Paper, Planes & Pinot

In Other Words… Stationery, Travel, and All Else that Matters

Travel Thursday – Vegas 101

Vegas is near and dear to my heart since this was where the beau and I started our love story.  It was more of a Black Out mess of a night, but still… we found love in a hopeless place. We try to make it out to Vegas once a year, so I wanted to share some of my tips with you all!

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So let’s start where most trips start… the airport.

I would avoid, at all costs, checking a bag.  For some reason, getting luggage from the plane to baggage claim takes forever at McCarran.  Coming from the east coast most flights get you into Vegas at night, so the last thing you want is baggage claim holding up your party-ing schedule.  Remember ladies, you’ll barely be wearing anything in Vegas anyways, so pack efficiently and you should be fine not checking a bag.  I actually think that I judge you a bit if you think that you will need more clothing than can fit in a carry-on for a trip to the desert.  Think:  Sheer, lace & tight.

When leaving the airport be prepared to stand in a line when waiting for a cab.  I say, if you are in a big group… splurge and get a limo.  Start the trip off right!  Remember that in Vegas money is no object.

Now for checking into your hotel.

Vegas hotels are HUGE.  Room upgrades should be available… so take some cash out of your pocket and slip it to the agent that checks you in. They should be able to provide you with a better view or a nicer room.  During my most recent trip to Vegas, slipping a $20 to the lobby agent got us free wine and an upgrade to a room with a poolside view.  [SIDENOTE:  if you are someone that is stingy with your money, Vegas might not be the place for you.  Take a few bucks from your late night munchie budget and give it to your lobby agent so you aren’t stuck with a room by the elevators or a room without a view].

On the topic of hotels, here are my tips for booking:

  • Do not feel like you have to stay at the newest most swanky hotel on the strip.  Remember, you can walk into any hotel for free, and when you are blackout, every bed is the same. Check online as deals are always going on and hotels are always being re-modeled.  Also, how long do you REALLY plan on staying in your hotel room?
  • If you like pools, make sure that you choose a hotel that meets the type of pool you want to have.  If you want a party pool, make sure that you choose a hotel that has one.  If you are looking to stay away from kids, make sure that the hotel you check into has an adult only pool.  If you want to be able to relax and not have party music aggravating your hangover, choose a pool that is going to have ample seating as well as multiple pools on their property.  If you want to know my favorite pools, feel free to shoot me a message!
Can you spot the Asian?

Can you spot the Asian?

  • If there is a certain show that you want to see, I recommend staying at that hotel.  I like to pre-plan vacations.  This means that when in Vegas I don’t want to spend a couple hours of my day looking for cheap tickets.  I want to get to Vegas and already have a seat for the show that I am going to.  If you book at the hotel that your show is at, you will probably be getting the best price without having to shop around.  If you are a risk taker (aka not like me, the risk averse Asian) try getting on Stubhub an hour before your show and see if prices have dropped for the show you want to see!
  • Yelp is your friend.  Read yelp and see what others complained about.  Decide if it is something you can deal with or if the issues that the hotel has are deal breakers.

Moving on, I am guessing that after you land and check into your hotel you will now be looking to party.

My best recommendation is getting bottle service.  Drinks in Vegas are expensive anyways, so sometimes it is best to just pay the extra money so that you get the drinks as well as a designated spot for you and your group.  If getting bottle service is not an option and you are going to a club, I either suggest getting pre-sale tickets or making sure that you slut it up as much as possible with your girlfriends to get in quickly and ‘fo free.’

If you gamble, get on the casino floor and do some damage.  You can get your pre-game on with free drinks while you steal OR donate money to the casino of your choice.

I am also a big fan of Vegas lounges.  The beau and I have made a few solo trips to Vegas and we enjoy doing crawls from casino to casino trying out different lounges.  There is always a new signature cocktail to try!  The people watching in the lounges is AMAZING.  I like to play a game similar to Celebrity or Street Walker from Fashion Police.  It is called Lush-y Girlfriend or Prostitute.

Now comes the hunger struggle… where to eat.

I do have a handful of Vegas favorites to dine at, but I will have to save those for another post to list them all out.  Here is the important thing – for a restaurant to survive in Vegas, it has to be good.  If it is not good, there is no way they could front the rent.  If there is a wait at a Vegas restaurant, it is probably REALLY GOOD since there are so many choices.  Definitely make a reservation if you are going to a popular spot.  Again, you don’t want to be waiting in line when you are trying to get your eat or buzz on.

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No trip to Vegas would be complete without going to a buffet.  Seriously, if you have not ever been to a Vegas buffet, you need to go.  I suggest going for a brunch buffet after sleeping in.  Cure your hangover by eating all the greasy food you want then go ahead and get the next day of drinking starting by ordering unlimited drinks along with your buffet meal.  Also remember that not all buffets are created equal.  Bucchanal at Caesar’s is a personal favorite… even their food presentation is amazing.

So now what else?

I personally could not stay in Vegas for more than 3 to 4 days. I don’t know what it is, but Vegas kicks my butt every time that I go.  One time I went, I my digestive system did not work properly for about a month.

There are other things to do around Las Vegas if you need a breather from the party-ing:

  • Outlets.  There are tons of shopping opportunities on the strip, but the outlets are close by if you want to get more deals.
  • Old Vegas.  This is basically the old casinos that existed in Vegas before the strip.  Buy-ins are low here so it is a good place to learn how to gamble.
  • Hoover Dam.  My parents took me here one year.  I was VERY pouty and did not understand why I had to spend my day at the Hoover Dam when the H&M store on the strip was calling my name.  It actually is VERY fun and interesting.
  • Red Rock Canyon.  This is another place that my parent’s dragged me to that I, of course, ended up enjoying.  If hiking is your thing, then I definitely recommend Red Rock Canyon.  There are beautiful rock formations here.
  • Las Vegas Sign.  Basically you NEED a pic like this:

jump

Needless to say, the possibilities are endless in Vegas.  I know that I will already be making a trip out there next year for March Madness.  Leave a comment or e-mail me at paperplanesandpinot@gmail.com if you want to come on that trip OR if you have any other questions that you want me to answer about Vegas!

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