Planning a Trip to Vegas: Dos and Don'ts Vegas Checklist

From booking a Vegas hotel to looking like a pro in the casinos, planning a trip to Vegas for the first time can be daunting. To ensure you have the best trip, it’s important to do your research on the dos and don’ts of visiting Sin City. Your first time in Vegas will most likely be defined by three main things: hotels, casinos, and/or clubs. Learn all about choosing the perfect hotel, responsible gaming, nightclub attire, and tipping in Vegas with this handy dos and don’ts checklist.

Tips for Booking a Hotel

Las Vegas Hotel Dos

  • DO book your room well in advance. Las Vegas hotels book up quickly, especially on weekends and during popular seasons and big events. Most hotels allow you to cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance, so it doesn’t hurt to book early.
  • DO ask if upgrades are available upon check in! Sometimes the answer will be no, but more often than you’d think, hotels can bump you to a better room. You may not get a penthouse suite, but who doesn’t want an upgraded room that faces the Fountains of Bellagio?
  • DO tip the bellman. A simple gesture, but tipping in Vegas is common practice and appreciated, especially by the people lugging around your things. A simple $1-$2 tip per bag is the recommended amount.

Las Vegas Hotel Don’ts

  • DON’T book a hotel far from where you’ll be spending most of your time. While it is easy to get around Las Vegas, after a long day or night, you’ll appreciate the convenience of a close hotel. For example, don’t book The Mirage if you plan on doing your activities on the South end of the Strip – instead book a closer hotel like MGMRI Monte Carlo.
  • DON’T stay in a hotel that doesn’t fit your interests. Some say a hotel room is just for sleeping, but the small things will impact your stay. Don’t stay in a smoke-filled hotel if you have health concerns when smoke-free Vdara offers a healthy alternative. If you’re not looking to be up all night, don’t book a hotel where other hotel guests may be rowdy all hours of the night.

Visiting & Gaming in the Casinos

Las Vegas Casino Dos

  • DO know your spending limits. Many go in to the casinos and get caught up in the rush of winning or the obsession with gaining back losses. If you go in to the Vegas casinos with a strict budget, you’re bound to have a more enjoyable experience.
  • DO research the tipping rules. Mandatory tipping in Vegas casinos is typically implemented for poker tournaments, which many argue covers the gratuity obligation. However, if you’ve enjoyed your time at the tables, it doesn’t hurt to be kind and leave a small tip.
  • DO keep an eye on your crew. Las Vegas casinos are big, and even seasoned visitors can get lost in the maze of slots and table games – the MGM Grand casino is one of the largest in the world. If you do end up splitting up, be sure everyone has their phone handy to reconnect later.

Las Vegas Casino Don’ts

  • DON’T stand too close to players if you’re simply observing. You can overcrowd the area and make it uncomfortable for the players, and even make it hard for them to concentrate on their game. Be polite, and give enough space between you and the tables. If you want to join in, simply wait your turn or move to a different table to avoid hovering.
  • DON’T use curse words. Emotions on the floor run high and sometimes the excitement gets the best of players. Using offensive language at the table, however, can negatively impact the mood of fellow gamers and, in extreme cases, get you removed from the table.
  • DON’T cheat. This should go without saying, but it can definitely make your first time in Vegas go south if you’re caught. Remember, the dealers know what they’re doing, and security on the casino floor is on the watch. It’s easy to have a great time with wholesome and responsible gaming, so stick with that!

Partying at the Clubs

Las Vegas Club Dos

  • DO try to buy tickets in advance. If a certain artist is performing, many Las Vegas clubs offer tickets online beforehand that you can print and scan. Though you might still have to wait in a line, it’ll be fairly shorter than the one for those who haven’t pre-purchased.
  • DO come prepared. Preparing for a club involves eating beforehand, staying hydrated throughout, and taking any extra precautions such as wearing sunscreen for a pool party. These details are easy to overlook, but can end poorly if they are.
  • DO bring money for a tip. From the doorman if you’re trying to skip lines to your bartender or waitress who’s delivering the libations, this is common tipping in Vegas. Wherever you’re getting your drinks, a 20% tip is customary if you want continued good service.

Las Vegas Club Don’ts

  • DON’T ignore the dress code. From night clubs to day pool parties, each club will have its own set of rules of what you can and cannot wear. If you are turned away, don’t get mad at the bouncer for doing their job. Some Vegas clubs require formal suits, while others require bathing suits – or none if you’re visiting Mandalay Bay’s MGMRI Moorea Toptional beach or Bare Pool at Mirage.
  • DON’T be “that person” at the club. Letting loose and having fun is what Las Vegas is all about, but there are some limits. For example, falling asleep at the bar will probably get other clubgoers whispering. If you’re feeling tired or like you need some fresh air, let your crew know and take a breather – your body and everyone around you will appreciate it.

Planning a trip to Vegas is always exciting, and following this Vegas checklist will ensure it’ll be a trip you’ll never forget. Always remember that Las Vegas is what you make it, so go out and have fun – whether it’s at a spa, pool party, gourmet restaurant, or casino! No matter what activities you choose, your first time in Vegas will always be a special one.

MGM Resorts International