As I’ve navigated my way from Australia to Fiji, I can’t seem to stop uttering mental thank-you’s to all of my fellow travelers and readers out there. Reading your blogs and messages with tips and suggestions about where to go and what to do has significantly eased the stress of this adventure. I am so grateful to have such a gracious following and have been touched by the offers I’ve received for guides in each city.
As a solo female traveler, I often have to rely on the kindness of others for directions or advice, but the generosity I have received has been paramount in making this journey a memorable one!
I can’t wait to share with you all that has gone on, but while I wait for more consistent internet access, I’ve decided to give back to you the only way that I know how: by sharing my knowledge base. You’ve been so kind as to share with me your advice on your home cities, now it’s my turn to do the same.
This is the first of a new series of blogs I’m calling The Las Vegas Lowdown. I’ve grown up in Vegas, spent time in every casino, seen almost every show, and know where the best tables, food, and drink specials are at. It’s time to unleash the hidden secrets of Vegas that locals never wanted you to know about. I may be banned from The Artifice for such candid advice but I am willing to take that risk. Plus, you deserve to have the best vacation experience in Sin City possible… so why not take it straight from the metaphorical showgirl’s mouth?
Let’s begin with a problem that has long annoyed me about Vegas female tourists…
The Las Vegas Lowdown: The Female Tourist Misstep
Every week, Vegas is crawling with beautiful women looking to have a good time with their pals down on The Strip. And as much as I applaud looking to have a good time, there is one major faux pas that every female tourist seems to fall victim to: walking down The Strip in their six-inch high heels.
Why is this bad?
Well, let me start by informing you that The Strip is approximately 4 miles long (6.4 km) and much more easily accessible by foot than taxi. And that distance isn’t including all the hoofing you will be doing around each casino or Fremont Street every night. I would never think to walk four miles in my most comfortable heels, let alone that racy pair in the back of my closet that makes me look like a stripper. If you’re going to be walking all that way (and let’s be honest, at some point you will), you need something more comfortable.
No, that’s okay. I want to look cute. I’ll deal with it. I’m great at walking in heels.
Uh-huh. I’ve heard that before. Let me tell you how this story ends (as I’ve watched it many a time while sipping on my tea at The Beat). You are whining incessantly in your drunk stupor for four miles down Las Vegas Boulevard. You spend every available second begging your burliest friend to carry you back to the room. When they don’t agree you end up taking off your stilettos, opting to go barefoot. Now you are in pain, your friends are annoyed with you, and you’re carrying your shoes in one hand while trying not to spill your drink that’s in the other.
Well that’s not so bad… is it?
This is probably the most nauseating scene for me when it comes to observing all the dirty things that happen in Vegas (and that’s saying a lot). Let me explain…
That very sidewalk that you have chosen to walk bare-soled down will be trampled by 40 MILLION other people this year alone. Make sure you’re watching out for used needles, broken glass, that guy who’s puking a few feet away, and other gross things discarded by the thousands of surrounding tourists. You’re lucky if you walk away without Hepatitis. Just saying…
Please don’t misunderstand; I love my city and while it may be full of ‘sin’, it is not a bad place. Downtown is cleaned after the rambunctious tourists go to bed in the wee hours of the afternoon to prepare for another night of debauchery. But even with this comfort, you need to be sensible. You’re choosing to walk barefoot down a street infamous for the parties it’s seen. I’m advising you make a different choice.
So what do I do instead?
Here’s the secret all Vegas girls carry around with them in their over-sized purses: an extra pair of comfortable shoes. When we start schlepping down LVB, we chuck our heels into our bags and continue on our merry way in flip-flops. Or, when we dress to go out we wear outfits that don’t require a heel to complete. We know the drill and now you do too. Keep an extra pair of comfortable flats handy or plan outfits that look just as cute with sandals. I promise you will have a better time and your friends will wish they had thought of it!
Okay. Thanks, Hilary, but I’m a guy… This article doesn’t apply to me…
As it just so happens, my male compadre, it does. You need to be aware of this because you’re going to be the one stuck listening to the girls in your group complain and cry about their tired, achy feet. And they’re probably going to try and snag a piggyback ride back to your hotel. Be aware of the danger and make them throw shoes in their bag (even if they protest) to avoid the drama. Plus, drunk girls and heels don’t mix well anyway, so save yourself a night of babysitting and enlighten your amigas. You’ll be that mysterious man who knows things he shouldn’t and they’ll love you for it (well… I’m not so sure about that but you get the idea). Plus I’m an equal opportunist. As far as I know, you enjoy sashaying in platforms as much as Twisted Sister. Just covering all of my bases here.
Alright, are we all on the same page now? No more barefoot strutting down the boulevard. So if I see you moseying past New York, New York in your platforms, you better be ready to commit to it!
I hope you found this helpful. I’m looking forward to sharing more need-to-know tips on the fun, fresh, and forbidden here in Vegas! In the meantime, happy adventuring, my fellow vagabonds!
*Do you have a question about visiting Vegas? Interested in finding the best shows? Want to dine at the local-approved restaurants or explore places other than the Strip? No worries; this is only the first of many posts to come! E-mail me your questions and I’ll be sure to blog about it. Bring it on!