Thursday, October 10, 2013

No Sleep in Vegas

A week ago I went to Las Vegas for the first time to attend a medical conference called OMED. I have never had that drive to go visit Las Vegas, but I was given the opportunity to go as a representative of my school. I made a poster and presented at the global medicine part of the conference. Before going to Las Vegas my notion is that it was, how my dad describes it,
“plastic.”

When I arrived Friday night my immediate thought was: “Wow the electricity bill must be outrageous.” Lights filled the streets, I arrived at almost midnight and the city was still bustling with people, music and cars. Unlike normal cities, Las Vegas was alive when the sun went down and asleep when the sun went up. Unfortunately the conference had me up at 6am and the parties kept me awake until 4am. 

Las Vegas is not for everyone. If you hate loud noises, cigarette smoke and crazy people then don’t go, but if you love to dance and you like a show then you will have a ton of fun.


What are my tips for traveling to Las Vegas on a budget? 
Las Vegas Do's and Don'ts:

1. Budget, What does that mean? 
My first tip is, throw your budget out the window. If you set a budget, I am almost 99% sure that you will go over it. Las Vegas is not called plastic for nothing. Most restaurants are expensive, if you don’t want to settle for McDonalds every day, get use to $30-40 for a meal per person. Drinks at any bar or club are around $12-20 each, and bottle service ranges from $500 to $250,000. Yes I just said 250k for a bottle.

2. Know Someone
My second tip is to know someone. Whether you want to get on the guest list or you want cheaper tickets to Cirque de Soleil. Locals get discount tickets for shows and know people, who know people who know this other guy… you get the picture. You can easily find your ways into clubs without paying and get hooked up with VIP access.


3. One time being a woman rocks!
Be a woman, sorry men Las Vegas is twice as expensive for you. Entrances to clubs are free for women and usually around $30 for men. Many clubs offer free drinks for women at the beginning of the night. Promoters for the clubs will sign women up on the guest list if you walk around the streets in the evening. To enter the club you need to have an equal male to female ratio. If you are a group of guys, you better know someone and get on the guest list.

4. I Love Heels!
Get comfortable heals, maybe some Dr. Scholls. The night starts early and ends very very late at night (or early morning). When I left the clubs around 3-4am people were still going strong.

5. Take a Walk
Don’t miss the view. Walk down the strip at night while its cool. Ride the elevator to the top of Eiffel tower at Paris Paris ($20). Watch the free fountain show at the Bellagio. Ride the rollercoaster at New York – New York ($14). Walk the maze of casinos (unless cigarette smoke bugs you).

6. Don't Lose your Money
Don’t gamble, although you might win at first, you will ultimately lose. I spent $1 on a penny machine, if you don’t want to leave Vegas without gambling, try a penny machine or small buy-in blackjack table ($5), but set a limit for how much you will spend. Trust me your money will go fast. I spent a dollar in less than a minute on a penny machine.

7. You sleep when you die.
Don’t sleep, or better yet sleep during the day. Las Vegas is not as magnificent during the day as it is at night. Buildings seem bigger; the fake plastic rocks look more real and the weather is cooler at night. During the day tourists head to the elaborate pools and air conditioned casinos to escape the heat.

8. Don’t forget a sweater. 
Although most of the year Las Vegas is hot the nights can be cold and the casinos and hotels are freezing.


9. Dance as much as you can.
There is no other place where you can dance every night until the sun comes up to famous DJ’s. The clubs themselves are awe-inspiring.  A combination of lasers, lights, confetti, smoke and dancers will blow your mind. I have been to clubs all around the world, Mumbai, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, New York, and Los Angeles, Miami, Nairobi, Istanbul but Las Vegas was the most extravagant thus far. Big name DJ’s such as Tiesto and Avicii play often at theses extravagant clubs.

10. See a show.
But get the tickets through a local. I spent $120 to see O Cirque de Soleil show. O is the only one that is only available in Las Vegas. O is a water show; the stage was built specially for the acrobatic water show. With an evolving and ever changing pool built into the stage, the set itself is a show. When I met up with my friends from LV I found out that I could have gotten the local price of $50.

11. Watch your bag.
I learned the hard way that Las Vegas is a dangerous place. I am writing this after one phone down. While going out I put my phone in my friends purse, when we left the purse was empty. Even a clutch or small “going-out” purse is vulnerable to pickpocketing. If you go out, find a way to attach your important articles close to your body. Don’t leave things in your pockets or in purses. Ladies, put all your important cards and money in your bra, if your phone fits, put it there too. During that weekend in Vegas four of my friends were robbed, three of them on the night I lost my phone. 

Clubs:

XS 
This is one of the most extravagant clubs I have seen. With a pool setting the center this dance and swim club will wow your senses, and the bottle service prices will drop your jaw. Even the extravagant prices, $2100 for a bottle of Grey Goose, don’t deter wealthy young men from handing out free drinks to cute girls. The laser shows are amazing, but the crowed was a little too rough for what I was expecting for an Avicii show.


Hakkasan
This was my favorite night, minus losing my phone. The fact that Steve Aoki threw cakes and champagne into the crowed made the night awesome and the floor very slippery. The dancers, lights confetti and music was a wild combination. I recommend seeing Aoki and going to Hakkasan, just be careful with your belongings. 

Marque 
Known for its Sunday pool parties from 1-5pm, bring your bathing suite and lots of sun block. Marque Monday’s celebrates one of the best dance parties in Vegas. With its high tech light show and choreographed dancers its ½ show ½ dance party.  


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