Las Vegas, Sin City, the Gambling Capital of the World: it’s one of the most popular destinations in America. Synonymous with gambling and partying, I can honestly say Vegas was everything I expected and more. Vegas is literally SO MUCH FUN, as long as you’re over 21 and can drink and gamble!!! So to make your first trip to Las Vegas a blast, here are 5 things you should know about Vegas before you go:
1. You drink for free in casinos
I have died and gone to heaven: you get free drinks in casinos, as long as you’re gambling. So even if you just sit down at a penny slot machine, you can flag down one of the servers and they’ll get you a drink. It’s free. That’s right, I repeat: FREE. BOOZE. The catch of this is that you absolutely must tip your servers—it is not optional. A good general rule of thumb is $1 for a basic drink (beer, wine, or liquor+mixer), or $2+ for cocktails. So technically it’s not really free, but when it’s only a dollar, you pretty much are drinking for free…
2. There are no open container laws in Vegas!!!
Considering that drinking in public is one of my favorite hobbies in Europe, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that (unlike much of the US) there are no open container laws in Las Vegas! That means drinking on the street is legal—which, regardless of the time of day or night, almost everyone on the Strip will be doing! This also means you can bring your own booze into all casinos (no need to worry about chugging a drink before you leave!), and even the fast food places like McDonalds and Chipotle. It is a glorious, glorious world.
3. It is easy to get around Vegas
With the Monorail, city buses, and ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft, it is surprisingly easy to get around Vegas without a car. The Monorail runs along the Strip to the Stratosphere (just past the Convention Center), which I took several times—a single ride is $5, or a 24-hour pass is $12. Lyft is incredibly popular in Vegas! If you’re a new user, you can get up to $50 in free rides in Vegas—so make sure you don’t use Lyft until you go! Uber also offers a $20 free ride bonus as well, but Lyft is definitely more popular.
4. Pick and choose hotels carefully
Where you stay can really define your trip to Vegas. While it’s super convenient to stay at a hotel on the Strip, you can end up paying a lot more (even if you’re not at one of the big name hotels) in resort fees. Basically, hotels will charge you extra for your stay for things like wifi, pool access, etc. The closer you are to the Strip (and the more popular the hotel), the more expensive this will be. I stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacations near the Convention Center, and it was $25/day in resort fees. While that might not seem like a lot, it really adds a huge extra expense to your trip. Call the hotel and ask them what their resort fees are before you book (since they’re not always shown online). I’d also really recommend avoiding the big name hotels (MGM Grand, Venetian, etc.) as the lines to check in/out were ridiculously long. So compare accommodation options and choose carefully.
5. There is very little judgement and a whole lot of partying
Basically, no one else in Vegas will care what you’re doing—they’ll be too drunk/busy having fun to judge anyone else. It really doesn’t matter what you wear, as you can see club outfits at noon and socks and sandals at 2am—so have fun. And yes, most people (over 21) are there to party, and yes, everyone is there to have fun! So buy that 32 oz. of strawberry daiquiri at Fat Tuesdays, you know you want to.
VEGAS BABY!!! Have you ever been?!