Las Vegas is a city that depends on its entertainment and gaming sectors to generate revenue, so the pandemic had a massive impact on the local economy.
More than a year later, however, the city is recovering, with more than 16 million people visiting Sin City within the first seven months of 2021 and the number of COVID-19 cases are also dropping. Hotel and casino resorts like the Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, and The Mirage are now open 24 hours a day, meanwhile outdoor clubs, such as Ayu Dayclub, Wet Republic, and Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria are now operating with an extended capacity.
So, if you want to go on a trip to Las Vegas, now is a good time to plan your trip. But it’s also important not to focus so much on the destination that you neglect to pack and prepare accordingly. So we have a few tips regarding the essentials you should have on hand.
Swim & Lounge Wear
While Vegas is not necessarily a tropical destination, the place has resorts filled with pools and man-made beaches, so swim and loungewear is really a must. Pool parties are also common, so make sure to bring airy cover-ups, like maxi dresses for the ladies and loose shirts for the gentlemen, that you can simply throw on and take off if necessary.
One Fancy Outfit
If you are anticipating a lot of time out at nice restaurants, expensive bars, and high-end casino tables, you may need more than one fancy outfit. But at the very least, packing one for the trip is a must. Although the actual Vegas does not require its visitors to don tuxedos and evening gowns, it’s still a place that offers plenty of opportunity to dress up and enjoy a stylish and luxurious night out. You’ll feel more at home on parts of the evening scene if you’re dressed for the occasion.
On the more casual side of things, you may want to pack some hiking shoes as well. Some may actually prefer this kind of footwear for long days out exploring the city. But the real idea here is to be prepared in case you want to visit the natural side of the city. There are hiking trails that more or less surround greater Las Vegas, like Lake Mead and Antelope Canyon. Some hiking shoes, a small hiking backpack, and a few bottles of water will have you covered for a morning or afternoon full of exciting outdoor exploration.
A Poker Guide
If you’re planning on testing yourself at the famous Las Vegas poker tables, reading through a poker guide in your hotel room before you head down is a wise move. You can even download a guide to the basic poker hand rankings to give you a basic breakdown and have it stored on your phone if you need to reference it.
A Blackjack Guide
Blackjack is the other table game a lot of people are keen to try when visiting Vegas, and in some respects, it’s actually easier to try than poker (if you’re not super familiar with either, that is). But we recommend having some guide materials on hand that you can quickly study up on before you head down to the tables. Basic rules, again, are handy, but you would also do well to look over recommended decisions for different pairs of cards you can be dealt. While there’s luck and strategy involved in blackjack, there are also mathematical reasons to make certain decisions. These “correct” moves (such as whether to “hit” or “stay” with a hand value of 14) are not too difficult to memorize before you start playing, and you’ll end up having more fun with it.
A Spare Wallet
Another tip for the gaming floor is to pack a spare wallet. It doesn’t have to be a nice or expensive one, but there’s something to be said for separating your everyday wallet from the money you want to game with. It’s easy — even for cautious and conservative gamers — to spend more than you mean to at a Las Vegas casino. They’re designed to incentivize you to keep playing and keep buying in. But if you separate your “gaming fund” into its own wallet, and make your everyday wallet off-limits (perhaps by leaving it in a hotel room safe, if you’re comfortable with this), you can effectively place a limit on your own activity.
A Real Camera
Lastly, and getting away from gaming-specific recommendations, we’d suggest packing a real camera for the trip! There’s a lot of debate about holiday cameras these days, with some feeling that smartphones give them all they need and others preferring traditional digital cameras. For us, the bottom line in these debates is the fairly widespread acknowledgment that smartphones still can’t match the pure quality of a good digital camera. And in Vegas — where there are so many unusual sights, and where you may be taking photos at night, with bright lights all around — quality is going to go a long way. It’s a destination you’ll want to capture in photos, and they’ll simply be better if they’re taken with a real camera.
While there is certainly more to consider when planning a trip to Vegas, especially with the pandemic still going on, the suggestions above should make for a good start. Just remember to still follow the health protocols for an enjoyable yet safe stay.
If you’ve already enjoyed Vegas, and want to travel elsewhere in the world, our guide to the top destinations of 2022 is bound to be of interest.