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Ten Things You Should NOT Do In Las Vegas

June 10, 2009 at 2:44 PM | by | ()

You often hear of travel guides telling you about things that you must do or see when you are in Vegas but we're taking a different track here. Riffing off a list our friends at Concierge.com made about NY, we've put together a list of Ten Things You Should NOT DO in Vegas.

Yes, Vegas is the one last place in the free world where you can be drunk, provocative, loud, careless, lewd and possibly adulterous and yet your secrets are kept safe by the widely-shared promise that "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas." But mistakes that either cost you a lot of money or a lot of your dignity are never fun.

Hopefully, our tips--garnered from personal experience--will help you on your next trip to Sin City. No need to thank us, we just want you to party with respect.

1. Use The Casino ATMs: Most casino ATMs charge anywhere from $2 - $6 (plus what ever your bank tacks on) for the pleasure of spitting out more money for you to lose.
Instead: Do yourself a favor and either bring plenty of cash, or hit the BofA and WaMu-Chase machines off the Strip.

2. Dress Slutty: Do not take your vacation in Vegas to wear the sluttiest outfit you owned 10 years ago or as an incentive to buy a new hoochie outfit from Forever 21 that doesn't quite cover all your bits and pieces. You will feel and look uncomfortable and thus end up drinking more to stifle the insecurity. And God knows what that could lead to.
Instead: Dress sexy (there's a difference) in something special. Maybe even get your hair did but don't wear anything that could get you mistaken for an escort. Also, if you plan on wearing something short just remember that when you're dancing atop the go-go boxes, people will take pictures.

3. Wear Painful Shoes: Do not wear your six-inch stilettos or brand new Italian leather loafers for a night out on the town. Vegas casinos are bigger than they appear and just walking from the Venetian to The Wynn can give you painful blisters.
Instead: Try to stick with 3-inches or shoes that you've worn before. Also, we live in an age where flat sandals are cute again. The only exception might be if you wear those dangerous shoes directly from your room to the nightclub inside your hotel.

4. Get Married at The Chapel of Love: The divorce rate in America is hovering at 50 percent and if you treat your wedding day like an order of burger and fries at drive-thru, then the odds of failure have to go through the roof.
Instead: While Vegas quickies are cheap (starting at $49) we say hit the craps table, make yourself 500 bucks and elope in Vegas with dignity at one of the many new or classic wedding spots like the Mandalay Bay or the famous Little White Wedding Chapel.

5. Choose the Cheapest Buffet in Town: Full Las Vegas buffet for $11 with over 50 items sounds almost too good to be true right? Well it is. How is the food? Here is the opinion of one web reviewer:

The "scrambled eggs" seemed to be made of water and reconstituted egg yoke which had separated after sitting in the bin.

And that's not all. This buffet serves thousands of people a day, which means not only can it get crowded, but it also can be teaming with kids. Kids are awesome and all, but a room full of hungry kids on vacation and a bit of a hangover don't always mix.
Instead: The Wynn Buffet is incredible. Or if you want classic yet cheap try the Flamingo. Another option? Denny's is right across the street.

6. Log-On In-room: Do not pay in-room internet charges. They are often too expensive (starting at $12.95) and the connection is never very good. Also, wireless is rare in-rooms meaning you have to use an ethernet cable.
Instead: Try to hit up these free WiFi spots.

7. Drink Before Your Massage: Sure, it sounds fun to spend the day by the pool drinking frozen daiquiris before heading off to an afternoon of relaxation at the spa but massages are not good for drunk people. The rub-downs release toxins from your body and take it from us, you WILL throw up.
Instead: Book a massage for mid-morning (provided you aren't too hungover from last night) which will loosen you up for the long day of drinking ahead.

8. See Criss Angel's Believe: You will want your money back and there's no way you can get it. Also, evil bunnies are scary.
Instead: If you want a Cirque experience, you can't go wrong with LOVE which is set to The Beatles music. For a more classic Broadway show experience with a little bit of goth, try The Phantom of The Opera.

9. Arrive at the Airport 30 Minutes Before Your Flight: Ok, maybe if you are a veteran you can pull this off. However, security lines in Vegas a legendarily long. Furthermore, once you check your bags and clear security there is a good chance you are going to have to hop on the monorail to get to your gate.
Instead: While the Strip is only about five minutes from the airport, allot yourself 1.5 hours to be assured you make your flight. Don't worry there are plenty of Wheel of Fortune slots in the terminal if you happen to breeze through the security and monorail hurdles.

