First Time in Vegas Tips
Strip vs. Downtown
Frankly, for first-timers, there probably isn't any point to staying anywhere but the Strip -- you're going to spend most (if not all) of your time there anyway. For future visits, however, if you would like to save we'd strongly advise you to consider Downtown.
But the Strip vs. Downtown location isn't the end of the debate; there is also the issue of where to stay on the Strip. Staying on the South Strip end means an easy trip (sometimes in the air-conditioned comfort of covered walkways or monorail) to Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Tropicana, Luxor, and Excalibur -- all virtually on one corner. Mid-Strip has Caesars, The Mirage, Bellagio, TI at the Mirage (formerly Treasure Island), Paris, The Venetian, Bally's, The Flamingo, Harrah's, and so forth. The North Strip gets you Wynn Las Vegas, The Riviera, Sahara, Stardust, and Circus Circus, though with a bit more of a walk between them. For this reason, if mobility is a problem and you want to see more than just your own hotel casino, the
Vegas is cheaper on weekdays
If you are planning a long weekend in Las Vegas, then it would be usually cheaper to plan it from Saturday to Monday then Friday to Sunday. Weekdays are the cheapest and you will not only save money but also avoid the crowds.
Staying on the Strip & Renting a car
If this is your first Las Vegas trip then you will most likely be staying on the Strip. You probably wont need a rental car since there are so many things to do and see within walking distance.
Tipping - bellhops, doorman, valet-parking, chamber staff
There is no law that requires tipping in Las Vegas, but it is generally considered a good way to show your appreciation for attentive and courteous service. Many workers in the Vegas service industry earn most of their wages from tips. Below are some suggested tipping guidelines you may consider during your stay in Vegas, although you may want to pay more or less depending on the quality of service you receive.
Taxi Driver: 15% of fare or $1 - $2
Airport Luggage Handler: $1 per bag
Curbside Check-In: $1 per bag
Valet Attendant: $1 - $2 upon car return
Bellman: $1 per bag
Housekeeper: $1 - $2 per day
Concierge Server: $5 - $25
Room Service: 10% - 15%
Doorman: $1 - $2
Waiters and Waitresses: 15% - 20%
Bartender: 15% - 20%
Coatroom Attendant: $1 per coat
Cocktail Servers: $1-$2 per drink
Dealers: It's customary to tip after you win a hand.
Crime rate in Las Vegas
The crime rate in real-life Vegas isn't higher than in any other major metropolis of its size.
With all that cash floating around town, pickpockets and thieves are predictably active, so keep an eye on your belongings and store valuables in your in-room safe or a hotel safety-deposit box. And don't flash your cash; it might attract the wrong kind of attention, and your big bucks will go bye-bye.
Is it Safe for Women who travel alone in Vegas?
Las Vegas, thanks to the crowds, is as safe as any other big city for a woman traveling alone. A woman on her own should, of course, take the usual precautions and should be wary of hustlers and drunken businessmen who may mistake her for a "working girl." (Alas, million-dollar proposals a la Robert Redford are a rarity.) Many of the big hotels (all MGM MIRAGE hotels, for example) have security guards stationed at the elevators at night to prevent anyone other than guests from going up to the room floors.
Getting from the Airport to the Strip (Shuttle or Taxi) ?
McCarran International airport is a few minutes drive from the strip. Shuttles that go through all the hotels on the Strip depart all day long from the airport and cost around $4 per person. If you prefer to take a taxi to the Strip is should cost you about $16.
Getting Around - Takes a lot longer than you might think
It shouldn't be too hard to navigate your way around Las Vegas. But remember, between huge hotel acreage, increased and very slow traffic, and lots and lots of people trying to explore like you, getting around takes a lot longer than you might think. Heck, it can take 15 to 20 minutes to get from your room to another part of your hotel! Always allow for plenty of time to get from point A to point B.
The Strip is probably the most famous 4-mile stretch of highway in the nation. Officially called Las Vegas Boulevard South, it contains most of the top hotels in town and offers almost all the major showroom entertainment. First-time visitors will, and probably should, spend the bulk of their time on the Strip. If mobility is a problem, we suggest basing yourself in a South or Mid-Strip location.