So I’m sitting in my hotel room in New York finishing this post. I’ve been inundated with questions about Las Vegas since we came back a few weeks ago so I said I’d get it up asap. I absolutely love New York and haven’t been here on a work trip in so long so I’ve a few places I want to go today but it’s just a quick over & back as we actually leave later today.
So back to Las Vegas….It was honestly one of the best trips ever & a trip we will all never forget. We all had and absolutely amazing time and are planning Vegas 2022 already for my brothers 30th.
So I’ll explain firstly how we booked everything etc, what we got up to on our trip & then I’ll talk about my personal do’s and don’ts for Las Vegas.
We always book separately as we work for an airline so kind of have no choice however if you do book together, Cassidy Travel have great deals for flights + accommodation which are really good value. You can get a Vegas deal for as little as €750. In terms of flight paths and how is best to get to Las Vegas, we went direct DUB to LAX with Aer Lingus and then Southwest LAX to LAS. The flight from to Las Vegas from Los Angeles is less than an hour. I recommend that if you do something like this to ensure you’ve enough connecting time between the flights. Our flight from Dublin landed at 6pm and we didn’t take off for Las Vegas until 9pm so it was loads of time. Another flight path is DUB to LHR and then direct to Las Vegas or DUB to MAN and then direct also.
We always get Fast Track when travelling as a passenger through Dublin Airport, it’s super quick and easy especially if you’re going to the states & want to enjoy a lounge experience. We always use it every-time we go with Lily as it’s great with children. You can book it directly HERE. We only used the lounge in Dublin after pre-clearance, called 51st and Green. It’s one of the only lounges in the world that close to the runway. It’s €35 p/p online or €39 at reception and is complimentary to business class ticket holders. You can book it HERE. I personally thought it was well worth it. We had at least 5 drinks and food so it was great. If you’re in the lounge, they will wait to call you until very last so it’s even better as you get to spend more time in the lounge and still make you’re flight.
With accommodation well this all depends on your own personal budget. You can get accommodation from as little as €350 for 4 nights. The cheaper hotels are further away from the main part of the strip so the likes of the MGM, New York New York and The Excalibur. I only went to the MGM and it was actually lovely. Their pool area was really cool and they even had a lazy river. Thats where Calvin Harris was on for the Wet Republic Pool Party. We stayed in Caesars Palace & it was gorgeous. We all absolutely loved the hotel however would we stay again and pay what we paid….probably not. We paid over €1000 for accommodation & really you don’t stay there that much at all so it was kind of a waste. You’re always out and about in Las Vegas so unless you’re in the hotel 24/7 it’s not really worth it. We went to visit Encore, The Wynn, The Cosmopolitan and The Venetian hotels. I just loved The Cosmopolitan hotel and we would probably stay there next time. The Venetian was also so beautiful but I know that that’s as expensive as Caesars. We booked our accommodation through Love Holidays. You can have three options when you pay with Love Holidays:
- Pay in full on booking
- Pay a 10% deposit and the rest in full on arrival to your hotel
- Pay 10% deposit on booking and then pay each month in the run up to the holiday as a direct debit.
We paid the deposit and rest at the hotel however our friends did it monthly and they said that worked out much better. The only thing I will note with booking with Love Holidays or another third party and not booking directly with the hotel is, you don’t get as good of a room. Basically if you book directly with the hotel you generally always get a better room.
In terms of upgrades for accommodation, I had actually read about this online so we tried it and it worked. We put $50 visible in the back of one of the passports and upon checking in we handed them in. We mentioned about getting an upgrade with a better view or bigger room if possible and we did. Normally they will try and up sell you a better room for much more than $50 so it’s definitely worth it. Our friends didn’t do it and they didn’t get an upgrade so it’s worth a try for sure.
Tipping is obviously essential everywhere in Vegas. Depending on the level of service it’s generally 15% of your bill everywhere. If you have amazing service, go mad and tip 18% or 20% but if you have awful service don’t leave nothing. Leave $1 and that will send a very clear message that the service has not been good. Generally the service is amazing in Las Vegas as they know that there is money to be made in tips. When you’re in the casino and betting, drinks are free however note each drink you do need to tip your waitress. Another tip is, tip well on your first drink and the waitress will keep coming back to you. I tipped $7 first time around and she kept coming back. Then I just gave $2 each time. In restaurants If you have amazing service 15% tip or more is fine and if you have bad service well that’s up to you.
