Las Vegas is not as uncommon an RV stop as some might expect.
Broadly speaking, the Southwest is among the best regions in the U.S. for an RV tour, and we noted in the piece ‘There’s More to Nevada Than Vegas, Baby’ that even the state surrounding Las Vegas makes for quite the getaway. For people taking RVs out in these areas though, Vegas can still make for a nice stop — say, in the middle of a Southwest exploration, or at the end of a trip for a bit of recreation and relaxation.
For some in fact, that might make for a pretty ideal trip! Particularly for those who aren’t from the region, it’s a pretty logical itinerary to fly into Vegas, rent an RV, check out some of the surrounding states’ national parks and natural attractions for a week or two, and then cap things off with a night or two in Vegas.
We imagine, however, that those considering a trip like this won’t usually be the same people who frequent Las Vegas and are accustomed to the town. And for newcomers, or those who simply aren’t used to “America’s Playground,” there are a few things it’s helpful to know in advance. We’re expanding on some of them here so as to provide some assistance for anyone who wants to work a Vegas stop into a Southwest RV getaway.
You Can Park an RV!
Let’s get a practical matter out of the way first: You can park your RV in Las Vegas! Most people think of this city and picture only “The Strip,” where the towering casino lights and neon lights line the street. And because The Strip is essentially a gigantic, crowded carnival for adults, it is not an ideal place to park a vehicle that may be 20 feet long or more. However, Vegas is far more than The Strip, and there are opportunities there and in the surrounding area to park your vehicle.
If you’re still looking to stay in the RV, Planetware.com provides a very helpful list of campgrounds and “RV resorts” in the immediate surroundings of the city. At these places (such as Boulder Beach at Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon) you can stay in the RV, and call transportation into the Strip area when you’re ready. That said, there are also a few lots in the city where you can park your camper, and needless to say you also have the option of simply turning in the RV (assuming you’ve rented) for a final night or two in Vegas.
The Resorts Aren’t Prohibitively Expensive
If you aren’t staying in your RV near Vegas, but would rather cap off your trip with a room in a hotel on The Strip, we just want to quickly note that not all of the rooms are prohibitively expensive. Most people have an image of Vegas that is based on gaudy images and movie scenes, typically showing the richest and most lavish suites in town. These can cost several thousand dollars a night. But it’s possible, particularly with some advance planning, to get reasonable rates on ordinary rooms.
You Shouldn’t Let Famous Names Guide You
If you’re hoping to do a bit of gaming at the casinos (and let’s face it, if you’re planning a Vegas stop you likely are), then good luck and have fun! But as you go about it, you should remember that the resorts with the famous names aren’t always necessarily the best to play games at. One example is the Bellagio — arguably the most well-known and widely recognized casino in town. Now, the Bellagio is a lovely place; it has an excellent casino, and everyone who visits Vegas and has some time should at least stop by. But the poker rooms at the Bellagio specifically have a reputation for high stakes and pro-caliber play. So, while it may naturally occur to you that playing poker at the Bellagio sounds fun, there may ultimately be better places to do it.
That is only one example, but it’s a reminder to do a little bit of research on the different casinos. This can save you time (and potentially money) by guiding you toward the gaming experiences that sound best for you.
You Should Know Your Poker Hands
It goes without saying that if you’re heading to the casinos, you should know all of the rules. And perhaps it sounds obvious to state that you should know your poker hands. But ask yourself this question: Do you know what’s most valuable between a Flush or Three Of A Kind? What about a Straight versus a Full House? To a lot of casual players or observers, these are recognizable as strong hands, but the differences in value are unknown.
In the case of those specific examples, a detailed overview of hand values by Poker.org reveals that there are actually significant differences. There is a 0.17% probability of getting a Full House (the most valuable); 0.367% probability of a Flush; 0.76% probability of a Straight; and 2.87% probability of Three Of A Kind. Now, you don’t need to know all those numbers, but you do need to study up on the general hierarchy a bit. Trying to play poker in Vegas without a quick understanding of all of this is going to be both harder and more difficult.
It’s Not All About the Games
We provided a few tips about where to look for games and how to prepare for them just now. But any visitor to Vegas today should also be keenly aware that the city is no longer all about gaming. It is also home to some of the best musical performances, circus and comedy acts, bars, clubs, restaurants, and pools in the world — not to mention a handful of high-octane rides. Altogether, these make up the true modern Vegas experience.
Additionally, we have to mention the spas. There are dozens of them in fact, though Elite Traveler has a list of the top five that points out the ones that are most worthwhile (particularly the facilities at Encore Las Vegas and Waldorf Astoria). We know that people who vacation in RVs aren’t always the “spa type,” of course, and there’s no need for this kind of splurging. But there’s something to be said for an hour or two at a world-class spa after a week or more in an RV!
Las Vegas may ultimately be an unorthodox destination for an RV trip, but it’s also a fun and logical addition to an exploration of the Southwest. For anyone who likes the idea, we hope these tips and recommendations make the trip that much smoother.