I grew up in Las Vegas. Here are 6 things I wish tourists knew before they visited.

a woman sitting in front of a ferris wheel next to a woman and man wearing masks in front of an eiffel tower-like statue
I grew up in Las Vegas and I have a few tips for tourists.Katie Skinner
  • I was born and raised in Las Vegas and there a few things I wish tourists knew before visiting.

  • Tourists should remember to tip workers and drink plenty of water.

  • There's also tons of free things to do here and you can save money by going to matinees.

I was born in Las Vegas and grew up in the northern area, so I know a thing or two about exploring it.

Here are a few things I wish tourists would know before visiting Nevada's so-called Sin City.

If you're visiting the Strip, be prepared to walk

Walking along the Strip is such a dazzling and unique experience. It hosts some of the most impressive lights and architecture that's larger-than-life. Plus, it's a people watcher's dream.

However, it is just over 4 miles long so plan ahead and map out a route. If walking isn't your thing, there are other options for exploring the Strip, like trams or buses.

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Don't bother trying to hail a taxi — call a rideshare or rent a car

In my experience, it's really hard to get a taxi to stop for you in Vegas (and taxis are prohibited from stopping to pick up passengers on the Strip). Really, I think you'd be hard-pressed to even find a taxi to hail in the city.

There are a lot of people exploring Las Vegas by foot and rideshares are popular. In fact, many casinos in Vegas have a designated spot for Ubers or Lyfts to find you and pick you up.

Renting a car is also a solid option. Just be sure to watch for pedestrians if you drive because they can get very distracted by all of the lights and crowds.

the writer leaning on a railng in front of water next to the writer wearing a mask taking a selfie
When you're in Las Vegas, make sure you have your walking shoes.Katie Skinner

Don't forget to tip workers

Just about every service provider (valets, entertainers, bartenders, and more) in Las Vegas depend on tourism for their living.

I've never met anyone who works as hard to make people happy and comfortable as my friends who work in casinos and hotels. They love sharing their stories of tourists who made their day and are always honing their craft to give visitors an experience worth traveling for.

Dehydration is no joke

The dryness in the Vegas air can really sneak up on you, especially if you've been drinking alcohol and walking a ton.

In this heat, it's also pretty easy to get dehydrated, so I suggest you bring water with you (and remember to frequently drink it).

Don't miss out on free entertainment

Las Vegas is known for its luxury experiences, but there's plenty to do that doesn't cost money. For example, people watching was one of my favorite free activities growing up.

I also love visiting the Bellagio Fountain on the Strip, which regularly has water shows with music and light. There's also First Friday at the start of every month in the Downtown Arts District where you can look at themed exhibits and listen to live music.

There are also free museums and aquariums throughout the city, plus some beautiful hiking trials just outside of it.

Catching the matinee of a show is a great way to save money

If there's a show you're eager to see, check to see if they have an afternoon showing.

If they do, you will likely save a decent amount of money. Matinees also tend to be a little less crowded, in my experience.

As a local, I've mostly gone to shows in the afternoon because I want to avoid crowds and feeling like I'm overpaying for something.

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