Tuesday, June 20, 2017
There is so much I wish I had have been told or found online prior to jet-setting off to Las Vegas as a first timer. I plan to write a tonne of stuff for you all to read about the World Series of Poker 2017 but I figure starting at the very start of my journey - as a semi tourist is a better idea. Given half of my friends that frequent the WSOP and Vegas do not know (didn't know) these hacks, hints and tips, its a must! Saving money, grabbing deals, comps and attractions and looking after yourself. Of course you could tune into Poker Pod Radio to hear all of this, but, for those that don't want to hear about poker, read away here.
So, you have booked that flight and started your vacation / holiday count down clock. Where to now? You look for things to do, you look for the best motel / hotel deals and count your spending money. You have heard all about the shopping outlets and figure you should take as little as possible to bring home all your purchases and be underweight. Sadly, if this is you, you are missing out big, just like I did! You need to really prep for your trip and plan well in advance to make the very best of it and get the most bang for buck!
|Drinks are free with most meals at restaurants - CHEERS|
Lets start with discounts! Before you even think about booking your accommodation there are a few things you may consider doing! Forget about online deals and reviews you see all over the place and start by downloading MyVegas and taking advantage of the FREE rewards on offer!MyVegas is a free app on iphone or android and can be linked to your facebook account for safe keeping. You are able to play a variety of slot machines and also blackjack and receive real rewards for the time you play via loyalty points. MyVegas has a reward section where you can claim your rewards which are stacked into categories such as: accommodation, attractions, nightlife, food and beverage. If I were to turn back time I would have used MyVegas loyalty points to save an absolute fortune off my accommodation. The deals are spectacular! I left Australia with around 32,000 loyalty points after three weeks of auto-play (I set the slots to spin on their own) and night time - pre sleep time blackjack play. 32,000 is a lot of points, sadly you can only use three redemption per 30 days. To take full advantage of the three you would obviously choose the most expensive three, if that makes sense? Accommodation being the very first!
When it comes to coupons and deals I would also suggest becoming a member of the Las Vegas Advisor where you can get up to date news and many rewards that can be used back to back. IN the Las Vegas Advisors' own words: "The 2017 Member Rewards Book (MRB) is a powerhouse of savings, packed with dining discounts and half-price buffets, gambling bonuses, free drinks, show deals, and more -- all exclusive coupons for Las Vegas Advisor subscribers!". Thanks to a friend that is a member and had a coupon book that used them on my behalf my savings were so high that if I calculated what I didn't spend (what I saved) and actually spent it, I would likely declare bankruptcy at the end of my trip. It also enabled me to eat the nicest food imaginable and all at the cost of a cheeseburger with non drinks 100% free!!
Without a doubt being a Las Vegas Advisor Member is a must and by far gets you the best deals, short of absolutely everything free.Also sign up for rewards cards for each and every casino you go to. Many offer free drinks and match play bets for becoming a member and of course you get points too which you can use for freebies. Whilst wondering through each casino, take the free moisturizers, body and hand lotions from retail outlets offering trials. Its a sure fire way to treat yourself on the go!Take (pack) things you don't expect to need and do not take things you think you will! As a chick headed to Vegas and its bright lights and party like atmosphere I took almost 60kgs of luggage including a tonne of high heels and handbags to match every outfit. I took almost all my makeup and bathroom products and well, emptied my cupboard of every cocktail dress I owned - I basically used NONE OF IT! Mind you, my sister, assistant and travel partner took more (shoes excluded.....)
I would suggest that ladies take a small makeup kit only; if going in summer in particular. Also take hair basics such as a straightening iron and some hair ties and bobby pins only. You don't need a hair dryer, you do not need shampoos and soaps, they are all provided and changed by the motel daily. Instead of taking a tonne of high heels take just one pair in black, you are likely not going to even wear those! You will do so much walking it isn't funny and unless you want to be suspected as a hooker you really should keep them off anyway! I used my tennis shoes, boots, converse fakes and thongs (flip flops, though I also wore thongs underwear wise lol!). Pack jeans, pack shorts, pack swimwear, sunscreen lotion and hats. Also make sure you pack a few different nice jackets as the casinos are quite cold and although the heat gets to you, it also gets chilly compared to the extreme aussie heat at the early hours in the morning. Also pack condoms, tampons and sanitary pads else face humiliation as corner stores have them behind the counter. Make sure you take enough underwear for every single day!
Washing isnt going to be on your agenda and likely not possible anyway.Prior to leaving ensure you have everything planned! Two weeks goes very fast! Use your iphone calendar and actually time everything. Vegas is indeed the city that never sleeps. Allow 4-6hrs sleep time out of each 24hrs to ensure you get to do everything you have jotted down. There are so many free things to do and they all take a lot of time up. You have fountains, stores, volcanos, shows and the likes of the Freemont Street experience all free. I would allow five full nights and days just to do the free things. One free thing that everyone seems to want to do is get a picture with the Las Vegas sign! Let me tell you there is a long line to do this. It is hot and dry weather and doing it at 2am probably isnt very safe. You really need to plan this on your calendar (in particular) for midnight and still allow 30 minutes wait. I returned with no picture! Take it from someone who knows!
Lastly, pre prep by downloading the Uber app, you will use uber a lot. Make sure you go to the pick up spots though, you cant just call an uber to anywhere! Also make sure you have a travel card (I got mine from the commbank) and take enough USD for tipping! Converting cash can be tough and costly! There is free wifi at almost every given spot in Las Vegas so don't worry about getting a phone or using yours for standard calls and texts. Use skype, messenger and facetime etc. FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE. If you need to make a local call they are likely free from your accommodation.
Don't forget your power converter! Don't bring electronic items that do not have 110-240v options. They wont work even when you use a converter. Also take a power board from your country of origin so you can plug in all your devices using just one converter. Travel hair irons are a must, and best of all they are transient. Also, see picture of THREE 750ml bottles of spirits. That's the limit you can return with to Australia. Do not get confused by what anyone says. THREE x 750 mil bottles ONLY and a maximum of 50 cigarettes - and ......
Don't fall in love like my friend has! No matter what, that's the number one tip I can give you ladies - its a big rule! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is a saying and this is so very true ... don't let your heart be one of those things you leave behind in the hands of another human being, keep it fun.
My next blogs I will talk a little about each FREE attraction, each buffet, each atmosphere and nightlife on offer and each gambling area (when it comes to travel and lifestyle). The cheapest, best and nicest that Las Vegas and even LA has to offer! In the meantime, you can catch me on Poker Pod Radio where we speak this week about our poker experience and some world class poker play! I will also add bits and pieces of poker including highs and lows, strategy and study and info on the greats as I go. I suppose you could say: I have my writing bug back :)