13 Las Vegas Tips and Tricks for First Timers

Read on for my top Las Vegas tips so you can be prepared for what is going to be one of the craziest trips of your life…

advice for vegas

Las Vegas is the land of excess – money, gambling, drinking, flash cars, rock stars…

So unless you have a massive budget to spend and no pride, you need to think wisely about how much money you want to come home with, and what exactly you want to bring with you – dignity anyone?

I’ve been to Vegas twice now, and survived, so here are a few Vegas tips to ensure you have fun in Las Vegas, right up until the second you leave.

Coachella Road Trip

1. Don’t get too drunk

Drinks are free pour in Las Vegas, and even though they’re mega, mega expensive, they do give you a lot. The drunker you are the more you’ll want to spend – simples.

I’ve heard some horrific stories of drunken shenanigans in Vegas, that’s all I’ll say. Once you’ve been to Vegas you’ll see that The Hangover is actually quite believable. You’ll understand that yes, it’s totally understandable to wake up with a tiger in your room.

One of my friends woke up in hospital with a $3000 medical bill for the few hours he was there – that was sad.

Also, watch yourself in the clubs. A few friends in my party the second time I went were totally scammed with where the decimal point was when they put their pins in to use their cards.

If you do happen to overindulge, check out these great places for a cheap Vegas breakfast the day to get your head back in the game.

2. Book your tickets in advance 

My friend and I finally decided that yes, we would fork out $200 to see Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace, and then when we went to book it was totally sold out. Cue us spending that kind of money on Tequila instead. Gutted. 

If there’s a show you want to see in Vegas, make sure to get your order in well in advance.

I ended up going to watch Ka, a Cirque du Soleil show which although impressive didn’t give me the butterflies of excitement old Celine would’ve. 

If ever I go back I’m definitely going to see the Love show by The Beatles, and I’d love to see Britney too. Make sure you time your visit right for the shows you want to see if you’re there for less than a week, and book yourself in as soon as you book your flights.

Vegas advice

Top tickets to book in Vegas

Go on the High Roller for great views across the Strip. The High Roller is the huge observation wheel located in the Linq Promenade and is an awesome way to take in the sights of the Strip. You can go anytime of day, but I recommend visiting at night or sunset.

– Go on a helicopter flight at night over the strip.

3. Do the Vegas day trips

There are lots of cool day trips you can do from Las Vegas. One of the coolest day trips is to drive to the Grand Canyon. I’ve written an entire post dedicated to How to Do the Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Road Trip – so read that and follow suit!

Want another Vegas road trip option? How about driving from Vegas to Yosemite?

Looking out over vegas

If you’d rather get a helicopter to the Grand Canyon from Vegas, you can do that too. Or join a tour to the South Rim from Vegas.

Here are some other great trips in and around Vegas. Vegas tip? Make sure to book in advance to get the times and dates you want.

  • Valley of Fire State Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Death Valley
  • Red Rock Canyon

How about getting the Go Las Vegas Explorer Pass?

The GO Las Vegas Explorer Pass is a multi-attraction pass where you can choose to visit 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions all for ONE low price, including the Hoover Dam, Stratosphere Tower, and the High Roller Observation Wheel.

You also have the option to include a free Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to enjoy at your leisure. If you’re not renting a car, this is a smart way to get around Las Vegas.

4. You can get hotels for £20 

There are more than 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. The hotels want to get you in their hotel rooms and down to their casinos, this means there are some amazing deals available. This is one of my top Vegas tips.

I stayed at The Stratosphere for £20 – a whole room for two. Aaannnnd then didn’t spend a cent in their casino, but I did go to the theme park on the roof. Yes, The Stratosphere skyscraper has rides on the roof. You can read how I got on with the Stratosphere rollercoaster here.

roller coaster at the stratosphere

When I stood up on the top of the highest skyscraper in Vegas, going on the Big Shot ride definitely wasn’t the first thing I wanted to do. But I’d already spent $20 on the ticket so there was no way I was backing out.

“Big Shot!
Touch the sky as this ride propels you 160 feet in the air at 45 miles per hour! With breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Valley, this 921-foot high platform will be sure to elevate your senses!” 

Book your Vegas flights and your hotels separately to get the best deals possible, and again, book well in advance.