From the airport to our hotel, we booked a limo through Presidential Limousines Las Vegas. It worked out at $39 each return from the airport for 4 of us, so it was well worth it. I think an Uber is about $30 one way.
We used Uber or walked everywhere to get around. Everywhere is so close HOWEVER because of the roads and bridges it takes you way longer than you think. A hotel could be just down the road but take 25mins to walk too. Uber is the best and cheapest way to get around so I highly recommend it. The hotels will try and sell you limos everywhere you go but make sure you confirm a price BEFORE getting in.
I always get my travel insurance through Multi-Trip. You can do it annually or per trip and it’s so handy/easy to do. Check them out HERE.
I personally used 70% Revolut and 30% cash. I used cash obviously for tipping but used my Revolut card everywhere else. If you don’t have a Revolut card then I highly recommend you get one if you travel a lot. You can read my blog post HERE on it. It was super handy to use in a group when in Vegas.
ID WHILE YOU ARE THERE
Lots of people asked me about ID and what do they accept/not accept. I used my card driving license everywhere for clubs & for gambling. You need your ID before you start betting every single time so it’s a must to have with you every day. They do not accept the pink paper licenses. Leave your passport in your hotel safe.
Fat Tuesdays is the way to go over there. You’re allowed walk around with a drink in your hand everywhere in Las Vegas. Fat Tuesdays is a place you can buy a cup and get alcohol refills. There’s one in most hotels so makes it easier to refill. It’s a slushie with alcohol shots inside. Drinks are so expensive everywhere you go so be prepared for this. $21-$25 would be the minimum per drink. The Fat Tuesdays are slightly cheaper. You cannot bring your Fat Tuesday cups down to the pool however you can bring other sealed drinking cups and have your own drink by the pool. In the casinos drink is free once you’re gambling even on the slots. Once you’re gambling and tipping you’re waitress you will get your drink. We gambled nearly every night so we saved a bit of money by doing this each evening before or after dinner.
If breakfast isn’t included in your hotel then it can be difficult to find somewhere that won’t rip you off. I’m not a big fan of breakfasts in America at all. We had Mc Donald’s breakfasts a couple of the days and then had two lovely breakfasts in Cafe Americano in Caesars. This wasn’t too dear and was really good.
You will find some nice little restaurants on Las Vegas Boulevard. Most hotels have food courts for lunch or dinner too which are all very reasonably priced. You can do food cheaper in Las Vegas for sure so depending on what you want to spend just like accommodation you can budget.
We had dinner in Gordon Ramsey’s Pub & Grill in Caesars and it was nice but not worth the money. We also went to dinner in the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower and what a let down. Although the view was amazing, it was such a rip off. We never ever mind paying for a good meal and the food was really nice but for what we paid I personally didn’t think it was worth it. If you’re looking for a nice meal Spago in the Bellagio has a beautiful view of the Bellagio fountains.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE THERE
Lots of people asked me about booking things for when you’re there and booking in advance. We booked a few things with a promoter initially and later cancelled everything. We used a promoter one of the nights and it was a disaster. A promoter is basically someone who will sell you a big package for a pool party or night club. It’s not worth it and very messy especially in a large group. So my personal opinion is….stay clear.
We set up a what’s app group for everyone as there was 12 of us. We planned our whole trip before we went so it meant less time trying to decide each day what to do. We went for 5 full days, 6 nights. We knew what we were doing each day so it was great and those that wanted to join could. The first day we lay by the pool relaxing to sleep off the jet lag. This was such a good idea and highly recommend as it set us up for the week. As much as we wanted to explore, it was nice to chill out with everyone then later that night we hit the casino/dinner in Cheesecake Factory in Caesars.
One of the days we went exploring and headed to The Wynn & The Venetian in the morning. We went on the gondola ride in the Venetian. There’s two, you can do it indoors or outdoors. The outdoor one is better but literally takes 10mins. It’s $29 each and min 4 people. Is it worth it? No. Was it a nice experience? Yes. Would I recommend it? Hmmm probably not. But it was a lovely thing to do together. Our gondolier sang songs to us and it was nice but very short for $116 total. That evening we went to the pool party at Encore Beach Club. This was a great night and I highly recommend doing it. We had such crack. You can book an area but you spend so much of the night in the pool so you don’t really need it.
