Sunday, April 19, 2015

Some Unconventional Las Vegas Travel Advice

Go outside. Close your eyes. Grab a piece of paper currency out of your pocket, wallet, or purse without looking at it. Then let it go. Do not check what the denomination is first. Do not crumple it, or rip it, or burn it. Just let the wind take it. We do not want to destroy it. We want someone else to get it.

If you cannot stand the idea of doing that, then my Las Vegas advice is not for you.

But if doing something like that has any kind of appeal - the randomness, the recklessness, the “guess what I just did?” storytelling aspect, or imagining what the person who FINDS the bill will feel...then read on.

I love Las Vegas. There is an energy there that is palpable. I know I am not alone, because the city draws 40 million tourists a year from around the globe. And everyone has advice for what to do - the top 10 lists, the must-see lists, and so on.

We can dispense with that quickly. There is only one must-see: the Bellagio fountains.

What I want to tell you is how to get an experience for your money, by being loose with it.

Here are 7 suggestions for your next trip to Las Vegas:

1. While on the way from one spot to another and walking through a casino, bet $100, cash, on a table bet, and add an extra $20 for the dealer. Just step up and do it. One hand of blackjack, a roulette spin, the pass line at craps - whatever. Just do it. No ceremony, no chips, no delay. And no hanging around, win or lose.

2. Buy a bottle of champagne. You can do it at a night club, but a less traditional time and place makes it better. Do it as your first round of drinks at dinner. Get one at a casino lounge bar. Order one poolside. Use room service if you are with someone special.

3. Play credit card roulette. When out with friends for drinks or a meal, do not split the bill. Take a napkin from the table, or a hat, and have everyone put in a credit card. Ask the server to pull out cards one at a time until one remains. That is who pays the bill.

4. Tip the maitre d’ when you arrive at a restaurant.

5. Get in a cab, and when the driver asks where you are going, say “I’m not going anywhere - you’re going to lunch.” Hand them a $20 and then get back out of the cab. Works best if you spot a cab stand with no passengers waiting and a small number of cabs queued up. You don’t want to take a cab from someone who may be waiting, or make a cabbie lose his spot in what was a long line of cabs looking for fares.

6. Group parlay. Pick a sport (horse-racing will do) and everyone makes one pick from different events and throws in $5. Buy a parlay card for the full amount using each person's pick. You will not win. You will be able to tease relentlessly the person who made the wrong pick.

7. Do the “bill in the wind” stunt from the start of this email. Anything found on a casino floor is considered part of the house win, so be sure you are off property, and preferably not surrounded by people. Carson street downtown can work.


Changing your attitude to money can make a big difference in how you enjoy yourself in Vegas. And elsewhere.


Steve Grantz
stevegrantz[AT]yahoo.com
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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