Okay, this is the tip that we learned from my father-in-law who actually lives in Henderson, Nevada, 20 minutes drive to the Las Vegas famous Strip. We listened to him and oh boy, did it helped us!
Here it is:
If you have a rental car and/or driving in Las Vegas, it is much easier to use the valet parking of a hotel than looking for a parking space. It is much easier and more convenient. You don't have to walk so far away just to look for parking.
And, valet parking is free. Well, you can give a tip! We just give a $5.00 tip which is way far cheaper than paying a parking space and then the pain of walking in the 100 degree sun to go to the hotel's casino! (This tip from my father in law helped me a lot since I carry my daughter most of the time and plus I didn't really like to walk in the blazing sun!)
Just use the valet parking and the hotel employees will park your car and just go back to the valet parking and have them get your car! That's convenient and cheaper!
Rest Areas I-15
I think rests areas are so essential. They provide an area to stretch and relax from traveling the road. Your body needs this. I think many forget how important they are and I know my family depends on them. They have plenty of restrooms, drinking fountains, shaded area, picnic tables and many of some pretty interesting information posted. Some may have pay phones.
I-15 has several going to and from Vegas. They are both centrally located from Barstow to Baker and from Baker to Nevada Stateline. Baker is 64 miles east of Barstow and about 51 miles west of Primm, Nevada Stateline.
Clyde V. Kane Rest Area is about 30 Miles East of Barstow and 34 miles west of Baker. Yet, beware it has not been remodeled and is in need of much repair. Their is is two rooms for the ladies, but some of the sinks and tolets do not work. So there maybe lines.
So the other rest area is called Valley Wells Rest Area and it is 26 miles west of Nevada state line and 25 miles east of Baker.
Valley Wells Rest area is Opened and Remodeled!
I had to giggle at some folks trying to find a tree or bush big enough for them since they didn’t stop at the available rest stop. Just keep in mind that there is Barstow, Baker, Valley Wells, and Primm Nevada, and after that is Gene Nevada, which I would recommend stopping at while heading east or west if you didn’t stop at any of the rest areas along the way.
When in Vegas, I highly recommend renting a car. Often, when you get to the airport in Vegas, you will find long lines waiting for the cabs to the Vegas strip. Or, you will be put on a shuttle bus to your hotel, but you will have to sit and wait in that shuttle until it fills up with people. You can spend a great deal of time in the airport just waiting for a cab!
Also, many times a cab driver will ask you if you want to drive down the Vegas strip so you can check out the sights. The Vegas strip has so many street lights, you will be stopped every block and it will take forever to get to your hotel! (The only time you should stay on the Vegas strip from the airport is if you are staying at one of the hotels very close to the airport, like Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and the Excalibur).
All hotels in Vegas offer free parking, so if you do rent a car, you can be in and out of the Vegas airport in no time and drive straight to your hotel, no hassles!
Also, renting a car is helpful, especially if you want to spend some time seeing the sights outside of Vegas, like the Hoover Dam or Lake Mead. Both of these are must sees in the Vegas area. The drive to both of these places is a scenic, peaceful drive, and much more fun when you are in your own car rather than being shoved on a shuttle bus full of people.
In addition, the Vegas strip is long. And walking in Vegas heat can be brutal, even at night. Many hotels are far from each other, and catching a cab or bus can waste tons of time since they run up and down the strip and stop constantly. For example, if you are staying at Mandalay Bay and want to check out the Freemont Street Experience, you are looking at about a 6 mile walk....one way!
It is so easy to have your own car, hop on the highway, and go from one casino to the next when they are a far distance away. If you really want to be able to experience all of them, a rental car is the cheapest way to go! Trust me. A rental car in Vegas is usually never more than $20 a day. You can't go wrong having your own car!
Las Vegas is one of the US top destination cities. Most people fly in but I think driving into town is the only way to arrive. Nothing quite beats driving down The Strip and taking in all of the absurdity in one go. Where else can you drive by New York City, Paris, Venice, and Egypt all in a mile?
We drove in from from the Valley of Fire State park which is about an hour northwest of the city. The Grand Canyon? We were there the day before and it's about 200 miles but a long 5.5 hours away. Los Angeles was our next destination: a 4 hour, 265 mile jaunt.
Surprisingly, despite all the attractions, there is no entry fee. I'm sure if there were, they would accept the American The Beautiful Pass that gets you into all the National Parks. Come to think of it, there is an entrance fee. It's called gambling.
Driving your own car (if possible) is best. Taxi fees start at $3.00 as soon as you get in the taxi. A short trip from one side of the strip to the other costs about $20. Using your own vehicle seems like too much of a hassle but it's really not, there was much more parking than expected at all of the hotels/casino's.
Your looking at some of the worse traffic in America. If u are staying within south Vegas along the main strip, 80% of the casinos are in walkin distance. I prefer to walk in Vegas and enjoy the sites and sounds. If u are in old Vegas, along Freemont, everything is within a 10 minute walk.... If u have to drive, here are some tips to help u move around safer and faster...
1. If u are going from South Vegas to North Vegas, always avoid Las Vegas Blvd if u are in a rush. The highway is much faster except during your typical rush hours. Be careful on interstate 15, they are always doing something with construction on that highway. Watch for unexpected stops.
2. Another fast way from South Vegas to North Vegas, is taking a back streets. My favorite way there is cruising down Maryland. It can save u 10 minutes, to an hour, or more compared to taking Las Vegas Blvd. Maryland Blvd is located about 3 blocks east of Las Vegas Blvd and joins back with Las Vegas Blvd at the Stratosphere.