Another day we rented Mustangs and drove to the Grand Canyon. You can get a helicopter or an airplane there but we wanted to drive. We got an Uber to the airport and rented a car from Alamo there. Some people asked about insurance etc, I suggest taking out any extra cover to cover any extras incase of an incident. You just never know, we always take it out just incase as you don’t want something to happen and be left with a massive bill to pay. There was a sat nav on the car so was handy. If you don’t have a sat nav with your car you can download an offline map on goggle maps either before you go. On our way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped in Hoover Dam and the went on to the Grand Canyon. The Hoover Dam was incredible & I highly recommend stopping. I initially didn’t really mind if we did or we didn’t but so glad we did. We then went to Grand Canyon West. If you book in advance you can get the helicopter around it if you wish from there or you can take the bus which takes you to three different points. One of the points is the Skywalk which is 4000ft high and is higher than some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. This was really cool. Its over in minutes as you just walk out, around and back in again however really amazing to see & do. You’re not allowed anything on it, so no phones at all or go pros. They’ll try and sell you photos taken by their photographer. Definitely great to have done. I’ve never ever seen views like in the Grand Canyon. Like climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, hiking to the top of Table Mountain, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, all were out of this world experiences and things I will never ever forget. Everyone has to see these views and it was most definitely a bucket list tick for me.
Watching the Bellagio fountains is a must. Really breathtaking so definitely add this to your list. You can watch them from the pillars at the front of the Bellagio or from any of the surrounding restaurants.
We went to see Calvin Harris at Wet Republic & what a day. It was really amazing as we were so close to him. Wet Republic is in the MGM Hotel. This was so much fun. Beware drinks will cost $50 PER DRINK. I’ll talk about what to wear below incase there is any girls wondering about clothes/outfits etc. We actually met The Body Coach who was also there celebrating his birthday. A day time pool party is a must. It can get very hot so make sure you wear factor.
Later that evening we went on a helicopter ride down the strip. What an experience. We actually only book this, that day and got the time we wanted. We just got an Uber there and back. It was $84 each for the helicopter ride & well worth it. It’s only 15minutes long but it was so cool to see the strip from the air. You can book the trip HERE.
Another must see is Old Vegas.
This was how I actually picked Vegas in general. Everything was lit up in lights, like everything. It was such a great experience and I’m so glad we saw it. Something else that I really wanted to do was the Slotzilla ZIPLINE through Fremont St. WOW!!!! I personally thought this was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I just loved it. You can sit doing the ZIPLINE or you can do superman on it either. Superman is lying down attached to a harness on your back and you fly through 6 blocks. It was just incredible and what an adrenaline buzz. I definitely recommend it for anyone that likes a thrill.
We didn’t get to do the limo ride through the city. That’s something else we would have liked to do. You can do tours and the limo driver will bring you around & it’ll take 2-3hrs. You’re better off booking this online instead of at your hotel as they will charge you more at the hotel.
You have to go see the Las Vegas sign too. A little tip for this is, don’t queue up. Go to the very top of the line and stand to the right or left. You’ll get just as good a photo and it will still look great.
WHAT TO WEAR
I had asked my cousin all about what to wear before going so I had an idea beforehand. One thing is for sure in Vegas, ANYTHING goes. One person can be in a full ball gown and another in shorts, t-shirt & flip flops. I personally wore dressy clothes every night regardless. Guys have to wear trousers or jeans at night, they can’t wear shorts into the clubs. In terms of pool parties for day, I wore swimwear and a sarong with wedges and for the night pool party, I wore the same. The majority of people get in the pool at the night pool party too. For day time, anything goes also and for gambling in the casinos day & night, there is no dress code.
WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS ON VEGAS?
I absolutely loved it. Disneyland for adults. There’s something for everyone there. We just had such a laugh. I personally think 5 nights is the perfect amount. You do need to remember when you go that you’ll never get it all done in the time you’re there, well unless you’re there for a long time. We planned the trip down to a tee and only didn’t get to do one thing on the list so that was good going. I do recommend planning on advance to save time when you’re there. I already can’t wait to go back. Everyone should try and experience Vegas once in their life, it really is an incredible holiday.
I answered questions on Vegas on my Instagram stories also so be sure to check them out in my VEGAS Highlights HERE.
I hope that the post helps anyone thinking about or planning Vegas. Roll on Vegas 2022 🙂
Love Aoibhe xxx