Safety in Las Vegas


In order to create a Las Vegas vacation packed with positive memories, it’s important to stay safe and healthy. Though the city seems to come confined with its own definition of what’s appropriate to do and wear, there’s no mistaking that it’s still a very real part of a very real world.

Don’t leave Las Vegas wishing you’d never arrived. Keep the following tips in mind for a safe and healthy vacation.

Money

Las Vegas is all about the money, but the general safety guidelines regarding the security of your cash apply in Sin City just like any other big city. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are a few folks on the casino floor who have lost way more than they should have gambled, and all they need is “just a few bucks to get back in the game.” It should go without saying, then, that you shouldn’t flash your cash around. Be smart and carry your money in a safe manner. The world doesn’t need to know how much you’ve just won.

If you find yourself in a crowd, such as in a nightclub or at a concert, be mindful of where your money is at all times. The same is true for raucous festivities on holidays such as Halloween and New Year’s Eve. People get rowdy, crowds start jostling and occasionally a wallet goes missing. Keep an eye on your surroundings and your money out of reach and you should be okay.

Drinking

Sometimes it seems like just about everyone who arrives in Las Vegas is prepared to drink. A lot. And that’s okay … as long as you are safe and smart about it.

Many of our safety suggestions regarding drinking are relevant regardless of wherever in the world you might travel, but it never hurts to be reminded. First and foremost, don’t drink beyond your limits. It is very easy to drink a lot in Las Vegas because alcohol is available just about everywhere, and an open container law allows you to carry your drink with you wherever you go, so you aren’t confined to finishing anything at any one location. When you are gambling in the casinos, you will be offered free drinks (don’t forget to tip!) while you play. You can order alcohol at just about every restaurant, and nightclubs will taunt you with bottle service. Know how much you’ve had to drink and be responsible by knowing how much you are able to drink while still making sound decisions.

There are several places in Las Vegas where you can buy fruity, frothy drinks. Whether these are frozen margaritas or slushy daiquiris, these sugary drinks can be deceiving because you can’t really taste the alcohol. If this is what you’re drinking, be particularly diligent about how many you’ve had.

Watch your drink, especially in the nightclubs and bars, and don’t leave your drink unattended. Las Vegas isn’t known for drugged drinks, but there’s no reason to take a chance. Similarly, make sure you know who is buying your drinks, and go with your gut reaction if you don’t feel comfortable accepting a free drink.

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Wherever you tip one back, it’s important to stay hydrated, but it’s especially important to emphasize this point if you’re visiting Las Vegas. Sin City is dry, and, in the summer, it gets exceptionally hot. Your ice cold beer or frozen cocktail might taste cool and refreshing but it is essential to drink lots of water so that your body remains hydrated.

Traffic

Like the safety tips above, a lot of the advice we have for traffic in Las Vegas is relevant anywhere, but it’s worth repeating. Las Vegas drivers—especially the taxi drivers—speed way too much and can be quite reckless at times. Please wear a seatbelt at all times. It is required by Nevada law. Even though you may be holding luggage on your lap and be crammed into a taxi, make sure you’re securely fastened.

There is no law against it in Nevada, but if you’ll be behind the wheel, please don’t text or talk on your cellphone while driving. The glitz and glam of Las Vegas is distracting to new drivers in the city, and the sheer amount of traffic demands your full attention.

Likewise, don’t drink and drive. You can not refuse a breath, blood or urine test as directed by a police officer if he or she believes you are driving under the influence. The legal limit is .08. Unfortunately, drunk drivers are common in Las Vegas, presumably due to the number of clubs and bars in the city. If you are driving late at night or in the early hours of the morning, remain diligent of those driving around you.

Our final safety tip about traffic has to do with being a pedestrian, not a driver, in Las Vegas. Please cross the road at crosswalks, especially on Las Vegas Boulevard. Drivers are trying to navigate the road and avoid distractions from the lights and sounds coming from all directions. When people run out in front of traffic on the Strip, there is definitely the potential for an accident. Get to a crosswalk or sky bridge and cross the road safely.

Weather

Las Vegas is unusual when it comes to weather. Located in the desert Southwest, Las Vegas gets exceptionally hot in the summer with impressively low temperatures at night, especially in the winter. When you pack for your Las Vegas vacation, consider your clothing and shoe choices wisely, especially if you’ll be out and about at night.

It is also very dry, so, regardless of the time of year you visit Las Vegas, drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Dehydration and heat-related issues are among the most common medical problems in the city, especially in the summer. The sun is also extremely intense in Las Vegas. Though many people prefer to slather themselves with baby oil when they lay by the pool, the smart thing is to wear sunscreen. Again, heat-related medical issues are a major issue.

Though the city is exceptionally dry, when it rains, there is a chance for flash flooding. If you get caught in the rain, be very careful about where you walk, stay out of drainage ditches, don’t wait under bridges, don’t walk in the road and proceed with caution. If possible, find a dry place inside a building to wait out the storm.

Common Sense

One of the most common misconceptions about Las Vegas is that prostitution is legal. Though there are people providing such services in Sin City, prostitution is illegal. Don’t get tied up with it unless you’re prepared to pay the consequences.

That said, many people live the saying of what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and it’s not uncommon to hear about people who spend the night with strangers. If you do head off for the night with someone you don’t know well, let someone know where you are going. And despite what you might believe about the famous Vegas saying, STDs will go home with you. Be smart and practice safe sex.

For the most part, walking up and down the Strip and through the casinos should not be a problem, but make good choices about where you walk along the streets that parallel Las Vegas Boulevard. The same is true with downtown Las Vegas. The well-trafficked areas in Las Vegas are well lit and relatively safe, but there are a few unsavory streets if you venture too far off the tourist track.

Finally, if you have a question or aren’t sure about where you’re going, don’t just guess. There are plenty of people you can turn to for help. Las Vegas is filled with concierge who can answer your questions, and locals often frequent the Strip and downtown areas. Even if you don’t know where you’re headed, there is someone nearby who would be happy to help.

Photo credit: AMagill (money), Thomas Hawk (alcohol) Nucho (traffic), rp72 (pool), morbuto (cell phone)