You may go into your first Las Vegas trip wide-eyed and full of unrealistic expectations. But no, you’re not going to hit the Megabucks jackpot or earn a free penthouse suite with your $5 blackjack bets.
Even if you’re a realist, you can still repeat the same mistakes that Vegas visitors make on a daily basis.
Of course, the goal is to have fun, not end up in jail or beg somebody to Venmo you money for airfare. That said, you should carefully read the following 17 Vegas mistakes and do everything possible to avoid them.
1 – Walking Everywhere
You’ll see countless buses, taxis, and Ubers driving throughout Sin City. Of course, you can easily spend a fortune paying for these services every time you want to get coffee.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be the person who thinks they can walk 10 miles a day in the desert heat.
First off, you’re going to waste lots of time doing so. Secondly, you’ll wear yourself out within the first day or two.
New York-New York might look close enough to walk to. But once you actually set foot towards this or that resort, you’ll realize that those desert mirages are playing tricks on you.
2 – Wearing the Wrong Attire and Shoes
What’s worse than trying to walk the Las Vegas Strip? Trying to walk all over Vegas with overly warm clothes and uncomfortable footwear.
You might be desperate to finally wear that great cardigan you got last Christmas. And while it may indeed look great on you, the same cardigan won’t look so good drenched in sweat. Vegas weather can be unpredictable. If you’re planning to walk outside of the air-conditioned casinos, check the temperature!
The same thought goes for wearing dress shoes or high heels. Even with transportation to and from locations, your feet will eventually hurt as you walk through resorts, gambling floors, restaurants, and more.
3 – Expecting to Win Gambling Profits
You can win money through casino games, but don’t expect to win on a consistent basis when gambling in Las Vegas. After all, the house holds the advantage in every game.
Of course, you may still fool yourself into thinking that you can beat casinos with basic blackjack strategy or win serious profits with your video poker skills.
Again, though, the casino holds an edge in everything on their gaming floor with very few exceptions. You must face the realistic possibility that you’ll lose money gambling throughout the trip.
4 – Treating Dealers Terribly When You Lose
The dealers and other casino employees aren’t the reason why you’re losing on the tables and with slot machines. You can simply refer to the above point to figure out why you normally don’t win.
Being a jerk to the dealer isn’t going to bring back your losses or swing the edge in your favor. It’s just going to make you look bad in front of your friends and everybody else.
5 – Failing to Account for the “Tourist Tax”
The “tourist tax” is an unofficial term that refers to extra charges that Strip casinos tack onto your bills. For example, you might be hit with both an “entertainment fee” and “service fee.”
You don’t necessarily have to boycott the Strip due to these charges. But you should know that those 20% fees on top of 25% fees really add up.
6 – Going All Out on the First Day
Odds are that you’ll be extremely excited during your first day in Vegas. However, you don’t want to get carried away and treat your first day like it’s the last.
Binge drinking isn’t the only thing that can temporarily put you out of commission for the next day or two. Assuming you gamble or spend too much money, you’ll be forced to watch your buddies have fun while you sit on the sidelines.
7 – Putting Little Thought Into Transportation
Sin City transportation methods include everything from double-decker buses to the Las Vegas Monorail. You’ll find a number of online resources that’ll help you map out transportation ahead of time.
This process doesn’t sound fun at all. But the alternative of failing to plan at all is much less fun. You don’t want to waste time when you’re actually in Vegas doing cost comparisons between the Monorail and buses.
8 – Getting Long Hauled
Taxi drivers don’t always have your best interests in mind. Some will “long haul” you, meaning that they take you on unnecessarily long routes to get to your destination.
One of the most common long-hauling scams involves taking the long way from the McCarran International Airport to one of the Las Vegas Strip resorts.
Luckily, you have other options these days, including Uber and Lyft. These drivers aren’t always cheaper than cabbies, but they’re less likely to long haul you.
9 – Relying Solely on the Monorail
Exclusively using the Monorail sounds like a great idea in theory. You pay $14 for a pass and use this service as much as you’d like for 24 hours.
