A version of Las Vegas exists in most people’s imaginations. This version is wild, mind-blowing, bawdy, gross, and unforgettable. How close is this popular fantasy to reality? Closer than you might think, at least judging by the sheer number of “Don’t do this in Vegas” comments on Reddit.
Visitors who prefer to err on the side of caution might find the following tips helpful, even life-saving. Visitors who don’t like internet geeks telling them what to do are encouraged to reinvent the wheel and find out for themselves.
What to Avoid When Visiting Las Vegas
Beware of strangers trying to sell you something. The vendors, especially the informal street vendors, can seem a little pushy, so it’s best to avoid engaging with them unless you can handle that sort of thing. As u/rtaisoaa says, expect to be approached by hawkers outside of popular events. Try not to stare at someone you don’t intend to engage with, as this may attract undue attention.
In Vegas, like most cities, some areas are better than others. u/Powneduare indicates a number of places that visitors should avoid. If visitors prefer to avoid informal economies, Stratosphere and Circus Circus are out of bounds. Better to head to Cosmo, Wynn, Encore, Aria, Planet Hollywood or Palazzo.
u/devon223 explains exactly how unwarranted interactions happen in Vegas. Visitors will find that on and around the Strip there are hawkers handing out “free” mixtape demos. Often naive tourists will graciously accept a CD, only to be harassed and intimidated into giving a heavy and exorbitant “tip”. Of course, it’s not all bad, at least the victims get a cacophonous amateur mixtape from the swap.
u/Sirtripennippie brings up an important rule: don’t walk on the Strip. Most people realize this when they get there, as the level of font is immediately striking. A great way to ruin a night is to get hit by a car or receive a rude court summons, so wait for the little green man before crossing the street and try to be polite to the police and security guards.
Perhaps the most important rule in Vegas (and in life) is that visitors should not bet more money than they are willing to lose. The best weekend in Vegas could easily turn into the worst if a drunken bet costs you your livelihood. u/Hoodafakizit offers practical, pragmatic advice on recreational gambling: “Don’t bet money you’re not prepared to lose. It’s a lenient rule because if you’d rather raise the stakes to heart-pounding proportions and are willing to lose it all, you’re perfectly within your rights to risk it all.
Although things can get fuzzy and weird in Vegas, don’t lose any essentials. Las Vegas resident u/indigotechno shares how common it is for people to lose their shoes on a wild night out. Don’t complicate a healthy Vegas trip by walking around barefoot and stepping on broken glass. Maybe it’s a good idea to pack an extra pair of compact Sketchers just in case.
Reddit’s list of “don’ts” is endless. Las Vegas certainly can’t be so chaotic that visitors should avoid all entertainment. u/slayez06 once again comments on Vegas’ notorious informal economy. There are hundreds of “small businesses” thriving on the vulnerability and naivety of Vegas newbies. Regulated and vetted taxis are marked as official and uniform in appearance. Visitors often fall for thugs in nice cars offering cheap rides to the Strip, only to rob, mug and shake up their poor trapped passengers.
u/chumprock makes an excellent point. Do not eat, consume or entertain anything that seems too good to be true. Whether it’s a $0.99 shrimp cocktail, a $0.50 beer, or free entertainment, submit your lower passions to reason and turn away. Nothing is worse than waking up sick after gorging yourself on rotten shellfish. Likewise, if the slot machine promises in big letters that you could totally make $10 million by spending a small fortune to pull a lever all day, go back to your hotel, and take a cold shower.
Casinos generate a huge amount of passive income by partnering with ATM companies that charge outrageous withdrawal fees. Since many things in Vegas require money, especially the coveted goods and services offered by the informal economy. To capitalize on the desperate and frightening demand for cash, ATMs can charge up to $20 on each transaction – a form of modern banditry no doubt.
The last and most infamous rule is to practice discretion. Visitors to Vegas often come with a group of family, friends or colleagues. Buzzing with booze and the thrill of easy money, people tend to overdo it in Las Vegas. Ultimately, Vegas is the city where people go to do things they would never do anywhere else, so if a co-worker does something outrageous or downright disgusting, learn to forget it happened once everyone is back to work. A loose tongue can have disastrous consequences.
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