10. Stay Up All Night Then Catch Your Flight: Don't party all night with the excuse that your flight is at 8am so you might as well stay up through the night. There is nothing worse than a crowded McCarran airport experience on a Sunday with a severe hangover. Not even the Oxygen bar in the Southwest terminal can revive you.
Instead: Book a night flight. That way you can continue the party on the plane.

Got your own list of things to not do in Las Vegas? Put 'em in comments below.

Archived Comments:

ha, great list!

altho you forgot "wake up on someone's lawn five miles from the strip with nothing but your room key and a few wicked hickeys" :-/


that's pretty crazy! did the person who give you hickeys wake up next to you? i would also say anything that happened in The Hangover could be on this list.

Don't buy a guitar-hero filled frozen drink

Sure, 100 ounces for like $30 sounds like a GREAT deal...until you get brain freeze, nauseous, and end up throwing away 60 ounces worth of warmish blue slush.

The only reason I would recommend this touristy gimmick is if you are planning on splitting it with five people and promise to take LOTS of pictures.

Even then, be prepared to spend an hour (or however long it takes you to drink this concoction) away from the nice hotels.

Legal matters, inside Casinos

If you have a legal matter inside a Casino, DO NOT contact Casino security.  Go directly to a phone and dial 911.

Casino security is for the security and reputation of the Casino, and will do.... lets just say "bad things", in order to protect the Casino.

Contact the police, and get out of there.

A totally true list

On the ATMs issue - The 7-11 located between Planet Hollywood and the MGM Grand is probably the least expensive.  If you're on the Co-Op network, your withdraw fee is free.  Also, the Walgreen stores will sometimes allow you to withdraw up to $100 with a purchase, again with no fee.

Internet services - The Imperial Palace has a weekly rate of $49 for wireless access the last time I stayed there.  The connectivity was very good, and given the weekly rate it's much better than the per-day rates.

Cheap eats - Chipotle is by far the best place if you want something cheap and good for lunch.  And if you don't mind going off strip, there's plenty of nice places along Flamingo towards UNLV including Paymon's (a regular stop when I visit the city.)

Avoid the slots in the airport.  The payouts are worse than Terrible's.  chuckle

Avoid most all of the "small" places, like O'Shea's and Casino Royale.  Bill's Gamblin' Hall (formerly the Barbary Coast) isn't bad, but if you want to have a good time gambling, you want the relative peace and quiet of the larger places.  Also the small places play music far too loudly for my taste.

My 2 cents

I cant say I fully agree with the Airport issue.  I have traveled in and out of Vegas many times before moving here and still continue to travel out of Vegas and have never had any lines that bad.  I honestly can say the airport security lines in Detroit or in Los Angeles are 10x worse than here in Vegas.

BTW I saw Beatles Love a few weeks ago, great show and worth the money

Great Tips

Was in Vegas few weeks back and can definitely vouch for a lot of these.

Other Things Include...

Going to the Las Vegas Zoo
Running across Las Vegas Boulevard
Finding a non-smoking casino

flying out

I strongly disagree with Number 10.  I have seen many, many people get denied boarding because they are drunk and could potentially be a safety risk on board a flight.  If you drink heavily before your flight, be prepared to be denied boarding.  And trying to continue the party on board the plane is just plain stupid.  When was the last time you saw a flight attendant allow that kind of behavior on a flight?

Other things include....

  • Believe the advertising cards that Pedro hands you outside the Flamingo...Consider the possibility that "Chantelle" and "Stephanie" will charge more than $49.99.

  • Try to explain that you'd accidentally put a $25 chip down instead of a $1 chip...as the croupier sweeps all of the losing bets off the Roulette table.

Don't eat at Diego in the MGM

That was the WORST food I have ever had in my life.  Best food was at Emeril's Fish House, Delmonico's and Mesa Grill.  


avoid the monorail unless u are staying in a hotel that has a station in it. it is almost cheaper to take a taxi from hotel to hotel than the monorail unless you want to walk a lot. i do agree with #8. i did not see Chris Angel but I did see Phantom and it was awsome.

Don't Assume...

bought a combination dinner/show ticket (dinner at the Mirage and Blue Man Group).  It was a good price and dinner was fine.  However, I assumed that non-alcoholic beverages were included with dinner. Way wrong!  $49 for beverages (water and coffee).

What I learned:  ASK!


be careful with number 10!


Actually, the Monorail isn't a bad thing ... it can be particularly nice if you are in Vegas for a conference at the Convention Center and book at a hotel that is connected to the line. Makes it sweet to bypass all the hordes of people trying to get cabs or shuttle busses. HOWEVER, other than that, the Monorail is strictly for tourists and the incessant stupid monologue played on the PA system is really annoying. Keep in mind that the stations are very likely tucked way far back in the hotel so you have to walk through the entire casino to get to it. Since the whole line winds around behind the hotels, what should be a three minute trip turns into 15 minutes.

