I remember my first trip to Vegas – most of it anyways. It’s a profound experience, and one that you can’t wholly prepare for. No matter how many movies you’ve seen, or reviews you’ve read, nothing can prepare you for the full scope of amazement that Las Vegas has to offer. However, there are a few things you should be especially careful to avoid.
Unfortunately, I was not provided this advice beforehand, which has a lot to do with my partial memory loss of the occasion. But then again, it is Vegas, and chances are you’re going to drink more alcohol than you should at some point. They key is to do your drinking at the right time, which brings me to my first point…
Save your Partying for Night Time
I can’t stress this enough. If you get to Vegas and immediately hit one of their awesome pool-side parties before the sun goes down, you’re going to miss out on a lot of other experiences. Plus, the real party scene doesn’t happen in Vegas until nighttime. Get wasted too early, and you’ll pass out way too soon to experience it.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t grab an intoxicating beverage to enjoy the many other sites and sounds of The Strip during the day. Just don’t overdo it – at least not yet. Once you’re done playing in the casino and having a spectacular dinner at a celebrity chef restaurant or one of the fabulous buffets, then feel free to partake in the nightlife.
Free Drinks, Anyone?
Speaking of alcohol, don’t forget that casinos deliver free drinks to anyone who’s playing. This is a very common mistake made on a visitor’s first trip to Vegas. When you walk into a casino, you will be tempted to hit the bar first. Drinks are very expensive in Las Vegas, so don’t do it. Go to a gaming machine and start playing. The waitress will be by shortly to give you a free drink, and she’ll keep coming around so long as you keep playing. Offer a tip, and she’ll come back a lot sooner.
Over-indulgence is a way of life in Vegas, but if you plan to be there for a few days, you have to pace yourself. Partying, eating and gambling too much will deplete your wallet faster than you can say, “Insufficient funds!” There’s plenty of fun to be had in the City of Sin, and no need to rush through it.
If You’re Not a Pro, Don’t Act Like One
Gambling in the casino is a huge part of everyone’s first trip to Vegas, but don’t let your ego get the best of you. No one wants to look like a schmuck who doesn’t understand the game, but puffing your chest and pretending to be a pro is an all-but guaranteed loss of your bankroll.
You have two choices here. Either stick to what you know (i.e. if you don’t know how to play craps, don’t play craps), or—if you really want to play games you don’t know—download a free-play app and learn all the rules before approaching the table.
Bringing the Family? Plan Accordingly
For the most part, Las Vegas is not an appropriate destination for a family vacation, unless your children happen to be 21+. There are plenty of other tourist hot spots more inclined to entertain the whole family, like Disney or Yellowstone National Park. However, if you do plan to bring the family for your first trip to Vegas, please plan your days accordingly.
There are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in and around Las Vegas that don’t involve gambling or partying. There are amusement parks, interactive museums, horse or go-cart romps through the desert, ziplines over the valley, old-west theme towns, petting zoos, the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, just to name a few family-friendly opportunities.
Simply put, if you’re coming to Vegas to party and gamble, leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa. Otherwise, keep to a kid-friendly schedule.