Just about anything goes on the Strip, but there are a few things you should avoid to ensure your spring break in Vegas goes over without a hitch. Many of these Vegas no-nos are more like suggestions, but committing some of these actions might just land you in the Clark County Detention Center or worse. We’re here to show you the ropes. Don’t forget to share some of your Vegas advice on our Facebook page!
Don’t Wait to Book a Flight
Airfare may be one of the larger expenses of a Las Vegas vacation, but it’s also one area in which you can save some dinero. The time in which you book your flight is a big factor into the price. By booking a flight at least three weeks in advance, you’ll have time to shop around to find a good deal. If you’re already in the gambling spirit, you can wait until the last minute. Some airlines offer steep, last-minute discounts to fill empty seats. We’re talking about a couple of days before departure. The problem is there isn’t always an empty seat. Of course, you can also spend much less money across the board by vacationing in Las Vegas midweek. Airfare, hotel stays, nightclub cover charges and even some attractions all cost more during the weekends.
Don’t Get Long Hauled
The cab drivers in Las Vegas are notorious for taking the not-so-scenic scenic route from McCarran International Airport to the Las Vegas hotels. From the passenger pick-up area, heading through the airport bypass tunnel, the only tunnel near the airport, means you’re heading away from the Strip. Informing the taxi driver to take Swenson Street from the Vegas airport to the Strip ensures the quickest, most direct route. Taking the tunnel to the 215 Beltway, then Interstate 15, then the Strip can add upward of $20 onto the fare. If you think you’ve been a victim of long hauling, please give a statement to a Nevada Taxicab Authority officer to help in the prosecution of the driver.
Las Vegas is not a safe place for pedestrians. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey of 34 major U.S. cities ranked Las Vegas the 15th most dangerous for pedestrians, citing that more than 2.5 walkers are killed per 100,000 residents annually. Most of those deaths occurred off the Strip, in the suburbs. At some intersections on the Strip, barricades and pedestrian bridges make it nearly impossible to wander out onto the asphalt, but not every block is as well segregated. So, for obvious reasons, it’s important to always use the crosswalk or pedestrian bridge. Never try to cross the six lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard in the middle of a block. Additionally, crossing the casino entrances along the boulevard against the light can be just as dangerous as motorists stream in and out of the properties at all hours.
Don’t Hail a Taxicab
It is illegal to hail a cab on the Strip. This is in an effort to keep traffic on the crowded Las Vegas Boulevard flowing. Instead, those in need of a cab must wait in line at a taxicab stand, which are typically located at the same entrance as the valet. Similarly, ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft must also drop off and pickup customers at designated points at each property. These, however, are not always located in the most obvious spots. Ask a bellman to point you in the direction of the ride-share pickup location if you’re having trouble locating it.
Don’t Expect the Status-quo
Renovations to Las Vegas hotels, such as the $165 million, three-year overhaul of Tropicana completed in 2011, are the exception. The average lifespan of a Las Vegas casino and hotel is about 25 years. The resort corridor is always looking for the new and shiny, and once the older properties become not new and not shiny, they’re imploded. That really nice hotel you stayed at during your last visit 20 years ago either no longer exists or has severely fallen behind in the hospitality industry’s arms race. Branch out. Expand your horizons. Chances are your next hotel in Las Vegas will be better than the last.
Don’t Expect to Pay the Published Price
At this point, most Vegas tourists are aware of steep resort fees. Depending on the resort, you could end up paying an additional $150 for a four-night stay on top of the price per night. That’s not the worst of it. Since the ‘50s, Las Vegas hotel guests have had to fork over cash for a hefty room tax. That tax currently stands at 12 percent. Yes, 12 whole percentages. But thanks to the Clark County Commissioners and the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders, it’s the hotel guests that will be footing the lion’s share of the bill for the proposed $2 billion NFL stadium in the form of higher room taxes. When you see an advertised price of a hotel room, know that it’s not the price you pay.
Don’t Use Your Cellphone at the Tables
Leave your phone in your pocket while on the casino floor. Casino security is always on the lookout for individuals photographing or recording in any way the gaming areas. Yes, you’re just an accountant from the Midwest, but casino security doesn’t know that. You could look like the next Danny Ocean to them. Some ne’er-do-wells even use mobile devices to help count cards, a big no-no in this town. In order to avoid any and all confusion, save the Instagram posts for later.
Don’t Fool Around
Gaming in Las Vegas is a multi-billion dollar industry, so you can imagine how seriously casinos take their business. While gambling, make sure to keep the cards on the table. Don’t bend them either. Don’t remove the dice from within the craps table. Pay attention to the game. Keep track of your wagers. Tip the dealers and cocktail waitresses. Above all else, know how to play the game. It makes things difficult for the dealer when he or she has to explain the game to a gambler at a crowded table on a Friday night. The vast majority of Vegas casinos offer free lessons for a variety of games in the mornings that novice gamblers eager to get in on the action should take advantage of.
Don’t Not Split Aces
Always … always split aces.
Las Vegas has a well-earned reputation as one of the world’s preeminent party destinations, so the tendency is to go big, then crawl home. Veteran Vegas visitors know a vacation in Sin City is a marathon, not a sprint. Trust us when we say gambling isn’t nearly as enjoyable while suffering through a hangover.
Don’t Purchase Bottled Water on the Strip
This one is unfortunate as casinos rarely house water fountains and charge exorbitant prices for bottled water at their sundries shops. Still, “conducting business” in a public right-of-way is illegal. Think twice before you buy that Alan Garner t-shirt and/or pair of knock-off wayfarers. Violators of the ordinance receive a misdemeanor citation resulting in up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes
Yes, those new heels you bought for the trip will look great in the nightclub, but you’d better bring along a pair of flats to change into. MGM Grand for example boasts a gaming floor larger than 170,000 square feet. The average distance between neighboring casinos is almost a quarter mile. The average Las Vegas convention goer walks nearly 4 miles a day. Leave the heels for the limo ride.
If you have some useful Vegas advice for fellow readers, share it in the comments section below or join the conversation on Facebook. Now that you know what not to do, check out our bucketlist of fun things to do in Las Vegas.