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Traveling to Las Vegas for the First Time (22 Tips & Tricks)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: September 25, 2023

Traveling to Las Vegas for the First Time (22 Tips & Tricks)

Traveling to Las Vegas for the first time  and not sure where to start or what to know before your first visit? Planning a trip to Vegas might be overwhelming, especially so if this is your first time in the city and you want to experience the best of it.

One of the best parts about visiting Las Vegas is that it has something for everyone and for every budget! You can be a millionaire or an aspiring one and still manage to have a fantastic time living big in this fascinating city that never sleeps. However, there are some things that you really should know before you go.

To help you plan your first trip to Vegas, we selected some of  the best tips for visiting Las Vegas . This no-nonsense practical guide will not only help you plan your trip, but will also show you how to make the best of your visit, time, and budget.

Good to know: This guide is now updated after our recent trip. We hope that our first-hand experience and top tips for first-time travelers to Las Vegas will help you make the most of your trip. Find out!

Las Vegas tips for your first visit

If you are traveling to Las Vegas for the first time, there is a lot for you to know to make the most of your adventure.  Here are some of our top travel tips for Vegas:

1. Get your bearings

There are two main areas of Las Vegas that you will hear people talk about and that you should definitely see: Downtown/ Old Vegas and the Strip.

Downtown or Old Vegas refers to the area that was the original gambling district. It’s located just north of the strip and centered around Fremont Street.  

Las Vegas Strip (aka “The Strip”) is the main tourist zone of Vegas where most iconic hotels and casinos are located. The strip of Las Vegas Boulevard stretches for 4.2 miles from the SRAT Tower on the north side to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and the Mandalay Bay on the south side. The south side is right near the airport. 

If you are flying into McCarran airport you will fly right over the strip, you can’t miss it! Lots of lights and big fun await you.  

Visiting Las Vegas

2. Remember that distances are bigger than they look at first sight

Las Vegas Strip is about 4.2 miles long. It would likely take you several hours to walk the entire distance between Stratosphere and Mandalay Bay.

If you look at it on a map, it looks like an easy walk. However, it’s busy and there is so much to see and do, that you really can’t just expect to ‘see it all’ in a few hours. In addition, it takes forever to cross the side streets (and there are many of them!).

Good to know: The estimated time it takes to walk to places is a very important component when making your plans for your stay in Vegas. In general, be sure to allow more time than you think you’ll need to travel from place to place! Further below, you will find our top tips for getting around Las Vegas.

TIP: Lost on the Strip? Look up for the super tall Stratosphere tower which is on the north end to get your bearings. Also the Eiffel Tower at the ‘center’ of the Strip is visible from far.

Las Vegas Boulevard (Las Vegas Strip)

3. Stay on The Strip (or just nearby)

If you want to be in the heart of it all, the center of the Las Vegas Strip will give you the best location. Staying here will save you time and effort as most of the main Las Vegas sights and attractions will be just nearby. Furthermore, staying at one of the iconic casino-hotels on the strip is the ultimate Vegas experience!

The LINQ , The Flamingo , or Paris Las Vegas Hotel are all hotels that are VERY centrally located and affordable.  Caesars Palace is a bit more expensive but also offers great value for the location.

If you are looking for a higher-end casino/hotel, take a look at the famous Bellagio , The Venetian , or The Palazzo at The Venetian .

Good to know: The casino hotels will only allow guests under 21 with a parent or a guardian.

Before booking a hotel, see our next tip for some important information!

TIP: If you want to stay close to everything but prefer a bit quieter setting (and lower prices), look for hotels that are just off the strip. That way, you are still close to all the action, but it’s cheaper and not as busy.

For example, The Signature at MGM is just nearby and many rooms have great views of the Strip. Horseshoe Las Vegas (former Bally’s) offers very good value for the location. Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Desert Club Resort is not too far from the strip and close to LINQ Promenade – also great value and a very popular choice in Vegas…

Our mid-budget recommendation: The Westin Las Vegas has an amazing location just off the strip, but within two minutes walk to the best part of it.

Swimming pool at Caesars Palace in Vegas

4. Beware of resort fees

Be sure to check the resort fees of any hotel you book in Vegas. The daily fee will be added to your total and can quickly add up. Some resort fees can add a big amount to your hotel bill each day, so be sure to always read the fine print.

In general, the more expensive the hotel, the higher the resort fee. It can be as low as a few dollars or as high as $50 or even more for high-end hotels. This is per night, so yes, it can add up.

TIP: We recommend booking your Vegas hotel via Booking.com . In most cases, the prices you see already include all taxes and resort fees. You can see the breakdown of the price if you click on a little ‘i’ icon next to the amount shown. That way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of your stay.

But in any case, always read the fine print as well! Often, resort fees (that you pay anyway) include all kinds of perks that you wouldn’t even think of taking advantage of.

If you want a quieter vibe or are visiting Vegas on a budget, there are plenty of smaller and cheaper hotels located a bit further off the strip. Some of them have quite a central location that will be ok for sightseeing as well. For a stay on a lower budget, take a look at Ellis Island Hotel Casino & Brewery or Tuscany Suites & Casino . Both of these hotels have a good location and excellent price/ quality ratio.

TIP: Using the map below, you can compare hotels, apartments, and short-term rental accommodations in Las Vegas . Simply insert your travel dates and group size, and you’ll see the best deals for your stay. Check it out!

5. Avoid weekends and public holidays

Las Vegas is a very popular weekend getaway and it’s often crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s also very busy during public holidays.

The 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day Weekend, and New Year are the absolute peak times in Vegas! If you come during a busy time, you’ll have to queue everywhere, some activities might sell out, and accommodations will be really expensive.

So avoid traveling on weekends and during the most popular holidays.

TIP: If you want to avoid the crowds and save money, it’s best to plan a visit to Vegas between Monday and Thursday. It’s not only quieter and more enjoyable, but most hotels also have better rates and midweek deals. Also some attractions are cheaper on weekdays (e.g. Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart to mention just one).

Big crowds at Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas

6. Walk The Strip & enjoy FREE Vegas attractions

Even if you plan on using trams, Ubers, and buses in Vegas (more about it below), there is no question that you will still spend a ton of time walking.  The best way to explore Las Vegas is simply walking The Strip .

So get out there and explore! Walk through the casinos, stop for a drink or a snack along the way, and enjoy the typical Vegas atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s also here that you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best FREE attractions in Las Vegas such as Bellagio Fountains, The Volcano, Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, and others.

Vegas is also one of the most fun places to people-watch. You will see a whole cast of characters from all over the world living their best life and letting loose.  

TIP:  One of the best places to “people watch” is the outdoor space at Flamingo’s Margaritaville Bar. They have tables that hang out over the top of the strip. So grab a seat, get a tasty margarita, and enjoy the views and the atmosphere!

Las Vegas tips - visit free attractions such as The Volcano

7. Wear comfortable shoes

The most important thing to pack for exploring Vegas is comfortable shoes ! Do not be fooled and think you need to look glamorous by wearing high heels. Trust me, your entire stay in Vegas can be ruined by the wrong footwear.

You can always tell who is a Vegas rookie by watching people at the end of the night. Some women even walk barefoot carrying their high-heeled shoes in their hands… There’s even a business in Vegas that has vending machines that dispense flat roll-up shoes to help people like that!

So use your common sense, pack comfortable shoes that are suitable for the season when you are visiting, and don’t let sore feet ruin your vacation!

A woman with feet pain from high heel shoes

8. Carry some water, sun protection, and a sweater

Las Vegas is in a desert and the sun can be really harsh here. So no matter when you visit, be sure to take sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat with you. It’s also a good idea to pack a reusable water bottle when exploring the city!

At the same time, you should also be prepared for the cold AC indoors. Every time you get inside a casino, a shop, or a restaurant, you’ll experience a huge difference in temperature. It’s nice to have a light sweater (or a shawl, light jacket) to cover up indoors.

Hot sunny day in Las Vegas

9. Adjust your biological clock

Las Vegas is 24/7!  There is always so much to see and do in the city and many places remain open into the early hours. The casinos do not have windows or clocks hanging on walls, so it is very easy to lose track of time. They want you to get lost in their space, and this can be both a good and a bad thing.

The whole city comes to life at night, so if you want to experience the best of Vegas, you may want to adjust your regular schedule a bit . Sleep longer in the morning so that you can stay up later in the evening.

Just don’t lose track of time, try to keep some kind of a schedule, and beware of the decisions you make, especially if you’re tired and money is involved.

Drinks at a bar in Las Vegas

10. Do some research & prepare an itinerary

Las Vegas has so much to offer that it can get overwhelming. So if you want to make the most out of your time and money, it really pays to do some research upfront .

For example, many places in the city don’t open before noon or even later. So it really helps to check this before you arrive someplace and find a closed door.

Some attractions in Las Vegas require advance bookings and in general, in most places, you’ll be able to skip the lines with online reservations. This can save you a lot of time – if you do your research!

TIP: Depending on how much time you have in Las Vegas, you could visit some nature destinations outside of the city in the mornings and leave the casinos and fun attractions for late afternoon/evening. You will also find some attractions that are open in the morning, and there are also nice tours that you can do at the quieter times of the day (e.g. this highly-rated Las Vegas Downtown walking tour takes place in the morning).

If you are short on time, preparing a good itinerary is also the only way to make sure that you can visit all the places that you want to in the most relaxing way. If you are planning on doing some day trips (by car or with a tour), it’s also wise to book ahead. That way, you can find the best options that suit your interests and timing and enjoy the very best that the city and its surroundings have to offer.

Via the link below, you can see an example of one such itinerary. It gives you an idea of how you could plan your first visit to Las Vegas.

Further below, you can find more information about some of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas where it makes sense to book ahead.

LEARN MORE: Las Vegas 1 Day Itinerary

Colorful wall at Meow Wolf Las Vegas, Area15

11. Save time & disappointment by booking in advance

Las Vegas is a city that is pretty much always busy, no matter the season. So if you absolutely want to visit a certain attraction, eat at a specific restaurant, or see a certain show, you should book in advance ! That way, you can be sure that you can experience everything you really want to.

Often, booking online in advance is also cheaper. Furthermore, it also saves you time because you can just skip the ticket office and head straight to the attraction.

Here are some popular attraction tickets and tours that you can reserve before your trip (some of them are open tickets, so you have flexibility as to when exactly you go):

  • LINQ High Roller (Las Vegas Ferris wheel – one of the most popular attractions in Vegas. Recently, when we visited, you couldn’t even book a ticket on the spot and they asked you to do it online).
  • Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at Paris Las Vegas .
  • Gondola ride at The Venetian and a visit to Madame Tussauds .
  • Stratosphere Tower Observation Deck .
  • Thrill Rides at the STRAT Tower .
  • Shark Reef Aquarium .
  • Fly LINQ Zipline .
  • Big Apple Coaster (you’ll still have to stand in line, but at least you save the queue at the ticket desk).
  • Helicopter tours . We took this nighttime tour over the strip (bucket list experience!).
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours .
  • Hard Rock Cafe on Las Vegas Strip .
  • All kinds of shows and performances .

Here, you can also see a good overview of shows in Vegas .

Las Vegas helicopter flight with view of the Strat Tower

12. Save money by booking last minute

If you want to see a show in Vegas, but don’t really care which one, when, or where you sit, then you can also just wait until you get there and try to get last-minute tickets .

Sometimes, you can get big discounts this way. However, the most popular shows will usually be sold out.

TIP:   When looking for show tickets, be sure to stop by one of the Tix4Vegas or Tickets On Demand booths. They are scattered over several different locations on Las Vegas Strip and are bright red – you can’t miss them. They often have last-minute tickets for various shows and some attractions in town.

Tickets on Demand Las Vegas

13. Enjoy all the food, but avoid peak dinner times

Deciding on where to eat in Las Vegas can be challenging because there are so many incredibly delicious choices. The great news is, there is something for every budget and every taste bud to enjoy.

Just remember that Vegas restaurants are extremely busy at peak dining times. So try to avoid going to a restaurant at the same time everyone else does. You’ll waste a lot of time queuing. The worst time to go for dinner is between 6 and 8 PM, and for lunch – at noon.

Be sure to hit some of these restaurants in Vegas:

Las Vegas Buffets :

  • Bacchanal Buffet – Caesars Palace .
  • Wicked Spoon – The Cosmopolitan .
  • The Buffet – The Wynn .

Celebrity Chefs:

  • Giada De Laurentiis – Giada at The Cromwell.
  • Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen.
  • Bazaar Meat by José Andrés.
  • Guy Savoy fine French dining at Caesars Palace .
  • Craft Steak – Tom Colicchio at MGM.
  • Gordon Ramsay – Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace, but also Gordon Ramsay Fish& Chips on LINQ Promenade.

TIP: If you want to have a good meal, avoid long queues, and save money, simply get some pizza. We had the best pizza in the US at Metro Pizza inside Ellis Island Hotel Casino . It’s just 10-15 minutes walk from the strip area around the Caesars Palace.

Desserts at gourmet restaurant in Las Vegas

14. Don’t rent a car unless you absolutely need it

When planning your first trip to Las Vegas, you might wonder if you should rent a car. Before you decide, think ahead about what your plans will be during your trip… Will you travel away from the strip area? Do you plan to visit places nearby like Hoover Dam or Red Rock Canyon? And if so, will you rather go on your own or on an organized tour?

There are plenty of transportation options to get around Las Vegas (more info further below). So unless you are planning on taking a road trip away from The Strip or Downtown Vegas, you really do not need a rental car in Vegas city itself. Most casinos charge huge parking fees and traffic is usually pretty tight, so it can often be more of a pain than a perk.

If you are planning to visit any of the best places near Las Vegas , you can also just book a tour . Whether it’s a short excursion to Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, or a longer day trip to Grand Canyon , you can find plenty of tours on GetYourGuide (our favorite site for all tour and ticket bookings) or on Viator . Using these sites, you can easily see all the best options, compare prices, and benefit from the most flexible cancelation policies on the market.

If you decide to rent a car, we recommend only booking it for those days when you really need it (so not necessarily for your stay in Vegas itself). For the best prices, check the RentalCars website . They compare the best deals from different car hire companies, offer much cheaper insurance than at the counter, and have excellent customer service. We always use this website for all our rental cars when traveling and our recent experience in Vegas was excellent.

Good to know: For greater distances in town, you can opt for taxis and Uber/Lyft rides . Taxis are definitely more expensive, but Uber/Lyft can have weird pick-up locations at hotels. Be sure to ask the concierge at each place you are getting a pick-up where the Uber/Lyft pick-up area is. You might have to do some hunting to locate them. Often, you have to foresee a lot of extra time for waiting and logistics when taking a taxi or an Uber/Lyft.

Busy traffic on Las Vegas Strip at night

15. Research airport transfers in advance

If you are flying to Las Vegas, you might wonder what is the best way to get to your hotel from the airport . It’s a good idea to know in advance what your options are. See below for more info.

There are several ways to get from McCarren International Airport to Las Vegas hotels:

  • The cheapest way is with a shared airport transfer . You can best book it in advance , where you also can read the instructions on where to go. It’s very straightforward and easy.
  • Uber/Lyft. If you plan on taking an Uber/Lyft from the airport to the strip, be sure to read the signs in order to locate the Uber/Lyft pick-up area . It’s up an elevator and across a walkway in a different building than baggage claim. There are clearly marked signs. 
  • Taxi will likely be more expensive than the other options, especially if your hotel is on the northern side of the city. But grabbing a taxi is easy and the line usually starts right outside the baggage claim area. There is often a VERY long line with a winding queue.  Don’t be dismayed by the length of the line, it usually moves very quickly.

Rideshare pickup stand in Las Vegas

16. Use Las Vegas Monorail

One of the best ways to get around the Strip is the Las Vegas Monorail ! This super cool monorail avoids Vegas traffic completely, keeps you in the air conditioning, and runs on the back east side of the line of resorts. It’s also much cheaper than the HoHo buses.

Las Vegas Monorail stretches from the MGM Grand down through the Las Vegas Convention Center to the SAHARA which is across the street from the Stratosphere Tower. There are 7 stops in total which will get you near most areas you want to see on the strip. 

Trains typically arrive every 5-6 minutes at each stop. You can just pay for one ride, but (multi-) day passes are available too. Children aged 5 and under ride for free. You can get tickets online or at each station in the Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) which are located at each Monorail station entrance.

Good to know: The typical hours of Las Vegas monorail are from 7 AM to 2 AM. On weekends, it runs until 3 AM. On Mondays – until midnight.

