Issue #2
 
Page: 3

Need to know Hot Vegas Tips

by Tina Shaw

Las Vegas is one of my favourite places in the world.  It was where I married my sweetheart and rediscovered my love of travel.  Vegas holds such special memories for me and is almost like a home away from home.
 
When I announce that I am off to Vegas for another trip, I invariably get the following comments; “What’s the point, there’s only gambling and strippers?  Why would YOU want to go THERE?”  Let me tell you, Las Vegas is so much more.  Yes there is gambling and casinos and slot machines everywhere you look and yes the women are often scantily clad and there are strip bars and Go Go dancers hanging off the odd pole or two, but if you can see past this, you will find the most amazing things.  Vegas has the best night time view you will see anywhere.  The lights are beyond magical and I defy anyone not to enjoy them.  There are shows galore, beautiful gardens, amazing food and the most luxurious and decadent hotels in the world.  I am clearly a huge fan.

Las Vegas is a place for all, from singles, to couples, to families and caters for all budgets.  It is an extremely busy place and when visiting for the first time it can be quite overwhelming.  The last thing you want is to plan your dream vacation only to find out everything is sold out when you get there.  Las Vegas Hotels, Las Vegas Shows and Las Vegas Tours are the reason people go to Las Vegas.
 
When planning your trip, take a look over my hot tips below and you can’t go wrong.

•  Book Your Holiday:
Flights:
Before you leave, book as much as you can online: flights, accommodation, airport transfers, shows, tours etc.  Websites such as www.bookit.com and
www.expedia.com are experts at arranging all inclusive package deals and I have found them to be much more budget friendly than regular travel agencies.

Hotel:
Choosing a hotel can be difficult but I recommend staying on the Strip.  The mid area is best.  This way you can pretty much get to everything.  Staying at one end of the Strip or the other, can exclude you from fun walk by traffic and events.  The mid area has accommodation raging from inexpensive to high end, to suit every budget.

Transfers:
If you don’t have airport transfers included in your package, take my advice and organise them separately prior to travel.  We have used Bell Trans which is only a $28 round trip (www.bell-trans.com/shuttle-booking.php).  You do not want to be waiting for hours at the airport for a taxi.  If you do take a cab, don’t ask your driver to take the strip.  It will cost you as you sit in long lines of traffic that seem to move backwards.  Taking the #15 will reduce your cab ride substantially as it bypasses the strip and has many exits that will get you to your hotel much faster and cost you less.

•  $20 Trick:
When arriving at your hotel, we found the $20 tip trick to be of great advantage.  When checking in, ask for an upgrade and slide your passport or identification over the counter with a $20 note slipped inside.  Generally you will get your upgrade and if not, the staff member will hand your money back.  My husband and I have been upgraded to rooms far better than we have paid for, just by using this simple trick.

•  Hot Tip:
As with most travel, if you are on a budget, always make sure you eat a good breakfast.  There are restaurants like Denny’s (www.dennys.com open 24 hours a day and conveniently located on the Strip between Casino Royale and The Venetian) that have huge American breakfasts for bargain prices, or have your breakfast included in your accommodation.  You will find that if you fill up early on, you will eat less throughout the day and therefore spend less money.

• Food:
Having said that, there are some eats that must be sampled; the pizza at New York, New York (upstairs in the eatery), the burritos at the little hole in the wall below McDonalds on the Strip, the amazing meals and cocktails at the Paris Eiffel Tower

 

 

restaurant (this one’s expensive, but worth it), the lollies and sweet treats at the Sugar Factory
(http://www.sugarfactory.com/ the best store in Vegas in my opinion is on the Strip outside the front of Planet Hollywood), the gelato at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian and the frozen yoghurt at Blizz at the Mirage (http://blizzyogurt.com/).

• Transport:
Getting around Vegas is not that difficult as most of the exciting attractions are located on the Strip within walking distance. The Las Vegas Strip is approximately five miles (eight kilometres) from beginning to end. We tend to walk everywhere, except in the evenings when I bring out the big girl shoes and teetering between shows on heels is not an easy thing to do. We then utilise the monorail and even the odd cab or two. The monorail is a fabulous, cheap way to get around the Strip and a lot of fun for the kids too. You can purchase your tickets at any monorail station, or pre-purchase them online here (http://www.lvmonorail.com/).

•  Entertainment:
You cannot go to Vegas without seeing a few shows. 
Your hotel concierge will be able to help you book in to any attractions.  If you have the time and the inclination though and you want to save some dollars, it’s worth it to go straight to the booking office of the show you want to see and book through them.  We have paid for cheap seats in the back and been upgraded to front row, just by doing this.

•  Tours:
Hop on hop off tours in Vegas are always a good idea, particularly if you have a short stay.  I would do the night one though, much more scenic.  If you have more time, the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam nearby is a must and you can purchase your tour online or from one of the many operators located throughout the Strip.  I would highly recommend one of the helicopter night flights as well.  I guarantee it is an experience you will never forget.

•  Tipping:
If you are not from the US and are not familiar with tipping, it can be a bit of a shock.  Service industries expect to be tipped for everything, as their pay reflects this.  As a rule I am not fond of tipping and after we spent an unprecedented amount on tipping on our first trip to Vegas, we have revised how we tip.  We now tip when the service deserves it and we either tip minimally or not at all when it doesn’t.  We have had wonderful service and rubbish service and now we only tip those who go above and beyond what we have already paid for.

It is also important to note that sales tax is not included in advertised pricing in the US.  It will be added in at the registers when you go to pay.

•  Weather:
Vegas weather is fairly predictable, generally warm to quite hot during the day and cool to cold in the evenings.  We have found a good time to travel is early May, as the weather is quite lovely, not too hot, not too cold.  You will also find that there aren’t too many people in Vegas at this time of year, no sold out shows and no hoards in the streets,  Don't forget to pack a jacket though, as it can get chilly in the evenings.

Whenever you go to Vegas, you are sure to be thoroughly entertained.  Enjoy your stay and Viva Las Vegas.

www.HotTipsTravel.com

 
   
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