3. Paradise Blvd saves u a lot of time within South Vegas.Its 2 blocks East of Las Vegas Blvd and runs between Tropicana and Sahara. (no lefts onto Paradise from Tropicana. Harmon St. provides the first available left)
4. Last, u can't let the locals push u around on the street. Be careful, but dont be afraid to get in there with them.
Warning... its always fun to drive the strip, but on weekends at night u can get stuck for hours on it.
* Please feel free to rate this tip, or any of my other tips. I am always looking to make improvements. Thank you...
If you go down to the Fremont Street area by car you can park as we did quite easily. We parked in the car park of the Golden Nugget Hotel/Casino, you get a ticket from the machine but if you get one of the attendants (not really sure what they are called but someone will tell you) to validate your ticket you can park for free for 3 hours.
If you choose to drive in Las Vegas, you must pay attention. The traffic can be extremely heavy on Las Vegas Blvd. You can easily be distracted by the pedestrians, bright lights, fountains, volcano's, and don't forget the roller coaster that is going on all around you!
BEST THING WE EVER DID!!!
I guess if your not planning to go very far, it wouldn't be necessary, but we went on day trips all over the area, to state parks, the Hoover Dam, ect.. At night it was nice to drive to go to the farther hotels, parking was always free except for the tip for the valet!
The coolest thing about Las Vegas is you can rent the coolest transportation you wanted - as long as money is not a problem.
Anyone can rent a smart car, a luxury car, a limousine, a Lamborgini, a Porche, a Jaguar or anything that you can think of. There is no problem. Just ask what you want and Las Vegas can have it.
While we were at the front of the Strip, close to the Mandalay Bay, we spotted this tiny car with the renters taking pictures at the Las Vegas landmark. We were curious to check the car and took picture of it.
The car can only accommodate two people: the driver and the passenger...
There are rentals at the Las Vegas Strip and you can choose any kind of sports car close to Seven Eleven Store.
Parking can be a deterrent for someone who is not a guest of a particular hotel when you plan to go to visit a hotel on the Las Vegas strip. I never thought to use valet parking. I was under the impression that it was very expensive to use. If you are only at the hotel for a short period of time such as to see a show or go to dinner, then try the valet parking. When the car is brought around when you leave tip the valet attendant a few dollars and away you go. Just be mindful to make sure what the parking policy of each hotel might be.
Generally speaking it is an easier way to pay a few dollars and not have to "hike" to the hotel from the self parking structures (ladies in high heels will not appreciate the the long walk, trust me.)
If you're going to do Vegas right, then for God's sake RENT A CONVERTIBLE! This is the best way to go... unless it is your first trip to Vegas... then it's the ONLY way to go! There is nothing - and I mean NOTHING - cooler than cruising down LV Blvd at night blasting your tunes and laughing with your friend(s) and/or lover(s). Trust me on this one - spend the extra dough and do Las Vegas in style!
Many car rental companies charge a bit extra, but they vary widely - I found Thrifty to be very reasonable!
Parking at casinos is easy and free, and walking's just for chumps (only kidding... but LV is very spread out and distances are MUCH farther than they look. I would absolutely NOT recommend walking in summer. Rememer, this is the desert...) Just get the convertible, OK?
Plane fare to Las Vegas seems too high for your pocketbook? Flights are booked and many are going to fly. But, the bus is not that expensive. Times are set and the ride is long on that lonely desert road to Las Vegas. The answer is do what so many others do, take a vehicle and drive. Some motorcycle, others have a camper or motor home. Most of us will drive a car. What type makes all the difference on that long lonely road. Sports cars are neat and a chance to kick it up a notch on those long lonely desert roads, but just remember the maximum speed limit on many of the sections of highway is 70 mph with areas that have top speeds posted at 65 mph. Unfortunately, many drive faster, and if you see flashing red, blue lights coming from the car behind you , it means you have violated the speed limit 95% of the times and the law enforcement agency in that area is about to have a serious talk with you. Radar and aircraft are also used to fine the speeders. Be wise, be careful, mind the speed laws and arrive safely in Las Vegas. Now, safely on your own two feet in Las Vegas, you can become that wild an crazy person.
There are several ways to arrive via highway and listing a few of them coming from Salt Lake City (Interstate 15), from Denver (Interstate 70 to I-15), from Flagstaff (I-40 to US 93), or Phoenix (I-17 to I-40 to US 93). Los Angeles is about 300 miles away and those in the southern section of California will take the major highway, Interstate 15, that has the most traffic. Some will drive to Las Vegas via the northern area of California through Bakersfield and State Route 58 or merge with State Route 58 from Reno or Yosemite via US395.
Okay, if you are not a local, it might be time to brush up on the California Roads and Traffic website for the tourist driver. It will help you for California and even the other States surrounding Las Vegas, including Nevada, the home state for "Sin City", "Lost Wages" or whatever else comes to mind. I just say "Viva Las Vegas." Seeing that most visitors to Las Vegas statistically come from the Los Angeles area, Vegas.com website has some great tips for the drive. It is a long lonely desert road to Las Vegas.
It's an easy four-hour drive, first through surburban sprawl and then through arid scenery, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. But keep your foot off the gas pedal. There are plenty of patrol cars on the California side of the state line, but they tend to cruise the highway or park where they can be seen. The Nevada police lurk. A patrol car suddenly appeared behind old Cliffie, and then the the roofbar lights started flashing. Old Cliffie sighed and pulled over - but the patrol car accelerated past and disappeared down the highway at 80 mph. Phew, that was close!
Unless you're going to Vegas for a trip that involves staying in or close to your hotel, RENT A CAR!
The taxi cab will not be cheap and if you plan to travel from one end of the strip to the other a couple of times, renting a compact car is the way to go.
Free parking is available at the casinos.
You can rent a car for approximately $40 per day.
Do it. You'll be glad you did.