Atlantic City is still one of the top gambling destinations in the world. You can find a wide range of casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks offering every popular casino game. You can play slots, video poker, craps, roulette, and poker, and bet on all of your favorite sporting events in Atlantic City.
But don’t get so excited about your upcoming trip that you forget what you need. Here’s a seven step checklist to make sure you enjoy your trip to Atlantic City. Everything that you can plan for ahead of time saves you time and money, so you can spend more time gambling and having fun when you arrive.
1 – Always Take a Coat or Jacket
Most travelers know that if they travel to Atlantic City in the winter that it’s going to be cold, but they might not think about how cold it can get at night in the fall and spring. Even in the summer it can be cool after dark with the wind coming in off the ocean.
You might plan to spend all of your time inside when you travel to Atlantic City, but it’s best to be prepared. You might decide to take a stroll on the boardwalk in the evening and a jacket or coat might come in handy.
If you’re concerned about a jacket taking up extra space in your luggage, here’s a trick I use when I travel. I have a light jacket that I take most times I travel. It’s made of some material that doesn’t really wrinkle, so it always looks about the same no matter what I do with it.
I carry it to the airport with me, and put it on when I’m getting ready to get on the plane. Because I’m wearing it no one ever asks me to stow it in the overhead compartments. Once I get to my seat I take it off, fold it, and use it as a pillow. This way I always have a jacket with me if I need it when I’m away from home. I leave it in my hotel room on my trip unless I need it.
2 – Taking Money
You need to consider two things about taking money to Atlantic City. The first thing is how much you need to take. You need to determine how much money you need to gamble and eat, and how much you need for other entertainment expenses. I discuss this in more detail in the next section.
The other thing you need to consider is how you’re going to take the money. If you’re a high roller you might want to consider wring most of your money to a casino so you can safely access it when you arrive.
I prefer to use cash when I gamble, so I always carry it with me. When I’m going through airport security I either keep the cash in my pockets or hold it in my hand when I’m going through the metal detector.
3 – Your Daily Budget
Here’s a simple budget plan that I use every time I travel to Atlantic City or other gambling destinations. You can use it just like I do, or you can adjust it to fit your needs. The main reason why I use a budget is to make sure that I don’t run short on money. Knowing that I have everything covered gives me peace of mind on my trip.
I have three different budgets when I travel to gamble. The first one is the money I’m taking to gamble with. The second is money I’m going to use for food and entertainment. The third one is my emergency fund. I build in an extra cushion in the first two funds, and I have a backup in place for the emergency fund.
I refer to use cash when I travel except to pay for my hotel and flight. I use cash for everything else so I can keep accurate track of what I spend.
Here’s an example of using a budget:
I’m taking a trip for four days. I want to have $1,000 for gambling, $400 for eating and entertainment, and an emergency fund. I build a cushion in, so I take $1,200 for gambling, $500 for eating and entertainment, and an extra $500 for an emergency.
I won’t touch the emergency money unless I have a true emergency. I act like it doesn’t exist. I also take a couple credit cards that I can use in an emergency.
I break my gambling budget and eating and entertainment budget down by the day. So I have $250 a day for gambling and $100 a day for entertainment and eating. I will use the extra $200 in my gambling fund and extra $100 in my eating fund if I need to, but I don’t include the extra in my daily budget.
4 – Where to Eat
I like to eat, but I don’t plan my trips around where I’m going to eat because I can find something decent just about anywhere. If my wife is with me we plan one meal at a nice restaurant, and eat our other meals at the buffet or less expensive place.
Figure out where you want to eat before your trip so you can get an idea of how much money you need. This helps you budget and you can relax because you know you already have a plan.
5 – What Are You Playing?
Do you know what games you’re going to be playing while you’re in Atlantic City? Most gamblers have an idea of what they want to play, but they rarely plan their trip with this in mind.
I usually play poker more than anything else when I travel for gambling, so I always stay in the casinos where I plan to play the most, or close to it. If I’ve never been to the location before, I look up the best poker rooms online and get feedback from other players so I know where I want to play.
I also play a little blackjack and video poker from time to time, so I brush up on the best rules and pay tables before I travel, and always take strategy cards so I’m always prepared. I also read things that other players post about where the best blackjack tables and video poker pay tables are located.
Spend a little time researching the games you want to play before your trip. This can save you quite a bit of time once you arrive at your destination.
6 – Schedule Some Downtime
A mistake that many travelers make when they schedule everything they want to do on their trip is fill every minute. While this is ok if this is what you really want, I’ve found that it’s nice to have a little bit of down time scheduled.
The other reason why I schedule some downtime when I travel is because there’s often something that I see that I want to do and I want to have extra time to do it if I choose. I always schedule everything I want to do on my trips, but I always leave some open time.
This actually helps me relax because I know that I have some extra time to fit in things that I see or learn about on the trip.
7 – Gambling Online in Atlantic City
The state of New Jersey has some of the most relaxed laws concerning online gambling in the nation. You can play at licensed online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks while you’re in the state. You aren’t required to be a resident of New Jersey; just located in the state when you gamble.
Most gambler travel to Atlantic City to play in the land based casinos and poker rooms, or place bets in the new sportsbooks. But you might want to check out some of the online options as well.
Many online casinos offer some games with better odds than land based casinos, and they also offer bonuses for real money play. I always travel with my laptop so it’s easy to check out the online gambling options. But you can also use your Android or Apple smart phone to check out the online action in New Jersey.
Atlantic City is on the beach, but the weather isn’t always the same as on beaches south of New Jersey. You can take your swim suit, but don’t forget to pack a jacket in case it gets cold during your visit. Make sure you know how much money you need and follow a budget to make sure you don’t run out.
Spend a little time planning your trip to make sure you get to do everything you want, and check out the real money online gambling options when you’re in New Jersey. Just use this seven step checklist and you’re going to be well prepared for your trip and have a great time.