I always find fascinating some of the comments I see when someone posts about taking a longer trip to Las Vegas. Inevitably I see some people who comment something to the order of “I can’t go for more than 2 or 3 days or else I’ll end up broke!”
Over the past few years I’ve been finding myself in scenarios where I’m spending more time with a casino nearby. This can be while on a multi-night cruise, doing long weekend trips at or near casinos, or my mega trips to Vegas, which have ranged from 10 to 17 days in the past couple of years, and will be beaten by a 21-day trip coming up.
How is that viable? I’ve found a few things that help me ensure that I’m not going to go bust on day three and then have no cash for weeks to go. But I also make other deliberate decisions that help ensure such a trip is viable.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Many people who do shorter Vegas trips see longer ones as potentially exhausting and unaffordable because, well, they’re used to the frantic pace of packing as much as they can into a visit. You don’t need to sleep in Vegas; you can sleep when you get home, and so on.
Of course that’s not really viable on a multi-week trip, but that’s sort of the point – you don’t have to cram everything into a few days because you have so much time available.
When I did my first double-digit Vegas visit in 2019, part of what made it so revelatory was the fact that I could decide to kick an activity down the road if I just wanted to lounge around. It was remarkable how much less pressure I was under to pack things in.
Even my 10 day trip in 2020 felt a bit more constrained, by comparison, as I had a lot of potential activities on my agenda and found myself slowly burning down the days with a lot of ideas still on the list.
The same can be said if you’re going to Atlantic City or other locations – there’s usually a way to properly pace things for the length of trip you’re on.
The Gambling Can Be Paced Too
If you’ve got casinos constantly around you for such a long period of time, it becomes a bit easier to say “I’ll come back to that later,” given they’re literally going to be everywhere you decide to venture.
And with a tendency for most casinos to have a pretty similar stock of machines, barring the odd random examples here and there or old machines in the corner, at a certain point you will tire of most of the obvious games to play too.
In my case, multi-day trips for me tend to be budgeted with a daily gambling budget. If I’m on a winning tear or find myself with leftover money on various days, I can recalibrate and either up the budget or ensure I’m taking home money. But having a daily stop point ensures I don’t go overboard and run out of money too early in the trip.
Since I’ve implemented these small guardrails, I have traditionally come home with at least half my money, despite a generous amount of play, and have seen my offers from casinos improve, so I’m certainly not hurting for play.
I Gamble Where I Want to Return
My earlier trips to Vegas were shorter, but they were also a bit intentionally structured. The first time I visited Vegas, I didn’t get cards at places like the Cosmopolitan, because I didn’t feel I had a budget that made stopping in smart just yet. I also didn’t visit downtown until my third trip to Las Vegas, so I established my play during that visit.
The main reason for this is because I wanted to make sure I could put enough play in to garner offers that can make trip flexibility greater going forward. My upcoming trip incorporates more than a half dozen different offers, and wouldn’t be possible without having built up play at these properties. And I will be playing specifically at certain properties at this upcoming trip to ensure I have more offers to leverage next time around.
That doesn’t mean I’m afraid of drop-in play at casinos, but my goal is to not do this at places I hope to stay or have an offer next time around. Casino Royale? You can have a few bucks without sweating. But if I want to retain my offers at Mlife, I know I’ll need to put a good chunk of my play into their casinos, and I plan on doing just that.
Plan Activities Outside the Casino
Every single time I go to Las Vegas, I build in some new activity or travel to ensure that I keep things fresh, but also get myself out into the fresh air. Such activities have included side trips to Laughlin, visiting Hoover Dam and Seven Magic Mountains, going up to the high points like the High Roller, Strat Observation Deck and Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck; did the Fly LINQ Zip Line; rode a roller coaster at Adventuredome; and quite a bit more.
There’s plenty of things to do, and I built a list awhile back of some options of things to do in Las Vegas that can ensure a fun and diverse trip, while getting you out and about.
Again, this advice can stack up well if you’re going to Atlantic City, or even more remote casinos, like the example of my trip to Rocky Gap in Maryland, where there were plenty of non-gambling activities to enjoy.
Stack Offers to Ensure Freebies Flow
I’ve written in a couple of instances about offer stacking and how you can redeem offers from multiple places concurrently as needed to get what you need to out of a visit. After all, you already earned them, as offers are based on previous play.
Of course, as mentioned above, you’ll need to put in the appropriate play for the places you want to see offers next time, but you can also happily choose to burn offers at places where you’re not looking to play in the future.
And this of course presumes you’re going to a market where there’s multiple casinos, although many times the longer trips inevitably end up in places where there are.
I’ll certainly have tales from the front on the other side of my Las Vegas (and beyond) trip, including travel pieces and other helpful ideas on how to make the most of such a trip.