Nobody’s perfect, so we thought it might be useful to compile a list of blunders every visitor to Las Vegas makes. OK, maybe not “every.” But a headline like, “11 Mistakes Several People Have Made When Visiting Las Vegas” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Either way, here are some goofs you might avoid the next time you’re in Sin City.
1. Misjudging Distances
This has been deemed the top mistake Vegas visitors make. It’s an interesting phenomenon, but everything on the Strip seems closer than it really is. Maybe because everything on the Strip is on a grander scale, so it just seems close. In any event, before you begin that “five minute stroll” from Harrah’s to Planet Hollywood, you might want to re-think those footwear choices.
Vegas resorts like Caesars Palace may be (much) farther away than they appear.
2. Not Using Birth Control
Seriously. Vegas still exists in the real world. Be spontaneous, but make sure everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
3. Booking a Room Too Late in the Game
It’s a cold, hard fact of a supply-and-demand economy that when demand goes up, so do prices. The earlier you can finalize your Vegas plans, the better. Book ahead and you can save big. Example: At the moment, several resorts are offering tiered discounts based on how far ahead you book your stay. Learn more. By the way, this item was voted this blog’s “Most Self-Serving Visitor Mistake,” by, uh, this blog. You’ll live.
4. Not Learning the Games You’re Playing
Sure, there are fortunes to be won in Vegas, often based on Lady Luck alone. But there are plenty of games where the odds get a whole lot better if you understand the game you’re playing, the proper pay-outs and the smartest strategies. Example: The big, red 6 and 8 in craps. They’re big and red, and close to you, for a reason. A bet on the big 6 and 8 always pays even money (for $5, you get $5 if you win), but a $6 bet placed directly on the 6 or 8 (near where the dealer stands) pays $7. There are tons of resources online, so take advantage.
If you're unsure which bets make the most sense, ask your dealer. They're rooting for you. Yes, they work for "The Man," but get more tips if you do well.
5. Thinking Prostitution is Legal in Vegas
Sure, just about anything goes in Vegas, but one misconception rules them all: That prostitution is legal in Sin City. Oops, wrong. Prostitution isn’t legal in Clark County (in which Las Vegas resides). Legal brothels do exist in Nevada, but we are a Las Vegas blog, not a prostitution facilitator, so you’re on your own.
6. Blowing Your Allowance
Vegas is, without a doubt, the most thrilling city in the world. You get to town, and you’re ready to live it up. Good for you! However (you knew there would be a however), how much fun will you be having if you spend your whole Vegas budget your first night in town? It happens. It’s best to figure out your allowance (or daily loss-limit) before you ever arrive, and stick to it. Sometimes, this blog carries its daily allowance in cash and leaves the ATM card back in the room. Just a little insurance.
Pace yourself! You'll thank us later.
7. Not Signing Up for Casino Loyalty Programs
Do you want the most bang for your Vegas buck, or what? If so, always, always make sure to sign up for your favorite casino’s player loyalty program. Use your card whenever you play, and reap the perks you deserve. Some programs, like Total Rewards (sometimes referred to as “Harrah’s Rewards”), the players club of Harrah’s Entertainment, even let you accumulate credits based upon money you spend on dining and other non-gambling diversions. Get everything that’s coming to you.
8. Taking Those Porn Flyers, Then Littering
You know the ones. If you’re not going to keep them, don’t take them. The resulting litter is an eyesore.
9. Not Bookmarking This Blog
Same goes for not “Liking” us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. OK, upon reflection, this was the most self-serving item on the list. So sue us.
10. Not Staying Hydrated
Las Vegas, while amply air-conditioned, is in the middle of a desert. Experts say that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated (about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated already, according to some sources). Now, because people often drink in Vegas, they figure they’ve got the hydration thing covered. Sorry! Alcohol is a diuretic, causing your body to lose more water than you take in. Oh, and dehydration is also one of the leading causes of hangover symptoms, so just drink more water, already.
Sorry! Doesn't count as hydration.
11. Not Venturing Off the Strip
There are so many things to do on the Las Vegas Strip, it’s tempting to never leave your favorite Las Vegas hotel. But the Strip is just one part of the Vegas experience. There’s a grittier Vegas downtown, and of course, all the natural wonders around Las Vegas, including Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead and even the Grand Canyon. So, do your homework (thanks, Interwebs), and change things up a bit for your next visit. Which is easy for us to say, given that this blog rarely leaves the craps table once we get settled in. Then again, we’re not a Vegas visitor. So there.
The scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon is not as lovely as our photo, but it's close.
So, that’s our list. Do you have other Las Vegas mistakes you’d like to share? (And don’t say “Our second child!” Refer to #2 again.)
Post your Vegas mishaps in the Commments section. And keep it PG-13, please.