Las Vegas Monorail

17. Take a hop-on hop-off bus to get to know the city

If you’ve never been to Vegas before, the Big Bus Las Vegas is a great way to see everything in a short time, and without making your feet sore. They have ‘classic’ tickets for one or two days , or you can also opt for a night tour .

Normally, the double-decker bus tours the entire strip (the Strip Loop) and Old Vegas (Downtown Loop). Get on and off as many times as you want to see the main sights and attractions in Las Vegas . The first bus takes off at 10 AM and the last one at 5 PM.

TIP: The night tour takes about 3 hours and has a live guide. It’s, however, quite expensive if booked separately. But you can get a much better deal if you buy it in combination with a 1-day tour . So you get more value for your money if you get both tickets at once.

Good to know: If you didn’t get your tickets in advance, you can check ticket booths on the strip for any last-minute discounted deals. However, they are only valid for that calendar day, so if you want to make the most of it, it’s best to just book online and start your hop-on hop-off tour as soon as the buses start running in the morning.

Las Vegas Boulevard at night

18. Take advantage of FREE Monorail Trams

There are several free trams in Vegas that are not a part of the Las Vegas Monorail system. They can be a real lifesaver when your feet are tired, when it’s very hot, or when you just need to get to your next destination faster.

Las Vegas can get extremely hot, which can make walking a bit uncomfortable. Knowing where these free trams are will save you a lot of time & effort when you are exploring the city. Here are the three options:

Aria Express Tram

This free tram runs from the Bellagio through the City Center/Crystal Shopping Mall stop to the Park MGM stop. This tram runs every 7 minutes from 8 AM to 4 AM.  

To access the tram in the Bellagio, go to the hallway in the Bellagio Spa Tower near the walkway to Vdara.  You will see signs and stairs and an elevator that goes up to the station.

Mandalay Bay – Excalibur Tram

This is a short express tram ride that begins at Mandalay Bay, makes a stop at the Luxor, and ends at Excalibur. This tram runs from 11 AM to 10.30 PM.

The entire ride is just a 7-minute trip, but it will help you travel through these three hotels much more quickly. What looks like a short walk, could take up to 45 minutes on foot. 

Good to know:  There is also an Express Tram that runs directly between the Excalibur and Mandalay Bay, skipping the Luxor altogether. It takes just 3 minutes. 

TIP:  Be on the lookout! The Main Station on this trip has a free slot pull machine with a $5,000 payoff. So be sure to stop there for a free pull and try your luck! You may end up winning a free show ticket instead, but free is free!

Mirage – Treasure Island Tram

This tram runs between The Mirage and Treasure Island. The ride takes less than five minutes, on foot this could take 20-30 minutes. It runs every 15 minutes, between 7 AM and 2 AM.

Aria Express free tram in Las Vegas

19. Budget your spending ahead of time

If you plan on gambling in Las Vegas, the first thing you should do is set a gambling budget for yourself .  How much will you spend per day throughout the trip? 

It is very easy to blow through your hard-earned money like it is Monopoly money. So be careful!

Be smart and make sure you fill some of your time with free Vegas attractions such as Bellagio Fountains, The Volcano, Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, and many others. Your savings account will thank you!

Las Vegas gambling tips

20. Rember that the house always wins

Many people visiting Vegas are planning to try their luck at one of the casinos. It’s an experience in itself, but remember that the HOUSE ALWAYS WINS . So only gamble what you can afford to lose!

If you have never gambled before and want to give it a try, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of the games you are planning to play. Ideally, you do this before you come to Vegas, as many experienced gamblers will not be thrilled to have a newbie at the table.

Alternatively, head to the casinos in the morning or during the day. Those are the slow times when dealers will have more time and might even offer to teach you the game. In that case, be sure to tip them for the time and effort. Also, check with the casino you are staying at and see if they have any gaming lessons during the day.

Slot machines are stress-free and can be super fun to take at your own pace. So if you are new to Vegas, it’s probably better to start with them rather than the table games. Just be sure to plug in your member’s loyalty card in the slot to reap as many benefits as you can from the money you will likely lose. See below for more information.

TIP: If you are planning on gambling, you may want to wait before you order your drinks. Many casinos in Vegas offer free drinks to the people who gamble . So often, a waiter will come up to you and will offer some drinks on a house, but only if you are actually playing. So ‘free’ is never really free… Also, don’t forget to tip the waiter!

Las Vegas casino roulette

21. Reap the rewards of your loyalty

It doesn’t matter if you plan on gambling $20 or $2,000, the first thing you must do when gambling in Las Vegas is to sign up for the member loyalty card of the casino you are gambling in. If you are planning to spend the money anyway, you can as well try to get something back…

Just remember that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!

By signing up for these member reward cards, you will be rewarded for your loyalty. So be sure to show this card in every store, restaurant, card table and slide it into every slot machine that you play. They will track your spending and give you rewards based on that. If you want to rake up the points, stick to one casino group to make sure your spending adds up faster.

They will then send future bargains and deals for your next trip to Vegas. If you are really lucky and spend enough money in their casino, they will also give you ‘comps’ which are “complimentary” items like free dinners, discounted or free hotel rooms, show ticket discounts, etc…

There are two main reward cards for most of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip – one from MGM Resorts and one from Caesars – more info below. There are also a few other smaller programs too.

M life Rewards Loyalty Program for MGM Resorts. These casinos/resorts include MGM Grand, Bellagio, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, ARIA, New York New York, Delano, Luxor, Vdara, and Excalibur.  

Caesars Rewards from Caesars Entertainment. These casinos/resorts include Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Horseshoe, Harrah’s, The Cromwell, The LINQ, Paris Las Vegas,  Planet Hollywood, Circus Circus, Tropicana, and Rio.

These groups are all competing for your business, so be smart about your spending and reap as many rewards as you can, because – remember – the house always wins!

Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Vegas

22. Explore off the strip & get outside the city

Do yourself a favor and dedicate some time to exploring the Las Vegas area away from the Strip. Las Vegas has so much to offer that goes beyond the most famous casinos!

Be sure to visit some of these places:

  • Old Vegas/ Downtown Vegas: Fremont Street (Old Strip), Downtown Container Park (outdoor shopping mall/ entertainment center), the Neon Museum (you can get here by public transport, with a hop-on hop-off bus , or by taxi).
  • Area15. A cool venue just outside the strip. One of the highlights here is Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart . It’s a very unique experience with lights, colors, and alternative dimensions – something you won’t quickly forget.
  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and/or Seven Magic Mountains (can also visit with a tour ).
  • Hoover Dam (can easily visit with a tour ).
  • Valley of Fire State Park (there are some great tours available ).
  • Lake Mead ( ATV tours are popular here).
  • Grand Canyon (there are some nice helicopter tours and lots of bus tours if you don’t have a car).

Many of these places that can be visited with a tour, can actually be combined in just one trip. So you can make the most of your time. Check out all the options via the links above.

You can read more about the best places and experiences in and near Vegas via the link below. Check it out!

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Las Vegas Best Day Trips & Tours from Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park is a nice place to see near Vegas

Las Vegas Travel FAQ

You could see the best of Las Vegas in 24 hours, but you could also find plenty to do each day if you spent a week here. In general, 3 – 4 days or a long weekend is a good amount of time for your first trip to Vegas. This will allow you to see all the highlights and maybe even take an excursion or two outside the city.

The best time to visit Las Vegas weather-wise is in early spring or later in the fall (March-April or October-November). Vegas is in the desert, so the summer months can easily see highs in the 100° range. In winter, the temperatures are mild and you can even get an occasional snow shower. If you want to avoid the crowds, don’t come to Vegas on the 4 th of July, New Year’s Eve, Labor Day & Memorial Day Weekends.  

The cheapest time to visit Las Vegas is the first half of December and January. Just before and right after the New Year’s celebrations, the city tends to be much quieter than at any other time and you can find good deals for flights and accommodations. Also in summer, when it’s too hot for many people, you might be able to find cheap hotel rates, especially in August.

Absolutely, Las Vegas is really a city for everyone! One of the best things about Las Vegas is that whether you are a high roller or not, you will be able to find ways to have fun on every budget.

Repeat after me… THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS! That needs to be your mantra while you are there. Unfortunately, the chances of you hitting a big jackpot are very slim. So make sure you keep your gambling budget strict and only gamble with what you can afford to lose.  

So, these are some of our top tips and things you should know when visiting Las Vegas.

Remember that you can’t see it all in just a few days, so make a plan, but also allow some time to discover some hidden gems and simply enjoy the moment.

One more thing – try to be open-minded and sometimes just go with the flow. Otherwise, it’s easy to get stressed out by the crowds and all the craziness around you. Remember that Vegas is all about having fun, so enjoy your time in Sin City!

READ ALSO: How to See the Best of Grand Canyon in 1 Day

More travel inspiration for Southwestern USA:

  • Bucket list trip: Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend Itinerary
  • Death Valley: Best Places to See in Death Valley
  • Gold Butte, NV:  Travel Guide to Gold Butte National Monument
  • Arizona: Best Places to See in Arizona & Monument Valley Scenic Drive
  • Sedona, AZ:   Best Things to Do in Sedona  &  One Day in Sedona
  • Phoenix, AZ: Scottsdale & Phoenix Itinerary
  • Zion, UT:   Hiking in Zion National Park & Zion to Bryce Canyon Trip Itinerary
  • Colorado Rockies:  Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary  &  Best Things to Do in Aspen  &  Maroon Bells
  • Moab, UT:  Moab, Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park
  • Arches NP, UT:   Best Things to Do in Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands NP, UT:  Best Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park
  • San Diego, CA:  San Diego Itinerary
  • Yosemite, CA:  Yosemite Travel Guide

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Everything you should know when traveling to Las Vegas for the first time

Image credits: Las Vegas Strip at night – aiisha/Depositphotos.com// Caesars swimming pool – BobHilscher/Depositphotos.com// Monorail – Roig61/Depositphotos.com// Vegas traffic & New York hotel – bloodua/Depositphotos.com// Tickets on demand & Rideshare stand- MichaelVi/Depositphotos.com// Las Vegas Boulevard in the dark & The Volcano – kobbydagan/Depositphotos.com// Wynn Resort – harrybeugelink/Depositphotos.com// Fremont Street crowds – Arena73/Depositphotos.com//

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Navneet Sahota

Friday 31st of March 2023

I find this article very helpful. I am leaving for my trip next week fr my 40th birthday thanks for all the tips :)

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

Glad to help and happy birthday!

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

The weather in March is comfortable to stroll through the city. Avg. highs reach about 22ºC (72ºF) with low humidity levels. The mornings are a bit chillier 9ºC (15ºF). Usually doesn't rain in March and you will be able to see blue skies most of the time.

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Thanks for sharing your experience visiting Las Vegas in March, Rafael. Indeed, spring and fall are the best times weather-wise.

Sunday 1st of January 2023

Any recommendations for the beginning of March? Is it too hot during that time?

Thursday 5th of January 2023

@Jurga, Thanks so much! 🤗

Hi Kira, March should be great for Las Vegas! It shouldn’t be too hot at all. That being said, you never know how the weather will be. But normally, it’s as good as it gets. We once visited in July and it was ok and we were in Vegas for the New Year last week and it was wet and windy, but we had a great time. There’s plenty to see and do in any weather!

Monday 19th of September 2022

Hi everyone!

I want to visit Las Vegas for my 28th birthday. My concern is the weather as my birthday is in the beginning of February. I'm scared the cold weather and possible snow/rain will ruin the trip and photos outside.

Is it worth going in February? 😔

Hi Alysha, we ourselves are planning to visit Las Vegas this winter too and the weather is really of no concern. There is so much to see and do in the city in any weather that I really wouldn't worry about it. Just check the forecast a few days before your trip and pack accordingly. In general, you can expect very nice and pleasant weather in February - definitely during the day. And on average, it only rains 2 days a month in February - it's really not something I'd worry about. You should know that some of the National Parks nearby (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon) can experience winter weather indeed, but it shouldn't be an issue in Las Vegas itself or places like Death Valley or Antelope Canyon if you'd decide to visit those as well. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip and remember that there's no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing ;). PS For more ideas on what to see and do in Vegas and nearby, take a look at our articles: the best things to do in Las Vegas and the best day trips from Las Vegas.

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Be aware that the first half of December can be very expensive because National Finals Rodeo is in Las Vegas at that time.

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Thanks for the info, CJ. Happy travels!

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Las Vegas Travel Tips and Advice for This Year

Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Las Vegas. With a larger-than-life reputation that precedes it, Sin City can easily devour any unsuspecting visitor if they aren’t privy to the ways of Paradise.

Its glamorous charm has been known to leave even the most experienced Vegas connoisseur entranced and a little starry-eyed.

Let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little help.

If you’re planning a winning Las Vegas vacation, here are the 74 best Las Vegas travel tips to make your experience truly remarkable.

74 Las Vegas Travel Tips, Advice & Hints

las vegas travel tips

1. Casinos Are Farther Apart Than They Appear

Kind of like a desert mirage, casinos give the illusion of being much closer to each other than they actually are. Plan for ample walking time to get from one casino to the next.

Las Vegas Travel Advice

2. Get the Better View

For the best view of the Bellagio fountains , head for the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Strip at Horseshoe. The show lasts about 5 minutes and takes place every 15 minutes. Find yourself a good spot towards the end of one display, ready for the next, and you’ll be well-positioned for some great shots if you’re a budding photographer.”

Paul at Aluxurytravelblog.com

3. Money Hungry Tunnel

If you are unfortunate enough to be in the backseat of a taxi whose driver is trying to pull a fast one, request that they not take the tunnel. This is a well-known Vegas trick among taxi cab drivers to ensure they get the most out of a fair.

Sometimes it’s not necessary to go through the tunnel by the airport.

4. Crosswalk Savvy

Las Vegas Boulevard , or simply “the Strip,” is one of the nation’s busiest streets and crossing can be daunting, even dangerous. Be prepared to cross only at designated intersections and use the elevated crosswalks (pedestrian bridges).

There are a lot of distractions on the Strip, and if drinking alcohol, your judgment is impaired, so pay extra attention to street traffic.

5. Remember Resort Fees

Don’t forget to calculate resort fees when determining your total hotel cost. Fees can range up to almost $60 per night.

Costmopolitan las vegas travel tip

6. The “Hidden Pizza” Joint

Are you looking for some late-night pizza after hitting the clubs?

Check out Secret Pizza at the Cosmopolitan, with its tasty thin-crust Pizza . You can find it on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan and near the exit from Marquee Nightclub.

7. Drink On The House

Most casinos offer free drinks to keep people gambling, so while you’re playing, wait for a cocktail waitress to come and take your order. Tips, however, are expected and welcome.

8. Safeguard Your Stuff

With all the Vegas excitement, it’s easy to lose track of your things, i.e., phone, ID, sunglasses, etc. It’s also easy for thieves to take advantage of these prime “lifting” conditions.

DO NOT leave anything important in an easy-to-reach pocket, and don’t set your things down around you, like at a slot machine.

fremont street things to do downtown las vegas

9. See More of Downtown Vegas

The fun in Downtown Las Vegas extends beyond the Fremont Street Experience .

Don’t turn around when you reach the end of the Fremont Street canopy at Fremont and 4th. Instead, continue walking and experience Fremont East District, home to some of the hippest bars (Atomic Liquors, The Griffin, Oak & Ivy) and restaurants (eat, VegeNation, Le Thai, Chow) in Downtown Las Vegas.

There is even an offbeat shopping center built from shipping containers, complete with a giant praying mantis that breathes fire at night.

Matt at Top10Vegas.com

10. Casinos Crank The AC

Vegas might be in the middle of the desert where temps can rise over 100°, but inside, Vegas keeps it chilly. Casinos, theaters, restaurants, etc. blast the AC, plus at night, temps can really drop.

Be prepared with a sweater, wrap, or jacket.

11. Join The Club

Always signup for a player’s card (club card) when gambling at a casino.

There are often immediate perks plus the chance for future comps on your next trip.

vegas taxi line tips

12. Taxi Time

When scheduling your night out or departure to the airport, allow extra “hang” time to get a cab. You could end up waiting over 20 minutes.

13. Check out Las Vegas from a solo woman’s point of view

Las Vegas is not simply a land of gambling and strip shows. It’s a terrific vacation destination for the solo female traveler .

The city offers a wide variety of activities sure to appeal to most tastes, and the 24/7 nature of the city means no matter what schedule your internal clock is set to, you’ll find things to do from a female perspective.

