Are you heading to Vegas for TravCon18? If all you know about Las Vegas comes from National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation or even better, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you might not be too anxious to plan a trip to Sin City. Las Vegas is expensive, chaotic and about as ostentatious as you would imagine but it’s also quite a bit of fun. What happens in Vegas might stay there, but why not focus on the fun and avoid some problems with our handy list?
Beware of these:
- Things in Vegas are enormous so proximity can be deceptive; that cute shop or exciting looking casino might seem within walking distance but once you factor in the crowds and the pathways you need to take to get somewhere, you may regret your sky-high heels or flip flops. Jaywalking is also a legitimate citation in Vegas, with fees that can break the bank so stick to pedestrian routes at all times. Wear sensible shoes and consider an Uber!
- Staying off the strip might save you a little bit of money but with traffic congestion, limited parking and dedicated pick-up and drop-off spots at the casinos, you will spend more in transportation costs, as well as wasted time. Look for last minute room deals and consider a casino that might not be the current hot spot in town.
- Playing casino games you aren’t familiar with can be an expensive and frustrating lesson. Do some research before putting down your hard earned money and get some practice in before your trip. Some basic tips include never handing money directly to a dealer, not touching the dice when it’s not your turn and not leaving your bags on the floor while you focus on the game. Also, don’t trade money for a higher value casino chip from someone on the streets!
- Less than reputable cab drivers have been known to take the longest route possible to reach your destination and “long hauling” in Las Vegas is a tradition you want to avoid. Be sure to let your driver know that you DO NOT want to take the tunnel from the airport. Check flat rates for car service and even map out some routes online.
- Dehydration, the struggle is real. As a healthcare professional, this seems like a no brainer but with sun, alcohol, sweat-inducing activities and plenty of distraction, remember your high quality H2O so you don’t end up at a hospital as a guest rather than being paid to be there.
- Drinks are free if you are gambling and are as overpriced as possible if you’re not so why not consider some low level risk for a high alcohol reward? Be sure to tip your cocktail waitress well though, if you’d like her to check on you a second time.
- Absolutely everything in this zip code is designed to get you to part with your money. From street performers to cab drivers, from waitresses to blackjack dealers, this is an area that lives and breathes the service industry and if you are the type of person who can skip the tip without guilt, well, you will probably at least get hit by the ATM fees. Planning out and sticking to your budget may be the smartest decision you make in Las Vegas.
Definitely do these:
- If you’re a travel nurse, you surely hate filling out your information every time someone asks. But like anything else, there are exceptions, such as Player Rewards programs at all the casinos. Sign up for these to get freebies like free credits and if you happen to hit a jackpot, the casino will be able to keep in touch with you until they can get their money back.
- If you’re planning on doing some serious gambling, some experts advise that you stay in your favorite spot and have all charges billed to your room. This is a good way for casinos to offer you comps, as they can write off those charges. Don’t count on this happening though and be mindful what your room bill will look like at the end of your trip.
- Vegas is filled with amazing food options and you don’t need to take out a second mortgage to eat fantastic fare. With so many potential customers at all times, restaurants often offer good deals to entice you to choose their location above another. If you’re looking for a great buffet, Bacchanal Buffet in Caesars Palace has a great reputation, as does Le Village Buffett in Paris Las Vegas. For meat lovers, be sure to visit CraftSteak for perfection on a plate.
- So you want to see a show? Luckily, there are hundreds to choose from, categorized to help you find the one most entertaining to you. Check Groupon for cheaper options as well as the many booths for Tix4Tonight in Vegas. They also have a website here. No one pays full price for shows and you shouldn’t either.
- As there are countless ways to spend your money in Las Vegas, consider some ways to hold on to it by partaking in the myriad of free things available. Fremont Street is popular, as are the fountains at the Bellagio but less talked about is the amazing aquarium at the Silverton Hotel and the breathtaking art pieces on display at The Park (between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo).
- A trip to Vegas gets many people closer than ever before to the iconic Hoover Dam and the indescribable majesty of the Grand Canyon and this can be a great opportunity to visit. Plan on a long day in the car to hit the Grand Canyon, unless you’d like to drop some extra cash on the unique experience of a helicopter flight out there.
- Be sure you stop by the TRS Healthcare booth at TravCon18, booth #211. Test your strength, have your fortune told, meet a tiger and much, much more. Oh yeah…we have free stuff for you, too.
Vegas, baby. We’ll see you there!