People are always consulting me before their Vegas trip for advice on what to do, where to stay, etc. Here’s my greatest hits as far as general Vegas tips go.
Stay on the Strip. Not to take anything away from the Hard Rock, Rio or Palms, but on your first (or any) trip to Vegas, you want to be in the middle of the action. The action is on the Strip. Stay there.
Take lots of ones, fives and tens. It will help you make your money last longer. If you’re putting big bills in the machines, you’re going to lose the money faster. If your $10 runs out and you’re losing, you’re less likely to put that next $10 in. Plus, you’ll need the small bills for taxi rides (which are almost always odd numbered fares, like $21, or $11, or $7.) The ones you’ll need for tipping the waitresses for bringing your free drinks, or the bellmen who get your cabs.
Take enough cash for your entire stay. ATMs on the Strip are notorious for their high fees for withdrawing money. Not only will you get slapped with a fee from your bank, because none of the machines are affiliated with any major bank, you’ll get hit with the ATM surcharge. I think $6 in fees to withdraw your own money is insane. I’ve seen the fees as high as $8.
Take advantage of the free drinks. Why anyone would pay $12 for a cocktail at a bar when they could get free drinks (that only cost a $1 tip to the waitress) while they’re already doing what they’re doing (gambling) I’ll never know. Eh, they may be watered down, but you can get a nice buzz going so you’ll pay less when you head out for the nightlife.
Play the penny slots. There’s a whole journal about this here, but I’ll say it again. Play the penny slots. They’re more fun, the money lasts longer, etc.
Eat at the Paris Buffet. read the journal entries if you don’t believe me.
ALWAYS REQUEST A STRIP VIEW in your hotel. I’m amazed at how many people just take their keys and walk away like zombies. All you have to do in most cases is ask. If they don’t have any available, or they want to charge you like idiots, then you’ve lost nothing (the only time THAT will happen in Vegas.) I have requested a Strip view on every trip and only not gotten it once, and in that case, they bumped me to a pool view.
Don’t walk until you drop. Everything in Vegas is on a huge scale, and everything looks closer than it actually is. You can stand at Mandalay Bay, and it looks like NY, NY is right THERE! So you think "we’ll walk and save the cab money." Thirty minutes later you’re still walking. Carrot Top has a joke about this in his act, saying it’s like someone is moving the hotel away from you to be cruel. Save your feet for walking the expansive hotel complexes. Take a cab. Trust me.
Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re not going to listen to me about not walking, at least bring comfortable shoes. I see chicks all the time carrying their high heels and walking barefoot on the sidewalks. Ewww! And I can’t tell you how many times I hear people talking about their blisters.
Play table games on Freemont Street. Cheaper minimums. ‘Nuf said.