las vegas | Travel

What Shouldn’t Happen in Vegas: 8 Things NOT to Do in Sin City

March 12, 2014
Written by: Foujan Volk
Editorial Director
Photo by Janneke Stone Photography, via Sticks and Stones Agency.

If you leave Las Vegas without a single regret, you probably did something wrong. Of the city’s 37 million visitors last year, about 80% gambled, 99% probably embarrassed themselves, and there’s no telling how many woke up with a massive hangover and new spouse. In short, Vegas is a good place to be bad.

No matter how much you plan on misbehaving and how little you worry about regretting, there are some things that you just shouldn’t do while in Sin City. You’ll thank us later.

1. Throw your money away on debauchery, not casino ATMs.
Sure, you can spend $6 on an ATM fee, OR you can use it to tip the waitress and ensure she keeps those free drinks flowing—a much better option if you ask us.  If you don’t plan on using your plastic everywhere you go, and you’re looking for low- or no-fee ATMs, not to worry. There’s an app for that.

2. Shoot craps, not videos.
Obviously you want to Instagram your gambling windfall and show your Facebook friends the video of the slot machine raining coins, but don’t do it. Shooting a video in a casino can carry a $100,000 fine, and there isn’t enough tequila in the world to make that hurt any less.

3. Only put things on your body that can be washed off.
We’re not saying you should never get a tattoo. Nor are we saying that Vegas doesn’t have some of the best tattoo artists in the country—it does. But don’t do it drunk. Sure, you’re saying “I’d never do that,” and we’re not naming any names, but let’s just say we have more than a few friends permanently inked with regret.

4. Leave with the same relationship status you arrived with.
Another “I’d never do that” moment, but believe it or not, there are, on average, 315 weddings each day in Vegas. That’s a lot of likely unplanned-I-Do’s. Of course if completely set on an Elvis-impersonating officiant for your nuptials, do it in true Vegas style, at The Little Church of the West, an historic little chapel where Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and Angelina and Billy Bob were hitched.

5. No open tabs in the champagne room.
Again, we agree, plastic is so much easier these days. But handing over your platinum card at the strip club and telling your large, intoxicated group of friends to settle it at the end of the night (12 lap dances and 65 cocktails later) easily leads to a bill that’s higher than a few months’ rent.

6. Don’t fall for VIP passes.
That guy handing out so-called VIP passes to the hottest club in town is not your friend, and will not get you special treatment. Instead, cut out the middle man and call the club ahead of time to reserve a table. You’ll have a magnum-sized bottle of Grey Goose waiting for you, the personal attention of a very attractive server, and your dignity still intact.

7. Slot machines should be played in casinos, not airports.
You might have a buzz from the pre-flight, hair-of-the-dog hangover cure you’re enjoying, but do not give in to the airport slot machine’s siren call. Airports don’t have to follow the rules of the Nevada Gaming Commission, so your odds are really, really low. Blow your leftover cash on an economy-sized bottle of aspirin instead.

8. Don’t let your inhibitions lead you to an all-you-can-eat $3.99 buffet.
Of course, you’d NEVER eat there sober. But it can become tempting at 4 AM after that magnum Absolut Elyx bottle is empty and your inhibitions, uninhibited. You know what’s better than being served a heaping side of food poisoning and riding the vomit comet back to your hotel? Having red velvet pancakes at Northside Café, and all dishes are served sans regret.

Avoid these no-no’s and let everything else happen—and stay—in Vegas.