10 things not to do

Afraid I enjoy doing number 6. I enjoy the luxury of logging in from my hotel room.
As I have a website to oversee...that is an important feature for a room to have for me!

Be Courteous and Responsible

Just because you are in one of the Pet Friendly Hotel Las Vegas, don't assume that you can just leave your pet alone all night while you get wild and crazy. If you do and your pet is crying or barking, disturbing others, you may be kicked out and fined.
Be Courteous and Responsible!


I STRONGLY disagree with #8.
I was just in Vegas in May and went to see Believe and loved it!!!
If you arent a Criss Angel fan you may want to skip it but if you enjoy his shows and creepy imagery Believe is a great show.
Tickets are also alot cheaper then most Cirque shows so if you want to see a show and not spend $130 Believe is a goos alternitive.
I would also like to add that Ka was well worth the $130 I spent to see it as well!


I meant good lol shouldnt have skipped the preview part

10 things you should not...

I STRONGLY agree with #10!!!!  We were staying at the Golden Nugget Hotel Las Vegas and were cruising around in a Vegas Limo and pulled an all nighter and had to fly home!!!  BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!

10 Things You Should Not Do In Las Vegas

One thing you should definitely not do is get a Las Vegas traffic ticket while downtown.  For running astop sign you will be charged around $380.  Usually you cant negotiate on the ticket either.

One thing no-one ever mentions...

Just because you're staying in a nice hotel, do NOT assume that the housekeeping staff will refrain from stealing from you.

Sure, big things like laptops, shoes, luggage, and clothing aren't at all likely to disappear, because you can tell at a glance when those things are gone.  Also, small electronics (iPods, phones, etc.) are usually safe to leave out, as those things are relatively easy to prove ownership of.  The same generally goes for jewelry...though, if you're in the habit of leaving your jewelry out in plain sight in a hotel room, you deserve to get your crap stolen.


If you leave your wallet or purse with a large amount of cash in it in plain view on the nightstand or desk, do not be surprised if a twenty or two goes missing while you're sleeping off your hangover at the pool.  Additionally, don't make the mistake of leaving random groups of casino checks (chips) laying around on every horizontal surface in your room, or a few are likely to wander off "of their own accord."

There's a safe in your room for a reason.  Use it.  

pissing off casino staff

My first time there I was gambling all day, didnt eat, drank ALL day, then gambled at night. I was eventually cut off but I got cocky thinking they'd give in, well, I got the livin sh*t beat out of me on the casino floor and taken to a room some place and held for hours. It was a Circustype hotel on the strip, you now the one, and let me say I was handcuffed and held captive until police arrived, given a citation, then escorted to get my things and tossed out. Yes I am barred FOR LIFE mind you from there and any other the Mandilay Bay owned sites. The life thing gets me. To this day, given the intensity of my 'high' lets say, I swear something was put in one of my drinks when I went to the rest room. This was 10 years ago. yeah I go to there anyway but I'll never be able to win anything over this. I nearly had my arm broken and was beat up pretty good. I had to get a lawyer to clear my name in the town. Hard to believe? No problems before or since. I do not stay at Mandelay Bay sites per the ban and the case was thrown out of court. Once they found that out, they really got pissed.  There are good quickie lawyers in the nearyby town though. Be careful. Its fun and games under their rules for sure.

Personal Take

SO me and my buds are off the plane, then on the shuttle, then at the NYNY and in the long line to get the room.  Its 2000 and our first trip.  It was unbelievably fun.  Now they are married and I've made a trip every year since then.  So, I found some things that work for me.
I love the Pharaoh's Feast at the Luxor.  They now have a $29.99 all-day, all you can eat plan.  Tip: Go in at 10:15A.M. before it closes to switch.  You get full breakfast and then lunch items.  Then go back for supper.  The new Planet Hollywood has a good buffet also, especially breakfast.  The Bellagio has what I consider the absolute worst buffet, even worse than Circus/Circus.
As for internet there is a wi-Max service now running near the Tropicana.  I hit it while at The Desert Rose.  Its free for 1 day then costs. Here's the trick, it puts tracking cookie to figure out your time.  Just install "Cleanup!" and run it a couple times and your free for your whole week.  It worked for me April,2010.  
If you have young kids and are tempted to see the pirate show at TI, DONT. Its a clothed strip show now.  Gone are the pirates versus the English.  Its now the Sirens summoning the Chipendales via a pole dance.  The Chipendales then give in, turn the guns on their own ship, it blows up and sinks.  Then they swim over to climb on the Sirens' ship and they each get a lap dance.  I saw 6 year old boys complaining that they couldn't see and dad lifted him up just in time for the lap dances to begin.