5. Book a day pass for the flash hotels

If you’re staying in a hotel on a budget then that doesn’t mean you can’t go and play at the fancy hotels for the day.

Most hotels will offer day passes so you can get in and see how the rich people live in the top-notch resort spas.

For about half the cost of one treatment, you’ll get access to the spa amenities — which could include drinks, steam room, private plunge pool and light food. At some hotels, spa access may already be included in the resort fee.

tips for vegas

6. You can drink for free, but it takes ages 

The legend that you can drink for free in the casinos in Las Vegas isn’t entirely accurate. You can stand at the gamblers and request drinks but they’ll be super slow at bringing you what you want if you don’t gamble much, and you need to tip. I guarantee they’ll be watching.

If you don’t have much to spend, you’re best off just getting your own drinks, outside of the casino. Nothing in this life is free!

7. Look round all the hotels for free 

The most picturesque hotels in Vegas are The Bellagio, The Venetian, The MGM Grand and Treasure Island. You can stroll around the ground floors as much as you like – so even if you’ve taken up one of those £20 hotel rooms you can still get the pics in the posh ones for the Instagram. 

vegas tips

I’d strongly recommend you go and have a look around. And did you know…? You don’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to, all the hotel casinos run into each other. 

8. Go for an amazing breakfast / brunch

After much research I’d found that the Wynn apparently served the best breakfast in Sin City and booked us in. On the day we went to totally the wrong place (hotels in Vegas have more than one restaurant, I learned), got annoyed they didn’t have my reservation, and my friends and I stormed off to make the most of our morning at the first restaurant we saw.

The Terrace Pointe Café – what a find!


We needed a feast and just shy of ordering everything off the menu, we had a Vegas breakfast each and then one to share. Along with coffees and fruit juices to really get to know the menu, of course.

This made us happy, as you can see.

Check these beasts out…

Best breakfast in Vegas

Huevos Rancheros – peppers, soft tortilla, spices and poached eggs.

Best breakfast in Vegas

Eggs Benedict Trio – one each of traditional, pork and Maine lobster benedict

Best breakfast in Vegas

Brioche French Toast – coated with pecans, banana, granola and maple syrup

Best breakfast in Vegas

Crispy Fried Chicken and Waffles – two fried chicken breasts with a fried egg, bacon-scallion waffle and spiced maple syrup on the side

Best breakfast in Vegas

And we got an extra portion of Applewood Smoked Bacon on the side. Obviously not pictured, I forgot, but just look at that cappuccino presentation!

I can honestly say it was one of the biggest, best and most delicious breakfasts I’ve ever had the pleasure of chowing down on.

Most hotels will put on OTT breakfasts where you can eat anything you could ever possibly imagine.

Last time I went to Sin City I stayed at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino and honestly, their breakfast was just ridiculous. So much food. Grotesque, OTT, unnecessary – so I got stuck in. My group were there so long eating everything after the night before that they started bringing out an equally OTT lunch. 

You could eat all day long in Vegas, and some people do. 

9. Getting around Vegas is easy

One of my top Las Vegas tips is to get the bus!

Maybe it doesn’t sound like something you imagined doing in Vegas but it’s a great way to sightsee. You’ll be going slightly slower, and you’ll pull into some of the flashiest hotels. It’s a great speed to explore downtown Vegas.

Las Vegas tips

If getting a bus in Vegas doesn’t sound like your kinda vibe, then Ubers and Lyfts are easy too. Just make sure you factor in wait time and Vegas traffic if you need to be anywhere fast.

The main strip of hotels are only a 15-minute journey on the monorail from the Vegas airport – making it easy to get in.

There’s no need to rent a car in Vegas on your first trip – there’s enough to see on the Strip and Fremont Street without the stress and hassle of rental cars, parking and dropping it back.

Walking in Vegas is fun, but I can guarantee it’s a lot more spread out than you imagined so pack comfy shoes!

10. Always bring your ID

This might seem second nature to Americans, but if you’re from a different country then make sure you bring your ID with you to be able to drink and gamble while you’re in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas tips

11. Check in ahead of hours online

Peak check-in time at hotels in Las Vegas is usually between 3-7pm so the lineups can be extremely long if you hit them at this time. Either try to arrive a bit early and get checked in, or choose a hotel that allows online check in beforehand.