14. Adult-Only Card Snappers

While walking the Strip, be prepared for street solicitors to try to hand you business cards, snapping them as you pass in order to get your attention.

They’re almost always X-rated images advertising Vegas call girls.

15. Drink Water!

Vegas is hot and dry, so when walking the Strip you may not even realize you’re sweating. Always carry water with you and stay hydrated. Signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and headache.

16. Book Your Hotel, ASAP!

Unless there is some kind of flash sale, room rates go up the closer you get to the booking date.

Most resorts let you cancel for free within 48 hours, so book early with confidence. That said, check cancellation policies, as hotel rules vary.

View the latest Vegas hotel deals now.

Slotzilla Zipline things to do vegas

17. Zip It Up

With excitement on every corner, Las Vegas doesn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a cheap thrill, check out the SlotZilla zip line and zip on down over downtown Fremont.

Looking for more thrills, discover some of the best vegas thrill rides .

18. Not Just the Griswald Family Vacation

As Las Vegas is often perceived as the ultimate playground for adults, it goes without saying that many people opt to leave the kids at home. Unless you are planning to recreate yet another sequel to the Griswald’s Family Vacation, there are some amazing family-oriented activities in Las Vegas .

The Lion Habitat is an exciting safari adventure that can be enjoyed by all members of the family.

Circus Circus caters to all varieties of big kids. In the summer time, you can make a splash at WetNWild Water Park.

19. Budget And Pace Yourself

Vegas is a city that seduces money right out of your pockets. It’s easy to get mesmerized by the lights, glitz, and glam.

Set a daily spending max , pace yourself, and stick to your budget.

Shopping at the Forum Shops in Vegas, photo by keithreed01: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithreed01/6210644284/

20. Travel Midweek

You can save tons of money by traveling to Vegas midweek, versus fighting the weekend crowds. Many of the big hotels like Flamingo, The Link, and Circus Circus offer specials starting at $29/night (don’t forget about resort fees though). You can use all that money you saved on going out to a nice meal or trying your luck at the slots.

Christy Woodrow – OrdinaryTraveler.com

21. Wear Comfy Shoes

Plan to put in miles of walking during your Vegas trip. Just navigating from the hotel lobby up to your room can be a hike, let alone from casino to casino, which is always further than you think.

vegas strip

22. Vegas Virgins, Strip It!

There’s no second chance to make a first impression. First-timers should stay right on the Strip and experience Vegas’ full octane!

23. Wear Sun Protection

If looking and feeling like a lizard isn’t your thing, bring plenty of skin lotion, sunblock, and lip balm. Hats, caps, and visors are a good idea too. Of course, sunglasses are a must, think Elvis!

24. Don’t Over Think It

If there’s ever a time to toss your planner, it’d be a night in Vegas. There are so many things to do, just let go and see where the night takes you.

25. Go Beyond Gambling

Vegas is so much more than gambling. Make sure to enjoy the world-class restaurants, shopping, shows, entertainment and attractions, not to mention all the free things to do in Vegas !

26. Where Sunscreen!

Vegas is hot and dry most of the year, and you will easily if you are not prepared!

27. Photograph In Case You Forget

After a long day or night of Vegas fun, it’s easy to forget stuff, like your room number. Take a picture of your room number and driver’s license, just in case…

28. Save Big Sunday Thru Thursday

Booking your trip from Sunday through Thursday will save you a considerable amount of money on your room costs. Saturday nights can be upwards of 3-4 times the cost compared to during the week.

29. Avoid Taxi Fees

Something to think about when you want to get around Las Vegas is saving money using taxis. Taxi stands are at every hotel and most businesses around the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas. Most all taxi cabs offer you the convenience of using a debit or credit card to pay your fare. Please know that while this is convenient, it does come with a price! Most cab companies charge $3-$4 extra dollars for this convenience per transaction. Therefore, if you take 10 – 12 cab rides during your Las Vegas vacation, this can be an additional $30 – $48 dollars you will have to pay above the fare. Our recommendation is to always pay cash, which avoids this surcharge. Remember to always tip your driver and never try to hail a cab while on the Strip.

30. Must-do Museums

Las Vegas has many museums and galleries well worth visiting, many of which are free. Discover a cultural and historic side of Sin City, like the Mob Museum that explores the history of the mob in Vegas.

Shuttle

31. Shuttle And Save

There’s an airport shuttle in Vegas , so if you’re on a budget and don’t mind making a few stops, then taking the shuttle will be your best ride to the airport.

32. Don’t Overpack!

Resist overpacking, lugging big luggage, and risking overweight airline fees.

You’ll likely pick up some souvenirs, so leave space in your suitcase anyway. Know if you need anything once you’re there, shopping is everywhere .

33. Say It With A Smile

Heavy tipping is not a must at the front desk for an upgrade. Sometimes a friendly smile and asking politely can go a long way.

Las Vegas limo

34. A Little Limo Splurge

For about $25 dollars more than a cab, you can take a limo from the airport to your hotel, avoid the taxi line, and feel like a VIP. You can also ask the driver to swing by the Vegas sign for a fun photo op! Presidential limo is one of the more popular Las Vegas limo providers.

35. The Quick Change

During pool season, beach clubs transform into nightclubs the moment the sun goes down. Save time and money by dressing for both. For ladies, skimpy clothing is a staple in Las Vegas so that sexy black sundress can double as a cocktail dress if you stuff the right accessories into your beach tote.

36. Go Green

Leave the plastic in the room locked up in a safe. You can stay out of trouble by bringing an allotted amount of cash for each day. Once you’ve run out, the night’s over. That’s okay, there are plenty of free attractions and entertainment in Vegas .

37. Where’s The Beef Bargain

It’s easy to get sucked into Envy The Steakhouse, Michael Mina’s StripSteak, or the sumptuous Gordon Ramsay Steak Restaurant. You can get a great steak dinner at South Point Hotel and Casino for the best deal in the valley.

The Coronado Café inside South Point offers a house special: Prime rib and porterhouse steak entrees for just $14.95. If you find yourself hungry for a quality meal at 3 am, South Point Casino offers six graveyard specials for $4.95.

38. Buy Booze Before

Hotel liquor prices are up there! If you want to enjoy drinks in your room, visit a drug store or liquor store on the way to your hotel from the airport. If you take a limo, there’s usually time for a pit stop depending on the limo deal you arranged.

see a show in vegas

39. See A Show, For Sure!

Vegas shows are world-class! Take the opportunity to see at least one show during your visit. That said, don’t stress and overbook shows either–one good show goes a long way in the “great memories” department.

40. Beat The Back Home Blues

Lots of folks crash hard coming down from the high of an unforgettable Vegas trip. Schedule some fun events when you get back home to help fill that Vegas void.

41. More Money Means More Money!

Room prices at more expensive hotels have equally robust costs across the boards. If you’re booking a room at a higher-end hotel like Wynn or Encore, budget for hefty food and beverage tabs. Factor in the costs of

42. Have fun at Lake Mead

There are many water-based activities to enjoy at the lake that the Hoover Dam was built. Escape the chaos of the strip and cool off from the summer heat here. There are many boat tours and activities you can book online.

43. Discount Food Shop

Before leaving on your trip, be sure to browse sites like Travelzoo, Groupon, and Restaurant.com and for restaurant discounts.

Drive a sports car in Las Vegas

44. Drive a Lamborghini Gallardo

While the Las Vegas Strip has a lot of great attractions and activities to enjoy, take some time to venture off the strip for an experience that most visitors don’t get. A short drive from Las Vegas can get you to unique experiences like carving up the Nevada desert on an off-road dune buggy or race a Lamborghini Gallardo around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. These bucket list items can only be had once you leave the strip behind.

45. Go Bare

Marketed as top-optional, the Bare Pool on top of the Mirage Hotel and Casino is a unique and relaxed experience. Unlike other pools, females can go topless and it offers complimentary chaises. Bare provides a unique experience to try if it’s your cup of tea.

46. Low Down, Downtown Prices

Just about everything is cheaper in downtown Vegas ; rooms, drinks, food, even gambling table limits.

Vegas slot machines

47. Pretend “Penny” Pinching

Don’t be fooled by innocent-looking Penny Slots, you’ll likely end up dropping over 50 cents to $1 on each spin.

48. Watch Out for CNF Charges

A hidden cost at some Las Vegas restaurants is called the CNF, or “concession” fee. This fee is tacked onto one’s bill, often without warning other than in tiny print on a menu. Some culprits are Beer Park and Hexx Kitchen at Paris, Senor Frogs at Treasure Island, and Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood.

49. Your Bank Is Your Best Friend

Notify your bank that you’ll be vacationing in Las Vegas. If you don’t, it’s likely they will put a hold on your card for fraud protection. You may find yourself in a pretty lousy situation if you can’t get a hold of them.

onmia vegas

50. Pre Buy Entry Tickets and Save

The best way for guys to get into clubs without paying a bottle service is to buy pre-sale nightclub tickets . FYI, there’s no gender equality in Vegas clubs, in general, guys pay more to enter and drink in clubs than gals.

51. Keep an eye on your drink

From tourists to locals, keeping an eye on your drink is one of the best tips available. Those pretty blue eyes can be up to no good when she slips a little Roofie in your drink. This is one of the worst ways to spend your Vegas vacation, so be cautious.

52. Pre-game In Your Room

If you want to get your game or “buzz” on, have drinks in your room before heading out to a pool party or club. Drinks there can be near $20 each. Plan a quick trip to a nearby drug or liquor store for better booze budgeting.

rio las vegas lounge bar

53. A Better Way from the Strip to Rio

Walking from the Strip to the Rio may seem like a good idea and look close, but it is not. You will have to navigate without sidewalks and through a major highway interchange so be sure your life insurance premiums are up to date if you do so. A better option is a free shuttle that runs between Harrah’s and the Rio.

54. See A Show On The Fly And Save

If you don’t care where you sit at a show or which show you see, use Tix4tonite or other discount ticket booths for half-priced tickets.

55. Join My Vegas!

By joining My Vegas in advance, you have time to play for free rewards before your trip to Vegas.

56. “Buffet of Buffets,” Bad Deal?

The Buffet of Buffets is a deal offered by the Caesar’s family of hotels that gives you a 24hr pass to visit as many buffets in their line-up as you’d heart and stomach desire. While this deal may be an easy and indulgent food solution, for folks that love to food venture, missing out on all the great Vegas eateries won’t be worth it. Instead, save using vegas buffet coupons .

las vegas advice

57. Move It and Lose It!

Be careful not to move items in your room’s mini bar unless you plan on eating/drinking them–you may be charged for the items on your room bill, even if you don’t consume them!

58. Bundles Are Not For Your Cable Bill

If you’ve never done Vegas before, it can be quite a surprise when you tally up the unexpected expenses you’ve incurred at the end of your trip. Online services are available to bundle airfare, hotel rooms, rental cars, and shows into a neat package. It saves money and a bunch of fuss most of the time. It is always good to compare booking separately, however.

59. Consider Car Rental

If you plan on moving around a lot during your stay in Vegas, you could save money by renting a car rather than taking taxis everywhere.

No folding here...photo by Chimpr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ohoski/2235591330/

60. Be Like Kenny Rogers

This tip may seem fairly obvious; however, many visitors find they wish they had heeded the advice. You really have to know when to fold ’em and know when to walk away. After you’ve had a lucky run at the gambling table, know when to pack it in. If you’re down money, it’s safe to give it a couple more hands, but after that, you start treading on a slippery slope.

61. Show Stoppers

Be aware that most shows go dark a few days a week, so if there’s a show you really want to see, plan ahead and make sure it’s playing on the night you’re considering.

62. Chill Out

Ask the hotel for a mini-fridge so you can store your drinks and cold foods. While there may be a per night charge, it would be worth stocking it with your own store-bought goodies.

63. A Tip on Tipping

Vegas has a massive service industry that relies on tipping. Tips are unofficially expected, especially since workers are taxed on them! Remember to tip anyone that provides a service , from bellhops to waiters, valet attendants to taxi drivers.

64. A Rule About Rules

Make sure you know your casino game rules before you start throwing your money around. Take a course in gambling and put the odds in your favor. Classes are available at Boulder Station, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Gold Coast, Golden Nugget, Luxor, MGM Grand, and many other casinos.

65. About Alcohol…

Unlike most cities, Las Vegas allows you to carry alcohol in the street and it’s available for purchase 24/7.

Hoover Dam photo by Merton Wilton: https://www.flickr.com/photos/97238650@N08/11037484014/

66. Remember The Tours

There’s a guided tour for just about anything you might want to do in Vegas. If you want to remove stress and planning from your trip, check first to see if there’s a tour for your desired activity.

67. Out Of Time

Casinos have a great way of not letting you realize what time it is. There are no clocks, anywhere, and artificial light fools your brain to never knowing what time of day or night it actually is. If you have to keep to a schedule, be sure to wear a watch or keep track of time with your phone.

Bellagio vegas

68. Monorail The Strip

Save on cab fees and foot fatigue! The Las Vegas Monorail runs about 4 miles long, from the SLS Station to the MGM Grand Station with trains arriving approximately 5-6 minutes. Visit the website for single ride and day pass discounts.

69. Avoid Holiday Price Hikes and Hassles

Prices on Holiday weekends are hiked up everywhere and the Strip is really packed. If you can, plan your trip sans holiday or even weekends, for that matter!

70. Ladies – take off those heels

This tip is directed for the lady readers. No matter how fabulous your high heel shoes may be, there will come a time you feel the urge to take them off. It happens all the time.

Women, dressed to the nines can be seen walking down the strip barefoot. Pack a small pair of flats or sandals in your purse for later in the evening.

Related: See Las Vegas Packing Tips

71. Move UBER Taxis. Rideshares Are Taking Over

Taxis in Las Vegas are notorious for shadiness. Uber and Lyft have recently become available in Las Vegas. These companies pride themselves on being like a friendly neighbor giving you a ride. They are often substantially cheaper than a taxi and won’t take you through the tunnel.

Wynn Sportsbook, photo by leyla.a: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leyla_arsan/5351586600/

72. Scoring free drinks at the sports book

Here is a brief rundown on how to increase one’s chances of scoring free drinks at the sports book. I hope this works for you.

TIP! – Money talks, especially in Vegas. If you tip, you can generally expect better service – throwing a dollar or two at the ticket writers when placing a bet usually leads to more drink tickets in sports books that use the drink coupon system.

ASK – Some sports books go out of their way to offer free drink tickets, while others seem to want to keep it a secret. So, just ask…..politely of course.

AVOID CG TECHNOLOGY SPORTS BOOKS – CG Technology race and sports books are classy spots. The HD screens are top-notch and the motif of their sports books is sleek, modern, and very well done. But when it comes to free drinks, they do not cut the mustard – comped drinks are non-existent at CG sports books, which include The Venetian, Cosmopolitan, Tropicana, Hard Rock, and a few others.

GO OFF THE BEATEN PATH – Many of the smaller and/or off-strip sports books tend to be more liberal with their comps. So, if you are staying at one of these locales, spending time at these sports books may work out just fine as far as free drinks are concerned.

Some favorite spots with liberal free drink policies include Bellagio, South Point, Westgate, Excalibur, Flamingo, and Wynn.

Tommy Lorenzo – TheVegasParlay.com

73. Funny Money. No Laughing Matter

When frequenting a gentleman’s club, use cash. Avoid using the club’s ATM as the standard surcharge is between 10-20%. Avoid purchasing lap dances on your credit card. When you use your credit card, you will be given funny money to give to the entertainer. Sometimes clubs will charge your card without your knowledge especially if they recognize you’re buzzed.

las vegas vacation tips

74. Warning: Vegas Is Addictive!

You may very well get hooked after your first Vegas trip, so while you’re there, start planning your next trip! Keep a running list of where you absolutely want to revisit, and what you’d didn’t have a chance to discover, but will next time!

With all the insider expert tips provided, you are well on your way to experiencing all Vegas has to offer without breaking the bank or your back. You probably now know more than many locals, so here’s to no more excuses! After applying these tips, you’re officially off the hook for making the right type of bad decisions that are only acceptable in Sin City, Las Vegas.

Author - Brian at Vegas Unzipped

Brian Eller - Vegas Local

I am a Las Vegas local looking to bring you inside tips and information that can't be found anywhere else. I'll dive into hidden gems and some of the best places to eat and visit in Las Vegas from a local's perspective.

I hope my tips and information can help people plan an enjoyable vacation and do so while saving money.

More About Me | Contact Me

Mischievous Vegas, left happy and without money!

