Going to Vegas? Don’t do this!

Hitting Sin City? Then your friends have probably told you where to eat, which shows to see, and what clubs to hit. So I’m not going to bore you with advice on all that. Instead, I’m going to tell you the things you need to NOT do to survive Vegas with a smile. Here’s my list of the top five things not to do in Las Vegas. Ever.

Opt for the cheapest buffet in the city

There are dozens and dozens of amazing buffets in Las Vegas, and an equal number of really bad ones. Not all buffets are created equal, so if you’re thinking about filing your stomach with delicious food, make sure you read up on which buffets are best. My pick? The Bellagio buffet can never steer you wrong – for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And yes, I’ve eaten all three meals there in one day.

Don’t Dress too slutty

This one doesn’t apply to guys, but if you’re female and planning to hit Vegas, avoid wearing super-revealing clothes. Feel free to dress sexy. But Vegas is crawling with high-end escorts. The last thing you want to be mistaken for is a lady of the night who charges $500 an hour. Nor do you want to be hollered at by drunken dudes yelling rude comments. Or maybe you do.

Make a phone call from the room

I’ll never forget July 27, 2006. That was the day I stayed at a hotel I won’t name in Las Vegas, but let’s just say I was in town for the world’s richest poker tournament and I wanted a room that was really convenient. That was the day that I checked out of my hotel room to discover $800 in telephone charges. You see, I made the mistake of phoning my girlfriend back home once a day for a few minutes each time. I’ve stayed in many hotels in the US before, so I was pretty used to the standard rip-off price of $2.49 a minute. But when I checked out, I discovered that the long-distance rate was $20/minute, plus a $20 connection charge each time because I was calling Canada. With the prevalence of free North American long-distance, not to mention Skype and FaceTime, you’d think the casinos wouldn’t charge as much today. Sadly, they do.

Get hitched at The Chapel of Love

There’s nothing wrong with getting married in Vegas. Heck, I’ve been to three Las Vegas weddings. But they were planned in advance and attended by friends and family. If you’re going that route – or even if it’s a spur of the moment type thing – find a different chapel. You can get married on a whim at all kinds of high-end hotels, including a really great one Mandalay Bay.

Use the casinos at the ATM

Casinos are notorious for nickeling and diming you for everything. While they hand you free booze on the casino floor so you’ll bet more, they charge for all sorts of things that you wouldn’t expect. And my phone call debacle is just the start. I once racked up $82 in ATM fees over a weekend by foolishly withdrawing $40 here and another $20 there. Now $82 isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but that’s money better spent on several hands of Blackjack. Instead, take out cash when you first get to Vegas for gambling and set it aside in envelopes for each day. This way you’ll play within your budget and you won’t have to deal with ridiculous fees. For food and everything else, use your credit card.