Meet Me in Vegas: Part 2, An Insider’s Guide

If you saw my post the other day about Vegas, it’s clear I was a total tourist the entire time I was there. While I loved every minute of my trip, there are definitely a few pointers that could have helped me out while I was there. Rachel of How Bout Some Cake has been lucky enough to actually live in Vegas [there is no way I would survive that haha!] All summer I have been reading her posts and have been astonished by all of the hidden gems we missed while we were there. I asked her if she would mind sharing some of her wisdom with us. So without further ado…
Hi!  It’s Rachel back again with another guest post.  This time I’m here to talk about living it up, Vegas style!
Being engaged to a professional poker player means that I spend a lot of time in Vegas. While my better half spends most of his time there working, I’m free to explore and enjoy everything Sin City has to offer.  Over the past couple of years I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to make the most out of it, and I’m going to share the best ones with you today:

  • Map your cab route.  Taxis are a necessary evil in Las Vegas.  Even if you rent a car, you’ll probably be too drunk to drive it at some point.  Vegas cab drivers are notorious for taking advantage of customers.  I always tell the cab driver the route I want to take when I get in the car.  If I don’t know the best route, I look it up on my phone.  Sometimes it shaves a few bucks off, and sometimes it saves more.  The drivers love to play “Mr. Nice Guy” and ask where you’re from, what you’re doing here, et cetera.  This is his crafty way of confirming that you’re a clueless tourist, and keeping you talking so you don’t realize he’s taking the long way to your destination.

  • Save your room keys if you visit often.  Most Vegas resorts have fabulous pools for their guests to use.  All you have to do to gain entrance is flash a room key.  By saving old keys from places I’ve stayed (or friends have stayed) before, I have access to half a dozen different pools both on and off the strip.

  • Don’t be afraid to leave The Strip.   Sure, it’s glamorous and fabulous but it’s also over-priced and crawling with tourists.  There are some amazing restaurants off the strip that are well worth a visit.  Some of my favorites are Firefly and Lotus of Siam.  For a super casual meal, my favorite is Metro Pizza.

  • Watch out for resort fees.  Most Vegas hotels charge daily resort fees that can be as much as $25.  The annoying part is that those fees don’t really get you anything, but can add up quickly.  Research your hotel’s fee before you book so you’re not surprised.  Or seek out a hotel that doesn’t charge them and treat yourself to a nice dinner instead!  Among others, Caesar’s properties (like Caesar’s Palace and The Rio) don’t charge resort fees.  If you do stay somewhere with resort fees but have a problem, you can ask that they be dropped.  For example, we once checked into a hotel and couldn’t get the room we wanted, so they dropped the resort fees for us.  Don’t be afraid to ask- the worst they can say is no!

  • Get Player’s Cards- even if you’re not a gambler.  Player’s cards are free and provide two distinct benefits: accruing rewards and earning discounts.  Casinos reward people who play at their casinos a lot by giving them “comps”.  These can be redeemed for meals, drinks, or even nights at their hotel!  If you do gamble a lot, get a players card and game in one place to earn as many freebies as possible.  Note that comps don’t usually expire quickly, so if you get a lot, you can keep them for your next trip.  Player’s Cards also save you money on casual dining.  If you’re hitting the buffets or food courts, players cards can save you as much as $10 a person!

  • Most clubs offer free or discounted cover if you arrive early (usually before midnight).   Most of them have people handing out passes on the casino floor.  So if you want to hit a nightclub, stroll through the gaming area first and look for someone handing out flyers or wristbands.  The drinks are expensive enough- paying a cover charge is insane!  Another way of scoring free entry is by contacting a promoter a day or two in advance.  Look for them on Facebook or Twitter.
I hope these tips come in handy next time you’re in Sin City!  Please come check out my blog for tons of Vegas reviews.

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