You need to travel to Vegas in a large company, but even if you are traveling alone, you can find fellow travelers and like-minded people to make it fun and interesting.The fact is that there are a lot of casinos in Vegas, and all the parties revolve around slot machines. We went to several restaurants and also tried to play. I don’t know exactly what my money was spent on, but probably a little bit of everything. I think those who travel to Vegas for the first time will like everything very much, there is even a mini New York and the Eiffel Tower, but you need to be careful with money and attractions.

Thanks for informative sharing.

2 ladies with dodgy knees think the deuce bus is fabulous but I have noticed most articles giving hints about Las Vegas usually mention taxis first. Seniors also get 50 percent off so it’s only $10 for 3 days.

You mentioned not to over plan. We think detailed planning is the way to go. We can plan our bus route and the sights and activities we want to see and there is no doubling back. Saves our dodgy knees!

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A first-timer's guide to Las Vegas

Melissa Yeager

Feb 8, 2024 • 9 min read

travel tips for vegas

First time going to Vegas? Don't miss these helpful tips © Johnny Greig / Getty Images

If there is any destination where its reputation precedes itself, it is probably the raucous one of fabulous Las Vegas , Nevada.

You likely already have an image in your head shaped by years of pop culture: flashing neon lights, dice rolling across a craps table, singing slot machines and the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” ad campaign from the early 2000s. 

But what I love about Las Vegas is that it constantly reinvents itself, meaning your experience will be unique to that moment in time, your interests and the people you’re traveling with. Yes, it is Sin City, boasting gambling and strip clubs, but it is also more than that, catering to a ton of different sins too. 

Is yours gluttony? Because there are plenty of high-end restaurants and epic buffets serving up memorable meals. Is it greed? Beyond gambling, there is tons of great shopping. Is it sloth? There is no shortage of amazing spas and pools to visit once you have grown tired of the clattering noise of the casino. 

You can still find poker high rollers, Elvis impersonators and drive-thru wedding chapels, but the Vegas of today also hosts megastar residencies like Adele and U2 in spectacular, intimate theaters. It also stays at the edge of technology with novelties like robot room service, champagne vending machines and robo puppies. 

Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your first visit.

A woman eats ice cream while walking down a Vegas Street

When to go to Las Vegas

In most destinations you’re probably trying to avoid the crowds, but you just may want to schedule your Vegas trip to coincide with popular days when the city is buzzing with excitement. Any sporting event (Super Bowl weekend, NCAA college basketball tournament, NBA finals) will see droves of visitors, and federal holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day) will attract travelers from across the country looking for a fun four-day weekend.  You’ll see soaring prices for accommodations, but that may be worth it if you want to be in Vegas when the city is electric.

Another busy time to flag: the Consumer Electronics Show brings people from around the world, with the airport often adding international flights to accommodate the passenger traffic. 

Still, there’s no bad time to visit this dynamic city, and if you want to shoot for a period with fewer crowds, you will be rewarded. There's still a party nearly every day of the week, all times of the day. If you head to Vegas mid-week in the summer months, the excruciating summer desert sun (upwards of 104 ° F/40 ° C) will drive down resort prices, but you’ll still be able to keep cool with air conditioning everywhere (you’ll likely need a sweater inside) and enjoy the day club/pool party season.

How long do I need in Vegas?

I have visited Vegas too many times to count over the last two decades, and as much as I adore this saucy city, I cannot remember a single time when I was not really ready to go home on day four. There is no quieter flight than the return flight home from Vegas. Build in a day for rest after – trust me. 

Getting around Las Vegas

The main thing to remember about getting around is that objects are farther away than they appear. The casino resorts are huge, and that makes distance really hard to judge visually. A resort that may look just three doors down may actually be more than a mile (1.6 km) away, so keep that in mind when you decide to walk between destinations. 

Still, there are a variety of options for travel between resorts other than on foot. Some resorts offer trams and shuttle services to get you between their properties. Uber and Lyft are common – but beware most resorts have designated pick-up and drop-off points. Read more about transportation around Vegas.  

People stand close to the fountains in Las Vegas, backlit by the show lights

Where to stay

Keeping in mind what I said about distances, you may want to stay close to where most of your plans are taking you, especially if you’re attending a big event and don’t want to fight for an Uber after. Vegas caters to a lot of conventions and large events, so there is a variety of hotels and amenities available. 

You'll always find a new resort in Vegas and this year the newest on the block is Fontainebleau , which recently opened its doors with a concert featuring Justin Timberlake. 

I personally love a location in the middle of the Strip near the Cosmopolitan and Aria as well as the iconic Caesars Palace . For those seeking an Oceans Eleven-themed trip, the Bellagio recently refreshed its fountain view rooms. (Pro tip: Turn on your room TV to the dedicated fountain channel so you hear the music while you watch the show from your window.) 

On the other end of the Strip, Resorts World has several hotels (Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords) in one. This is a new, sleek resort but you can often find great deals to stay here. At some there is a “boutique hotel” within the larger property that provides a more elevated experience. 

For a quieter visit, look for what’s called a “non-gaming” hotel. These hotels don’t have a casino on the property and tend to be a bit more tranquil – by Vegas standards. The Waldorf Astoria , Four Seasons and Vdara all fall in this category, and Marriott and Hilton both have some non-gaming properties just off the strip. 

When booking your stay, heads up: the price you see is not the price you pay. Nearly every resort charges what they call a “resort fee'' which ranges from USD$35–50 a night plus tax. So it's not uncommon for that $30/night bargain to be more like $100/night when the bill is settled. Make sure to check the resort fee on the hotel website and do the math before you book.

woman hiking at Red Rock Canyon during sunset with backpack

Top things to do in Vegas

It’s worth walking through different resorts to see all their unique personalities, from replicating Paris and Venice, to wowing audiences with fountains and conservatories of fresh blooms. Part of the Vegas experience is to appreciate the eclectic decor and themes, often a reflection of Vegas’ personality in the year they were built. Get your 10K steps while walking the Strip the Lonely Planet way. 

At night, grab a ticket to a show. The ticket price may seem expensive, but you’re usually seeing the artist in a more intimate venue than you would elsewhere, and since the production doesn't move daily like on a tour, you'll experience a pretty spectacular performance. Having a hard time deciding which show is right for you? Let us help you choose. 

If you need a break from the buzz of the Strip, don’t forget Vegas has a lot of great outdoor activities too. Red Rock Canyon Recreation Area and the newly opened Ice Age Fossils State Park are great places to get outside.

Don’t forget to check out Fremont Street as well. Along with giving you the feel of classic Rat Pack Vegas, this part of the city is in the middle of a renaissance with hot restaurants with less expensive prices than the Strip and new hotels like the Circa , which boasts Stadium Swim, a huge rooftop pool with a 40ft HD-screen TV. 

If the Vegas Golden Knights are playing, snag a ticket to experience hockey as only Vegas can do it. It’s almost like attending a show where a hockey game breaks out. The successful franchise is beloved by locals, so go early for a drink in the nearby Park MGM complex and enjoy the city’s spirited support of its team. 

My favorite thing to do in Las Vegas

I rarely gamble when I’m in Vegas these days. When I go, I’m there for the chance to experience its spectacular entertainment options and its ever-changing culinary scene, which draws chefs from around the world. 

Some restaurants, like supper clubs The Mayfair and Delilah , offer those two experiences together. 

There’s always a new restaurant to try here, so by all means, look up what the hot new thing is. But the one restaurant I cannot resist coming back to over and over is Roy Choi’s Best Friend . Based on the chef’s beloved LA food truck, you’ll walk through a faux bodega to get to the dining room where a DJ is spinning while you share Korean BBQ with your friends. Make a reservation in advance – this place books up. (A side note: Roy Choi and actor/director Jon Favreau just teamed up to bring a real-life version of the food truck from the 2014 movie Chef into the Park MGM!)

I’m also a big fan of checking out restaurants off the strip, like Esther’s Kitchen and Carson's Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas . The Neon Museum , a bit north of there, is also a great off-the-beaten-path thing to do that allows you to experience Vegas’ sparkle of previous decades. 

Finally, for a splash of nostalgia, I love to take friends for a cocktail at the Peppermill ; with its sunken living room-esque booths and moody neon lighting, this place feels like a time warp into 1970s Las Vegas. It’s a vibe. 

Average costs in Las Vegas

Let me set some expectations: long gone are the days of the dollar buffet and the cheap Vegas stay. You’ll still find some bargains here and there – but expect a mid-range (to expensive) weekend depending on the sins you choose to indulge in.

Tipping in the US is the norm, and in Las Vegas you may see a service charge already included in a bill. Still, there are some instances, like for large parties, where the service charge may not be included so always double check. 

Even with service fees, there are still some instances where tipping is expected: when the door attendant brings your bags to the room, when a staff member has gone above and beyond (like snagging you a last-minute reservation), or when servers provide bottle service at the club. Also, when you’re gambling, drinks are often free but you’re expected to tip the waiting staff at some point. (Expect your drink to take some time to be delivered, as they hope you spend a little more money gambling.) 

  • Mid-range hotel off-peak, midweek summer: $60–100
  • Mid-range hotel on peak weekend: $200+ 
  • Daily resort fees: $30–50
  • Service fee: 20%  
  • Bottle service at a club: $1000–1200 (plus tax and tip)
  • Monorail day pass: $13.45 online
  • Sandwich: $12–20
  • Dinner for two: $100–200 (or more)
  • Beer/pint at the bar: $6–10
  • Cocktail: $15–20

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50 Best Las Vegas Tips For First Time Visitors (2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

Las Vegas is an amazing destination. Even if you do not want to gamble, las Vegas has a lot to offer anyone looking to have a good time, enjoy some hot weather, sit by the pool, do some crazy shopping or eat at world renowned restaurants. However, for the first time visitor, it can be pretty overwhelming. The Las Vegas strip is big, loud and tightly packed with dozens of incredible hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops. It is fundamentally designed to make sure that you part with as much money as you are willing to spend, while giving you as much fun, activities, or experiences that you care to have. So how do you make sure that you are spending your money wisely, staying in the right location, or allotting enough time to activities important to you? You follow these best las Vegas tips for first time visitors.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.

Best Tips For First Time Visitors To Las Vegas

The best tips for Las Vegas for first time visitors fall into several categories. Those include:

  • How best to get around;
  • Ways to save money;
  • Where to stay;
  • Where to eat;
  • How to stay safe; and
  • Ways to get tickets to shows, clubs or parties.

There was one area that I received conflicting opinions from multiple travel experts and locals. A lot of people feel strongly about staying on the Las Vegas Strip while others feel strongly about not staying on the Strip. I provide both sets of advice and will leave it up to you to figure out which one best suits your travel style.

best las vegas tips for first time visitors

The Experts

The following Las Vegas’s tips are from multiple sources.

First, I have been to Las Vegas about 7-8 times over the last 10 years. I’ve gone with girlfriends, my husband, multiple couples, and even with my children. Each trip has been different and given me lots of exposure to different hotels and restaurants. In addition, it has taught me how to make the most out of my time and money.

Second, I have asked some of the best travel bloggers, industry experts and locals about their best tips for first time visitors to Las Vegas. From my own personal experiences, I can tell you these are top notch.

However, advice relating to casinos and gambling have not been included. Overall, I think these are topics that should be separately addressed by people with a lot of expertise or experience in this area.

There are other destinations in the world that are just as overwhelming as Las Vegas. New York City is one of them. If you are travelling to New York soon and want to arrive prepared, take a look at 50 Best New York City Tips For First Time Visitors .

London is also a large, expensive and confusing destination. For helpful tips to help save you time and money, please take a look at 50 Best Travel Tips To London For First Time Visitors .

New Orleans is one of the most fascinating places to visit in the USA. It offers culture, cuisine and history that is a blend of French, African, Spanish and Creole. Things are done a little differently than most other places in the United States. Here are 40 of the best travel tips for first time visitors to New Orleans.

Finally, just organizing and booking any trip can be overwhelming. I have written a step by step guide about how I plan my trips, focusing on how I keep my sanity and save money along the way. For more information about that, please see  Planning A Holiday: A Foolproof Guide To Easy Vacation Planning.

Las Vegas Explained

When people talk about going to Vegas, they are normally talking about going to, staying at and spending most of their time on the Las Vegas Strip. Known officially as Las Vegas Boulevard, the Las Vegas Strip is home to the most famous hotels and casinos in the city. It is one of the most visited and photographed avenues in the world.

The Strip is approximately 3 miles long. It is bookended by the  MGM Grand  and the  New York New York  hotels in the south (although the Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels are just a little further south across the street) and the  Stratosphere Tower in the North.

Most people will never leave these 3 miles during their whole stay in Vegas. However, there are fantastic other areas in which to stay, such as downtown Las Vegas, with its own vibe, restaurants, attractions, casinos and shopping. In addition, there are some breathtaking day trips from Las Vegas, such as Red Rock Canyon .

Best Tips For Choosing Accommodation In Las Vegas For First Time Visitors

Choosing a hotel in Las Vegas can be overwhelming. There are dozens and dozens of options, price points, and locations. However, there are some strategies to make this easier. Here are some of the best tips for choosing accommodation in Las Vegas.

Stay On The Strip

Robert says, “If you think that you will want to spend all your time exploring and having fun on the Las Vegas Strip, then you should stay there. If you don’t, you will be spending extra money on taxis or ride shares traveling to and from the Strip.”

Don’t Stay On The Strip

Hotels, restaurants, and bars are all cheaper away from the Las Vegas Strip. Most don’t have resort fees or are much less than the hotels on the Strip. It is easy to get taxis and ride shares to the Strip when you want to spend time there. In addition, the total cost of the taxis and ride shares will likely be a fraction of the total amount that you will save by not staying on the Strip.

Resort Fees

Every hotel on the Vegas Strip charges a hotel resort fee. This is for wifi, access to the gym and pool, and access to the business center. They are normally around $35-$50 per night but each hotel is different. Make sure you add that to your hotel budget.

Book In Center Of The Vegas Strip

Kelie from Vacations Planned says, “If you decide to stay on the Strip, and are trying to narrow it down between hotels, choose something closer to the middle. This way you will be more conveniently located to many more of the attractions and sights.”

Otherwise, you could be located a very long walk or taxi ride away. The Bellagio Hotel , Paris Hotel or Caesars Palace are all in good locations.

Choose A Hotel With Or Without Gambling

Most hotels on the Strip require you to walk by or through their casinos to reach the elevators for the hotel rooms. If you don’t like the smell of smoke, the sight or sounds of slot machines, or the general chaos of a casino, then you should find a hotel with little or no gambling. They do exist, even on the Vegas Strip. The Vdara Hotel is one of them.

Hotels Could Be Difficult For Those With Physical Challenges

The hotels on the Vegas Strip are ginormous and unlike anywhere else in the world. For those with physical challenges, staying at one could be difficult.

First off, it may be a couple hundred yards from the lobby to the elevators to the rooms. You may have to first walk by shops, restaurants, bars, or casinos to reach the elevators. Once on your floor, you could still be another hundred yards to your room.

My husband and I recently stayed at the Venetian Hotel . We asked for a quiet room away from the elevator and ended up in a gorgeous room at the very end of the hallway. We were thrilled, but it would be a long way for someone with physical challenges.

Accordingly, if you are staying in Vegas and this is an issue, make sure you research the layout of the hotel before you book and ask for a room close to the elevators.

Join Loyalty Programs

Veronica from Nomad Veronica says, “Once you decide on your hotel, pre-join its loyalty program. Depending on the program and the room that you decide to book, you may be awarded with a separate check in line or other benefits. If you already belong to name brand loyalty programs like Hilton or Marriott, you should check to see if there are any existing relationships with reciprocal benefits in Vegas.”

Try And Get A Room Upgrade

Veronica from Nomad Veronica says, “Short of being an actual celebrity, the most effective way to be upgraded to a suite is the Vegas sandwich. Guest check-in agents actually have a lot of power to get you into an amazing room. Be friendly and interactive with the agent while they check you in. Slip $20-$100 in between your ID and deposit credit card as you hand the agent your items. Give more money for longer stays, important occasions, or if it seems the hotel is busy. That is the Vegas sandwich and it works wonders to get upgrades that will make you feel like a star.”

Ask For A High Floor

Karen who works with premium brands in the hospitality industry says, “Ask for a high floor in your hotel and a room facing the strip so you can see the city. It will help to visualize where you want to go and maybe how far it actually is. In addition, you can see the mountains just beyond the strip which is a stunning view. It will help you understand how easy it would be to explore beyond the Vegas strip and how much different the rest of Las Vegas truly is.”

