It might be a gambling trip by name, but in reality, a trip to the casino (and hopefully accompanying resort) is so much more than just time spent on the gaming floor.
For those who have never planned a gambling trip, there are is definitely a learning curve. Just like anything else, everyone gets better from experience. With that being said, if it’s your first time, don’t worry, you can still make the most of it.
In this article, I’ll explain the top five things you need to consider before booking a casino and resort trip.
1 – Pick the Right Casino
Because most US land based casinos do have resorts attached, I’ll assume that’s what you’ll be dealing with.
Though many of these establishments have similar amenities like buffets, live shows, golf courses, and more, it’s important to make sure you recognize they also have some very significant differences.
First, casino resorts can be located in vastly different places. I don’t mean different cities, but rather some are smack in the middle of downtown, and some are miles away from anything resembling a city.
If you’re going to be staying on the resort throughout the duration of your trip, I would recommend checking out some options that help you feel like you’re getting away from it all. If you’re looking to shop or explore the city, double check to make sure that there’s one nearby.
Aside from all the entertainment that happens on a daily basis, look and see if there are any special events going on during the time you’ll be visiting. If your search comes down to two places, this could be the deciding factor on which one is best for you.
With such a vast array of locations to choose from, there’s undoubtedly a resort that can fulfill all your needs. Just be sure you’re doing adequate research beforehand so there are no unexpected surprises when you show up.
2 – Budget Accordingly
Managing a casino bankroll is difficult enough when you’re just going for a day trip. When you’re trying to budget for several days’ worth of gambling, it gets taken to the next level.
What makes budgeting for a weekend at a resort so complicated is the fact that there are going to be several expenses that have nothing to do with gambling. The solution? Keep it separate.
Before you place your first bet on that hand of blackjack, make sure you have allocated a certain percentage of your funds only for gambling. I hate to say it, but if (or when) it runs out, don’t keep pouring money into the slot machine.
Plan on having some additional costs associated with the resort. For example, you might want to budget for a massage or spa day. As with the making of any budget, err on the side of setting aside more money than you think you’ll need. If you don’t end up using it, that’s great! More for the roulette table.
3 – Check Out Casino Promotions
Resorts are always offering some type of incentive to get visitors in the door. It’s worth your time to explore which places have the best deals and factor that into your decision of where to go.
To state the unfortunate, yet obvious truth, a trip to the resort simply isn’t going to be a cheap affair if you go anywhere that’s halfway decent. By finding a great deal, you’ll give yourself a little extra money to work with for either gambling, meals, or other amenities that might be offered.
I would not recommend choosing your destination based solely on deals, but if you’re able to narrow your choices down to a few places, you should factor it into the equation.
At the end of the day just about everyone likes saving money. The people who actually do save the extra cash are the ones that put a little effort into seeking out the deals. Be one of these people and you’ll give yourself a little extra cushion to use elsewhere.
4 – Look at User Photos and Reviews
I know, I know, this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people think “this isn’t what I signed up for” when they arrive at the resort.
One reason that people get this unwelcome surprise is because they only looked at photos that were taken by professional photographers that make the resort look as nice as it possibly can. While I can’t fault the casino for this tactic, it can be rather misleading.
Users will post photos of their experience, and you can get a much more unfiltered look at what the place is really like. Just like any other product or experience, user reviews are worth their weight in gold and can help you make a better-informed decision.
Most resorts will have hundreds, if not thousands, of user reviews from people just like you. Take advantage of the resources you have in order to avoid anything unexpected when you settle in for your stay.
5 – Choose Gambling Locations Wisely
I don’t mean choose the resort – but rather choose how far you want to travel for your little getaway. No matter where you are in the US there’s most likely great places to gamble within driving distance, but some people prefer to get a bit more exotic with their trip.
If you live in the Midwest and are looking for a major change in scenery, it’s understandable why you’d choose a beach casino resort. However, if you’re in the Midwest and choose to fly to, for example, a landlocked casino in the northeast, you might be better off avoid the hassle when the destination isn’t all that different from what you’re working with a couple hours away.
6 – Make an Itinerary
With so many exciting things to do, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hit every single thing the resort has to offer. For this reason it’s a good idea to create a plan that allows you to fit as much fun into your visit as possible without feeling overwhelmed.
The last thing you want is to show up and have so many activities at your disposal that you don’t know where to start. Look over the events that are taking place during your stay and start putting together an itinerary…just like dad taught you!
At the end of the day, I know it sounds lame, but when you have a limited amount of time and an abundance of potential options, it’s important to have a plan. Not to mention, if you don’t have one, you could end up spending much more than you anticipated on casino games.
Casino resort weekend getaways are one of the most underrated forms of entertainment. Having everything you need to have a blast all in one place is something that you won’t find on many vacations.
Before you book it, just be sure that you’ve done your research. With so many options out there, you should have no problem at all finding something that fits all your entertainment needs.