Set your sights on Sin City

Spring Break is here, and you still don’t have plans. Sure, you could drive to the lake or the beach, but it’s still March and it’s still cold. You could catch a quick flight to Miami, with the thousands of other college students. Or, you could set your sights on a bigger attraction: Las Vegas.

This past weekend, I traveled to Las Vegas, because why not? However, the real point of our trip was to see the Backstreet Boys perform on Saturday night. We were there from Thursday night to Monday morning, so we had plenty of time to explore the town.

Here are a few of the things I learned from my stay in Sin City. Most of my advice is geared toward readers over 21, so if you’re not of age, save this story and remember it for later.

Plan your deals ahead: My sister loaded up on Groupons before leaving. We had Groupons for two of the restaurants we ate at: a Brazilian steakhouse and an upscale sushi place, plus a Hollywood Cars Museum. This was definitely helpful because it saved us a lot of money, but above that, it was convenient and one less thing to worry about during our stay. It also added a bit of schedule to our days. I’m still into schedules, even when on vacation.

Ask around: While doing research before leaving Connecticut was helpful, the best places we hit were recommended to us. For example, while my sister was getting her nails done in the Planet Hollywood Resort Spa, she asked the manicurist for a few recommendations. The woman suggested a restaurant called Ocean One. It was within the Miracle Mile Shops, a wonderful shopping mall that was connected to Planet Hollywood, where we stayed. Ocean One had $3 mixed drinks and $3 draft beers. My sister ordered a $3 frozen margarita, which was better than the $10 frozen margarita she ordered the next day. I had a Blue Moon, a steal for $3 in Vegas.

Bring change: Stop at the bank and put up singles. No, not for the strippers. If you want to order drinks while gambling at the slot machines, you need to tip the waitresses a dollar or two. If you don’t, they probably won’t come back to you to ask again. The drinks are small, but they are still drinks.

Dress comfortably: The first day I was in Vegas, my sister and I walked up and down the Strip. The Strip is not as small as it seems from your window on the 20th floor. We ended up walking a few miles before lunch. Our feet hurt. Pack sneakers, and wear them. Save the sandals and heels for nights out, when you will probably walk less. The weather was very comfortable. We wore jeans most of the time, shorts and sundresses occasionally. I brought a light jacket, but didn’t end up wearing it.

Save money: Las Vegas is a city, and cities are usually expensive. Save a few dollars by calling an Uber over a taxi. We took a taxi from the airport, and an Uber to the airport on the way back. The Uber was half as expensive. Las Vegas has a sales tax of about eight percent, so save the shopping sprees for when you are back in Connecticut. Look for cheap drinks, meals and attractions before you go.


Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.