Avoid Check-In Lines

Depending on the day of the week or the time, you may end up in a 30 minute or longer check-in line up at your hotel on the Vegas Strip. Before you arrive, see if you can do online check-in. Most hotels have a separate line up for those only picking up keys. If that doesn’t work, find out if there is a better time to check in. You can then store your bags (usually right next to the lobby doors or outside with the valets), do something else (like leave and have lunch), and return at a quieter time.

Some hotels may offer Check-in Kiosks at different locations within the hotel. Melody from Wherever I May Roam says that using these kiosks may allow you to avoid line ups and the long walk from the lobby through the casinos. In addition, they will likely be closer to the room elevators.

Stay Around Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas

Erin from Pina Travels recommends staying around Fremont Street for lots of reasons. First, the hotels are cheaper than the Vegas’ Strip. Second, everything is within walking distance.

Pina says, “Fremont Street is way more concentrated, so you’re always within walking distance of tons of activities, restaurants, bars, museums, and casinos. In addition, the street has historical significance because it was Las Vegas’s first paved road. It’s home to the ‘Fremont Experience’, a pedestrian mall that features a canopy of lights and hosts street performances and free concerts regularly. The area is lively and fun, and has its own “hotel corridor,” so there are plenty of hotels from which to choose.”

If you would like to Travel Cheaper, Smarter and Easier, then join the thousands of subscribers who receive my weekly newsletter filled with the most up to date and best travel tips around. Sign up with this link !

best tips for first time visitors to Vegas

Best Vegas Tips For How Best To Get Around

Avoid taxis from airport.

The Las Vegas Strip is very close to the airport. However, taxi fares can be very expensive. There are additional fees for pick up from the airport and if you pay with a credit card. If you can’t avoid a taxi, make sure you at least have cash to pay for the ride.

Book Ride Share Early

You may wait along time at the airport for your Uber or Lyft. To reduce your wait time, book your ride share before you exit baggage claim. The ride share pick up area is in the parking garage and could be a 10 minute walk depending on how fast you walk.

Parking Can Be A Nightmare

Most hotels offer lots of parking. However, finding entrances to parking lots can be tough or fighting traffic to get there might be very time consuming. Once you park, you will likely be very far from the restaurant or event to which you are going, even if it is in the hotel where you have parked. Accordingly, avoid renting a car while there and using it for your day to day activities along the Vegas Strip. If you do have a car for your visit (perhaps you drove to Vegas), park and leave it at your hotel for your stay. Instead, walk, or take taxis and ride shares.

Take The Monorail

Alex from Upgraded Points says one of the best ways to get around is to take the Monorail . The monorail is a 3.9 mile train system that runs from the MGM Grand to the Sarah Las Vegas, with stops at the Paris Hotel and Caesars Palace, among others. There is no traffic or long wait times, and you can purchase passes with unlimited rides, if you want.

Go To Hotels To Pick Up Taxis

Taxis are not allowed to stop on the Strip and pick up passengers. If you need a taxi, head to the closest hotel and find the taxi lineup.

Ride Shares Versus Taxis

Most of the time, the location at hotels where you pick up a taxi versus an Uber or Lyft is different. Sometimes, they are very far apart (15 minutes walk). If you plan to book an Uber or Lyft, make sure you know where the pick up location is at the hotel or wait until you get to the pick up location before you book the ride. Most of the time (but not always), the taxi line up is in front of the main lobby.

Best Tips To Save Money In Las Vegas For First Time Visitors

Las Vegas is expensive. Unfortunately, this is a reality that is largely hard to avoid, especially while on the Vegas Strip. However, there are some very useful money saving tips to reduce some costs. Accordingly, here are some of the best tips to save money in Las Vegas.

Keep Your Dates Flexible

If there are big concerts, sporting events, awards shows, or even conferences, hotel prices may be very expensive relative to other dates, even those just one week away. If you have flexibility, look at the cost of hotels over multiple dates on a low-cost hotel website like booking.com to make sure that you are getting the best deal you can.

Travel To Las Vegas Mid-Week

David, a Travel Journalist says, “Midweek hotel prices are often half the weekend rate, and visitors encounter fewer lines, less crowding, and more readily available Uber and Lyft rides.”

Leave The Strip To Eat

Mathew from MaxTour says, “The Las Vegas Strip is home to many world famous chefs serving up inspiring fare. While the food may be mouth watering, the prices can be eye watering. To avoid this, head off strip to get some fantastic food at more reasonable prices. Most places are less than a 10 minute Uber or Taxi ride away.”

Max recommends these award winning restaurants Herbs and Rye at happy hour, Lotus of Siam , or Sparrow and Wolf . 

Free Drinks

Eva says, “If you are keen to try gambling, penny slots are a great starting point. Beyond that, they are always coming around with free drinks. Don’t forget to keep some cash for tips.”

Happy Hour Deals For Food And Alcohol

Most restaurants and bars offer happy hour deals. Try to do most of your eating and drinking during those times if your goal is to save as much money as possible.

Free Shows, Meals Or Excusions

There are lots of timeshare presentations offered on or near the Las Vegas Strip. In exchange for sitting through a one or two hour presentation, you can be offered free tickets to shows, excursions or even restaurant meals. At the end of the presentation, they will try to sell you the timeshare. However, you are under no obligation to do so and most do not. If they get rude, just walk away. This is all part of the process.

Go To Buffets

David, a Travel Journalist , recommends going to one of Vegas’ four best buffets for gourmet cuisine offered at a fraction of the price that you would pay at high end restaurants with celebrity chefs. His favorites are the buffets at the Wynn and the Bellagio, the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace and the Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan.

Buy Discounted Tickets

Alex from Upgraded Points says, “Show and buffet tickets can often be found much cheaper when you purchase them at discounted ticket booths found along the Vegas Strip. These reputable dealers tend to sell last minute tickets to shows or fixed-price restaurants at a greatly reduced rate.”

Ask For An Upgrade

Last minute upgrades can be cheap in Vegas. Don’t be afraid to ask. At worst, they can say no or ask for a lot of money for the upgrade at which time, you can refuse. At best, you get the deal of the century.

Find Free Activities

For all the ways Las Vegas tempts you to spend your money, there are lots of ways to save it with dozens of free activities . This includes The Fountains at The Bellagio Hotel, The Volcano at the Mirage Hotel, or the Fremont Street Light Experience, just to name a few.

Take The High Roller At Dusk

Martin from Light Up My Photos says, “The High Roller is the tallest observation wheel in the world at 550 feet high (compared to the London Eye at 443 feet tall). Try to board it as close to dusk as possible, that way you get specular views in daylight and in nightlight. In addition, six of the 28 cabins have fully stocked bars and a bartender! So, for an extra $20 or so you can buy Happy Half Hour Tickets and have as many top shelf drinks as you want in the 30 minutes it takes to complete one revolution.”

Try to book advanced tickets to avoid long line ups. Also, keep an eye out for Groupon or other discount vouchers for deals.

This would be a great choice for a milestone birthday, especially a 21st birthday .

For other simple travel tips to save you money, please take a look at 10 Best Money Saving Travel Tips .

best las vegas tips for first time visitors

Best Tips For Booking Las Vegas Restaurants

Las Vegas is a foodie paradise. It offers some of the best restaurants in the world with some of the best chefs in the world. Alternatively, there are lots of fun places to eat in Las Vegas . So, how do you make sure you get into the restaurant of your choice at the time that best meets your schedule? The experts have some suggestions. Here are the best tips for first time visitors to Las Vegas for restaurants.

If you want to dine in a popular restaurant, especially one with a celebrity chef, you need to make advanced reservations. Some places book weeks if not months in advance, especially for Friday and Saturday nights.

Avoid Peak Dining Hours

Restaurants are busiest between 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. If you don’t have an advanced reservation, try booking a last minute one before 6:00 pm or after 9:00 pm.

Hidden Gems

Eva from Discovering Hidden Gems says “If you’re looking for some hidden gems, there are a few good speakeasies and secret bars. Inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel is a hidden bar called Ghost Donkey. You go upstairs, walk into the food court and look for a door with a donkey on it. If you’re downtown, there is a speakeasy underneath the mob museum. On the mob museum website , they update the secret password weekly.”

Best Tips For Tickets To Las Vegas’ Shows, Clubs Or Parties

Las Vegas is the party capital of the world. There are always dozens and dozens of parties going on day and night. Those include pool parties to club events and more. In addition, the best singers and bands in the world usually spend a night or two in Vegas on their tours. They may even do a short term or longer residency in Vegas, meaning they spend anywhere from a couple of months (Lady Gaga) to years performing in Vegas (Celine Dion and Brittany Spears).

Then, there are the world renowned magicians and Cirque Du Soleil shows that run all year round for years. In other words, there is a ton of things to see and do in Las Vegas that require tickets. So, how do you get them or save money?

Buy Tickets To Clubs And Parties Ahead Of Time

Kayla from Rustic Pathways says, “Do not buy tickets at the door. If you can purchase tickets to pool parties or clubs ahead of time, then do so. It could be the difference between paying $10-$20 or $60-$200.

Connect With Promoters

Kayla also recommends trying to connect with Promoters of these events. You can search for them online. Alternatively, they will often look for prospective guests for their events by commenting on your Instagram posts when you are in Vegas. If successful, you could get your name on the list ahead of time. In addition, women may get in for free. As for men, they may be able to get in for free if they have at least a 3:1 ratio of women to men.

Buy Show Or Attraction Tickets In Advance

Mia from Invert Pro says, “If you really want to see a show or go to an attraction, buy the tickets far in advance. Otherwise, it may sell out or you may end up in a long lineup to purchase same day tickets.”

Visit Discount Ticket Booths On Vegas Strip

If you aren’t fussy about what you see or do, then consider the discount ticket booths along the Strip. You will find discount priced same day tickets to a random selection of shows or attractions.

Best Tips For First Time Visitors To Stay Safe In Las Vegas

I have never felt unsafe in Las Vegas. Most of the time, you are surrounded by lots and lots of people who are on holiday and only want to have fun as well. However, there are a couple of unique things of which you should be aware.

Beware Of Street Hustlers

Emily from Family Destinations Guide says, “When you’re walking along the Strip, people may come up to you and ask you a seemingly innocent question. Don’t answer or even acknowledge them. They’re probably trying to get you to attend a timeshare presentation, hustle you or sell you something you don’t even want or need. Regardless of what they ask of you, just leave.”

Be Wary Of Females Hitting On You

Emily from Female Abroad says, “If you are a guy and a very attractive woman is hitting on you, she is probably a prostitute. This is a dangerous situation as she may drug you in the hotel room, strip you, take compromising photos, rob you, and leave a note with her ransom demands or else the naughty pictures will be sent to all the contacts in your phone. So long story short, be very careful on who you bring back to your hotel.”

red rock canyon

Some of the best tips for first time visitors to Las Vegas defy a category. However, these tips are equally important.

Nothing Is Nearby On The Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is busy and you end up spending a lot of time dodging people while you walk. In addition, nothing is really a quick walk away. Walking from your hotel room to a restaurant in the hotel right next door might take 20-30 minutes by the time you leave your hotel room, walk to the elevator, wind your way through the casino and out the front door, find your way up the long driveway from the hotel to the Strip, then walk to the hotel next door. There, you will likely also have to dive deep into the hotel to find the restaurant.

Budget For Extra Time When Walking The Strip

Most of the time, you are not always able to simply cross the street on the Vegas Strip. Instead, there are pedestrian overpasses that you either reach by escalator, elevator or stairs.

Taitana from Family Road Trip Guru says, “Even though you can’t see it on the map of the city, there aren’t always easy ways to cross a street around the Strip or straightforward ways to get out of the hotel to street level. In addition, you can wait a fair amount of time at traffic lights just to cross the street.”

Vegas Strip Not Always Easy To Walk

The Las Vegas Strip is not an easy destination for parents of young children or people with physical challenges. The Strip is usually crowded and you spend a lot of time trying to avoid people. In addition, as mentioned above, you often have to take overpasses to cross the streets which means the added aggravation of finding and waiting for elevators. Strollers and other baby gear becomes a hindrance rather than something that makes your life easier.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Make sure that you wear comfortable walking shoes regardless of your outfit. You likely regret your decision if you do not and your feet will be killing you.

Always Pack A Bathing Suit

Erica from Erica James Travel recommends always packing a bathing suit, even if you are in Vegas for a business trip. Most hotels on the Las Vegas Strip offer amazing pool parties and you want to come prepared.

Leave The Las Vegas Strip

There are lots of amazing activities beyond the Las Vegas Strip. One of the best things to do is to go to one of the amazing National or State Parks within an hour’s drive. My favorite is hiking at the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area , a 40 minute drive from the Strip. Another option is to go Lake Mead and rent a boat for the day .

If you have an extra couple of days or you feel like you can splurge, consider going to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders in the world. It is a four hours drive from the Vegas Strip, but if you can afford it, you can do a half day helicopter tour. It is absolutely worth doing either.

Consider What Time Of Year You Are Going

Erin from Pina Travel says, “The first time I visited Las Vegas, I went in early July. Summers in Nevada are  very  hot. I had figured it wouldn’t be too bad since there’s air conditioning everywhere. In addition, since it’s so hot, rates for hotels are cheaper in the summer which is a great perk! But there were moments where the heat took away from my Vegas experience. Walking outdoors even for 10 minutes was exhausting, which made it not so fun to do outdoor activities.”

Stay Hydrated

Emily from Family Destinations Guide says, “No matter the season that you’re visiting Vegas, but most especially in the summer, always have water on hand to keep yourself hydrated. The Vegas Strip is basically a concrete jungle in the middle of the desert. You can get dehydrated very quickly without even realizing it. If you are enjoying some alcoholic beverages while you walk, you may get heat exhaustion or worst.”

Find Your Vibe

There are way too many places to visit or things to do in Las Vegas to waste your time on some place where you are not happy.

Suzanne from Suzanne Casamento says, “Ten minutes at Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Bar will offer up people in teeny dresses and high heels – that should come with liability clauses – shooting selfies for Instagram. However, behind all that glam, you’ll notice that no one talks to each other and it looks like they’re not really having any fun.

So ditch the pretenses and go where the fun people are. That means different things to different people. But, if you’re not feeling the vibe in one casino, bar or club, keep moving and focus on finding your fun people.”

Don’t Try To Do Everything

Erica from Erica James Travel says, “You can travel to Las Vegas different times and with different people and you will have a different type of trip every time. If you are into gambling, then that could be your theme. If you love shows, then your trip may be all about shows. If you enjoy partying, then your trip may be all about night clubs. If you are a foodie then your trip could be nothing short of eating your way up and down the Las Vegas strip. Las Vegas is a destination that you can return to more than one time and have a different experience each time.”

Vegas In The Morning

Many Las Vegas’ attractions are open 24 hours a day. Tatiana from Family Road Trip Guru says, “I love Las Vegas at 9:00 a.m. because there are no crowds and those who play and drink hard are now asleep. You can walk along the strip with kids and enjoy the most beautiful landmarks without any hassle.”

Keep Track Of Your Time

Jack says, “If you gamble, make sure you check the time. Casinos are designed to keep their patrons from leaving. They are built like mini mazes that entice you to continuously gamble and spend your money. There aren’t any clocks to remind you of the time.”

Las Vegas is an incredible destination to have fun, eat at some spectacular restaurants, and go to clubs or shows. However, there is an awful lot that could go wrong if you don’t know where to stay, how best to spend or save your money, or how best to get around. These 50 best Las Vegas tips for first time visitors will help you organize your trip and save money, making sure you leave Las Vegas as happy as you were when you first arrived.

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19 Secret Las Vegas Tips for First Timers (How to Visit Vegas Like A Pro)

By: Author Aly Smalls

Posted on Published: February 23, 2020  - Last updated: December 1, 2022

19 Secret Las Vegas Tips for First Timers (How to Visit Vegas Like A Pro)

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If you’re planning your first trip to Las Vegas, you should know that it definitely won’t be your last. The energetic atmosphere and the freedom to let loose becomes an addiction.

But if you’re visiting Las Vegas for the first time, know that it will be stimulation overload!

There is so much to see, do, taste, try, drink and play that it can quickly become overwhelming.

But don’t waste your time on the most overrated places in Vegas (trust me).

There are certain things to know before going to Vegas that will help you make the most of your trip.

It can be as wild or as low key as you want it to be. 

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, for some people it’s hard to understand the appeal.