12. Understand gaming before you begin

To be honest, in my two times of visiting Vegas, I never really got my head around the gambling and gaming part of it.

If you’re not sure how it all works then you can book a gaming lesson and casino tour with a local guide as an introduction! On this 2.5 hour tour, your guide will take you to some of the most famous casinos and teach you how to play a different game at each one. Tours like this are always a great way to get some of your many questions answered.

Or, just take my approach and have a few goes on the gamblers and move on with your life.

13. Do some of the cheesy Vegas photo ops

One of my top Las Vegas tips would be to indulge in the cheesy photo ops, you’ll love the pics in the future, I guarantee.

La to the Bay Contiki

– Sit inside a massive chandelier at the Cosmopolitan hotel and order the secret flower drink. 

– Find the famous Las Vegas sign and get a pic next to it.

– Go to the Elvis chapel and get ‘married’.

– Have a photo on a gondola ride at The Venetian.

– You need a pic outside the fountains at The Bellagio.

FAQs about Las Vegas First Timers

1. What are the tips that Las Vegas first-timer visitors should know?

From an account of a born and raised local from Las Vegas, you better prepare yourself for long walks and constantly getting dehydrated. The Strip, especially, stretches for miles so your feet must be ready for long strolls. And of course, it’s gonna be hot so make sure to bring water at all times.

Also don’t miss free entertainment. The streets should be full of these that you can watch. And to every individual you’ll encounter to get service or photograph such as servers or performers, don’t forget to tip.

2. What should be my checklist for my first time in Vegas?

Should be on your checklist to do the first time in Las Vegas are taking a photo in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign, trying your luck in gambling, visiting Bellagio its fountain show and art galleries, watching shows such as Cirque du Soleil, Absinthe, or Atomic Saloon, then dining at Cosmopolitan.

Wherever places you explore, make sure if there is a need to book reservations. Doing this would save you loads of time.

3. What to do for the first time in Vegas?

Las Vegas is known to many as the “Sin City” being that it hosts various entertainments that nothing compares to any place in the world. Well, pretty much everything is available for you in the place and you just have to choose.

Notoriously, it is the city that legalized gambling and that would be good news for you if you are a fan. Otherwise, there is still a lot that Las Vegas can offer you such as world-class shows, spectacular sights, great food, and indulging drinks

4. Which places that I must see in Vegas for a first-time visit?

Just some spots that are a must-visit on your first time in Las Vegas are Bellagio Fountains, Fabulous Welcome to Las Vegas Nevada Sign, Fremont Street, Mirage Volcano, Neon Museum, Stratosphere, and Allegiant Stadium. I swear, the pictures you see on the Internet won’t prepare you for how amazing these places are.

5. Is Las Vegas safe?

Some areas are safe around Vegas but of course, there will always be those that bystanders should practice caution on. Robbery and getting mugged are prone crimes happening in some risky areas so it’s important to prepare defense tools or such. Also, as much as possible, do not walk the streets alone at night.

6. What activities do by first-timers in Vegas?

Gambling (much better if you are over 21), watching shows, walking around the city, dining, shopping, enjoying amusements, sightseeing, and more are the things to do as first-timers in Vegas. Some may be typical activities to do but it is much more elevating when done in Sin City.

7. When is the best time to travel to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is welcoming to visitors all year round. Probably what would matter most in considering the best time to visit the city is the deals you’ll be getting for your travels. Summer would be the cheapest time. Also to consider are March to May and September to November months of the year.

Las Vegas tips

Vegas travel tips

This list of tips for Las Vegas is in absolutely no way exhaustive. As you’ll see when you go, you could write an entire blog covering all the tips for Vegas you could ever need for you trip, and people have. There’s so much to do in Vegas, so much to see, and so much fun to be had, BUT there’s also a lot to lose.

Take note of my Vegas advice, watch your drinks, and your bank cards, and you’ll have a brilliant time in Sin City!



  1. Great tips here Vicky. Quick update on the monrail: it does NOT go too the airport. One must take the Deuce bus south the the South Strip transit center and transfer to Route 109 bus to go to the Harry Reid International Airport.

