7 Things NOT to Do in Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Graphic With a Minibar and ATM Background

It’s your first trip to Vegas. How exciting! I’m sure you’ve read up on all the places to see, things to do, and where to eat.

I hope you’ve also read up on how to get the most out of your first trip. But something a lot of people don’t talk about is what NOT to do in Vegas.

Personally, I always like to know what’s considered a faux pas wherever I visit. That way, I don’t look like a total jerk the first time I’m in a new place. That’s where this page comes in!

Below, I’m sharing a list of seven things you shouldn’t do on a trip to Las Vegas. I’ve made these mistakes, please don’t make them, too. And you’re welcome!

1 – Don’t Use the Minibar

There’s nothing fancier than getting to open one of the tiny bottles of wine or liquor from the prized minibar in your room. But if you pop open that bottle, it’s only about a drink or maybe more than just a half.

Sure, it’s fun to pregame in your room before heading out for your night in Vegas casinos and clubs. What’s not fun is getting your final bill from the hotel when you’ve helped yourself to the minibar.

The prices for the minibar items are always astronomical, too. A simple bottle of water can be upwards of $10. That bottle of water probably wasn’t even a luxury brand like Voss.

The peanut packet that seemed life-changing at 4 AM? $15. It gets even more outrageously expensive when you start looking at the booze.

Practically everything you can find in the minibar is also available at the convenience store down the street from the casino hotel you’re staying at.

And if you’re gambling on the casino floor, drinks are completely free! Why bother with the stuff you have to pay for when you can have a well-made drink for the cost of tipping the cocktail servers?

What to Do Instead:

If you want to drink in your hotel room, just bring in your own minibar. Trust me, your wallet will thank you. Vegas is already an expensive trip as it is. Don’t add to it by eating and drinking your way through the tiny minibar.

2 – Don’t Try to Save Money by Staying Off the Strip

A big first-timer mistake is thinking you’re going to save money by staying off the famed Las Vegas Strip. If you’re inexperienced, you’re likely going to spend more money on other things, and you won’t get the full experience.

When you book at a casino or hotel (or even a combo of the two) that’s not on the Strip, you may just get a subpar experience. The hotel rooms are cheaper, but this is a specific example of the famed expression, “You get what you pay for.”

If this is your first time to Sin City, you want to have the best experience possible. And you’re going to have the ideal first impression of Vegas by staying in or close to the Strip.

View of Las Vegas Strip and Palazzo

Another thing that tends to happen when you don’t stay at a properties on the Strip is that you will end up spending that money on transportation to get there. If you’re driving, you’ll have to pay to park and get gas. If not, you’ll have fork over your credit card to a rideshare company for every day that you travel to the Strip. See what I’m getting at?

If you know you’re most likely going to be on the Strip, why not just stay at the hotels there? The most significant benefit is that you can probably find packages for a discount on your room at a casino property.

What to Do Instead:

You’re probably not going to save that much money by staying at a hotel that isn’t on or close to the Strip. You’re coming for the Vegas experience, why not be in the thick of it? Stay at one of the more affordable establishments on the Strip.

3 – Don’t Buy Things From Street Vendors on the Strip

There’s a ton of street vendors in Las Vegas. They seem to congregate on the Strip because that’s where the tourists are. In most cities, buying things from the vendors is part of the experience.

This does not hold true in Las Vegas. It’s okay to be reluctant about the bottled water. Think twice before buying the tickets to the shows because they could be counterfeit. 80% of things being sold by street vendors in Las Vegas are not what you expect.

Vegas is a place that can be predatory for innocent visitors.

What to Do Instead:

Almost anything you’re needing on the short walk between attractions or casinos is sold at your next destination. Most establishments have a convenience store, restaurant, or kiosk.

4 – Don’t Jaywalk

This should be common sense, but it’s illegal to jaywalk in almost any American city. It’s also incredibly dangerous to jaywalk. The chances of your ending up in the hospital (or even worse) increase by 58% when you cross the street without a crosswalk in Las Vegas.

People Walking Across a Crosswalk

If the possibility of death isn’t enough to deter you for crossing against the light or using a crosswalk know that the Las Vegas PD is on the lookout. This is a big pet peeve of theirs. If you’re caught jaywalking, be ready to face a $350 fine.

What to Do Instead:

It’s simple, don’t jaywalk!

5 – Don’t Wear Heels

I know, I know. Heels are made for when you go out and get dressed up. That’s all fine and good until you realize how much walking you’re going to do.

The average Vegas Strip visitor walks five to six miles per day. It’s not the ideal place for heels.

Unless you want spend the next few hours in your hotel room or using an entire pack of band-aids for your blisters, comfortable walking shoes should be on your list of things to bring to Vegas.

On top of the miles, you’ll be walking think about alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the wobblier you’re going to become. Heels are going to increase the wobble factor. Just keeping an eye for you.

What to Do Instead:

I’m not telling you to not pack dress shoes or heels, but think about saving them for dinner or a show. Get dressed up and show off! I do too, just not when I’m going to be casino hopping on the Strip and walking the 4.2-mile stretch.

Wear sneakers or walking shoes whenever possible.

6 – Don’t Use the Casino ATMs

I’ve talked about this before, and I’ll keep talking about it, even after you tell me to zip it. Don’t use the casino ATMs.

They give you a false sense of hope when you’re on a losing streak, and you’ve blown your budget. Casinos want you to spend as much money as possible, this is one of the ways they do it.

Not only do they trick you into thinking you’ll turn things around, but they’re also stinking expensive. Some casinos charge up to $8 per transaction.

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Vegas is a real city with much cheaper ATMs. They will probably even have an ATM at the Vegas branch of your bank. If you can’t find your bank in Vegas, use the closest grocery store or CVS and get cashback.

What to Do Instead:

Whether it’s to take more cash out to gamble with after you’ve lost all yours or to withdraw money for tips, don’t use a casino ATM. The fees aren’t worth it, and there’s probably a better way to do it.

7 – Don’t Miss Your Flight

Many new Vegas visitors underestimate McCarran Airport. You land from your departing city and are surprised at how close it is to all the Vegas attractions.

But most people don’t realize that the airport in Las Vegas is one of the busiest in the country. It’s the ninth busiest in the country and millions of visitors arrive there every year.

I have missed a flight from this airport, and it’s not fun. McCarran airport is a different place when you have to wait. So, now, I give myself at least two hours of time, depending on the time of day. Mornings are slower for outgoing flights, and afternoons and evenings are generally very busy.

View of McCarran Airport and the Las Vegas Strip

So, I suggest building in the extra time for your trip. Is your flight at 10 AM? Get to the airport no later than 8 AM.

If your flight is at 5 PM, get to the airport no later than 2:30 PM, even 2 PM. There are a ton of sites that will tell you the best time to arrive at McCarran. Don’t forget to check for traffic on the way there!

What to Do Instead:

Building in extra time at the airport in Las Vegas will save you some heartache in the long run. It’s way more fun to have an overpriced airport drink with your traveling companion when you know have a seat on your flight.

Conclusion

I hope you have some pointers for your next trip to Vegas. If it’s your first time, you’re sure to have so much fun. With these tips, I hope you enjoy Vegas as much as I do!