While drinkin’ and gamblin’ are favorite activities for many, there’s so much more to experience about this energetically wild city.

It’s even the p erfect place to spend a honeymoon or a romantic getaway (read more ideas for couples here ).

The lights, the grandiose casinos, the fountain shows, the people watching, rooftop views…like where I’m going with this? Vegas is a city like no other.

travel tips for vegas

It’s loud, exuberant and knows how to host a party.

But before you hit the ground running, there are some Las Vegas tips for first timers that will be helpful to keep you going for your inaugural trip.

Here’s how to make your first time to Vegas the best trip ever.

This post contains some affiliate links, i meaning I may make a small commission if you make a purchase, at absolutely no extra cost to you.

General Las Vegas Tips for First Timers

Before we get to my recommendations about where to stay in Vegas for your first time and the must-do activities, there are a few things to know before you navigate Sin City. 

Everything is Bigger and Further Away than it Seems

The scale of the strip is so deceiving. Because the hotels and casinos are ultra large, it makes everything appear closer than it actually is.

Honestly, I’ve been to Vegas about half a dozen times, and it still gets me.

This is important to know for planning purposes, especially if you’re travelling with a group and want to coordinate where to meet up.

You might think, “Oh we’re at New York New York and we’ll meet you at the Paris in a few minutes.”

Even though it’s pretty much across the street, it’s probably going to take you a minimum of 20 minutes to get over there. 

travel tips for vegas

For your very first visit to Vegas, I recommend booking a 3 hour tour to show you around the must-see places along the Strip.

With this tour , you can choose whichever time of day you prefer and your guide will bring you to the iconic places, but also hidden gems and secret spots (like the secret pizza shop and happy hour beer for 50 cents)!

Read Next: 5 Day Las Vegas Itinerary: A Mix of Top Attractions and Hidden Gems

Be Prepared to Walk A Lot

This also means you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Again, no matter how many times I visit, I never get used to the amount of walking I do.

However, this does wonders for my competitive spirit when I want to track how many steps I can get on my fitness tracker (I use the Garmin Venu) in a day! Hint – it was over 30,000 one time.

The Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) is over 3 miles long, in addition to the vast spaces within the hotels and casinos. 

Consequently, you should bring your comfiest shoes that can handle this amount of walking. But don’t just bring one pair.

travel tips for vegas

Bring a few different pairs (different styles) that you can rotate through to give your feet a break as well. Doing this is a huge life saver.

For me, I always bring a trusty pair of daytime sneakers , a pair of cushy birkenstock-style sandals and a nice pair of comfy wedges to wear at dinner. 

Use Public Transit

The good news is that there are buses, trams and monorails that you can use as a low cost to cut down your walking time.

I recommended purchasing a three-day pass for the Deuce bus which is a double-decker city bus that cruises from the south end of the Strip up to Fremont.

This way you can hop on and hop off when you need to. 

Another new option for transportation is to purchase bus fares through the Uber app! Just open the app and you can compare fares from the different buses and purchase your tickets through the app. 

You could also try the monorail to go north to south on the east side of the Strip. If you’re staying at the Linq, Flamingo, Paris or the MGM Grand, the monorail runs right behind these hotels.

You can purchase one day or multi-day passes here . 

There are also a few free trams to use on the other side of the strip that go in between the hotels owned under the same brand.

travel tips for vegas

Should You Rent a Car in Vegas? 

This depends on what you’re planning to do. In my opinion, I would avoid renting a car for your first trip to Vegas.

If you’re only in town for the weekend or a few days, there will be plenty of things on the Strip and Fremont street that will keep you busy.

travel tips for vegas

And if you’re just sticking to this part of town, you really don’t need the hassle of renting a car. Most hotels charge for parking now and traffic is always busy. 

Read Next: 32 Essential Things to Do In Vegas Besides Gambling

General Tips for Walking the Strip

I will never forget my very first trip to Vegas when I remember asking a staff person at the hotel if I could bring my can of beer outside the casino.

She smiled and replied “this is Vegas, honey, you can bring your drink anywhere.” 

I mean, I knew you could drink anywhere, but as a first timer in Vegas, it was so cool to be able to walk around and bring your open drink anywhere!

Shopping with a glass of wine? Highly recommend!

Now, all that being said, if you want to save a little money on Vegas Vacation, purchase drinks at the CVS or corner stores instead of grabbing one at the casino bar. 

travel tips for vegas

Also, avoid anyone who approaches you on the Strip wanting to offer you free shows or discounts.

This is usually a timeshare presentation that will take an entire afternoon.

The same goes for people in the casinos. They usually approach couples and ask if it’s your first time in Vegas, how long you’re staying, etc.

It’s best to just avoid these people!

And there will be all kinds of characters and interesting people on the Strip.

Anything from impersonators, people dressed up in costumes to buskers and everything in between.

travel tips for vegas

Definitely enjoy and have some fun, but know that if you take a photo with them you will be expected to tip them.

And if you’re planning to visit the famous Las Vegas sign (which is a must do as a first timer), there will usually be someone there who offers to take the photo for you so that you don’t need to take a selfie.

Again, if you let them do this you will be expected to tip.

>> Read more in my full guide to scams and tourist traps to avoid in Les Vegas (and how to not get ripped off).

Tips for First Time Gamblers in Vegas

If it’s your first time in Las Vegas, walking into a casino and choosing where to gamble might be a little intimidating. The hotel casinos are massive.

They’re full of people, lights and sounds and there are no windows so it’s easy to lose your bearings. 

That being said, you don’t need to consider yourself much of a gambler to enjoy some games and have a little casino fun while you’re in Vegas.

Vegas Pro Tip: Order yourself a copy of the American Casino Guide which is the most extensive and trusted resource about all things gambling in Vegas. PLUS, there’s over 150 coupons and basically pays for itself after you use one or two (buffets, shows and match play coupons, meaning you’re paid out 2-1 on your bet).

travel tips for vegas

How to Choose What to Play

I think the most important tip when it comes to gambling on your first trip to Vegas is that the house always has the advantage and therefore you should only gamble what you are comfortable losing. 

people playing blackjack in vegas

I’m no expert, but generally speaking, table games provide you with a higher chance of winning.

Especially games like Blackjack, where you can incorporate a slight amount of strategy that you control.

CASINO TIP: You can book a gaming lesson with a local guide! On this 2.5 hour your, your guide will teach you how to play the most popular table games – roulette, craps and blackjack and share tips on how to get freebies.

For example, if you want to learn how to play blackjack, the dealer can let you know the suggested move based on basic strategy.

Just don’t ask them how much you should bet! 

Slot machines typically have terrible odds, but that doesn’t stop people from playing them, myself included!

They’re entertaining and there are a variety of games to choose from. You can still find penny slots in most of the casinos, you just have to look for them. 

travel tips for vegas

Penny slots can be deceiving though, so be careful. Depending on how many lines you bet, each ‘bet’ can be a few dollars.

So if you’re new to gambling in Vegas and just want to try it out for your first time, scan the machines and look for the ones with a max bet of $0.50 or lower.

This will make your money stretch a little longer! Also, usually when you bet the maximum you have a higher chance of winning.

At the very least, you will never win the max payout if you’re not max betting.

Slot machines at budget friendly casino hotels, Fremont Street and off-strip casinos are known to have “looser” slots. They need to work hard to earn your business.

By contrast, higher end hotel and luxury casinos will have a much lower payout on slot machines, since most people are aleready drawn in to visit.

Branded slot machines usually have the lowest payout and worst return to play.

They’re used to draw people in because they’re flashy and entertaining.

Take Advantage of Free Drinks!

And yes, drinks are still free when you gamble in Vegas ! Whether you’re sitting at a slot machine or table, servers will come around and offer you a drink.

This includes beer, cocktails, water, etc. Just make sure you tip your server a minimum of one or 2 dollars per drink so that they keep coming around!

You can also tip more than this to ensure they come back several more times.

Always Cash Out Before Leaving the Casino

All slot machines in Las Vegas use the ‘ticket in, ticket out’ system now. When you find a machine, insert your bill and when you decide to ‘cash out’ you will get a slip of paper with a bar code and how much it’s valid for.

If it’s your first time in Vegas, I highly recommend going to find a cashier and cashing out your vouchers before you leave every casino.

You’ll be jumping from casino to casino and you might not a chance to go back to the one that you have a voucher for.

Make sure you don’t leave any unclaimed money behind!

Bring Your ID

And it’s a good idea to always have your ID on you. If you look a day under 30, most security guards at the casinos will ask for your ID and you might not be able to enter if you don’t have it on you.

Best Casinos in Vegas for First Timers 

First, I recommend visiting as many casinos as you’d like. It’s fun to visit the different themed casinos and see how they vary.

Enjoy roaming around even if you don’t plan on gambling. Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio are showy and grandiose.

I like the inside of the Paris hotel, and the New York New York has a fun urban vibe to it. 

travel tips for vegas

I like the Cromwell casino as it’s a little smaller than most and has cheap drinks if you’re not gambling and just want to watch a group hollering around a hot Craps table. 

Any of the casinos on Fremont Street (old Las Vegas) are also good, and most people think they pay out a little more often.

And if it’s your first time in Vegas you have to stop at Binion’s (on Fremont) and take a photo with a stack of a million dollars.

You get a free 5×7 print out of your photo too!

And as a Las Vegas first timer, even if you’re not a gambler, it’s still fun to pull the old school handles on the slots!

travel tips for vegas

Most of them are all digital nowadays (where you push the button to bet), but you can still find a few rows of the analogue machines where you pull the handle. 

Even more, there are still a few casinos left that have machines that payout in coins!

You can find a few of these kicking around at the D on Fremont, El Cortez and Slots A Fun next to Circus Circus.

Where to Stay in Vegas for Your First Time

There are SO many hotels to choose from.

Since you will likely be visiting as many places as you can on the Strip, I recommend choosing a hotel based on location.

If it’s your first time in Vegas, as soon as you arrive on the strip you’ll want to start exploring immediately!

I recommend staying in the middle of the strip for easiest access to check out as many hotels and casinos as possible.

I find it’s so much more convenient to stay somewhere in the middle of the strip instead of one end or the other.

My two favorite hotels I recommend staying in if it’s your first time is either the Flamingo Hotel or Planet Hollywood .

They’re centrally located in the middle of the strip, are moderately priced and are close to a variety of dining options.

You can read my full comparison between the two hotels here .

travel tips for vegas

You can use the map below to compare hotel prices at the same time.

Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Vegas on a Budget: Where to Eat, Stay and Play and Spend Less

Lower Cost Hotels in the Middle of the Strip

I like staying at the Flamingo because it’s central and a little less expensive than other hotels in the middle of the Strip.

It’s close to the Linq, Paris and across from Caesars which all have great dining options.

And if you’re visiting in the summer, the Flamingo has the best pool in Las Vegas.

In my opinion, this hotel is one of the best places to stay in Las Vegas for first timers. 

Read my full review (+tips) for staying at the Flamingo.

travel tips for vegas

Almost right next door is the LINQ , which is a great value option, since it’s very centrally located. The Linq shopping area is lots of fun, and this is where the High Roller observation wheel is located too. 

If you’re visiting Vegas on a romantic getaway or maybe your honeymoon, the Paris Hotel is an excellent choice.

The romantic French theme is perfect for couples. You can also request a room with a view of the Bellagio fountains!

travel tips for vegas

I would stay away from the cheapest Strip hotels like Circus Circus or the Tropicana. They’re each located at extreme ends of the Strip.

If you’re a Vegas first timer, staying at these hotels would be more of a pain than what it’s worth to save a few bucks.

That being said, if you just want the cheapest room possible and don’t mind making use of the bus to go up and down the Strip, you can definitely find deals at these places. 

Hotel Choices if You Want to Spend a Little More

Caesar’s Palace is a classic choice. It’s famous, there’s lots of action here and it’s smack dab in the middle of the Strip. 

travel tips for vegas

The Bellagio is also a classic and timeless choice if you want something more luxurious. This is the hotel that plays the famous water fountain show synonymous with images of Vegas.

  • Read next: These are the 8 Best Vegas Hotels for First Timers

Las Vegas Hotel Tips for First Timers

To score cheaper rooms in Vegas, visit mid-week if you can. I like to book trips from Sunday to Wednesday to avoid paying weekend premiums.

Room costs in Vegas are also mostly driven by events.

travel tips for vegas

There are hundreds of conventions held here every year. This is why I highly recommend you monitor hotel calendars and pricing for random sales or price spikes. 

Hotels in Las Vegas charge ‘resort fees.’ I think this is just a polite way of getting away with Vegas tax.

You will have to factor in a daily resort fee when you book your accommodations.

This will always be a separate fee that you pay the hotel and not when you book online.

It seems that the fees go up every year, and now they range anywhere from $20-50 per night. The resort fees cover things like WiFi and access to hotel amenities like the pool and fitness center.

HOTEL TIP: If you want to avoid resort fees, stay at a hotel on Fremont Street. The Four Queens does not charge a resort fee.

You Can Ask for an Upgrade

You can always ask for an upgrade when you check into your hotel.

This is usually based on availability and whether the hotel is full or not. Politely ask if there are any room upgrades available.

Let them know you’re celebrating something special (birthday, anniversary, getting married, etc). Or especially since it’s your first time in Vegas, that’s also an occasion to celebrate. 

Some people combine this with the $20 trick. Where you wedge a 20 dollar bill (or more) in between your credit card and ID when you hand it to the person checking you in. 

Good to know – you don’t actually need to hide the cash you’re trying to get an upgrade with. Just place it on the counter and ask nicely.

All tips in Vegas must be disclosed, so there’s no need to hide your bribe.

TRAVEL TIP – Peak check-in time at hotels in Las Vegas is usually between 3-7pm. The lineups can be extremely long. Try to arrive a bit early and get checked in.

travel tips for vegas

Your room likely won’t be ready, but you can leave your bags secured with the hotel and ask them to text you when your room is ready.

Then you can hit the casino, go sightseeing, anything you want.

You don’t want to waste any time waiting around on your first trip to Vegas!

How to Get Comps and Fees Waived

No matter what hotel you stay at, sign up for the free loyalty club or player’s card.

Use this card every time you gamble and when you eat the the restaurants owned by the hotels or the same brand of hotels.

MGM properties are generally the easiest to build up rewards with as there are many hotels and status tiers – The Mirage and New York New York are my favorite.

Once you pick a brand, start building loyalty by gambling, dining and shopping at these properties.

Building up status will help you get comps for future trips, but you can also score bonuses on your current stay.

The night before you checkout, stop in at your hotel’s host office and mention that you’ve had a great stay and wanted to know if you have wagered enough to get some of the resort fees or parking fees waived.

Usually the hosts have the ability to check and determined how much you’ve spent on the property to see if you qualify for discounts.

Don’t be afraid to mention it’s your first time visiting Las Vegas and that you’re excited to return.

Attractions That Are Must Do in Vegas for First Timers

As far as Sin City activities go, there’s definitely a lot more to do than just drink and gamble.

Here are some free and paid attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your first Vegas trip. 

Free Las Vegas Activities

Watch the bellagio fountains .

Watching the fountains dance along to the music never gets old no matter how many times you see it.

They are absolutely mesmerizing and should not be missed! They run every 15 minutes at night. Find a nice spot to watch and enjoy for free!

travel tips for vegas

Visit the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Snapping a pic at the most famous sign in America is a must! It’s located at the very south end of the Strip and there’s a small parking lot to pull into, or you can take the bus there.

There’s usually a lineup of people waiting their turn, but it goes decently fast.

And there will usually be someone offering to take your photo, so make sure you tip them afterwards. 

travel tips for vegas

Head to Fremont Street

A lot of Vegas first timers ask if Fremont Street is worth it and I say absolutely yes! This is the ‘original’ Vegas Strip and was the place to be in the 1950s and 60s.

They’ve done a great job of reviving it but still keeping with the old school, vintage theme.

It’s a pedestrian only street, and not very big, so it’s fun to walk around, check out the old casinos, people watch (there are some crazies here) and listen to free concerts at the outdoor stage. 

travel tips for vegas

Unwind in the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Inside the Bellagio hotel is an incredible themed garden display which changes four times a year with the seasons.

The stunning exhibit comes to life under a 50-foot glass ceiling, so if you’re craving a little sunlight after being in a dark casino, this is the place to be.

If you’re after some nice photo spots in Las Vegas, the Bellagio gardens would be perfect. 

a whimsical indoor garden with pink and purple flowers

Walk the Strip at Night

Ok, this seems obvious, but the Strip comes to life at night, and you should do this every night on your trip.