    Also most casino’s still serve free drinks. One simply needs to go the the bar flat top video poker screens, sit down, insert cash into the machine and ACTIVELY play and the drink should be “comped”. And ALWAYS tip your bartender. I recommend putting in twenty dollars initially and playing 25 cent bets each hand. Tip one to two dollars per round. Start out with a five dollar tip and you’ll get prompt refills. This worked well for my wife and me at the Caesar’s Palace View Bar for three rounds each, Bellagio for three rounds each and at a Cospmoplitan bar (two rounds). We didn’t pay a dime for drinks, tipped maybe $10 total at each bar and lost less the $5 gambling by playing slowly… but steadily. And at $18 per cocktail, that was well over $300 that we saved in cocktails (White Russians and Bloody Marys). It amazed me how many people came in to these bars and just paid for their drinks without gambling a little. It plays to leans how to play if only to avoid the ridiculous drink prices. The same goes for the slots but it takes longer to get your drinks. Best wishes in your travels. I love your blog.

    Ken Forbes
    Northern California USA

  2. I loved Vegas! For a few days at a time. A week would be too long for me – I think the appeal of Vegas is the non-stop madness. If you find yourself with time to wonder what to do next, it’s time to leave.

    We stayed in the Luxor. I think the first time, if you can afford it, it’s great to stay in one of the iconic casinos. As you say, they’re all interlinked by monorail, so it doesn’t matter where you stay – you can get to everywhere else on the strip really easily.

    What else would I tell a first timer?

    The Bellagio fountains are magical. Different song every hour (every 15 mins at night I think). Great in the day and at night. Great view from the cocktail bar on the first level of the Eiffel Tower opposite. Do get the monorail to the Bellagio. It arrives at the back, so you get to walk right through the entire hotel. Check out the chandelier in the front hotel foyer. Don’t mention my name – I took them down with my $100 win. Eat your heart out Clooney.

    The pirate boat show at Treasure Island is free. It is cheesy but so over the top it’s worth seeing. It won’t delay you more than an hour.

    The Titanic exhibition at the Luxor is world class, if you’re interested. Recreations of the ship’s interior as well as the usual array of artefacts raised from the seabed – including a huge section of the hull.

    Love is a great show. It’s Cirque du Soleil (they all are!) so you’ve got all the acrobatics set to a kind of remixed Beatles medley. You can buy the Love album to relive the dream whilst jumping on your sofa at home. We got last minute tickets from a booth on the strip at a discount.

    Do have a go in a casino. Work out how much cash you’re prepared to lose and look for a table with the lowest minimum stake. You won’t win as much, but you’ll be able to play for longer before the money runs out. Roulette is easy to understand. Only play cards if you know the rules (by which, I mean you know how to achieve the best odds. If that doesn’t make sense, then you don’t know the rules). You don’t need to exchange chips first. Just rock up at an empty seat and put your money on the table (etiquette tip – don’t give it to the croupier). The croupier will change it for chips. Change back when you leave the table and always leave a chip as a tip for the croupier.
    Don’t take photos on the casino floor. You might get away with iphone selfies, but taking pictures of other gamblers is a no-no.

    Some of the casinos sell used decks of cards in the gift shop. I thought that was an iconic souvenir idea.

    It’s a long walk up the strip, and Vegas is hot. After you’ve walked from Luxor to Caesar’s Palace once, you’ll take the bus (look for the Deuce – it runs up and down the strip) or the monorail next time.

    The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is at the bottom of the strip, beyond the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Be prepared to queue for your selfie. Touts will offer to take money off you to queue jump, for a ‘permit’, or just to take your picture – none of this is legal.

    They drain the canals at the Venetian every few years to clean them. Check before you book to stay there. Otherwise, a visit to the Venetian is a must-do. It is one of the most impressive casino hotels on the strip.

    The hotels are big. It can take 20 minutes to walk straight through.

    Vegas doesn’t sleep. It gets busier at night. It doesn’t stop in the day either. There is noise everywhere.

    There are plenty of street entertainers (including every version of Elvis). Watch out for the budding musicians who invite you to listen to their latest album – which you can then buy of course. I have two future chart toppers languishing shamefully in my CD collection.

    1. Wow, thanks for the advice Chadwick. I think your comment is more useful than my blog post! Definitely going to take those points on board if ever I go again 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *