Las Vegas is a surreal place, combining the most elaborate, decadent and glitzy of lifestyles in a desert environment that would struggle to support life were it not for the man made monolith that is the Vegas Strip.
I was recently taking some time off in the US and hit the strip to see what it was all about, learning a few of these lessons the hard way. They’ll serve even the most prepared traveller well, given this is a destination unlike any else. To get the most from your time in Vegas, follow these golden rules:
DO: STAY ON THE STRIP
Vegas is like Shane Warne, the surface has constant maintenance and upkeep, but venture beyond that facade and things can start to get creepy, quickly.
The Strip has everything you could need and is by far the safest place around. That’s not to say you shouldn’t venture beyond it, just be conscious of where you are heading and at what time.
DON’T PAY FOR DRINKS
Odds are if you’re in Vegas you are going to gamble a little, after all it’s a part of the experience. So why not combine your gambling with some drinking before heading out.
Just find your game of choice (mine is Blackjack for the record) and get started. Waitresses walk the casino floor bringing drinks to those gambling, just be sure to order a strong one as they can take a little while to come back, and tip every second drink.
DO TRY TO ORGANISE THINGS IN GROUPS
Vegas is not cheap, but there are a few ways around the exorbitant cost for club entry and bottle service, if you are that way inclined. I should stress that even though it isn’t cheap, it is worthwhile.
When I was last in I went to Drai’s with Chris Brown playing as the act for the night. Entry alone was $US100 but that night we stood 10 meters from the stage when Ed Sheeran, Nelly and Jeremih all decided to stop by and join in on the set.
If you’re in a group of 6 or more, or make friends while in Vegas, it’s worth arranging for table service that will get you straight in past the line and 2-3 bottles of spirits for around $150 each. Pretty good considering a beer will set you back $US14.
DON’T GET STUCK IN ONE PLACE
Las Vegas operates almost as a mini United Nations, each of the Casinos operating as a single entity but working together to create the overall insane experience. It’s easy when staying at one hotel to get swept up in it being the only place to spend time.
I stayed at the well-known and huge MGM Grand, where you can do everything imaginable. We dined at multiple restaurants, gambled, saw shows, went to pool parties hosted by international DJs and much more.
I’m sure that’s the way they like it as it’s easy to get lost inside your own hotel, but just be sure to head out and see what else there is. Each casino has it’s own unique style and décor, and each offers something different so be sure to check each out.