A trip to Las Vegas is fun and exciting. The city offers gambling, fine dining, great buffets, fun activities, and mega-resorts. But if you forget to take some of these important essentials with you, it can ruin the trip or cost you quite a bit of money to replace what you forgot.
Use this checklist to help you remember to pack these 17 things that are essential for your trip to Las Vegas.
1 – Cash
Almost everywhere you go, you can use a credit card or debit card, and many people have quit carrying cash. But Las Vegas is one of the places where you still need some cash.
In some places in Las Vegas, you can get upgrades and better seats to shows if you slip the host a few bucks, and cash is the only way to do this. My wife and I saw a show a few years back with a friend and his wife, and my friend slipped the host $20 and we got a great table close to the stage.
2 – Sun Protection
The Las Vegas sun can be vicious during the day. Even if you just spend a few minutes walking down the Strip, you can get sunburn. Many tourists enjoy the attractions on the Strip and walk on foot for most of it while taking in the sights.
I’ve walked the Strip a few times and after the first time, I make sure to never forget the sunscreen. You should also make sure you have a bottle or two of water with you any time you walk anywhere outside in Las Vegas. You can buy water in many places, but the cheapest way is to buy a case of water when you get to town and keep it in your hotel room.
3 – Chargers
One of the most costly things you can do is forget to bring chargers for your phone and other electronic devices. You can buy chargers in Las Vegas for most phones, but you’re going to pay a premium. I’ve seen chargers for sale at $25 and higher that you can buy for $10 in other parts of the country.
People are depending on their phones for just about everything now, and if you forget your charger, it can put a damper on your trip. I usually pack an extra charger for my phone, with one in my checked bag and one in my carry on. So, if one gets lost or stops working, I can still keep my phone charged.
4 – Comfortable Shoes
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Even if you don’t plan to go hiking or walking on the Las Vegas Strip, you’re still going to walk more than most people usually do. Many of the casinos are huge and just walking around to find a place to eat or shop can take a long time.
I always take an extra pair of shoes when I go to Las Vegas as well. On one trip, my shoes got soaked and I spent a few hours walking around in soggy shoes and socks. This wasn’t a pleasant experience and could have been avoided if I had packed an extra pair of running shoes.
5 – Strategy Cards
I’m big on planning my trips ahead of time, so I usually know exactly what I’m planning to play when I arrive. I always brush up on my strategy for the games I plan to play, but every once in a while, I enjoy a short break and try something new.
Many games have strategy cards and they don’t take up much room. Strategy cards are usually the size of a credit card, and if you have them with you, it makes it easy to use the best strategy. I know the best strategies for casino games like craps and baccarat, but I carry a strategy card for blackjack, Jacks or Better video poker, and Deuces Wild video poker.
6 – Written Contact List
How many phone numbers do you know without looking them up on the contact list on your phone? If you’re like most of us, the answer is not many. If you lose your phone or it dies on your trip, you need to have a way to find important contact numbers.
It’s an even better idea to keep a copy in your pocket and an extra copy somewhere else, like in your luggage.
7 – Tickets
If you’re planning to see any of the popular shows on your visit to Las Vegas you need tickets. Many shows sell out weeks or months before the show, so you need to plan ahead and get your tickets early.
Make sure you have your tickets when you pack, because it can be a big hassle to get lost tickets replaced. I always take a picture of my tickets with my phone to have a record if I do lose or forget them.
8 – Sleep Aids
It can be hard to get enough sleep when you’re traveling, and this is especially true in Las Vegas. If you use a CPAP machine, make sure you have everything you need packed, including distilled water.
Some people use a white noise machine to help them sleep, and others use pills to help them sleep. I take Nyquil with me when I travel because it can help with colds and it helps me sleep. Just make sure that any liquid you take is small enough to pass through TSA security if you aren’t checking it in.
9 – Credit Cards
It’s almost impossible to travel without a credit card today. You can’t buy a plane ticket or rent a car without one, and most hotels require one when you get a room. But even if you can get to Las Vegas without using a credit card, it’s a good idea to have one because you might find something you want to do that only takes cards.
Las Vegas is as cash-friendly as anywhere else in the US, and in some cases, it’s more cash friendly than other places. But there’s no reason to take the chance of missing something you want to do because you don’t have a credit card handy.
10 – Passport and/or License
When you fly to Las Vegas you have to have a passport or other form of identification to get on the plane. But if you arrive a different way, you need to make sure you have proper government-issued identification.
Almost everything in Las Vegas has an age restriction, even if most places don’t card people often. But there’s no reason to take the chance of being turned away from something you want to do because you forgot your identification.
You also need identification if you get lucky and hit a big jackpot. You should also make sure you have your insurance card in case you have to go to the emergency room on your trip.
11 – Coat or Jacket
Most people think of Las Vegas as being extremely hot and sunny. This is true most of the time during the day, but it can get extremely cold at night because the city is in the desert. If you go anywhere outside a casino after the sun sets in Las Vegas, you should take a coat or jacket.
12 – Swimwear
Las Vegas has some of the best pools in the world. The warm weather and sun make it a great place to enjoy the pool. And even if you don’t plan to go swimming, you might want to spend some time in the hot tub at night, so it’s best to be prepared.
13 – Map
My dad is well-known in the family for having maps for everything. He has a smart phone, but when he plans a trip, he drags out the paper maps and makes sure he knows where he’s going. Some of the younger people in the family make fun of this because they always use the map on their phone, but what are they going to do if they lose their phone? Or what if it runs out of battery?
Take a map with you so you have a backup plan in case you lose your phone or it stops working.
14 – A Plan
Because Las Vegas has so many attractions and things to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to do everything. You don’t have to plan every minute of your trip before you go, but you should make a plan for everything that’s important.
When I travel to Las Vegas with my wife, we always plan out where we’re going to eat dinner each day together as well as the shows she wants to see. This way, we make sure we hit all of the important things on our list, then we fill up the free time with whatever else we find that we may want to do once we get there. During most of our free time, I’m at the tables and she’s either at the spa or shopping.
15 – Hat and Sunglasses
Everything in Las Vegas outside of the casinos is bright. The sun reflects off of everything and can be rather harsh. Most of us aren’t used to as much intense sunlight as you’ll find in Las Vegas, so a hat and sunglasses can help you a great deal.
One of the best things about Las Vegas is that no one cares what you look like. If you don’t usually wear a hat and don’t like the way it looks, you don’t have to worry about it in Las Vegas. No one is paying attention, and even if they are, the odds are good that you’re not the weirdest looking person on the street.
16 – Phone
I’ve mentioned a few things you need to take on your trip to Las Vegas in case you lose your phone or it stops working. But if you want to have a good trip, the first thing you need to do is take your phone. Most phones today have a map function and a way to search for local businesses.
You should also keep your phone in a safe place when you’re traveling. If you have a pocket that buttons or zips closed, you can keep it there in case of people who might try to scam you or pickpocket. Or you can keep it in your purse; just make sure you keep your purse closed and within reach.
17 – Vitamin C
I’m not a doctor, but the common belief is that Vitamin C helps your immune system and helps you avoid getting a cold. When you travel to Las Vegas, you spend a great deal of time close to other people, and you need to do everything you can to avoid getting sick.
I start ramping up my Vitamin C intake before any trip and continue taking it throughout the trip and after I get home for a week.
Don’t take any chances of ruining your trip to Las Vegas by forgetting to pack something important. Use this handy checklist of the 17 most important things you shouldn’t forget to pack before your next trip. This checklist will help you have a good time and save you money.