Welcome to Las Vegas! The city of lights in the middle of the Nevada desert. Or as I call it: the world’s largest adult playground. Hotels, casinos, shows, gambling, party, poker & blackjack! Put this megacity on your bucket list! Las Vegas is not just a huge movie set for great screenplays like The Hangover or Ocean’s Eleven, it is a place to create your own insane vacation story. Based on my own experience, here are some ways how to create your own insane story of your lifetime in Las Vegas!
1. Gamble like there is no tomorrow.
Whether it’s blackjack, poker, slot machines or roulette, Las Vegas is the place to be when it comes to gambling. Almost every single hotel has its own casino. Therefore, the hotels offer generally good deals for their accommodation. In hopes that you spend your “saved” money in their casinos, of course.
On my first night in Las Vegas, I tried my luck with roulette and blackjack. Oh, well, long story short: It seems like as soon as you arrive in the city of lights in Nevada, money loses its value. I lost about $100 in my first hour in a casino. As a budget backpacker, I felt terrible. I sat down at a penny slot machine sadly sipping away at my White Russian. At least you get free alcohol while gambling. Right next to me there was a retired couple trying their luck with a $5 slot machine. They spent $75 in less than one minute. I was about to order my second drink, when suddenly the old lady screamed and almost fainted. They hit the jackpot! They spent $80 to hit a win of $65,000! Holy shit! They tipped the waitress with $200 and told me, “Don’t worry, son, when the time is right, you will make your own fortune…”. Great, that’s what I needed to hear, after I spent my budget for four days in one hour, I skulled down my second cocktail and went out to explore the strip.
2. Get lost and party hard with strangers
Las Vegas is one of the few places in the United States where it is legal to drink alcohol in public. So, whenever you walk down the strip, there is an almost certain chance you will bump into some party animals. Clubs are quite expensive for gentlemen and as long as you don’t know the manager or have some female travel companion (see #5), the only chance to party on a budget are the open bars along the strip. I ended up on a rooftop bar amongst hundreds of other wild party animals. Don’t ask me how I got there. (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!). In the end, I found myself walking back to the hotel at 8 a.m. when the sun had already started to burn down on the day ahead. Goodnight?
3. Cure your hangover at the pool
You know those commercials when the good-looking party crowd is dancing around a pool and listening to some nice tunes played by a DJ? Well, make sure you experience one of those adventures in fabulous Las Vegas. Cure your hangover from the night before with an ice cold Daiquiri. Sip it while you relax in the pool. When having a vacation in Las Vegas in the summer, it is too hot to walk outside of a hotel at that time of day anyways. So, make sure you recharge your batteries with some cold drinks, nice tunes, fun company and sunshine for the crazy nights ahead.
4. Dance in front of a casino
Remember #1? Well, there is a way to get your money back. The best thing about it: It has nothing to do with gambling and I guarantee you that you will never ever forget about it! So what should you do, when traveling on a budget and you need to make some money? My solution; Dance in front of a casino! My friend Michael happened to have his traditional German Lederhosen with him. So when the Daiquiris (see #3) have their affect, jump into those trousers and entertain people. We gained an international crowd and had some pretty sick dance competitions going on. All of them were accompanied by Michael’s talent of playing his accordion. We made about $50 in two hours. Until the security of the MGM Grand sent us off their property accusing us of “illegal street performing without a license”. Great afternoon and memories for a life time… and another $50 for whatever lies ahead.
5. Striptease and have the night of your life
One of my couchsurfing hosts from San Diego happened to be in Las Vegas at the same time as me. So, of course we wanted to meet up. Thi, my couchsurfing host was about to take part in celebrating a bachelorette party for one of her friends. She called me to ask if I wanted to join. Before I agreed, she also gave me a hint that they were still looking for a stripper. Before I knew it, I agreed to putting on quite the show and made my way towards the Paris hotel, the meeting point of the bachelorette crew. I stepped out of the elevator and could already hear a raucous coming out of one of the rooms. Of course it was the room where we were all supposed to meet up. I knocked at the door, to soon be greeted by some giggling females. Thi just yelled, “Girls, we have our stripper!”. They dragged me into the room and offered me any type of shot imaginable. They had me feeling happy in no time. Eventually they all just looked at me in anticipation. They turned on the radio and I suddenly became “Magic Mike” to the sounds of Lil Jon’s “Get Low”. What a way to start off a crazy night out in Las Vegas! I made $30 in under 5 minutes.
The night went on and all I can say is to embrace the unknown. The best adventures happen spontaneously. In my case? I got dragged into one of the most luxurious clubs in Las Vegas, “XS”, accompanied by seven Asian girls. I skipped the queue, shook hands with the manager and I was the only guy who ever passed through the door with a backpacker’s attire. I was totally underdressed with my zip off pants, shirt and green sneakers. Everybody thought I was super rich or bloody famous abroad. I got invited by the bartender to do some tequila shots and ended up dancing in the pool. That night, I felt literally immortal!
6. Stay in a penthouse suite for free
How to top #5? What about going to Vegas, meeting up with some friends I got to know in Canada and spending Halloween in Las Vegas while staying in a penthouse suite from the Signature MGM Grand Hotel! No shit, what sounds like a scene from the “Hangover” movie is actually my reality. I met Marc and Kat while traveling through Canada. We became good friends and they told me about their plans to spend Halloween in Vegas. They offered me to stay with them while hanging out in Vegas. It was still four months ahead, but we agreed to meet up in the megacity in Nevada. When the time finally came, I called them to inform them that I arrived. They decided it would be best for me to find them through a good old scavenger hunt. I finally ended up in the elevator of the Signature of the MGM Grand Hotel. They asked me to close the elevator door and to press the “upper penthouse floor”. I thought they were kidding. As soon as the door opened, they were there to welcome me with a bottle of booze and I knew a great night was going to happen, yet again. Parties, strip shows, visiting the “old strip”, getting completely hammered and getting struck by a car was a part of this second experience in Vegas. All topped by staying in a penthouse suite for four days… completely free.
So whatever your plans are for Las Vegas, do yourself the favor to embrace the unknown. You just live once, so live life to the fullest. Create memories which will last for a lifetime and which make you smile in twenty years time. Invest in memories, not things!
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