Opinion: Three things I wish I knew while in Vegas

Alyssa looking out at the Las Vegas Strip.

I and Alyssa, my twin sister, went to Las Vegas over Labour Day weekend, and there are a few things we wished we had known before we got there.

1. You can eat for cheap…and it doesn’t have to be McDonald’s

The first night my sister and I ate at the buffet in the hotel we stayed at. It cost us $70 after taxes. The buffet is great: it’s all-you-can-eat food and all-you-can drink wine and beer. Little did we know that those half-off ticket booths across the street from the hotel and all along the strip include different restaurants, including the buffet we went to on the first night. If you go to these booths at the beginning of your trip, you can save 10 per cent at the restaurants, included those in the dining pass that cost $5. Some restaurants even offer half-off menus and you can also get discounts on tickets for recurring shows on the strip.

2.  A minibar and mini-fridge are two different things

When we got to the hotel, we tried opening the fridge to put our water bottles in it. But we couldn’t open the mini-fridge. We told the concierge that our fridge wouldn’t open. She asked if we had a credit card on file. We didn’t. She told us that because we didn’t have a credit card on file, we didn’t have access to the mini-fridge, which we learned later is a minibar.

Although minibars and mini-fridges look similar (because it’s the same appliance keeping the same things cool) they’re not the same. A minibar is mini-fridge, except every time you take something out, your credit card gets charged. She also said, because you’re being charged every time something is taken out it’s not for personal use. A mini-fridge is available at no charge and you can use it however you like.

3. Changing your change into a voucher at the casino will cost you 10% 

While my sister and I were in Vegas, we paid cash for everything, which resulted in a lot of unwanted change. The woman at the cash cage in the hotel we were staying at didn’t want to change my change into bills. She pointed me in the direction of a machine that changed coins into a voucher that you can take to the cash cage to get bills. That machine takes 10 per cent of whatever change you are putting through that coin machine.

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