Around 40 million people visit Las Vegas each year.
As well as plenty of international tourists, ‘Sin City’ welcomes hordes of Americans looking to get lucky and have a good time. In fact, one survey found that Las Vegas was the destination that US travelers would most like to visit in the near future.
With an electrifying atmosphere, gambling galore, year-round sun, as well as great shopping and dining options, it’s impossible to have a bad time in Vegas.
But if you’re heading to Las Vegas for the first time, you want to make sure your stay is as epic as possible. Read on to find out the top pro-planning tips for a truly awesome first time in Vegas.
1. Timing Is Everything
If you haven’t booked your rooms yet, do it as early as possible. But before you rush to book, make sure you’ve considered the best dates and days too.
July and August, the hottest times of the year, are less expensive than the cooler months. Although, the post-Thanksgiving pre-Christmas period is one of the cheapest times of year to visit.
And, if you have total flexibility, try and book a Sunday to Thursday stay. Avoiding weekends can save you big bucks on hotel prices, meaning more money to spend on having a great time. Plus, every day is like the weekend in Sin City, so there’s no need to worry about missing out by coming mid-week.
If the rates still seem high, check the website for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to see if your plans coincide with a large convention. Conventions mean high room rates for everyone, so adjusting your dates could make a big price difference.
2. Make a Budget (And Stick to It!)
You’ll be extra glad you saved on room rates when you arrive. The glitz and glam of Vegas can be mesmerizing, and it’s all too easy for the city to seduce the money right out of your hands.
Set a daily budget for food and other costs, as well as a separate gambling budget if you plan on hitting the casinos. It’s a common rookie error to run out of money before the end of your stay in Vegas, so avoid this by sticking to your budget.
A good way to pace yourself is to divide your gambling money up into separate envelopes. Anything left at the end of the day is a ‘win’ to keep. Or, you can spread the money out over your remaining days for bigger limits.
3. Sign Up for Players’ Clubs
One of the top insider Las Vegas tips for first timers is to sign up to the players’ club of every casino you visit. Even if you’re not gambling, this is a great way to get discounts on shows, restaurants, and attractions.
Swipe your card wherever you go within the building, and especially if you’re gambling. Accruing enough points on a players’ club card can mean freebies for your next time in Vegas!
4. Prepare for All Temperatures
Many people visiting Las Vegas for the first time misfire when it comes to preparing for the indoor and outdoor temperatures.
Sun lotion is a must, as are a cap and sunglasses for added protection. But that dry desert heat means dehydration is also a real problem. Make sure to always carry water with you and take regular sips. And your lips will chap fast, so bring a lip balm to avoid this.
While temperatures can rise over 100°, restaurants, theaters, shops, and casinos all blast the AC, meaning it gets seriously chilly indoors. Always bring a sweater or light jacket with you, no matter how sweltering it is outside.
5. Pack Comfortable Shoes
Another sensible travel tip for Vegas first-timers is to pack comfortable shoes, including on a night out.
Distances in Vegas always seem less than they are so you’ll end up walking much more than you expected to. Often, navigating from the hotel lobby to your room can be a hike, while the distances from casino to casino can really add up too.
6. Go Beyond Gambling
Ask most people what to expect in Vegas and the first thing that comes to their mind is gambling. But the city has so much more to offer.
Even people with zero interest in gambling will love Vegas for the world-class attractions, entertainment, restaurants, shows, and shopping. There are also tons of free things to do too.
Many hotels have free shows involving everything from fountains to fireballs, plus there are plenty of street parties and celebrations to enjoy, as well as unique sights like the Venice canals.
7. Save Money Where You Can
Las Vegas has a reputation for being expensive, and with good reason. Four of the top five most expensive steakhouses in the US are in Vegas, and there’s a range of hidden fees tacked onto everything.
To save money on eating out, browse discount sites before leaving on your trip for potential offers and discounts. And when you hit the casino, don’t buy any drinks. Casinos give free drinks to people gambling, so wait for a cocktail waitress to come to you. But be sure to tip, or she won’t be coming back again.
If you’re heading out later, hit the liquor store and have drinks in your room before you head to a club. Due to extra entertainment fees, drinks in clubs can be as much as $20 each. And, for some pre-party fun, save money with the best Las Vegas marijuana deals.
8. See One Great Show
If there’s one must do in Vegas for first timers, it has to be to see a show. Vegas shows are like nothing else in the world. But don’t stress and book a different show for every night of your stay. One amazing show will pack in more than enough great memories.
How to Have an Amazing First Time in Vegas
Let’s face it, this might be your first time in Vegas, but it’s unlikely to be your last. Once you’ve seen the bright lights of the Vegas strip, you’ll be planning your next visit before you’ve even made it back home.
So, don’t feel the need to see, do, and spend everything your first time. Vegas will always be there waiting for you, and you’ll need some money left for a return visit.
Plus, it’s not necessary to overspend to have a great time on holiday, whether you’re in Vegas or anywhere else. With that in mind, check out these tips to avoid going broke when you head to expensive destinations.