The problem, though, is that you might not even need to spend this much on transportation for the day. This can especially be true if you’re splitting an Uber or cab fare with friends.
Another drawback to the Monorail is that it sits idly while waiting for passengers to load up. Sometimes, you can walk to your next destination faster than the monorail moves.
10 – Believing that Prostitution Is Legal in Vegas
Nevada is the only state in the US that has legal prostitution. However, this legal anomaly doesn’t apply to Las Vegas.
Sure, most Vegas authorities turn a blind eye to the matter. You’ll likely be able to solicit a prostitute in broad daylight on the Strip or downtown.
But you should never take this scenario as a given. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County (a.k.a. Las Vegas).
Assuming you’re desperate for costly companionship, then you should look for it in the eight other Nevada counties where prostitution is legal.
11 – Penny Pinching in Vegas
You may feel pretty smart with your Costco membership and cheap Amazon purchases. However, you don’t want to take the same Costco mindset into Sin City.
I don’t suggest that you stay at five-star hotels and eat at the finest restaurants. However, you should make the most of your trip and splurge a little.
12 – Trying to Live out Stupid Movie Fantasies
Thanks to its numerous casinos and risqué offerings, Vegas is the subject of many films. The Hangover series is a perfect example of Hollywood tempting you to emulate the movies.
No, you’re not going to win $80,000 in one night counting cards. No, you won’t meet a stripper and marry her that night.
More than likely, you’ll have the typical tourist experience, enjoy yourself, and go home with a decent story or two to tell.
13 – Waiting in Nightclub Lines
Unless you’re a wealthy VIP, you’ve probably waited in a nightclub line wherever you’re from. But you’ve never experiencing waiting until you’ve done so at a Vegas nightclub.
Odds are that if you start at the back of the line, then you’re not getting in that night. If you’re a guy with three other guys, then your sausage party definitely isn’t getting in.
Even if you do make it to the end of the rainbow, your reward will be an insane cover charge and minimum drink requirement.
Either make arrangements to get in ahead of time, speak with a casino host about bottle service, or skip the club altogether.
14 – Crossing the Vegas Strip on the Street
The Vegas Strip features overhead pedestrian walks for a reason, crossing the actual street is dangerous. In fact, it can be downright deadly.
The state Department of Transportation has issued many warnings about the deaths associated with those playing Frogger on the Strip. Bottom line: Use the overhead walks.
15 – Thinking a Random Person Is Into You
Picture this: Your buddies are sleeping, you can’t fall asleep, and you head down to the gambling floor to play some Vegas slots at 3 AM. All of the sudden, an attractive 20-something sits down next to you and begins chatting to you.
You’ve suddenly hit the jackpot without even winning, right? Actually, you might just be speaking to a hooker.
And you can either ante up $200 and keep the conversation going elsewhere or continue your solo slots session.
16 – Falling in Love With the Spearmint Rhino Dancer
At least if you spend $200 on your 3 AM slots buddy, you get plenty of value. At strip clubs, your perverted dollars don’t go very far.
The worst thing you can do is develop a schoolboy crush on a dancer and start throwing last month’s salary at her bill by bill.
The good news is that she’ll be really into you. The bad news is that this attraction will abruptly end as soon as your last $20 is tucked under her garter belt.
17 – Being Your Own Driver
Why spend money on an Uber, Lyft, or taxi when you’re perfectly capable of driving yourself? After all, you can find reasonable car rental places throughout the city.
Driving yourself around Vegas seems like a good idea until you spend 10 minutes at every stoplight. Oh, you also get the financial joys of paying for parking everywhere you visit, too. Those hotel parking fees won’t pay themselves!
The mistakes covered here are more warnings than anything. Chances are that you’re going to have a good time without incident.
But then again, Sin City was built upon people making bad decisions in the casino and beyond. Alcohol, casino games, and room service are a toxic mix for your bank account.
Spending too much money may even be the least of your worries. Arrests, muggings, and scammy drivers are some of the other ills that can happen on Vegas trips.
Luckily, you can avoid these pitfalls by keeping your head on straight. You’ll have a much better chance of doing this by remembering the 17 common mistakes that other visitors make.