. It differed between hotels but it was on average $8. As you can imagine, this quickly added up. I did stumble across a 7-Eleven by Circus Circus (where I stayed) which only charged $2 so I ended up going there most of the time. There’s no free cash machines in Vegas! Before arriving, I would suggest withdrawing cash in advance. You can always leave the cash in your hotel room safe and only bring what you plan to spend for that night.
2. Location is important (Uber adds up)
You might think that everything on the Strip is close together and that you can walk to and from hotels most of the time (which is true to some degree). I mean everything looks pretty close on the map but don’t be fooled, you re in the States not England. If you’re staying in Circus Circus and want to go to e.g. the Bellagio, expect a 40 minute walk. I personally love walking and this didn’t bother me, but if you’re travelling with friends or family who don’t want to do so under the blazing sun (which I can understand why) then expect to get an Uber. This will be around a 10 minute ride for at least $10. Also, don’t forget fare surges during peak times. This is more likely to happen if you stay in hotels that are located towards the end of the Strip e.g. Mandalay Bay, Circus Circus or Rio, which is slightly further out. If we had stayed somewhere more central, we would have spent less on Uber considering we were headed there most of the time.
3. Beware of the free drinks
‘If you enter before 12am, you all get free entry plus one free drink’, said a club promoter to us. Promoters are everywhere on the Strip promoting free entries. What seemed like a good deal at first didn’t seem so great later on. We each had vodka and coke in one club (you don’t get to choose what drink you want) but the drinks weren't great and tasted like cheap vodka. Later that night, my friend had a banging headache whilst I had a dodgy stomach. What a coincidence!
4. It is cold inside the hotels. Don’t forget your cardigan!
Yes, it is 38 degrees outside but you won’t spend all your time outdoors. All the hotels have their air con on full blast to the point that it felt like 17 degrees. I even found myself shivering a few times and wanting to leave the hotel so don’t forget your cardigan.
5. If you have time, explore beyond the Strip
This video was taken when our Uber driver give us a tour of the Strip (keep the volume on for commentary). Later on, we met a local on the Strip who said the best places to eat, drink and go out weren't on the Strip. ‘Everywhere on the Strip is a rip off. It’s for tourists and you’ll find better deals a couple of blocks away’. It was a shame we were only in Vegas for 3 days so we didn't have enough time to explore the non-touristic side, but this is a must for next time.
Have you been to Vegas? are there any first timer tips you would share? please let me know your thoughts below.