- 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.
Sin City is a place that everyone needs to head to at some point in their life’s. Vegas is a place unlike anywhere else in the world. Clocks and watches basically don’t exist here, and it’s hard to say whether the night life, or the pool parties are a better time. Las Vegas is probably the only place that I have been to (besides New York) where you can always find something to do… no matter what time of the day or night. Vegas isn’t all about the gambling, nightlife, and drinking… but as a tourist, that was pretty much all I cared to do. Let me tell you, it isn’t called Sin City for nothing. One of my favorite parts about Vegas is that every place you go is so different and original – The lobbies of all the hotels are stunning, the restaurants and bars have views like you’ve never seen, and the glitz glam and surrounds are completely unique and seriously live up to the hype. Here are a few of my favorite places in Vegas:
The Bellagio Hotel // The gorgeous lobby:
The Palms Hotel // The Hugh Hefner Sky Villa.. yes we were lucky enough to have a night here!:
Rehab // Sunday party at the Hard Rock, probably one of the best parties I’ve ever been to:
Minus 5 // A bar that is completely made out of ice:
The Shows // My favorite was the Beatles Love Cirque du Soleil
Come back later this week if you want to see some insiders tips from a friend who actually lived in Las Vegas!