First-time visitors to Las Vegas shouldn’t just dive right into the lights of Sin City without understanding a few things first. Contrary to popular belief, there are rules and standards (though considerably lower) that people generally follow. Unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb on your first time in Las Vegas, show some respect to the standards and be an informed tourist! After you’ve booked your Las Vegas hotel, start to get familiar with what you can expect. Consider these 5 things you should know before you visit Las Vegas for the first time.
1. Always remember to tip. For many who earn a living in a service industry on the Las Vegas Strip, tips make up a big chunk of total income. Whether you’re grabbing a drink at the bar or catching a cab outside of your hotel, remember to tip the people who help you! There are plenty of things to take into account when tipping, but generally 15- 20% for restaurant or bar tabs and $10 or so for more ambiguous services. Of course, poor service or sullen employees are legitimate reasons for withholding tips even in Las Vegas.
2. The cheapest hotels are downtown. While most of the buzz and excitement is guaranteed to be found on the popular Las Vegas Strip, it’s possible to find cheaper Las Vegas hotels in the downtown area. If you decide to book a cheaper downtown Las Vegas hotel, consider renting a car or at least getting familiar with the public transportation. Getting to the Vegas Strip from downtown isn’t difficult if you’re prepared! Attractions like the Fremont Street Experience give guests an excuse to stay put in downtown Vegas.
3. McCarran International slot machines are bad news. It’s tempting to start shoving pennies down the many slot machines at McCarran Airport when your flight lands but try to resist! The slot machines at McCarran International in Las Vegas are well-known for having some of the worst odds in town. Save your precious coinage for the Vegas Strip. Or, if you’re looking for the best odds possible, find a downtown Las Vegas casino that you can stay posted at.
4. Legally drink out on the Strip. Chances are you’re already familiar with this little Las Vegas quirk. It’s completely legal to have an open container out on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown on Fremont Street. While this does encourage visitors to Las Vegas to continue drinking in-between attractions, it’s not an excuse to act like an idiot. Even though it’s your first time, act like you’ve been here before!
5. Earning comps is smart and easy. Posting up in a Las Vegas hotel casino and spending a few hours gambling is a good way to get yourself on the casino radar and possibly start earning comps. Don’t be afraid to get chummy with the pit boss as you gamble. After a few hours of playing, it’s not a bad idea to ask him for a comped meal or drinks. The worst thing that can happen is he says no! The more regularly you gamble at a certain casino, the more regularly you’ll receive comps. Simple!
This post was contributed by Eric White, current editor of CheapoVegas.com.