Leaving Las Vegas: Keeping oneself Hydrated, Sane and Afloat in Cash
Leaving Las Vegas with one’s sanity and wallet intact can be a hard proposition for many. I have been to Las Vegas a few times on both personal and business trips and I often leave wondering how I survived. While I may wonder how I made it through the week so quickly, I often have always been able to leave without too large a hole in my wallet.
When you pack for your Las Vegas trip, make sure to have painkillers, sunblock, large sunglasses and a sense of adventure and skepticism. Just because you year for adventure need not mean you leave your wits behind.
Right off the bat I am going to say Las Vegas is tons of fun but I get a bit bored with the slot machines and all you can eat buffets. As I matter of fact buffets go against my survival instincts in any circumstance. Thus, I actually have ventured outside of the strip and I highly recommend that you do the same as well. Second, we all know about the hangover movie. Don’t think that your immense hangover will end as well as theirs did. It is more than likely that if you encounter Mike Tyson in Vegas, he won’t give you a pass. Also, do you really want to spend your whole time in Vegas trying to figure out how and when you blacked out?
Below are some of my other hard-earned Vegas nuggets of information and wisdom.
Walk the Strip. It is like seeing a new show every night. Also, both taxis and shuttles are way over-priced and take forever because of the traffic, traffic lights and tons of pedestrians. By walking the strip you save money, get free entertainment and get exercise so that you can non-guiltily indulge in a few drinks. As you walk the strip you can whistle Johnny Cash’s “I walk the line” just because it sounds cool although it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Vegas scene.
Bring cash. ATM fees are astronomical there. Plus, psychologically, a credit card gives you free reign to spend and spend some more. Cash in hand acts as an immediate red alert when the wallet gets a bit thin. Plus, again, the ATM fees are nutty.
Fountain watching. Want to catch a show that doesn’t involve forking over $200 to sit next to a bunch of loudly cheering Canadians at a Celine Dion concert (not that there is anything wrong with that)? Go watch the fountains at the front of the Bellagio.
Get free gambling lessons. I stick by the slot machines. I like penny slots and nickel slots. When I am feeling good and sprightly, I play the quarter slots. That’s how I roll in Vegas. I don’t really play poker. I have no idea how blackjack is played or won. And in my pop-culture obsessed world, Roulette entails a very chancy game with a gun. So, what is a girl to do in Vegas with these odds? Go to a casino and get free gambling lessons. Yes, they give you free lessons. And sometimes they even give you a few free chips to come back later. In my mind, this is a win-win.
Go for a hike and a ride. Yes, get out of the strip. Go to Red Rock Canyon and work off those cocktails. Sure the hotel gyms are all fine and dandy. Red Rock is awesomely beautiful. Go out and be inspired by nature. If you can go for a helicopter ride over Lake Meade. The Lake is beautiful in all its man-made glory. Once you have soaked in some of what nature (and faux nature) have to offer go back to Vegas and enjoy one of those deliciously sumptuous meals. Both Red Rock and Lake Meade can be done at low-costs if you rent a car for the day and take just a quick 20 minute –thirty dollar helicopter ride.
Straddle a couple of state lines. If you have a car and have the time, head on over to Hoover Dam. It is a wondrous architectural/mechanical feat. Plus, you get to take a goofy sign at the Arizona/ Nevada state line demarcation.
Hangover drips. Ok. I already warned you against over-doing it on the booze. However, many will still go right ahead and do so it is Vegas after all. Because Vegas caters to all forms of egos and whims, there is a service that provides an IV drip for hangovers. Yes, that is right. Don’t believe me? Check it out here. I am in no way endorsing this as I have never gotten a hangover in Vegas. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Use common sense at Buffets. I don’t do buffets. I have been burned by buffets in the past. The first three times I ended up in an emergency room due to gastritis, it was because of a buffet. I now suffer from what is called the Garcia Effect whenever I see garbanzo beans. Anyway, here are some buffet tips. If you see kids hanging about a certain section, don’t take food from there. If food is lukewarm when it should be hot-don’t eat it. Always use a new plate and use the spoon that is set for that particular container. Don’t eat salad! Period.
Ignore the guys handing out cards. Well, that is unless you want what they are selling. Otherwise, you get used to all the guys quickly flipping small palm cards at you. If your hand is even slightly extended outwards, they will shove those cards into your hands. Also, be careful if you are wearing heels. Those cards, which oftentimes end up on the ground, are slippery to walk on.
Selfies are actually ok there. With all the trouble one can get into there, why bother to ask someone to take a photo of yourself. Just do it. Indulge in selfies.
Duh, obviously nothing stays in Vegas. My friends, there are cameras everywhere. At any turn, at any point, there is a camera. It can be a phone camera, Ipad, or a good-old regular camera. I, for one, still carry those around (as well as the other two items-I’m a camera hog). If you find yourself in need of an IV drip- whatever happened the night before won’t stay in Vegas. If you are there with co-workers, be mindful of your steps and ditch them. If you are there with friends, assess the blackmail inclinations of the group.
Remember: pack your sense of adventure as well as a heightened sense of skepticism. Happy travels.