Common Mistakes to Avoid on the Las Vegas Strip

  • 01 of 08

    Paying Full Price for Show Tickets

    Las Vegas show tickets often are available at a discount.
    ••• Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    First-time visitors to the Las Vegas Strip make common mistakes that wind up costing money. One of the first of these is paying full-price for show tickets.

    The Las Vegas Strip features shows that are on the must-do list for many visitors. Some arrive to find the prices for these shows exceed what their vacation budget will allow. It's worth doing some checking for discounts, because the savings can add up quickly.

    If you're not focused on attending one specific show, it is possible to find last-minute discounts on the day of the show that sometimes result in bargains. Tix4tonight.com is an outlet dealing in such tickets, and people line up as early as 9 a.m. to get in line for the best deals. They offer passes that allow you to skip the line for $25.

    Also worth checking is BestofVegas.com, where half-off deals can be found on show tickets.

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  • 02 of 08

    Paying Extra to Stay on The Strip

    For many budget travelers, staying in a hotel off the strip is more economical.
    ••• (c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with About.com

    If you'll be spending all of your time on Las Vegas Strip visiting casinos and shows, it isn't necessarily a bad idea to book a room in one of the name hotels along that famous thoroughfare, known locally as Las Vegas Boulevard.

    As a general rule, hotels on The Las Vegas Strip are more expensive than some of the other operations just a few blocks away on less famous streets. If you'll be attending a convention or doing sightseeing in the area, these lower-cost hotels will serve you well.

    You can still visit the shows and casinos on The Strip, but think twice about paying a premium for sleeping there.

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  • 03 of 08

    Trying to See the Grand Canyon in One Day

    Grand Canyon tours are available as day trips from Las Vegas.
    ••• (c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with About.com

    You won't be on the Las Vegas Strip very long before you see signs urging you to take a Grand Canyon tour. That national park in Arizona is worthy of your time and travel efforts. But should you try to see it in one day from Las Vegas?

    Many Las Vegas visitors are from the east coast or from outside the U.S. They are tempted to try this because they wonder if they'll ever again be this close to the Grand Canyon. A few things to keep in mind: a drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and back from Las Vegas involves a round-trip of nearly 600 miles. You'll spend a lot more time on the road than admiring the canyon landscape.

    There are Las Vegas tour companies that offer helicopter trips to the Grand Canyon for about $250-$600/person. That price is well beyond the reach of many budget travelers. If you can't afford that option, consider saving the Grand Canyon visit for another trip.

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  • 04 of 08

    Expecting to Strike it Rich

    The odds of winning big in a Las Vegas casino are slim.
    ••• Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Gambling and Las Vegas go together as naturally as any two phrases in the world of travel. You can begin playing the moment you step off the plane at McCarran International Airport. There are slot machines in the terminal.

    Some people arrive thinking they will score a big win and leave Las Vegas with bags of money. It certainly does happen -- but not very often.

    Please take a look at the odds for winning. Please learn about the games you'll be playing, including strategies and rules, before you enter the casinos.

    Responsible players view gambling as entertainment, and they set limits for themselves. Once the limit is reached, the curtain falls on their entertainment. If you can't do that, don't play at all.

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  • 05 of 08

    Missing Free Entertainment

    Las Vegas has a number of free attractions that will enhance your visit.
    ••• Al Bello/Getty Images

    Free things to do in Las Vegas are plentiful and can save money during your stay. Coupon codes are available in abundance, and there are iconic experiences such as watching the famed Bellagio fountains that won't cost a thing. It is one of the better free attractions you'll find here.

    Vegas.com has a list of free attractions that includes museums and even television research.

    About.com's Guide to Las Vegas for Visitors lists even more possibilities: the erupting volcano at the Mirage, the Fremont Street Experience and the Bellagio's botanical gardens.

    Work in a few free experiences and lower the cost of your visit.

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  • 06 of 08

    Skipping Coupons

    Coupons and discount codes are commonly used in Las Vegas to save money.
    ••• Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Discount coupons for Las Vegas cut the costs of hotel rooms, dining and attractions. It's not something that many travelers consider. But it's well worth investigating.

    In high-traffic tourist destinations such as the Las Vegas Strip, many of the products and experiences are over-priced. There's no reason to pay top-dollar for a buffet meal when it can be had for a reasonable price and the right coupon. Discount codes are always worth searching for destinations such as this. Don't book a hotel online until you've looked at the available bargains.

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  • 07 of 08

    Misjudging Walking Distances

    Be careful in assessing distances on the Las Vegas Strip.
    ••• Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    It's easy to misjudge your distance from that looming attraction on the Las Vegas Strip. You think it's only a few blocks in front of you. In reality, it's more than a mile away. And you'll be walking back more than a mile, too.

    The heart of The Strip is about four miles long. But there's so much to see and do that it's easy to lose track of how far you've walked.

    Normally, this wouldn't be worth mentioning. But remember that Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert, where temperatures can sap energy and promote dehydration in less time than many expect.

    There is good public transportation here. So grab a bottle of water and explore to your heart's content -- just be sure to adjust to the distances and conditions.

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  • 08 of 08

    Not Allowing Enough Time for the Airport

    Lines can be long at Las Vegas McCarran Airport.
    ••• Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    McCarran International Airport is in the heart of Las Vegas, just minutes by taxi from the Las Vegas Strip. During your stay, you'll see and hear jets overhead almost constantly.

    Because of this proximity, many assume they can glide into the airport with a minimal time cushion and make their scheduled flight. Not so.

    This is one of the busiest airports in the U.S., and you are likely to find long lines at times for security screening and at ticket windows. It's best to print boarding passes at your hotel if that service is available.

    Another good practice here is to allow several hours between when you leave for the airport and your flight departure time. Don't wind up in the re-booking line with others who assumed they had plenty of time and missed their flights. That line is likely to be lengthy, too.

    Read about common travel mistakes for popular destinations