Consider Las Vegas as a tourist trap! Nothing is real, but oh so fun! This city is a must see!
The Eiffel tower on this picture is fake, the inside of the casino looks like a Paris' street scene, complete with little cumulus clouds in the "fake" sky... but they have real "Cronenbough 1664" (a good year for beer) ;-)
Going to Vegas is quite popular, but on New Year's Eve, its even more popular. And that means its crowded even more than normal. Hotels are fully booked, traffic to and from Vegas will be jam packed. Plus on New Year's Eve, they shut down the strip so that people can walk about. There's just a huge crowd of people. Getting separated from your group is easy and finding them is harder, especially since your mobile service will most likely be cut off due to the volume of calls made around that time.
Unique Suggestions: Here's a few tips if you do plan to go:
If you aren't staying at a hotel on the strip, go early otherwise you wont be able to find parking nearby. Traffic to the strip even four hours before moves at a crawl. My friend who lives just ten minutes away... took us more than an hour to get within twenty minutes walking distance.
So try to stay at a hotel on the strip. It will definitely be less stressful. At least it will be easy to get to the main areas to watch the fireworks and it will be easy to return to your rooms.
This means booking your hotel rooms early. Don't wait til its too late.
Don't drink too much, unless you want to have a hard time finding somewhere to use the bathroom.
If you are a girl, watch out for drunken or horny guys reaching out hoping for a Mardi Gras experience.
Make sure you have some kind of meeting point for your group should you get separated.
If you live in LA, best time to return from Vegas is soon after the fireworks are done. Hopefully someone in your group wasn't drinking so they can drive. Wait for the normal time to leave ( i.e. 10am onwards ) and you'll be stuck in traffic. Do you really want to go through almost three hundred miles in bumper to bumper traffic? Until they expand the lanes from two to four... either leave really early, or leave on the 2nd.
Fun Alternatives: I guess an alternative is to celebrate New Years in your own city. Still, you have to experience Vegas at least one, just to say you did it. I don't see why anyone would want to do it more than once.
I went to Las Vegas for a bachelor in the Spring of 2001. I was hoping to see what all the fuss was about. Well, I found out what. Nothing. I found a city full of cheaply made buildings with flashy facades and gold painted plastic fixtures abounding.
If you seek a place with any authenticity, then look elsewhere or take a Grand Canyon tour.
Many people LOVE Vegas, it's just NOT my style at all...
Unique Suggestions: Take a tour of the desert, Lake Mead or the Hoover Dam...
Anyone offering you a free chance to win anything, should be avoided at all cost. Folks we built these casinos with your money, not ours. Think about it. If you want to gamble, that is fine. Understand that Vegas will not pay you unless you 'lay your money down and take your chances'. No such thing as free here. You will pay for it one way or another.
This should be under warnings and dangers, but it;s a tourist trap as well. The wedding chapels are everywhere, and you can get married on the spot, with no preparation, nothing. Great idea to mix that in with booze and gambling eh?
A big tourist trap! This is NOT the real Eiffel Tower! The real one is in Paris, not in Las Vegas! This is just a small fake version of it at the Paris hotel!
Free drinks while you are gambling - try to modify your drinking. I didn't. I won a lot of money that night on roulette, but luckilly nothing happened (pick pockets e.t.c). Always stay alert.