Oh Vegas, Vegas, Vegas… It’s like the coming of age, must do it at least once location if you live in North America.. maybe even central America too. Las Vegas – What happens there stays there.. or so they say.
Vegas is not somewhere I can handle for more than a few days at a time. Jamie has never been, and has no desire to go. I’ve been three times, and I can officially say, been there, done that.. I’m okay with never going again.
Sin City as it has been called is the place where you can easily access all your hearts desire. Very well known as a party destination, I’ve been there during New Years, Spring Break, and Summer… and it doesn’t matter when you are there, the casinos are open 24 hours a day, and it is totally okay to drink whenever you please. Take your beer and walk around in public if you please, it’s actually expected!
Some things to watch out for:
- Selfie Sticks – These things are the bane of my existence sometimes. They can become hurdles or things you need to dodge as people are more concerned with getting the good shot of them in front the pirate ship than not clobbering the poor old lady who is just trying to walk down the strip. Also, some places do not allow them in.. we lost one last summer because it wasn’t allowed in the pool party, and once we returned for it somebody had snatched it up.
- Smoking – You can smoke anywhere, and the casinos reek of smoke. For me, this was difficult and I have had to go back to the hotel room on two different trips because of the resulting migraines from taking in that much smoke. Some of the newer casinos circulate air a lot better so you don’t notice it, but down Freemont Street I felt like I was walking in a fog.
- Shady People – Just like anywhere you travel you have to be aware of the scam artists and people looking to rip you off. Protect your belongings and think safely about what you are buying or where you are going with.
- Watch your drink, especially if you are a lady.. the last time we went we think two of us may have got a little something extra in our drinks and we wasted an entire evening in bed and the bathroom.
I’ve stayed at the Venetian, Treasure Island, and Hooters Hotel (Yes, Hooters has a hotel, don’t ask).
Hooters was the first time, this was New Years quite a few years back. It was newly transformed into that hotel and renovated. It’s super close to MGM Grand, but a bit off the strip. I would prefer to be more in the middle than the end like I felt this was. It is a bit cheaper and a bit smaller than some of the other hotels you will see though. I remember our non smoking room smelling terribly and the hallways being very loud.
Treasure Island was the next one we stayed at. It is a very decent hotel, well taken care of, large but not too large, and in a great location on the strip. We liked the pool area but felt it might not be big enough for how big the hotel is. The good thing is there is a couple of the beach clubs within a 5 minute walk if that’s your thing. We were there for Spring Break this time, so the pools weren’t crazy yet. Its reasonably priced as well.
The Venetian was a definite splurge. We were there for a bachelorette party and most people were staying there, some stayed across at Treasure Island. I got my own room this time, just because I wanted to be able to escape. We had adjoining rooms though, but it was pricey. The Venetian is quite the exquisite hotel, but was getting from the lobby to our rooms: confusing or what.. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it back their the first night. It was like a maze! Two different elevators, different turns, winded in circles is what it felt like. But.. I got the king suite, and it was sweet! Sunken living room, bathroom the size of a normal bedroom, amazingly comfortable bed! The pools they have are amazing too. We were there in the middle of the busy season and summer and it wasn’t packed. The party club pool on the other hand was insane. Tiny little pool, nowhere to sit unless you spend a lot to get a daybed, and you can’t bring drinks into the pool? Come on.. the booze would negate the pee that was probably in there. Gross.
I kind of moved up in price and stars as I went. If I went back, I might go back to the Venetian, just because the room really was something else.. If you can splurge.. do it!
I have to admit, every time I have gone, a lot of time is wasted playing cheap slots and drinking in the hotel casinos. Cirque du Soleil is also an amazing experience, but also very creepy. There was a man sized baby in the one we watched haha. It’s reasonably priced for what you are getting. We also went to see a DJ show.. Calvin Harris was amazing! It was crazy busy, we got our tickets last minute, and could barely see anything, but it is one of those things you need to do once in your life. The pool party was great too.. but going hard is something you can only handle for a few days when you get old.
Tips for Sin City
- Take a limo if there is a few of you. They often end up being just the same price as taxis, and while in Vegas you might as well live it up!
- Drinks can be free if you are gambling in the hotel casinos.. make sure you tip though. Some don’t seem to do this.
- As a female, you get a lot of perks in Vegas. Cheap or free entries, free drinks etc. But as a man.. be expected to pay a little extra.. sorry there is so many of you there.. they want to keep the ratios in check!
- The strip might look small on paper, but it really is big! Wear comfy shoes unless you want to be walking barefoot like some of my friends.
- Buy booze at a liquor store on your way from the airport. You will find yourself some awesome cups and you can drink anywhere. So it is often cheaper to bring your own drinks around than buying them all the time. Just don’t buy too much like us.. we had a lot left over because we were never in our rooms.
- Expect that your hotel keys will not work at some point. This has happened multiple times with me. Better to always ensure you have some type of ID with you at all times so you can prove you are in the room.
- Drink lots of water and make sure you eat.. especially in the summer. It is hot AF there. We were running at 48 degrees Celsius.. while a lot of places are air conditioned, if you are outside you are going to suffer.
- In the summer.. make sure your sandals aren’t cheap and able to melt.. stay away from the plastic types. One friend had hers shrink a couple sizes, while another friend had hers become almost gooey.
- There is wifi everywhere, but if you are Canadian like us.. you can buy decent packages while you are in the states. It’s worth it to keep it touch with everybody you are with if you are with a group.
- Remember… what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas isn’t the best motto anymore.. Camera phones and facebook have pretty much ruined your chances of getting away with anything!
While I feel there is so much I missed seeing while I have been there each time, I feel I’ve got a good grasp on the activities available. If I ever make it back, is there something I missed and just have to see? Tell me in the comments!