What can I say, I am a little bit obsessed with Las Vegas. I'd love to move my family there, that's how much I love it.
The bright lights have me feeling like a moth going to the flame. But beyond all of the neon lights at night, during the day when the sun comes up and you see all of the mountains that you're surrounded by, it just takes your breath away.
I've been to Las Vegas twice in the past 13 months and I'll be going back again in March for my daughter's 10th birthday. I really can't wait to share the Las Vegas experience with her. It will be even better now that I know what to see and do with her.
Here are my tips for an amazing Vegas Vacation:
Do some research on hotel locations. Do you want to stay on The Strip or Downtown? They are two very different scenes. The Strip has a lot to offer, it's more modern and there is SO much to see and do. Downtown is cheaper and has a more laid-back vibe, but is a little bit more limited on things to do (but trust me, there is still A LOT). If you're into gambling, apparently you have a better chance of winning at the Downtown casinos.
The 2 times that I've been, I've stayed on The Strip. For our upcoming trip, we're actually going to be splitting it up and spending our first 2 nights Downtown and then the next 3 nights on The Strip.
Plan out the sights and attractions that you would like to see/do. For my first trip, we didn't really plan anything at all and I feel like we missed a lot because of that. This last time that I went, I started planning about 2 weeks in advance. I had 3 drafts of an itinerary by the time we left and when it came down to it, we still didn't have enough time to do everything that we had planned, but we were able to do the things we wanted to do the most.
Travel with someone who has similar interests/lifestyle
This is huge. Make sure that the person you are travelling with can keep up with you and likes the same type of things. If one of you wants to shop or gamble all day and the other wants to get out and explore, things can get a bit tricky. I'm an active person and I had someone with me that is just as active so we were able to keep up with eachother.
Prepare to walk
I'd recommend starting to walk daily about a month before you leave. For real, the first day of our trip, we walked over 36km. The second day, over 25km. Bring good walking shoes. Forget about bringing high heels, there's no point because your feet will be too sore and swollen to wear them. There are options to take a monorail or buses, but you can't see as much on those as you do when you walk.
Get a GO Card
We didn't originally plan on buying this (in fact, we didn't even know about it until we were looking for a Grand Canyon Groupon), but this was such a great buy. We chose the 3-day pass with the choice of 1 of 4 premium attractions (our choice was the Grand Canyon tour). With this pass, not only did we get to go to the Grand Canyon, but we had the option to go to 33 other shows/attractions. We actually ran out of time to go to all of the attractions that we had planned, but it was still so worth it because we still utilized it a lot.
(This is not sponsored, we just really loved it and it saved us quite a bit of money)
Take a trip out of the main part of Las Vegas
As fun as The Strip and Downtown are, if possible, rent a car and make the short drive out of town to Seven Magic Mountains and/or Red Rock Canyon National Park. We ended up doing both in one day. The drive alone is stunning, being surrounded by mountains and blue sky, but when you actually get closer, it's even more breathtaking. On another day, we took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon which was incredible as well.
Sign up for casino Player's Club cards
All of the casinos have their own Player's Club. It's free to sign up and depending on which casino you go to, there are different perks. The hotel that we stayed at offered a free spin where you could win credits or even money to play the slot machines. If you go downtown, Binion's offers a free pull and I ended up winning $20 to play the slot machines there. Our airline (WestJet) had a promotion with the El Cortez casino (Downtown) where if you brought your boarding pass and signed up for their Player's Club, you'd get a free coctail as well as some gambling credits. I ended up gambling with the different casino's money the whole trip instead of spending any of my own. I didn't win anything, but I also didn't lose anything.
Find your closest McDonald's
Fun fact: The hotels in Las Vegas don't have coffee makers in the room. The hotels want you to pay upwards of $3 a coffee in the lobby coffee shops. I'm not that rich (especially once you add the exchange rate) so I looked up the closest McDonald's so I could get my morning coffee at a reasonable price.
(Again, not sponsored, just helping you save some money)
Those are my tips for a great Vegas Vacation. I am currently working on a post with a day-by-day itinerary of everything my friend and I did on our most recent trip, and another post highlighting all of the fabulous places we ate. Stay tuned...