Also be sure to be have some Spanish phrases to say to the illegals handing out nudie rags.  I must have said, "I prefer Jesus Christ" all week long.  But they do have new tactics and I'm now officially done with the strip.  They now gang up on you with up to 10 illegals.  I really do hope someone guns down those people some day with a machine gun!

Homonyms (or what rhymes with Vegas)

The buffet is "teeming" with kids, not "teaming" with kids. ;o)

Another thing not to do

Take it from someone who lived in Vegas for 5 years. The yard long frozen margaritas are GREAT!!! and for 25 bucks  def. worth it. but do NOT ask them for a specailty drink in one of the yard long glasses. I told the guy i wasnt really feeling a margarita and he said "well how bout a mai tai?" and that sounded GREAT! so i got a yard long mai tai. when he charged me  68 bucks for it when I thought i was only buysing a 25 dollar drink it quickly became not worth it!!!


I accept catholic in and out of Vegas abounding times afire affective actuality and still abide to biking out of Vegas and accept never had any curve that bad. Travel Guide, Adventure Travel If you alcohol heavily afire your flight, be able to be denied boarding.


I don't reaolly understand this one but what the heck...
Just got back from Planet Hollywood Hotel Vegas and Rio Hotel Vegas.  I highly recommend each of these hotels!

Not To Do

Park a late model vehicle in Mandalay Bay garage and expect it to be there a few hours later. Three vehicles were stolen from my co workers in the Mandalay Convention center in one week. They have a good buffet though!
Place a $50 bet and ask waitress for a cup of coffee. No drink ticket no coffee!
Pay $130 for KA? I do not think anyone pays more than $65 (Half price Tickets in the M&M building)
Good slots are on Boulder Highway   Boulder Station, Jokers Wild etc. take the free shuttles to our side of town1

Doing more than visiting

If the housing market every rebounds in Vegas you may want to do more than just visit there.  Realtors showcase properties on line and many house hunters hit the web first.  


Do not, do NOT, DO NOT bring your kids!

Okay, so a decade or so ago, some genius marketing expert made the decision that Vegas should be "family-friendly." This was quickly discovered to be a colossal mistake.

Yet to this day, the Strip is stroller-heavy.  (So is Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, but no one knows who's responsible for that bad idea.)  To this day, I can hardly sit down at a slot machine with my Jack and Coke in one hand and my Dunhill in the other and play without someone's free-range toddler wandering up and trying to get between me and my machine.  

Yeah, kids aren't allowed on the casino floor, blah blah. But when Security looks the other way, I go elsewhere to spend my money, thanks all the same.

Between all the advertisements for the t*tty shows, the clubbing girls in streetwalker clothes, and the flyers advertising naked "entertainers" in Penthouse poses being handed out freely on the streets, somewhere in there is a clue that Vegas is not for your kids.

Leave the kids with Gramma and bring your wife.  And her girlfriend.  You'll have a much better time.  

Do not jaywalk & more words of advice

Jaywalking anywhere in Las Vegas (strip, off-strip, downtown) invites Officer Friendly to cuff you, look up prior arrests, and search you thoroughly for illegal substances. Also, if stopped by a police officer, put your hands in the air and keep them there if you want to live.

Audio & video surveillance in casinos is ubiquitous, and they employ lip-readers.  So if you want to discuss anything confidential in a casino, cover your mouth and speak in a low voice.  (The slogan 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' is a big fat falsehood--unless they mean that what happens will be stored there digitally forever, and can be subpoenaed if necessary.)

Other words of advice for young tourists:

Treat LV downtown/Fremont Street like Bourbon St in New Orleans--don't stray more than a block from the main drag. (Fremont St Experience is not Giuliani's Times Square. The strip is well-patrolled and pretty safe, but downtown not so much.  That said, downtown is worth a visit for its local bars and nascent music scene.)

Don't assume you can exit a venue with a drink -- licensing varies, especially downtown and off-strip.

Behave.  Aside from whooping and yelling "Vegas, baby!" and similar innocuous revelry, rowdiness or disruption in a casino/bar/club often results in expulsion, lifetime ban, and/or arrest.  And again, it's all recorded.  Las Vegas is home to a very circumscribed form of debauchery.

Don't assume that all venues are open 24 hours.  If you find yourself baffled by the announcement of "last call" then you've probably strayed too far from the strip.  Go back to the hotel, or else take a cab to Dino's (or any PT's bar) and shoot pool all night.

