A raucous weekend in Las Vegas can be just what the doctor ordered in our fast-paced, workaday world. But you want to make sure that what “stays in Vegas” isn’t your health, safety or all your hard-earned cash. In order to make sure your weekend getaway to Sin City goes off without a hitch, here are 10 surefire tips to keep you safe and sane in this adult desert playground.
1. Caution is key. Always keep your room key in a safe place, out of sight. Don’t leave it on your lounge chair while you take a quick dip in the pool or lay it on the bar while you fish for something in your purse. If you lose your key, ask to have a new key made to cancel the other and have a hotel security officer accompany you back to your room with the replacement key. To eliminate worry about inadvertently inviting a bad guy back to your room via the convenience of a misplaced key, check with the front desk to see if you can leave your key with them while you’re out enjoying the many pleasures of Vegas.
2. Sidestep some of the sin in the city. One of the hallmarks of a trip to Las Vegas is the onslaught of pamphlets and fliers that get thrust in your face, Grandma’s face, the baby’s face, and so forth. Be prepared for the non-stop visual assault and do your best to avoid eye contact with these aggressive, street skin-peddlers and just keep walking. Remember, you’re not obligated to stop and be polite in these situations, but you don’t want to end up in an altercation either.
3. Make sure you always have two pairs of shoes. When you’re in Vegas, you may want to dress to the nines and take advantage of those sky-high stilettos that just aren’t made for your real life back home. But you don’t want to end up stuck with swollen, blistered feet that could put a damper on the rest of your trip. Always carry an extra pair of flip flops or ballet flats in your bag so you can avoid painful injury to your feet and ensure your ability to dance the night away. Sharp-dressed gents should also be cautious when donning new, snappy footwear that can inhibit their suave factor by causing nasty blisters and awkward shuffling.
4. Keep valuables under close watch. With the throngs of inebriated visitors walking the Strip and risking their retirement at the craps tables, Vegas can be a pickpocket’s Disneyland. Make sure you don’t end up the victim of sticky fingers by following a few simple tips. Don’t wear ostentatious jewelry that draws the wrong kind of attention. If you have to get your bling on, be sure to keep things in a safety deposit box or safe at your hotel. Wrap a rubber band around your wallet to make it harder for a pro to lift. Wear a cross-body bag instead of carrying a shoulder or hand bag. And never place your purse or wallet on a chair, on the floor or table, or on a bathroom hook.
5. Love the nightlife, but not with abandon. Don’t miss out on Las Vegas’ famous nightlife and often star-studded clubs, but don’t check your common sense at the door with your coat. Dancing the night away in Vegas is a rite of passage and requires extra vigilance. If you’re a lady and the fellas keep offering to buy you drinks, it’s okay to take them up on it – just make sure to switch to something sans alcohol once you’ve reached your happy place. And never leave your drink unattended; there are creeps out there looking for an opportunity to slip you something and go about their nefarious business. Stay away from getting too cozy with new friends; never go back to someone’s car, home or room.
6. Slather it on. Spending the day at the pool after a late night on the Strip is one of the best parts of a Vegas weekend. But you don’t want to ruin tonight’s adventure by burning yourself to a crisp. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and apply it liberally. You want at least 50 SPF and you need to reapply every couple of hours, especially if you’re getting in and out of the pool. Even if you’re just walking the Strip, you’ll need to apply sunscreen. A hat, umbrella or gauzy cover-up can provide extra protection from the scorching Nevada sun.
7. VIVA Las Vegas! This isn’t just a party slogan. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a volunteer faction called the VIVA (Visitor Information, Visitor Assistance) patrol. You can spot yellow-clad VIVA patrol members walking in pairs along the Strip, Fremont Street and at McCarran International Airport. The members are trained to answer visitor questions and assist with crime and safety issues. Keep an eye out for this extra layer of safety and security as you enjoy your time in Sin City.
8. Get your drink on. Las Vegas is in the desert and between the sun and the cocktails you can get dehydrated pretty quickly. Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you. All hotels have sundry stores where you can pick up water and, believe it or not, taking one of those street vendors up on their $1 bottles of water is not only convenient but completely safe. If you are indulging in spirituous libations, make sure to match your alcoholic intake with water to try to maintain a good level of hydration.
9. Strength in numbers. Try to avoid going it alone; stay close to your friends and don’t let sexy strangers separate you. This is one of those times when it’s best to prove clichés, like how girls always go to the bathroom in pairs, true. If you’re exhausted, but your buddy is still ready to rage, don’t leave them, especially if they’ve had a little too much to drink. It’s worth missing a few hours of sleep to make sure your pal stays safe and makes it back to the room in one piece.
10. Set your limit. There’s a reason gambling is one of those things people get addicted to and then ruin their lives. Before you place your first bet or pull that first lever, determine how much money you can afford to gamble and stick to it. Whether you end up blowing your wad in the first hour or hitting the best winning streak of your life, it’s important to stick to your pre-determined gambling budget. It’s just as easy to double your investment on a lucky streak as it is to lose all your winnings plus the rest of your paycheck chasing the luck that left you as quickly as it came. A momentary winner’s high isn’t worth having to beg your mom for rent money because you foolishly blew it all in Vegas.
What tips do you have to ensure a fun and safe visit to Sin City?