20 Tips for your Next Las Vegas Vacation

Las Vegas Sign

Every year, 40 million tourists from across the world travel to Vegas for the wild nightlife, luxury hotels, and incredible shows. For a first-time visitor, or even a seasoned one, the excitement can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips to help you navigate Las Vegas like a pro.

1. Take the Monorail

Las Vegas Monorail

Everything is farther apart than it appears. The strip is 4 miles long, but with the hotels so close together it doesn’t appear that way. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you start walking. If you’re just traveling between casinos, the Las Vegas Monorail is a faster, affordable way to travel. It runs from the SLS Station to the MGM Grand Station with trains arriving every 5-6 minutes. Day passes are $12 and single rides are $5

2. Wear comfortable shoes

Your Vegas trip will include a lot of walking—between casinos, to cabs, and inside shops and hotels. It can get tiring, so don’t make it any worse by wearing uncomfortable shoes. For the ladies, it’s a good idea to ditch the heels or at least bring a pair of flats to change into. You’ll be thankful later in the night.

3. Taxi tips

Be sure to allow an extra half hour or so if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. Not accounting for this wait time could cause you to be late.

4. Free drinks at slot

No need to buy drinks at the casino bar before gambling. Casinos want people to keep gambling, so most provide free drinks. You might have to wait a few minutes, but sooner or later a cocktail waitress will come to take your order. This can be a huge money saver throughout the night. Here are some more tips for getting Free Drinks in Vegas!

5. Parking fees

If renting a vehicle, be aware that most hotels charge a parking fee. These can be up to $20 dollars, so plan accordingly.

6. There’s more to Vegas than the Strip

Downtown Las Vegas

The Strip is so full of things to see you could definitely stay there your entire trip without getting bored, but there is also a whole other side to Vegas most tourists miss out on. You can escape the city with hiking in Red Rock Canyon, tour the Hoover Dam, fly down Fremont Street on a zip line, or visit the Neon Museum. If you’re a thrill seeker, check out these top spots for adrenaline junkies.

7. Beat the heat

Vegas is hot the summer. Really hot. Don’t ruin your trip by being unprepared. Bring sunblock and sunglasses, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

8. Bring a jacket

Yes, even in the summer. Casinos like to crank up the AC to compensate for the heat. If you’re indoors, you’ll want something light to keep warm.

9. You don’t have to blow your budget

Pace yourself. It’s easy to get carried away, but you don’t want to blow through all your money on the first day. Take advantage of the sights and activities that don’t cost anything. There are many free things to do in Vegas, mixing some of them into your schedule will help balance things out.

10. Check for shows during your visit

Cirque du Soleil Performers

Vegas has so many entertainment options. From Cirque du Soleil to the concerts at T-Mobile Arena, the Vegas experience is one unlike any other. If there’s a show you’re dying to see, be sure to get your tickets early and plan ahead. Not all shows play every night of the week, and seats can fill up quickly.

Bonus: Believe it or not, Friday is usually the best night for entertainment deals. Those in town for conventions go during the week, and others just getting in for the weekend don’t want to go first thing Friday night.

11. Sign up for a player’s card

This is a great way to get freebies and discounts on shows and restaurants. You can earn points for nearly every way you spend money, dinging, entertainment, gaming. You could get free perks during your trip, or earn enough points for discounts on your next Vegas adventure.

12. Book your hotel early

Room rates go up the longer you wait. Deals that bundle airfare, hotels, and rental cars can also help reduce costs. If you’re unsure about travel dates, still book early but check your hotels’ cancellation policy. Most hotels allow you to cancel for free within 48 hours.

13. Beware of resort fees

This cost is often overlooked when budgeting for hotels, but it can make a big difference. Rates can be as high as $40 per night, so be sure to take them into account.

14. Know the rules

Don’t play any casino games before understanding what you’re doing with your money. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people lose money without knowing. Most casinos offer free gambling classes so you can learn the rules of the game before you start.

15. Avoid popular travel times

Prices for everything go up on weekends, especially holiday weekends. The same room hotels charge $250 for on a Friday night could cost only $99 on a Tuesday. Plus, the Strip can be packed during these times. For the best experience, try planning your trip for a weekday. It’s also a good idea to check what conventions are going on during your stay. When big conventions are in town, room prices tend to be higher, even on weekdays.

16. Midday buffet

If visiting the ever-popular buffet is on your Vegas must-do list, the best time to go is lunch. It’s much cheaper than dinner, and you still get a variety of food.

17. Take advantage of happy hour

The Yardhouse

These specials can significantly cut down on your costs. Spots with otherwise over the top prices can be visited for nearly half the cost. And Don’t forget Reverse Happy Hour!

18. See the city from a different perspective

As stunning as Vegas is from the street level, it’s even better when you’re up in the air. For a birds-eye view of the city, book a helicopter tour or head over to the tallest observation tower the US, the Stratosphere. There you’ll have panoramic views of the valley and an opportunity to participate in sky-high activities you won’t see anywhere else. Visit the rotating restaurant at the top for dinner and an incredible show. If you’re a little more adventurous, go for a whirl on one of the crazy thrill rides at the top of the building.

19. Take a Day Trip and see the Sights!

Lake Mead

The non-stop party in Vegas is fun, but let’s face it, sometimes you just need a break. If Vegas is wearing you down, don’t give up and retreat into your hotel room. From Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam to Red Rock Canyon or Bonnie Springs Southern Nevada can be an outdoorsman’s paradise.  Take a day trip!

20. Embrace Las Vegas’ Western Roots!

From checking out some of the top Honky Tonks and country bars to attending the NFR Rodeo or watching the Demolition Derby at the new Core Arena, Vegas still has some deep cowboy roots.