The lights and colors are wild and crazy and you really don’t know the vast scale of it all until you’re there in the middle of it.

And while you’re at it, be sure to wander into as many hotel casinos and lobbies as you can. They’re all so different and fun to explore.

travel tips for vegas

Paid Las Vegas Activities that Are a Must Do  

Vegas isn’t the cheapest destination to visit, but if you add some of the above free things to do to your Las Vegas itinerary, paying for a few must-do attractions won’t seem that bad. 

Find Some Bird’s Eye Views of the Strip at Night

You must experience views of the Las Vegas Strip from above at night! You can head to the Stratosphere Observation Deck on either the 108 or 109th floors!

To give you an idea about how high this place is, it’s also the tallest freestanding observation tower in the USA!

It will cost you $24 per adult to head up there, but you can save $4 per ticket by purchasing your tickets in advance here . 

The High Roller is the huge observation wheel located in the Linq Promenade and is an awesome way to take in the sights of the Strip. You can go anytime of day, but I recommend visiting at night or sunset.

One full trip around the wheel is about 30 minutes. And even if you’re afraid of heights you don’t really notice it! 

travel tips for vegas

TRAVEL TIP: Book the happy hour experience where your pod includes an open bar. We did this and loved it. The bartenders are extremely fast and efficient, ensuring you get your money’s worth! Buy your tickets here , especially if you’re travelling with a group. 

Or for the ultimate way to view the Strip from above, book a helicopter city lights tour !

It’s not as expensive as you might think, and you get to see all the glitz and glamour from above, including the Bellagio fountains!

Take in a Show

travel tips for vegas

There are so many shows to choose from here, you can’t come to Vegas for your first time and not see a show!

Absinthe is my all-time favorite show in Las Vegas. I would see it 100 times in a row. It’s a raunchy, burlesque circus-style show at Caesars Palace.

Any of the Cirque du Soleil shows are incredible. KA and O are some of the best acrobatics, or if you prefer something musical, try the Beatles or the Michael Jackson Cirque shows.

Choose your Cirque du Soleil show here . 

Or choose a mind-blowing magic show like the famous Penn & Teller or David Copperfield. 

And if you’re visiting for a stag or bachelorette party, some of the more risque shows are super fun. Drag Brunch, Zombie Burlesque, Chippendale’s…anything you want! See some of the best ones here .

You Might Also Like: Legendary Ideas to Help You Plan the Ultimate Las Vegas Bachelorette Party

Enjoy a Romantic Ride on a Gondola in Mini-Venice

Yes, you can pretend you’re in love in Italy with a gondola ride on the canals at the Venetian hotel. They go from outside to inside and go under a couple bridges (if you kiss underneath them it’s good luck)!

people on a gondola on a canal in bright turquoise water

Have a Drink Somewhere Fun!

There are so many places to have a drink and people watch! I love sitting outside at Cabo Wabo at Plant Hollywood.

Or put on something fancy and head to the Fountain Room at Mandalay Bay.

Or sit inside a massive chandelier at the Cosmopolitan hotel and order the secret flower drink. 

travel tips for vegas

Book a Tour

One of the best ways to get the most out of your trip to Vegas is to make use of a tour.

After a full day or two of the busy city, you might want to get out of town for a few hours. And you should! There are some incredible places to see surrounding Las Vegas.

Visit Hoover Dam , go hiking in the Valley of Fire or take a boat ride on Lake Mead . 

Visit a Hidden Gem

Some final things to remember before going to vegas.

Visit Vegas with an open mind. If there are a few things you don’t want to miss, make sure you plan for them but then keep your schedule open the rest of the time.

There are so many things going on that will grab your attention, so you may not stick to the schedule you had planned. And that’s OK.

You may not get to see and do everything you wanted on your first trip to Vegas, but I promise you will be back!  

More Las Vegas Posts:

  • 32 Little-Known Money Saving Tips for Vegas (so simple)
  • 29 Unique Things to Do Off the Strip in Vegas (non-touristy hidden gems)
  • 7 Las Vegas Scams to Avoid – How to Not Get Ripped Off in Vegas
  • Free Drinks in Vegas: How to Get Them & What to Order (& best places to go in 2022)
  • Dreamy Things to Do in Vegas for Couples: Romantic Getaway Guide
  • 10 Overrated Things in Las Vegas You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time On (+ better alternatives)
  • Best Places to Drink on the Las Vegas Strip: Views, Fancy Drinks & Deals
  • Insider’s Guide to Staying at the Flamingo Las Vegas: Tips and Tricks

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travel tips for vegas

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Call it cliché, but we believe Las Vegas has something for everyone. With entertainment options ranging from celebrity chef-helmed restaurants and enticing casinos to thrill rides, professional sports, and the great outdoors, we'd bet big money that Las Vegas has what you're looking for. To create a thorough list of things to do in the Nevada city, we enlisted several Las Vegas experts, including the chef concierge for Wynn Las Vegas , Angelica Miozza; comic performer Colin Cahill, who plays Blue Jackson in Spiegelworld’s Atomic Saloon Show at the Venetian; and long-time resident and vice president at Kirvin Doak Communications , Natalie Mounier.

Here are 31 of the best things to do in Las Vegas.

Related : Travel + Leisure 's Guide to Las Vegas

Sway to the music at the Bellagio fountain show.

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This expansive fountain show occurs multiple times a day, every day of the year; check the schedule once you arrive in town to make sure you catch it. The romantic spectacle is free, and onlookers line the sidewalk, mesmerized by the beauty of the dancing fountains and the music that plays along with the show.

Observe the Las Vegas Strip from above.

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

To enjoy panoramic views of the city, hop on High Roller , the largest observation wheel in North America. You’ll ride in one of 28 spacious air-conditioned cabins for 30 minutes, at one point reaching 550 feet above the Strip. Cabins hold up to 40 guests, so grab some friends (and a cocktail or two) for the ride. Note that glass and coolers are not permitted.

Take a walk under the sea.

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At Shark Reef Aquarium , you can walk through an underwater glass tunnel as more than 2,000 sea creatures swim around you. The Mandalay Bay attraction includes gracefully floating jellyfish, friendly sea turtles, and sharks gliding through a shipwreck. For an additional fee, you can book an early-entry guided tour if you'd like to feed a stingray.

Go skydiving indoors.

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Travelers can experience skydiving without the airplane on the exhilarating Vegas Indoor Skydiving attraction. You can fly on your own (even kids can try it, so long as they're 40 pounds or more), or get a group of six to 10 friends or family members for a 20-minute party with private training and your own block of time in the wind tunnel. 

Play around at Topgolf.

 Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging/TopgGolf

Whether or not you're an avid golfer, this is a fun venue to spend a couple of hours, or more. Topgolf Las Vegas offers climate-controlled hitting bays, plus music, HDTVs, and a pool (must be 21 and over) with cabanas. This is a favorite spot for the Wynn’s Angelica Miozza, who comes to test her golf swing. There's also a sports bar, restaurant, and complimentary golf clubs.

Drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or go-cart.

Courtesy of Exotics Racing

At Exotics Racing , driving is extremely exciting, whether you choose a supercar, go-kart, or off-road experience. Steer an exotic car around a racetrack for the thrill of it, or have fun racing a go-kart on an outdoor track. You can even choose a specially built Baja race truck for the ultimate off-road experience.

Stroll through an indoor garden.

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Visitors are dazzled by the intricate designs, colors, and beauty of the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens . Each season, the 14,000-square-foot garden is transformed with floral displays, living plants, and water features. In addition to unique designs for each season, a special Lunar New Year garden is created each year.

Ride a gondola and stroll through St. Mark’s Square.

At the Venetian Resort , a gondola ride takes you through a replica of Venice, complete with the Rialto Bridge, a sparkling Grand Canal, and a serenade by your gondolier. Once off your boat, browse the upscale Grand Canal Shoppes, enjoy the street performers, or grab a gelato while you take in the atmosphere of "Italy."

Catch the light show on downtown's Fremont Street.

The largest video screen in the world is suspended 90 feet above Fremont Street for this dazzling free light show with concert-quality sound. The show begins every hour between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., every day. While you’re in the downtown area, check out the SlotZilla zip line, which has an option to fly over the street like a superhero, landing at the historic Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

Experience Illuminarium.

Courtesy of Illuminarium

At Illuminarium Las Vegas , 4K laser projection, 3D audio, and special effects create immersive experiences not to be missed. Travel to outer space via images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope, or to the African savanna, where incredible animals roam. Check the website for what experiences are available during your Las Vegas visit.

Tee off at the only casino resort golf course on the Las Vegas Strip.

Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

Enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the 18-hole championship course at the Wynn Golf Club . The lush landscape was designed by legendary architect Tom Fazio, who partnered with his son Logan to revisit and enhance his original work. Mature trees, lakes, and streams add both beauty and challenge to the course.

Take a Connoisseur Series class at Wynn Las Vegas.

“For those who love immersive experiences, I recommend attending one of Wynn’s master classes , which provide an intimate experience with the resort’s world-class chefs and industry experts,” Angelica Miozza told T+L. “Some of my favorites include learning how to bake baguettes alongside our master baker, filling dumplings with a master dim sum chef, and creating remarkable floral arrangements with the head of horticulture.”

Take a side trip to Red Rock Canyon.

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About 17 miles west of the Strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers miles of hiking trails. The preserve is also a great place for rock climbing, mountain biking, picnicking, and horseback riding, all surrounded by gorgeous scenery. A 13-mile scenic drive leads to sandstone hills, canyons, and parking areas, where visitors can explore the area's natural and cultural history.

Watch a professional sports game.

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Depending on the season, visitors can see the WNBA 2023 champions Las Vegas Aces , the Las Vegas Lights FC soccer team, Las Vegas Raiders football, or the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. “In recent years, Las Vegas has been building its credibility as a sports destination,” Miozza said.

Get a Las Vegas history lesson at the Mob Museum.

The Mob Museum is located downtown in the city’s former federal courthouse. Its interactive exhibits highlight notorious gangsters like Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel and famous FBI agents, including J. Edgar Hoover and Eliot Ness. After your mob history lesson, visit the onsite Prohibition-era-styled speakeasy for a cocktail.

Experience Vegas deep into the night.

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They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but Vegas doesn't seem to, either. Nightclubs and cocktail lounges abound, and there's always a themed party or DJ set to experience. The city has lots in store for LGBTQ+ travelers, too —  Visit Las Vegas  suggests year-round Pride events and RuPaul's Drag Rice Live as some of the options.

Score tickets to a live show.

Tomasz Rossa

Cahill called his Atomic Saloon show “one of my all-time favorite sexy circus comedy cabarets.” There’s also Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE show at The Mirage, Mystere at Treasure Island, “O” at the Bellagio, and Awakening at the Wynn. Head to Caesars Palace to see world-class talent like Adele and the newest resident headliner, Garth Brooks. And if you've got kids in tow, they can see a show , too.

Show off your skills at the Pinball Hall of Fame.

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This museum houses the world’s largest pinball machine collection, with vintage machines from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s (and beyond). The machines are all restored to like-new condition, and they’re available for visitors to enjoy — it's a pretty inexpensive way to have fun at 25 or 50 cents a play.

Watch the free show at the Lake of Dreams.

“Staged outdoors with open-air patios for viewing, the Wynn Lake of Dreams show is something guests or visitors to Las Vegas may not know about,” Miozza told T + L. “The complimentary multimedia experience blends colorful puppetry, an immersive soundtrack, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.” The show runs multiple times every night, starting at dusk.

Snap a few photos for the 'gram.

About 10 miles south of the Strip is Seven Magic Mountains , a group of neon-colored totems created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, and a very popular site with shutterbugs. Next, head downtown for a self-guided mural tour , or visit the Museum of Selfies at the LINQ Promenade. And, of course, there’s the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign — a must for every visitor.

Join an immersive show at a rum distillery.

At the Lost Spirits Distillery , guests walk through elaborate Victorian settings and sample rum while cast members perform all around them in an immersive theater experience. To extend your time here, book an elaborate 16-course tasting menu dinner, which is served in a room themed after “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

Dance to live tunes.

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Cahill says, “If you’re looking to scoot your boots, my favorite bands to dance to are The Bronx Wanderers and The Spazmatics, both at South Point , and Original Chaos, who you can catch at venues all over town." For more live music venue options, Visit Las Vegas has you covered .

Visit the Sphere.

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“Vegas is all about revamping the old and building the new,” Cahill says, specifically pointing to the new Sphere , a 17,500-seat structure for concerts and sporting events. With a wraparound LED display and spatial audio system, the venue provides an immersive experience that utilizes visual effects, movement sensations, intense lighting, and even scent and wind simulations.

Visit the Las Vegas Arts District.

When Cahill isn’t playing Blue Jackson in the Atomic Saloon, he enjoys spending time in the Las Vegas Arts District . Located about a mile from downtown and the Fremont Street Experience, this area features shops, restaurants, bars, coffee houses, galleries, theater, live performances, and First Friday events.

Ride FlyOver.

“My family and I love FlyOver ,” Mounier said. “It makes you feel like you’re flying over the most iconic places in the U.S., Canada, and Iceland; you’re sitting inside a spherical screen, surrounded by the most amazing views. As the film dips and turns throughout the locales, the seat moves with you, like you’re flying via helicopter. There are special effects, too — when you fly through a cloud, you feel a light mist on your face.”

Go on another adrenaline-pumping thrill ride.

Head to the Stratosphere for the Big Shot ride and the X-Scream rollercoaster, which dangles you above the Las Vegas Strip. Or, ride the Big Apple Coaster at New York New York — it speeds up to 67 miles per hour.

Shop 'til you drop in a classic Vegas shopping center.

Instead of losing money in the casino, why not exchange money for goods? Great places to do the latter include the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace, the Cosmopolitan Shops , designer shops at the Encore , MGM Grand , and more. At the Downtown Container Park, you can shop , snack , and catch a free concert in one spot.

Take a wellness break.

A spa visit makes for a relaxing and refreshing escape from the hustle of Vegas, and we recommend Caesar’s Palace Qua Baths & Spa . This venue offers three Roman baths, an Arctic Ice Room, and a range of massage and skin care services. Or head to Wynn Las Vegas, where Wynn Living Well offers massages, vitamin IV drip therapies, and other innovative treatments.

Related: 10 Best Spas in Las Vegas

Ride the Las Vegas Monorail.

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The Strip often surprises first-time Las Vegas visitors — it's not as easy to walk from one end to the other as you'd think. So, if you're trying to get from point A to point B here, consider taking the Las Vegas Monorail . It's a convenient mode of transportation that connects MGM Grand to the Sahara Hotel, with stops at Harrah’s, Caesar’s Palace, and more.

Try your luck in a Vegas casino.

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There are more than 100 casinos in Las Vegas , so no trip here would be complete without wandering through one of these dens of smoke, drinks, and slot machines. Belly up to a blackjack, poker, or craps table and try your luck, or stand back and observe someone else playing — somehow, even just watching casino action is a thrill in Las Vegas.

Plan a trip around Formula 1.

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With no fewer than 16 different ticket types, ranging from general admission ($150) through a variety of grandstands, clubs, private suites, and luxury hospitality (from $12,500), the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix (set for the weekend before Thanksgiving) aims to attract a varied crowd. All the events, from the trio of practice sessions through qualifying and the race itself, happen after the sun goes down and the neon turns on. Skip the turns and head straight for the Strip, where you'll find top speeds of 217 miles per hour — and all the action.

Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 Guide

Related articles.

The Ultimate Las Vegas Travel Guide

Las vegas trip planner.

If it’s your first time in Sin City or you want to plan the best Vegas getaway ever, you need this Las Vegas travel guide . Below, you’ll find everything you need to plan a trip to Las Vegas , from attractions and Las Vegas city passes , to the best time to book your hotel.

Planning a Vegas trip step-by-step

This Las Vegas trip planner will guide you step-by-step, so you cover all the bases:

1. Things to do in Las Vegas

  • 2. Best Vegas trip itineraries

3. Best time to travel to Las Vegas

4. how to find cheap trips to las vegas.

  • 5. Where to stay in Las Vegas

6. How to get around Las Vegas

  • 7. Tours to book in Las Vegas

8. Where to eat in Las Vegas

  • 9. How much a Vegas trip cost
  • 10. Las Vegas tourist map

Before you start planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas , don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for the USA   if you’re traveling from outside the country .

