10. Not staying hydrated
This one is going to sound so obvious. It almost didn’t make the list. However, due to a multitude of factors including price and availability, staying hydrated can be difficult. From March through October Vegas averages high temperatures above 70°F/21°C with a peak of 106°F/41°C in July.
So, what’s the best way to stay hydrated in Vegas? If you are gambling, ask the cocktail waitress to bring bottled water with your drink. Do not buy water in casinos if at all possible. You can always get (chilled) bottled water at any ABC store for a reasonable price. Many of them also offer gallon jugs for a couple of bucks. I will pick up a gallon or two and leave it in the hotel room to refill bottles or drink in the room. Almost every hotel has an ice machine if you desire cold water.
9. Not leaving The Strip
Vegas has a lot to offer outside The Strip. Too many visitors fail to get away from the gaudy Strip. I always encourage every first-time visitor to head Downtown to the Fremont Street Experience. But beyond the most well-known areas of Vegas is a vast desert with incredible hikes, wildlife, and natural wonders.
The beautiful backdrop to Vegas is Red Rock Canyon which lays about 25 minutes from The Strip. Try taking a half-day trip over to the Hoover Dam or the entire day to the Grand Canyon. Regardless of where you end up, getting away from the smoke-filled casinos and into nature is worth it!
8. Not sticking to a budget
I will never forget the time I took a couple of guys to Vegas who had $200-$300 dollars to their name. We got round-trip flights for $40 on one of those terrible budget airlines. We shared a cheap room at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Then we ran into a problem. One of the guys spent all his money on booze and gambling on by the end of the first night.
Have a budget, no matter how big or how small, and stick to it. It will help you have a better time and a more enjoyable experience. It can be easy for people to get sucked into a table game and chase their losses with the money they brought to buy food. Another tip, keep your gambling money separate and use it only for the tables.
7. Not knowing the casino/house rules
One night my former boss invited me on the spur of the moment trip to Vegas. My only responsibility that weekend was paying for my food and drinks. He flew us first-class, booked us great rooms at Caesars Palace, and got us 3rd-row tickets to The Ultimate Fighter finale. It was awesome. After the fight, my boss who is not a gambler of any kind decided to try his luck. He stood at the roulette wheel and laid down a couple of hundred dollars. The dealer handed him his chips, and he asked, “What do I do?”. My hand hit my face. He learned the basics, and I watched him throw hundreds of dollars of chips out on the table. As the ball spun, he looked at me and just shrugged. He lost everything. He pulled out more Benjamins and continued to throw money away.
My rule of thumb, don’t gamble unless you understand the game. I love sports betting, but I wouldn’t ask a friend to bet on a game until they know the lines, odds, and how to make a wager. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Blackjack, Baccarat, or any other game. Do your best to learn the rules and don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions before you play. If you want lower table limits to learn a game, head downtown. Many casinos have better odds and lower minimums.
6. Not using coupons
If money is tight, use coupons! Vegas is a still a city that runs on tips and freebies. You can find coupons to a lot of shows, attractions, and restaurants before you leave. Once you are in Vegas, a lot of restaurants will try to pull you in by handing out 2-for-1 drink specials, $5 off coupons, and more.
5. Not considering resort fees and parking
It’s no secret that the Vegas hotels nickel and dime their guests. Many resorts now charge a daily parking fee and enormous resort fees. A common complaint by guests is how they are surprised by $39/night resort fees. The last room I booked at Planet Hollywood cost $45/night with $35 resort fee, and if I had a car with me, it would have charged another $10. Make sure you know the hidden costs of a Vegas hotel before booking so you won’t be surprised at check-in or check-out.
4. Not getting discounted show tickets
Like #6, paying full price for Vegas shows usually is unnecessary. Ticket stands throughout the city and Strip sell tickets for tonight’s show for a discounted price. Sometimes the resorts can get you a coupon or deal if you’re staying where the show is located. Additionally, your rewards cards may have comps, discounts, or promotional offers, always check with the rewards desk before buying.
3. Not using the right transportation
There is an abundance of transportation options in Las Vegas. You will find Limos, Taxis, Lyfts, Ubers, busses, shuttles, and monorails everywhere. Because resorts charge for parking, renting a car is no longer an affordable option. Not to mention Vegas is not the safest place to drive.
On the west side of The Strip, MGM Resorts has two free monorails. You can get cheap bus passes for varying amounts of time. Personally, I like Lyft because it’s cheap and easy to use. The downsides are that the resorts will make you go out of your way to use ride shares and sometimes lousy cell service makes it difficult. Find the mode of transportation that’s right for you.
2. Not enjoying the free stuff
Vegas is getting increasingly expensive. Take advantage of the free attractions on the Strip and Downtown. Check out the Bellagio Fountains and Conservatory, Volcano at The Mirage, and the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat on the Strip. If you’re downtown, you will see a bustling art scene with gigantic murals and art installs thanks to a movement started in congruence with the Life Is Beautiful Festival.
1. Not staying on The Strip or Downtown
One of the most common mistakes Vegas travelers make is not staying in the right part of the city. There are a few exceptions to this like staying at Red Rocks Casino at the base of the Red Rock Canyon, but in general, it is a good idea to make sure you are staying at a hotel on the Strip or in Downtown. Sometimes guests are lured into off-Strip hotels because of the lower rates and resort fees. However, it will end up costing you the same (if not more) due to transportation costs back and forth.