There are various options one has for transportation around Las Vegas and the areas within day-trip distance. Let's start from arrival into the area by air...
All flights into Las Vegas are directed though the McCarran International Airport, which sits conveniently just off the southern end of the Strip in the heart of the city. This very modern airport provides all the tools a traveler will need during their stay, and easy access to every option of transport. (You can even kick start your Vegas stay off right, by enjoying the casino right there in the terminals).
Like most modern cities, transportation options are numerous from taxis, limos, private shuttle, public buses, and a limited monorail, although there is no metro system in Vegas such as subway or L-train. Signs are easy to navigate throughout the airport to guide you to which type of transportation you desire, and if you still need help, don't hesitate to ask one of the many info desk attendants located throughout the departure gates.
If you plan to stay in and close-to the Strip during your stay, it's recommended to take a taxi to your hotel, and then walk or taxi during your stay. There are also many hotels that offer free shuttle systems throughout the Strip 24 hrs a day - so be sure to talk with your concierge about these options, which can save you taxi fares during your vacation. For a taxi to/from the airport plan to pay $10 - $25 depending on the location of your hotel (southern end vs. northern end). Shared airport shuttles are a little cheaper around $8 - $15, and if you want to arrive in style by stretch limousine plan on paying anywhere from $50 to $100.
Since this journal focuses on day-trips around the Vegas area, I want to concentrate on rental car options. As most international airports, McCarren offers the best pick-up and drop-off locations for any traveller looking to rent a car during their stay. All the major companies are available to choose from on the airport campus and most offer very comparable rates, so you don't have to spend too much time shopping around.
If you plan on taking longer trips like to the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park, it's worth looking at a car or SUV with a little power (or maybe even four-wheel drive), as drives in the desert (sometimes with unpaved roads) require more than a standard compact automobile. Also, don't worry about driving in the heart of Vegas, as even though traffic is slow and crowded, it's not too stressful and most casinos offer ample parking for guests.
Tips for car rentals:
- If you're staying for less than a week, check to see if a weekly rental is cheaper than, say, 5 days.
- Be sure to rent a car with unlimited milage as many of these day trips are a few hours (and a couple hundred miles) away.
- Even though you want a car with a little power, still be aware of the mpg, as you want a car as efficient as possible because some gas stations in the desert are few and far between (i.e. on the drive to the western ridge of the Grand Canyon)
• Airport Website: http://www.mccarran.com/
• Las Vegas Transportation: http://www.vegas.com/transportation/