Tips on Planning Your Las Vegas Summer Vacation
Las Vegas in the Summer
When my fiance and I decided to get married and have our honeymoon in Las Vegas, we got a lot of mixed reactions, but mostly people were happy for us. When I told people we were planning it in August, everyone said we were crazy. People thought we should go in the spring or the fall, but summer? No way!
You see, we are from the east coast and not used to the heat in Vegas. Many of our friends had never even been to Las Vegas, but assumed the heat would be too much. Let me tell you, Vegas is popular in the summer for a reason - the heat is not so bad! Don't let the heat deter you from having a summer vacation in Vegas. What should make you pause and ponder your Vegas vacation are the huge crowds. Let me tell you more about what you can expect if you want to go to Las Vegas during the summer.
The Line for Starbucks
There Will Be Lines
Las Vegas is full of people... lots of people. In general, expect long lines. In the summer, there are painfully long lines, especially if you happen to go there when there are a lot of conventions going on. I've heard if you go during an off-season, the lines won't be as bad.
While in Vegas, I wanted to enjoy tourist attractions like the gondola ride at the Venetian, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, and the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. What you will find is a line to get the tickets, then a line to get into the attraction, and then lines to get pictures if you want to purchase them. If you are not a patient person (like me), brace yourself. It is fun, but the lines are long.
Even at some places where you might expect shorter lines, there is usually a long wait. Places such as Starbucks and McDonald's are just as popular in Las Vegas as they are anywhere... maybe even more popular This means the lines you can anticipate in your hometown are even longer in Vegas. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and get ready to stand in lines for a while.
It Is A Dry Heat
I had been warned repeatedly about the heat in Las Vegas. I was told it would be over 100 (and it was) and that I would regret going there in August. I did not. The fact is, no matter how much of a cliche and of it is, it really is a dry heat. I am used to heat in the 90s and full of humidity. I actually found the dry heat of Vegas to be OK, especially at the pool. Walking around could be a little intense, but with so many air-conditioned buildings to hop in and out of, it was not so bad.
Something I did experience was a constant dry throat. Eventually, I did have a bit of a sore throat, but I also have numerous allergies which probably contributed to it. If you are used to a very humid location, Las Vegas will be a bit of a shock because of the dry air. However, it is not that bad and it is easy to adapt to it in no time. The heat is not as overwhelming due to the dry air, and if you have curly hair that normally frizzes in humidity, it will look amazing in Vegas.
It's Pretty Cheap
Yeah, I said it... it is not expensive at all! Don't get me wrong, if you have an issue with gambling, you probably should not go to Vegas at all. It will probably break you. However, if you are cheap and don't gamble much, it can be relatively inexpensive. We paid about 100 dollars a night for a really nice suite with a giant Jacuzzi tub. I am used to prices about three times that price at the beach... without a giant tub! Weekend prices are typically higher, but if you are staying Monday through Friday, you should be all set.
Another good thing about Las Vegas is the assortment of entertainment options and dining options. Yes, you can see expensive shows and eat at nice restaurants. But you also can simply eat at cheap restaurants and mall food courts. There are plenty of free activities, like visiting the Container Park, watching fountains and volcanoes erupt, and enjoying the street entertainers.
Another way you can save money for Las Vegas is playing myVEGAS slots. You can download an application or play it on Facebook. Basically, you can play a wide variety of slots or play Blackjack online with the game. You earn points the entire time and you can purchase coupons and free offers with it. I would recommend playing the game at least a few months before going to Vegas so you can earn many great deals before getting there.
Some of the best deals include Buy One Get One Free for buffets, rides, and tickets to shows. Also, I highly recommend getting the best deal you can afford for the monorail. You can often get a free pass for days as long as you buy a companion pass to go with it. Also, there are even a totally free deals, such as free popcorn or free deserts at some locations. It is totally worth the time.
One of the best discoveries we made in Las Vegas was the monorail. It runs along the strip from MGM Grand to SLS. It also makes numerous stops along the way. There are two great things about the monorail: 1) it runs every 7 minutes so there is never a long wait, and 2) it is air conditioned.
Public transportation is often lacking in many cities, but Las Vegas is above and beyond other cities. The monorail is comfortable and moves quickly. If you want to get from one side of the strip to the other side swiftly, the monorail is your best bet. You can buy day passes or multiple day passes, and if you use it often, it pays for itself in no time.
The monorail is pretty popular with many Vegas visitors, but you can usually find a seat on it. I used the monorail at least 10 times, and only had to stand up once while riding in it. I highly recommend using it for getting around most of Las Vegas. You will probably have to take a cab or a shuttle a time or two though, especially for getting to and from the airport.
You Can't Do It All
There are so many things to see in Vegas. You will surely have a long list of casinos, tourist attractions, shows, and restaurants to visit while you are there. Let me give you a piece of advice: you are only going to be able to see it all if you stay the entire summer. Even then, you may not be able to squeeze it all in.
Las Vegas is full of places to go and shows to see. Originally, a long list full of activities went along with us on our trip. We stayed 5 days and could barely manage to do half of it. The best advice I can give you is not to obsess over it. If you must make a list, prioritize it. Decide on a few things you really absolutely have to see or do, and make sure to do those things first. If you can't get to the rest of the list, do not fret over it.
Also, I would recommend you allow for some spontaneity. It is a total drag to be on a vacation and see something incredibly fun you'd like to do, but you can't because your long to-do list dictates otherwise. Don't be that guy! One of the best experiences I had was getting photos taken with parrots at the Flamingo. I did not even realize this activity existed until cutting through the Flamingo one day. I am happy I got to experience that spontaneous moment.
Find a Nice Pool
Sure, I don't think the heat in Las Vegas is as intense as some people would have you believe. However, it does get really hot and getting into a pool is a wonderful way to relax. Many of the resorts, casinos, and hotels have incredible pools. We are talking waterfalls, fountains, palm trees, and cabanas. When you are researching your lodging options, make sure to find out the pool options.
For instance, we opted to stay at the MGM Grand. They had an assortment of pools that were amazing. They even have a lazy river; make sure to get there early though if you'd like to rent a tube. They do go fast! Mandalay Bay even has its own "beach" in the pool area. It has sand and waves just as if you are at the ocean. When it is really hot outside and you don't like walking around anymore, having a nice pool is a wonderful option.
Vegas Is Huge!
One thing I can't stress enough about Las Vegas is it is huge. If you look at maps of Las Vegas, you might think it is easy to get to and from places. Yes, this is true enough if you are cutting through casinos and using public transportation, but I assure you, it still takes time to get from place to place.
Some of the largest hotels in the world are in Las Vegas, so it takes some time to visit them, cut through them, and figure out where you even are. Sometimes finding a door just to escape is a lot of work! So make sure to give yourself a lot of time if you want to visit Vegas. Also, do take into consideration it will be hot in the summer and the crowds will be crazy. Everything will take longer than you imagine, but it is a fun trip. I highly recommend giving Las Vegas a try!
Copyright ©2015 Jeannieinabottle
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