Before I moved to Palm Springs, California to join the BC Ventures/BCSlots team, I was a life-long east coast resident. This means that the bulk of my trips to Las Vegas were flying from the east coast.
I don’t like traveling long distances for short trips, so the shortest trip I ever took to Las Vegas while living on the east coast was a week. But when I’d have reasons to visit Vegas for two events a week or two apart, the trips could get as long as 21 days, since I didn’t see much sense in flying home only to have to get back on a plane a few days later.
Since I moved to California, I’ve been to Vegas a couple of times, primarily for work, but the trips were each 4-5 days. Even at that length I still heard from friends who said they couldn’t last more than a weekend, and how am I able to do it?
I figured, with my planning another week long trip to Vegas as I write this, it’d be helpful to share some of my tips for making a Vegas trip last.
Most casinos don’t want to offer you more than a few days at a time of rooms because they figure the amount they’ll get from you is capped. This means having more than one outlet for offers, and it helps to know who’s giving you what.
Aside from the obvious places like MGM and Caesars, I have offers for downtown properties, off-strip options like Westgate and Palms, and even the occasional locals casino offer.
Importantly, some give 7 day a week options while some only give Sunday through Thursday – having that flexibility means it’s easier to lay out a trip that incorporates weekends.
To have these offers, it also means you need to target your play at properties where you want to achieve offers in the future, and not spreading your play so thinly that you don’t get much from any one place.
If you go more than once a year, you don’t have to play at the same place every time, and the casinos you don’t visit won’t know you were in Vegas to visit, so the offers will keep coming at places you didn’t play, but have offers.
The most common issue I hear from those who can’t do long trips is that Vegas is exhausting and a go go go type of place. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way either. Doing the super long trips in particular helped underscore the importance of pacing yourself.
This means you don’t pack every day full with 18 hours a day of things to do (and alcohol to drink). Some days can be busier, and some days can be slower, just like any other vacation you plan.
When I got better at pacing, I found myself enjoying Vegas even more, because I was able to take more of it in and be less rushed.
Get Out of the Casino
This is almost like part two of Pace Yourself, but some I’ve spoken to say they’d run out of gambling money too quickly to stay awhile. Well, longer trips mean you have plenty of time to gamble later, so why spend all your time in the casino?
Thanks to longer trips I’ve seen the Hoover Dam, done the Red Rock Scenic Drive at dusk, gone up many tall things like the Strat needle and the High Roller, visited (multiple times now) Laughlin, and done all sorts of activities – shows, zip lines, museums, etc. – that are available for visitors in Las Vegas.
Yes, Las Vegas is a gambling mecca, but that’s far from the only value it offers, and many of the tickets can be bought in advance, allowing for careful budgeting of everything being done on the trip.
Spread Out Your Gambling Budget
Pace Yourself part three, if you will: Divide your gambling budget up in a way that ensures you don’t run out of money too quickly. In my case, I divide my budget into daily increments, factoring in free play I have available as well, to ensure I’ve got money to work with each day of my trip.
Money that I don’t need or isn’t available to me yet on the schedule goes in the safe, so it’s not tempting to dig into a future day’s funds. I used to do half or quarterly trip division, but after a very bad craps run and a walk of shame back to the room on day 2 of 8 with half my budget gone, I decided getting more granular was just a better move for me.
If you read about players doing the daily envelopes or techniques like that, this is just my (slightly more high tech) spin on it, working in both cash and free play into my schedule (since free play is as good as cash and should be played the same way).
Trips to Las Vegas can be chaotic and draining if you want them to be – they can also be relaxing and chill, if you want them to be. I certainly respect the hustle of those who aim to wring every spare minute out of their trip while keeping it short and sweet, but I’ve found that’s not really me, and I enjoy pacing things out over a longer arc instead.