7 Things Not to Do When Attending a Conference in Vegas

Las VegasHaving recently returned from Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas, today I’d like to share with you my 7 tips on the things not to do if you’re attending a conference in the “Sin City”.

Here are my tips:

  1. Don’t rent a car unless you’re planning on traveling outside Vegas, or you’ll be staying at a hotel other than the one where your conference is being held. Taxi fares range $8-$12 one way around town, whereas a rental of a good car would cost you from $50/day and up.
  2. Don’t try flag a cab on the Strip as it may take forever, and it is much easier to just go to the closest hotel’s cabstand and have them get a cab for you.
  3. Don’t wear new shoes unless you are 100% certain they are comfortable. Generally, there’s a quite a bit of walking that has to be done around Vegas (even around your own hotel). So you want to make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
  4. Don’t overuse alcohol especially if you’ll be coming from overseas or the East Coast, and will have to deal with some jet lag.
  5. Don’t count on credit cards only. Most ATMs in Vegas charge you between $2 and $6 for cash withdrawals (in addition to whatever you bank may charge you). So, bring some cash with you.
  6. Don’t log into important accounts via WiFi as apparently logging via wireless makes your accounts vulnerable to being hijacked by Firesheep. If you absolutely must log in, use httpS Everywhere to protect yourself. More in this post (applies to Twitter, Facebook, bank accounts, etc).
  7. Don’t come to the airport late as that security line is longer than in many airports, and you want to allow yourself plenty of time to check in, go through the security, and reach your gate on time. An hour and a half to two hours would be preferable.

If I have missed something that must be mentioned here, please add it in the “Comments” section below.

11 thoughts on “7 Things Not to Do When Attending a Conference in Vegas”

  1. > Don’t try flag a cab on the Strip

    Can you even do that in Vegas? I thought you had to go to taxi stands. I was yelled out years ago by a cab driver for trying to hail him. He pulled over – screamed at me and drove away.

  2. Never been to Vegas unfortunately but tips from larger cities in the U.S. that I have been and from living here; make sure you can carry everything you need in your pockets (cell phone, wallet, keys). It is too easy to just forget for a split second and sit something down and have it end up being grabbed up by someone passing by. And of course a good city map 🙂

  3. Hi there,

    This is great advice for traveling to Vegas, especially the note on wearing comfortable shoes. Wearing shoes you can walk in is much more important than looking pretty – learned that lesson the hard way with blistered feet after a night out on the Strip.

    I would also recommend bring eye drops for contact lense wearers. As crazy as it sounds, the dry desert air can wreak havoc on your eyes!

  4. That’s a very good piece of information for ppl travelling to Las Vegas. I had my fair share of experience when I was there! I was just peeking into my wallet and seeing how much I have got left after some shopping! Guess what! Next moment, someone came up to me and said, “I know how much you have got in there! Wanna share some with me?” I quickly dashed into a shopping mall!

  5. I agree with all the stuff mentioned, and should add to stay hydrated and carry chap stick as the air there is dry outside and recirculated with smoke inside, so you’ll need both.

    I’m surprised you experienced a longer security line at the airport. I flew out Tuesday night at around 9, showed up at 8 and it was a ghost town and I walked straight up to check my bag and straight through security with no lines.

    1. Good points on the specifics of Las Vegas air (both outside and inside), Trisha.

      As for the lines, we were flying out around midday, and that security line was huge. I guess, you were lucky.

  6. Great tips! I have never experienced such dry air in my life. While working the booth the first day of the summit my lips actually were so dry that they started bleeding all over my shirt. I have never seen anything like that. It took me 5 days back in humid Florida to get back to normal.
    I hesitate to say this because I may be ruining a good thing but Southwest Airlines at the C gates was extremely quick (about 10 mins) getting through security. I noticed all of the other gates and if they were the ones I had needed to use I would have missed my flight.
    Just thought you might want to know for next time.

  7. Are you kidding? When I was in Vegas last, every single Taxi tried to rip us off by taking us on the freeway to just go down the strip.

    I usually had to actually argue with the drivers to ensure a 2 mile trip didnt end up costing us $30.00.

    I rented a car for $120.00 for the whole week. Not even close to $50.00 a day. Sure, it wasnt a nice car, but it was nicer than a taxi, and I had a lot more freedom to go wherever I wanted.

    1. Sorry about your experience. I’ve tried it all — renting a cheap car (at ~$15/day via Hotwire), relying on cabs only, and renting a good car (not overly expensive, but one that won’t stink, fit 3 people in comfortably, and won’t break the next day) — and based on all these experiences, I say: “unless you’re planning on traveling outside Vegas, or you’ll be staying at a hotel other than the one where your conference is being held” do not rent a car. After all, when you come to a conference, and are staying at the hotel where the conference is being held, how many times do you get out by car? Two times a day? That’s between $16 and $25/day spent on taxi cabs.

      Yes, there was a time when having a rented car really helped me — when I stayed at the Venetian, but the conference was held in Rio, and I had to drive back an fourth at least 4 times a day + parties at different hotels. That was the time when having a car really helped.

      Everything depends on your context. That is why I have those conditions (hotel location and travel plans) included into my first tip.

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