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Fifteen Common Mistakes Of Las Vegas Visitors

Between the massive hotels and the distance between them, good shoes are a must for any visitors planning to walk The Strip.

“We’ll never do that again!”. Both experienced and novice visitors make mistakes before and during trips to Las Vegas, partially because of their humanity. Vegas getaways can also fuel anxious excitement and adrenaline levels that can inherently lead to boo-boos, some of which cost more than necessary.

Planning and enjoying trips to Vegas are truly learned arts, and most visitors make fewer errors with each succeeding getaway. Visitor’s real or perceived trip errors vary a bunch based on individual likes, dislikes, budgets, and previous Vegas visitation experience. Below are 15 common Vegas visitor mistakes (many of which were admittedly made by the author during early Vegas trips).

Fifteen common Vegas visitor mistakes :

  1. Poor trip planning : This error can result in higher costs than necessary and a jumbled and inefficient itinerary while in town. Advance trip planning tips for Vegas visitors on a budget are outlined in one of our earlier articles. Something as simple as learning how to judge time requirements for just getting to Vegas shows, dining, or special events at a specified time requires pre-trip planning and, eventually, some practice.
  2. Over-planning Vegas trips : Visitors who plan out every last detail and minute of their trips to la-la land may place themselves and their travel party into an extreme state of exhaustion…or anarchy. Allotting some time for spontaneous, off-the-cuff activities is an important element of enjoyable Vegas trips.
  3. Misjudging distances due to scale and size of Vegas hotels : The sheer mass and scale of the Vegas Strip hotel-casinos can cause errors in visual estimation of distances. On our initial Vegas trip, we rounded the corner adjacent to MGM Grand on foot and spotted Caesars Palace on the not-so-distant horizon (or so it appeared). By the time we actually arrived at Caesars, we were prepared to pay someone to toss us into the oncoming Las Vegas Blvd traffic.
  4. Failure to bring comfortable footwear : Average Vegas visitors spend a lot of time on their feet just getting around within their single chosen hotel of choice. Roaming around and within massive hotels such as MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, or Caesars Palace in uncomfortable footwear can be literally painful.
  5. Assuming that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas : Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and virtually all other major metropolitan areas in Nevada. It is only legal in a few sparsely populated rural areas within the state.
  6. Missing the free attractions :  Las Vegas is designed to separate tourists from their cash supplies. There are many free attractions ( Fountains of Bellagio, Mirage volcano, and downtown’s Fremont Street Experience) that are both enjoyably entertaining and wallet-friendly.
  7. Failure to use birth control : Let’s be honest…not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
  8. Failure to use valet parking : Most Vegas hotels have free valet parking services (excluding customary gratuities). This factor becomes more important when visitors are toting luggage to and fro. Some hotel check-in desks (eg MGM Grand) are a long distance from associated parking garages which can lead to marathon treks on concrete when dragging luggage. The tipping costs for valet service workers are often well worth the minimal expense, particularly for most visitors who are toting bags. In most instances, it’s virtually always a shorter walk from specific Vegas hotel valet parking areas than from their associated parking garages.
  9. Failure to sign up for hotel email lists and players clubs : Signing up for players club memberships and hotel email lists can lead to perks and deals that can lead to significant savings (or comps) applicable to Vegas trip budgets. Even low and mid-stakes gamblers can accrue various complimentary gifts from casino loyalty clubs simply by signing up for free memberships and ensuring use of players cards while gambling.
  10. Overpaying for taxi service long-hauling : Vegas taxicab long-hauling (drivers dishonestly extending the necessary distance and fare costs beyond what’s needed) still occurs. The most common long-hauls occur on cab trips from McCarran Airport to Las Vegas Strip hotels. The most direct route to the Strip (and the route cab customers should request) is north down Swenson Street from McCarran rather than south through the tunnel to I-15 ( the latter being the most common long-haul in Vegas).
  11. Gambling errors : Common visitor mistakes while gambling include playing games without having any background knowledge of them; gambling at games with high house odds ; staying at games too long in order to recoup losses; gambling beyond pre-set daily loss limits; gambling beyond what is individually affordable; gambling when hopelessly drunk.
  12. Failure to use alternate routes for Strip hotel access : Las Vegas Boulevard (the main Strip hotel drag) can morph into the world’s longest parking lot during high traffic conditions ( which happens regularly). Vegas visitors driving to Strip hotels can use alternate routes that roughly parallel Las Vegas Blvd on the east (Paradise, Audrie, and Koval) and west (Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin / Industrial Road) sides to save time and frustration.
  13. Never getting off the Strip : Roughly 75 – 80% of Vegas visitors prefer to stay on the Strip because it emits a lot of iconic shine. However, Las Vegas and the surrounding area offers a ton of alternate options, including the many off-Strip casinos and hotels that are often cheaper and more comp player-friendly. Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam / Lake Mead, and Mt. Charleston are other local area alternatives.
  14. Forgetting to write down floor and area levels in hotel parking garages : The Vegas hotel parking garages are usually multi-level concrete labyrinths. It is quite easy for visitors to forget where they parked in these concrete caves. Always write down floor and area levels when using Vegas parking garages, particularly if a night of partying and alcohol consumption are likely.
  15. Overspending / exceeding trip budgets : Spending beyond planned trip budgets is a common Vegas mistake. It is a mistake that is easily accomplished because the entire Vegas system is inherently geared to encourage the flow of cash. That same system features ATM’s located on casino floors everywhere to accommodate further spending by visitors that have exhausted their original cash supply.


One Comment

  1. #3 is SO TRUE! But #7 made me laugh. I’ll admist I’ve never seen that in a travel advice column before. Kudos!

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