This weekend, the Straw Boss Crew is headed to Las Vegas for some much needed offline time. As Vegas Veterans, we’ve seen the ins and outs of the Sin City, and we’ve decided to go all out this week to bring you our top tips, tricks, and hacks!
So first timers, buckle up – it’s going to be a hazy, crazy ride. Here our our top secret tips for Vegas first-timers!
If you’re planning on touring the beautifully themed hotels (and you should!), pack comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this enough. Distances get very distorted in Vegas. The hotels are huge.
You too, Ladies. If the nightlife is your cup of tea, be sure to only pack heels that have been broken in. Even then, pack flats/a comfortable back-up. After night one you may regret going sky-high and opt for a comfortable pair on the next excursion. Many of the nightclubs are deep within the clubs – so whether walking or taking a cab – there are quite a few steps from your room to the car, and the car to the club.
Even still, these babies are a must. No one likes blisters in the desert.
Plan, But Don’t Over-Plan
The best thing about Vegas is the spontaneity of the city. Don’t get too tied up by planning a dinner and show every night, or you’ll bypass a lot of the charm. You could easily spend a whole week just touring the Strip, so don’t see it all while running to-and-from dinner reservations.
Before you head on your trip, use sites like Trip Advisor and Vegas.com to scope out all of the Nightlife, Restaurants, Shows, and Excursions that interest you. Pick and plan your must-dos, but leave yourself ample free time. If you’re planning a show on the south-end of the strip, leave the afternoon un-planned so you can pop in all of the shops and hotels that catch your eye along the way.
It’s also very, very easy to get slowed down by a good party (and our dear friend, alcohol!). You could have the grandest plans in the world, but I can guarantee the call of Carnival Court at Harrah’s or the jazzy Duelling Pianos at New York New York – will pull you right out of a night’s plans.
Be Transit Savvy
There are great ways to save your feet on the strip – so make use of them!
The Monorail runs behind the strip. It’s a great way to get out of the sun, enjoy a few minutes of Air-conditioning, and it’ll drop you right inside some of the hotels along the strip.
The Deuce is the bus that runs up and down the strip. They run every 15-20 minutes, 24 hours a day. They stop at nearly every hotel, and can drop you all the was up to the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas.
Cabs. Not the most popular option on the strip, but they do the trick in a pinch. When hailing a cab – you’ll find the most success walking up to the nearest hotel. Almost all hotels have a taxi queue, and you’ll find less luck trying to hail your own. Be sure to plan an extra few minutes onto your travel time as well if your depending on cab transport – during peak times (the dinner and show rush 6p-9p), there’ll be a few minutes wait for a cab. Don’t arrive late for a reservation because you didn’t allow enough time!
Tip to Sip
So long as you’re gambling in Vegas, the drinks flow freely! For more efficient service, gamble near the service station/bar area of the casino. Tip your waitress well. Tip $5 on the first pass and then a $1-2 a drink after, and you’ll likely get more frequent stops.
This is the most economical way to drink in Vegas (providing you’re not a high roller and are pacing yourself at the games!). Everywhere else you’ll find much steeper prices on libations. Here’s the breakdown of Alcohol on the strip;
Bars: 5-$10 per drink (Many have happy hour specials, so keep an eye out if you’ve stopped in for a sip earlier in the evening!)
Lounges: 8-$15 per drink
Nightclubs: $10-20 per drink
Other alternatives for cheaper refreshments;
- There are quite a few CVS/Walgreens on the strip (One near the Venetian, Fashion Show Mall, MGM, Harrah’s, etc.), so pop-in there and stock up your in-room mini bar to start your night.
- I know you’ve seen those goofy yard drinks. They can actually be pretty economical – and if you’re into frozen, sugary drinks – they may be right up your alley. Though they cost about $20 apiece, you can add extra shots for $1-2, and they often have refill deals that make them well worth grabbing and sharing!
Get Out Of Character
When in Vegas, right? Be sure to get a bit out of your element on your trip. For you that may mean a show you wouldn’t normally have seen; Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace is delightfully vulgar, crude and wonderful. I hear Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity at New York New York is a sensual, but tasteful show just for adults. There are also tons of other options for you to try something different; 5 star steakhouses, burlesque shows, thrill rides, several ziplines… you name it!
Before you hit the strip – our last tip, don’t forget he essentials. Always have on hand;
- Water. Lots of water. Don’t underestimate what alcohol and the desert sun can do.
- Sunblock. Need I say Desert sun again?
- Jacket. If you aren’t popping back in to your hotel before nighttime, carry a jacket with you. It can cool down quite a bit at night (plus, the casino floors are AC City!).
- Hangover Remedies. You’re going to need them.
That’s all for our first round of Top Secret Tips! Let us know yours!