Don't drink the @$$-juice at Double Down Saloon.  (And if you do, definitely don't get a massage afterward!)

Do get a massage after you've been the human ATM for one or more lap-dancers at the strip club.  But like the author said, if you drink too much beforehand, you will vomit.  You're welcome.

Don't Not Bring Enough Money

The Luxury Hotels Las Vegas has to offer are not exactly cheap and neither is the nightlife entertainment, and transportation. Too often I see people wanting to spend everything they make just so they can keep up with the life style of their friends. They may have a great time but I can't think of anything more depressing than having an incredible vacation and then having to return home broke as a joke. Las Vegas is a city build of losses and you should understand that the city eats ans sleeps in you wallet and if you are not financially stable the hotels and casinos will be glad to take the last penny you own to build a new property with.

Don't Cry

Don't cry after you (or your significant other) lose all your vacation money.  It happens...a lot!


Ya Vegas isn't my idea of a great vacation The warm weather however thats nice.

Good list but a few are off

" 1. Use The Casino ATMs:"
There's a great regular ATM at the Caesar Forum Shops located right where they do valet parking. It's on the bottom floor right before you take the esclator up to the main entrance lobby via the street.

"9. Arrive at the Airport 30 Minutes Before Your Flight:"
Hmm, gotta say the McCarran's has one of the fastest and more speedy security check thrus in the nation. 30mins fills just about right. Ok maybe 40 minutes, since the last time, the airport was paging my friend and i to board the plane as were walking up to the desk. :) Aurelia @

Nurse Girl

Other things should also include not booking online without reading the reviews on the hotel. There are so many hotels dying to just get you in the door that you can be picky on where you stay!


dont get caught feedng wild donkeys out by blue diamond -it will cost you 125 bucks -fom exoperiance -thing to do -rent a car and get off te strip and do a day trip

I have to bring my kid....

My wife and I go to Vegas every year and we bring our kid. We get him to Vegas and my parents take him to thier house. That way he is not on the strip and we can do our own thing. I still get looks from people on both flights in and out of Vegas. My parents live there so, I would be killed if I step foot in Vegas and not bring their grandson.

flying out part 2

Totally agree to disagree with Number 10. In BC, we have the strictest drinking driving laws...so if you are hammered on the plane, you have a good chance to go thru a roadblock, and have your car confiscated for 30-90 days, have to pay storage fees $800 per month, pay to have a breathalyzer unit installed in your car for a year...attend classes...A mild 30 day without a criminal record will cost you just short of $15,000.Not a good end to what I'm sure was a good party.  

Casino Royal

CAsino Royale is the only one still standing i think... But it's great for a laugh, $1 beers, cheap craps and some old fashioned stupidity!

Tony & Tina's Wedding

Do not go to Tony & Tina's Wedding.  The price was almost a $100 each.  The food sucked big time, and did not even include and glass of water.  The show is not what is expected.  The advertisements say the audience participates but you really cannot. Also, some of the actors were rude to us and they are are not good actors.   There was a lot to be desired - a good meal for your money - at a minimum! Skip this show and save your money.

Criss Angel

We saw the Criss Angel show a couple of years ago while in Vegas and it was AWESOME!  We loved every minute of it and by no means did we want our money back!!!  


Do not get into a taxi at the airport and just give him the name of your hotel.  You also want to tell him to NOT take the tunnel route.

If you're staying on the Strip, save yourself some cab fare and tell the driver to take you via Paradise to  Tropicana to Koval depending upon where you're staying.  

At the very least, tell the cab driver to drive via Paradise to Tropicana. It will save you at least $10 in cab fare.

Eating choices

   I stayed at the Golden Nugget a few years back with some friends. We were on a limited budget aimed strictly at two things: drinking and gambling. Eating, not as much as a priority for our money, was done almost exclusively at Nathans Hot Dogs at the Mermaid Casino. If you want a rough trip home, follow that well thought out blue print and you'll nail it.


Never draw attention to oneself if you hit a nice JACKPOT.  If your JACKPOT is HUGE and taxable, ask the casino for a check place it in an envelope and mail it home quickly.  NEVER flash cash.  Doing so could  get you an exclusive story on CSI.  Or a free body bag blanket and a free night in the morgue.

Never pay full price for a show unless of course you like making donations to casinos that the IRS will NOT consider a tax deduction.  Check TravelZoo and Groupon.  We paid for Zarkana, Love, Ballagio Buffet and Aria Buffet for 2 at no cost with points from MyVegas.com.