A Beginners Guide to Las Vegas
Known as one of the party capitals of the world, Las Vegas has a reputation for being the place for post-graduation blow-outs, stag parties, group events and couples holidays of a lifetime – a reputation that is well and truly deserved. The hotels, casinos and attractions are well known, but what is it actually like to visit? How big is Las Vegas? Is it always hot? When is it less busy? How many nights should I visit for? Let us try and guide you through the manic world that is Las Vegas and hopefully you’ll come out the other end a bit more informed!
When is the best time to visit?
Las Vegas is a manmade city in the middle of a desert so as you can imagine, in the height of summer it is hot – very hot! It is not unusual for temperatures to reach 40 degrees in summer so your best bet is visit in the autumn or spring months when it is hot but not too hot. The winter months can get quite cold in the evenings at times, not what you may think with it being in the desert, but it is true and sometimes catches people out when they visit.
How long should I spend in Vegas?
The great thing about Las Vegas holidays is they are perfectly suited to trips no matter the duration. If you have just one or two days you can get a real flavour of the city just by taking in all the sights and sounds, playing some tables at the casinos and visiting some amazing restaurants. If you have a three to four days or longer then you can do even more at a more leisurely pace – take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, see a show, plan you trip around a live event such as a boxing match or concert, explore more of the hotels and casinos or sample as many all you can eat buffets as you can!
How long does it take to get there and how to get to the strip?
Las Vegas is over on the west coast the USA so it takes a good 11 hours direct from London or Manchester to get there, making it a true long haul destination. On the plus side, the airport - McCarran International – is located more or less right next to the main strip in the city, so there is no long winded transfer from airport to hotel, just grab a cab or a shuttle bus and you’ll be at the roulette table in no time at all. If you are feeling like you need to get into the Las Vegas sprit as soon as you get off the plane, why not book yourself a limo instead of a normal cab – go on, you’re in Vegas baby!
Where is best to stay
With over 150,000 rooms up for grabs, you certainly aren’t short of accommodation options and there are hotels to suit every budget. If you want to go high-end or stay in one of the hotels that makes Las Vegas famous, then a stay at the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Cesar’s Palace or the Wynn will be right up your street. If you want to look after the pennies a bit more, head further down The Strip to try a mid-range hotel such as New York New York, Planet Hollywood or the Mirage. If you are on a tight budget, try and find somewhere off The Strip, they are much cheaper but bear in mind you’ll need to get a cab ride to the main action most days.
How to get around
Las Vegas is not a huge city but most people do not realize how long The Strip actually is. Getting from one end to another takes about 90 mins to walk the 4 miles, so have this in mind when booking your stay. If you need to get around but don’t fancy walking, a bus is the cheapest option and runs 24 hours a day. An interesting alternative is the monorail which costs $5 a day, or you can hail a cab. For ultimate luxury, you can hire a limo, or a simple car. Plenty of choices we are sure you’ll agree– or you could just travel by foot if you have good walking shoes…
Useful hints and tips
Here’s a tip – you’ll need to tip! America has a tipping culture so when getting served in a bar, in a restaurant, getting your bags delivered to your room – it is important to tip the person helping you as the chances are this makes up large percentage of their daily wage. There is plenty of tipping advice online so be sure to check this out before you go to avoid any angry confrontations with waiters! Also be aware of resort fees. These are fees hotels add on top of the room rates so you may see a room advertised for a certain amount, but then a resort fee will be added on top of this at time of purchase, which can bump up the price. Offset this though by remembering that drinks in casinos are free if you are playing. So don’t buy drinks at the bar, wait for a waitress to appear and take your order. You’ll save a lot by remembering this! Also, If possible, avoid peak dinner times between 6-8 pm. If you’re flexible, it’s best to try and have dinner between 5-5:30 and 8:30-9 pm to avoid the crowds.
So there you have it, a quick run through a few must-knows for your holiday to Las Vegas. Got any more tips? Leave your comments below!