Many visitors experience sensory overload in Las Vegas’ bright lights and loud sounds on short trips. Come prepared if you plan to spend nearly a week in Sin City. The city offers plenty to see and do away from the craps tables, so select some attractions to visit. And remember, when you gamble, gamble sensibly.
Step 1Budget wisely, and plan your accommodations accordingly. If money’s no object, go ahead and stay for a week at a premium resort, such as the Bellagio (bellagio.com) or the Wynn (wynnlasvegas.com). If you want to visit Las Vegas relatively inexpensively, then you might want to lean toward a property Downtown or off the Strip for your long stay, such as the Golden Nugget (goldennugget.com) or the Gold Coast (goldcoastcasino.com).
Select a size for your bankroll and stick to it. If you can’t handle the temptation, leave all of your plastic at home so you can’t withdraw money from your accounts at ATMs. Many visitors to Vegas have fallen into that trap when they lost quickly at the tables or slots. One trick is to divide your bankroll into envelopes, one for each of your six days, writing the day of the week on the envelope. Only gamble with the money that corresponds to the correct day of your trip and be mentally prepared for the idea that you could lose it all — consider it an entertainment expense. If you come out ahead, so much the better.
Plan non-gambling activities. Few people spend nearly a week in Las Vegas doing nothing but playing slots and leave with their sanity intact. This area averages more than 300 sunny days a year, so get out and enjoy the sunshine. Top outdoor activities in the area include a tour of Hoover Dam (usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/index.html), hiking at Red Rock Canyon (redrockcanyonlv.org) and a tour of the Atomic Testing Museum (nationalatomictestingmuseum.org). Most people get plenty of enjoyment out of just walking up and down the four miles of the Strip (especially after dark) to see the grandeur of the massive casino resorts and such free sights as the Bellagio fountains or the volcano at the Mirage. Head to the Fremont Street Experience for a taste of old Las Vegas and a light show on the giant screen that arches over a pedestrian walkway.
Pack sensibly. If you’re going in the summer, bring plenty of sunscreen to slather on each day and a hat to protect your head and face from the scorching sun. Check the weather forecast for a winter trip. It can get chilly on January and February nights so you’ll probably want to bring a coat or some warm tops that you can layer. Even when days are relatively mild, expect the nights to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.