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5% OFF your travel insurance

With all of the activities available in Sin City, you can plan a Vegas trip for families, kids, friends, or couples. Below, you’ll find the best things to do in Las Vegas , including concerts, day trips, museums, and much more.

travel tips for vegas

  • Free things to do in Las Vegas
  • Things to do in Vegas during the day
  • Things to do in Las Vegas at night
  • Things to do in Las Vegas with kids
  • Things to do in Las Vegas as a couple
  • Las Vegas bachelor/bachelorette ideas
  • Things to do on Las Vegas Strip
  • Things to do in Downtown Las Vegas

Many of these attractions are included in the Go City All-Inclusive Pass , the best Las Vegas city pass to save money. You can find more Las Vegas tips for first-timers in our city pass guide .

2. Plan your Vegas trip itinerary

You have lots of options when it comes to putting together a Las Vegas itinerary . It depends on what you want to do and see, as well as how many days you have in the city.

How many days to spend in Vegas

It’s hard to see all of Las Vegas in a day, but if you’re short on time, two days is enough. Ideally, I recommend planning a 3-day trip to Vegas so you can see all the top attractions.

Vegas trip itinerary ideas

For some ideas on how to plan a trip to Vegas , here are sample itineraries for one, two, and three days.

1-day Las Vegas itinerary

2-day las vegas itinerary, 3-day las vegas itinerary.

Begin your  day in Las Vegas  by visiting the  Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign . You can catch the  Hop-On/Hop-Off bus there and take it to Downtown Las Vegas, where you can explore this entertainment area.

Then, go to The Venetian  and check out  Madame Tussauds  and the  gondola rides  at the  Grand Canal Shoppes .

Later, head to the LINQ Promenade and ride the High Roller  during sunset. At night, walk to the  Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas , where you’ll have a great view of the  Bellagio Fountains . The water show is one of the best  free things to do in Vegas , although if you want to see it from the Paris viewing deck, you should reserve a  ticket  (It is also included at the  Las Vegas All-Inclusive Pass ).

Seeing the  Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign  is a rite of passage, so start there. This is also where you can catch the  Hop-On/Hop-Off bus , which will transport you around the Strip.

If you like thrill rides, stop at  New York-New York ‘s  Big Apple Coaster  before continuing downtown. Then you can do the  Las Vegas Downtown – Fremont St. walking tour , one of the best  things to do in downtown Las Vegas .

Later on, head to the  LINQ Promenade , where you can eat, shop, and ride the  High Roller . You can also get awesome views from the 1,149-foot-tall  SkyPod  at  the STRAT . The SkyPod has a late-night bar and lounge, so it’s the perfect place to wrap up a  Las Vegas couples itinerary .

A  Las Vegas weekend itinerary  is ideal because you can experience some  daytime activities in Las Vegas  before diving into the nightlife.

First, take a break from the Strip with a half-day  Hoover Dam tour . When you return to Vegas, take a quick break, then do go to a  pool party in Las Vegas.  If that’s not your thing, you can take in the scene at  Fremont Street , perhaps with a ride on the  SlotZilla zip line  or a visit to the  Mob Museum , one of the  best Las Vegas museums .

At night, walk to the  Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas , where you’ll have a great view of the  Bellagio Fountains . The water show is one of the best  free things to do in Vegas , although if you want to see it from the Paris viewing deck, you should reserve a  ticket  (It is also included at the  Las Vegas All-Inclusive Pass ).

If you feel it’s to early to go to bed, grab cocktails at a swanky casino or do a bar crawl .

Ideally, I recommend at least 3 days for your Las Vegas trip so you can fully enjoy all the top attractions. Spend your first day taking the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour , starting at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign .

As you make your way along the Strip, stop by The Venetian , where you can see the wax figures at Madame Tussauds and take a gondola ride at the Grand Canal Shoppes .

Later on, check out the entertainment and attractions at the LINQ Promenade . If you perfectly time your ride on the High Roller , you can catch the Bellagio Fountains water show from the observation wheel.

The next morning, get in a nice swim or sunbathe at your hotel’s pool before the day gets too hot. Then, check out a Las Vegas museum , like the Mob Museum or the Erotic Heritage Museum .

In the afternoon, get a spectacular view of the city by taking a Las Vegas Strip Helicopter tour , a premium attraction with the Go Las Vegas All-Inclusive Pass .

Afterwards, grab dinner and drinks at Señor Frogs.

Spend your last day taking an adventure to one of the nearby national parks. I recommend this full-day bus tour to the Grand Canyon West Rim and Hoover Dam .

Once you get back to Sin City, you can eat something and get refreshed before taking in a Las Vegas show .

The best time to visit Las Vegas depends on what you’d like to see and do in Sin City. Thanks to its pleasant weather year-round, there isn’t necessarily a bad time to visit, but there are times when it’s more crowded and expensive.

What is the best month to go to Las Vegas?

  • Best months for good weather:  March and September boast beautiful weather, so you’ll be able to maximize your outdoor time.
  • Cheapest month to visit: January is one of the best times to book a Vegas hotel since prices usually drop after the holidays.
  • Worst time to visit: Christmastime in Las Vegas is busy, but also very beautiful. Also, July and August are super hot and tend to be more crowded .

Now that you know the cheapest time to go to Las Vegas , see if you can save even more by booking a flight with Kiwi or Skyscanner . These sites will help you find the cheapest trips to Vegas across all airlines, as well as the best travel dates for maximum savings.

travel tips for vegas

  • Casino hotels in Las Vegas
  • Luxury hotels in Las Vegas
  • Cheapest hotels in Las Vegas
  • Themed hotels in Las Vegas
  • Vegas hotels with jacuzzi in room
  • All inclusive hotels in Las Vegas

Hotels in Las Vegas Strip

If it’s your first time in Sin City, or you want an unforgettable vacation, I recommend booking a room at one of the  hotels on the Las Vegas Strip , an area full of restaurants, attractions, and activities

Hotels in Las Vegas Downtown

The downtown area is an exciting place to gamble, dine, and shop. As the original gambling mecca, downtown Vegas is a hub for culture, events, and the free Downtown Loop shuttle.

To travel around Las Vegas Strip and the outskirts of the city, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the transportation in Vegas . There are several buses, shuttles, and monorails, and if you want to visit some cool places outside Las Vegas , you can rent a vehicle.

Car rentals in Las Vegas

Rv rentals in las vegas.

Also, there are several national parks near Las Vegas , so renting a car or RV can be a great idea. If you plan to travel around Vegas , consider one of the Las Vegas road trip ideas in our guide.

travel tips for vegas

5 Best Road Trips from Las Vegas, Nevada

travel tips for vegas

10 Best State & National Parks near Las Vegas, Nevada

travel tips for vegas

Road Trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park

7. tours to book when planning a vegas trip.

While there is lots to do on the Strip, you can also take a day trip from Las Vegas to get away from the crowds. If you don’t want to rent a car, many of these tours include transportation. Here are some ideas to keep in mind while doing your Las Vegas trip planning :

travel tips for vegas

The best restaurants in Vegas appeal to all kinds of appetites and tastes, so treat yourself to a delicious meal during your Las Vegas vacation . Also, the nightlife in Sin City is incredible, so enjoy an after-dinner cocktail at one of the rooftop bars in Las Vegas .

Best restaurants in Las Vegas

Rooftop bars in vegas, 9. how much does a trip to vegas cost.

Calculating the cost of a trip to Vegas isn’t always straightforward since it depends on when you go, where you stay, how you get around, and which activities you do. Here is a price breakdown to help you out, as well as some Vegas trip planning tips so you can have an awesome getaway without breaking the bank!

Make the most of your Vegas trip by staying in one of the best hotels in Las Vegas :

  • Room rates : $225-$1,850/night
  • Resort fee : $51.02/night
  • Room rates : $215-$2,315/night
  • Resort fee : $45.95/night
  • Room rates : $189-$732/night
  • Resort fee : $45/night
  • Room rates : $99-$398/night
  • Resort fee : $39/night
  • Room rates : $109-$300/night
  • Resort fee : $36/night

Wondering how to avoid the resort fees? Check our list of best hotels in Las Vegas without resort fees .

American, Asian, French, Italian…whatever you’re craving, you can get it here. While planning your Vegas trip , remember to account for meals. Sin City has fast-food options, cafes, buffets, and many hotels offering complimentary breakfast. That said, you should splurge on a meal at one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas ! Below are the prices you can expect to pay per day:

  • Breakfast : $0-$10/person
  • Lunch : $10-$20/person
  • Dinner (casual restaurant) : $20-$35/person
  • Dinner (fine restaurant) : $35-$350/person
  • Total : $65-$425/person per day

There are countless things to do in Las Vegas , but here are the most popular activities. If you’re interested in several of these attractions, consider a Las Vegas city pass to save money. For first-timers, I recommend the Go Las Vegas All-Inclusive Pass ($119).

  • High Roller ($26)
  • Paris Eiffel Tower ($27)
  • Neon Museum ($20)
  • Mob Museum ($30)
  • Natural History Museum ($12)
  • BODIES: The Exhibition ($35)
  • Titanic Artifacts Exhibit ($35)
  • Discovery Children’s Museum ($15.50)
  • Erotic Heritage Museum ($30)
  • National Atomic Testing Museum ($22)
  • Gondola ride ($39)
  • The STRAT SkyPod ($20)
  • Vegas Strip night tour ($69)
  • Big Apple Coaster ($19)
  • Madame Tussauds ($37)
  • Adventuredome ($31.95)
  • Fly LINQ Zipline ($35)
  • Las Vegas Springs Preserve ($10)

These are the most popular tours from Las Vegas , but you can find more options in our guide.

  • Night flight over the Vegas Strip ($89)
  • Grand Canyon West Rim Tour ($89)
  • 3-hour Hoover Dam tour ($65)
  • Full-day Antelope Canyon tour ($299)
  • Death Valley one-day tour ($239)
  • Guided Valley of Fire hike ($119)
  • Bus tour to Zion & Bryce Canyon ($185)
  • 3-hour Red Rock Canyon tour ($113)
  • Area 51 day trip ($205)
  • One-day Hollywood tour ($247)
  • 3-day Far West tour ($540)

Las Vegas’ public transportation is a convenient and reliable way to get around:

  • Airline Shuttle ($9-$10 one-way)
  • Downtown Loop (free)
  • Las Vegas Monorail ($12/day)
  • Deuce Bus ($8/day)
  • SDX Bus ($8/day)
  • CX Bus ($5/day)
  • Big Bus ($45/1-day tour)
  • Taxis ($20-$25 from airport)
  • Uber/Lyft ($15 from airport)

Renting a car in Las Vegas will allow you to explore the nearby surroundings, and we highly recommend using DiscoverCars . The price depends on the vehicle you choose, how many days you rent it for, and the insurance you purchase, but the average price is $66/day.

If you want to visit a nearby national park, renting an RV in Las Vegas is a good idea, and there are a few reputable rental companies:

  • Outdoorsy (~$115/day)
  • Motorhome Republic (~$158/day)
  • RVshare (~$205/day)
  • USA RV Rentals (~$185/day)
  • Cruise America (~$181/day)

Experiencing the nightlife is part of visiting Sin City, and there are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas at night :

  • Concerts/shows : There are all kinds of shows in Las Vegas , such as musicians, comedians, magic shows, and more. Pricing can range from $50 to $5,900, depending on the performer.
  • Casinos : Enjoy the slots, table games, sports betting, and poker at the top casinos in Las Vegas .
  • Nightclubs : Las Vegas’ nightclubs range from lavish and intimate venues to multi-level lounges with lively dance floors. Ladies usually get in for free, while men can expect to pay a cover of $10-$100.
  • Pools/parties : Whether you want a family-friendly pool or an adults-only party venue, there are lots of fun pools in Las Vegas . Some hotel pools require you to be a guest at the resort, while others charge a fee of $20-$35.

Below is the total for one person spending three days and two nights in Vegas. However, the total cost of a trip to Vegas depends on where you stay, what you eat, how you get around, and what you do in the city, so use this only as a guide:

  • 2-night accommodation : $430
  • Meals : $360
  • 2-day Attraction Pass : $119
  • Day tour : $206
  • Airport Shuttle (two-way) : $20
  • Other activities : $250
  • Total : $1,385 per person for a 3-day/2-night trip

Planning a cheap Las Vegas vacation

  • When choosing the best time to visit Las Vegas , think about what you want to do and where you want to stay. If you would like to travel on a budget, do it during the low season.
  • Save money on accommodations by booking a cheap Las Vegas hotel or a Vegas hotel with no resort fees .
  • Consider purchasing a Las Vegas citypass , and don’t forget to take advantage of all the free things to do in Vegas .

10. Download a tourist map of Las Vegas

Finally, keep a map of Las Vegas on hand so you can find all the things you want to see. This way, you can plan a route around those attractions, which will make traveling in Vegas a lot easier.

Other travel tips for Las Vegas

Here are some final tips to keep in mind while you’re doing your trip planning for Las Vegas :

  • It’s hard to see all of Las Vegas in a day, but if you’re short on time, 2 days is enough. Ideally, I recommend a 3-day itinerary for Las Vegas so you can see all the top attractions.
  • I recommend getting the Go Las Vegas All-Inclusive Pass (the best CityPass in Las Vegas ) if you plan on staying in the city for a few days and you want to take advantage of all there is to see and do.
  • This sightseeing city tour on the hop-on/hop-off bus is a great way to get around and see several popular attractions.
  • Remember to always have a map on hand when you plan your trip so you can find the best things to do in Las Vegas and plan out a route that allows you to make the most of your stay.
  • Plan ahead and reserve your rental car in Las Vegas in advance. We use DiscoverCars for the cheapest options.
  • You can legally refuse to pay resort fees since they violate the Deceptive Trade Practices Law in Nevada. If you don’t want to deal with this, book a room at one of the Las Vegas hotels without resort fees .
  • The weather in Las Vegas gets extremely hot in the summer, so if you visit during this season, bring loose, light-colored clothes and lots of water.

Las Vegas travel guide FAQ

To finish up this Las Vegas trip planner , here are some common questions about Sin City and the Vegas Strip:

How hot is it in Las Vegas?

The yearly average high temperature in Las Vegas is about 80°F. That said, the summer weather in Las Vegas can be brutal, with highs exceeding 100°F.

How old do you need to be to book a Las Vegas hotel room?

Most Vegas hotels require guests to be 21 to book a room, but if the resort doesn’t have a casino, the age limit may be 18.

What is the minimum age to visit a casino in Las Vegas?

You must be 21 or older to enter the gaming area in any casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Are Vegas casinos open 24 hours?

Yes, most casino hotels on Las Vegas Strip are open 24/7.

How much does it cost to get into a Las Vegas nightclub?

It typically costs anywhere from $20 to $100 to get into a Vegas club. Men will pay more than women, and if a famous DJ or performer makes an appearance, cover charges will be higher.

Is Las Vegas fun for non-gamblers?

Yes! You don’t have to gamble at a casino to enjoy Las Vegas. Other attractions and activities include museums, tours, exhibits, pools, shops, shows, and more.

Is Las Vegas safe?

In general, the Strip is safe, and you should practice common sense in Las Vegas as you would in any other city.

Is Las Vegas kid-friendly?

Yes, there are lots of things to do in Vegas as a family.

Are there beaches in Las Vegas?

There aren’t any ocean beaches close to Las Vegas, but there are beach pools and the beaches of Lake Mead.

Is it easy to get around Las Vegas?

Yes, and there are plenty of transportation options like buses, monorails, and trams.

Can I park a car in Las Vegas?

Yes, there are parking lots throughout Las Vegas, and some Vegas hotels offer free parking for guests.

Which national parks are close to Las Vegas?

These are the most popular national parks near Vegas:

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – 20 mins
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 30 mins
  • Valley of Fire State Park – 45 mins
  • Death Valley – 2 hours
  • Red Cliffs National Conservation Area – 2 hrs
  • Zion National Park – 2 hrs 40 mins
  • Joshua Tree National Park – 3 hrs
  • Bryce Canyon – 4 hrs
  • Grand Canyon National Park – 4 hrs, 10 mins
  • Yosemite National Park – 5 hrs 30 mins

If you have any other questions about our Las Vegas visitors guide , feel free to leave a comment below. I hope this Las Vegas trip planner is helpful, and I wish you a wonderful time in Sin City!

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2 replies on “ Las Vegas Trip Planner – The Ultimate Las Vegas Travel Guide ”

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Well, I am very thankful for your information. After complete my trips from new york to niagara falls . I must share this information with friends.

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Hi Aalish, Thanks so much! I’m glad I could help 🙂

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