SOMETHING TO CONSIDER | vegas drinking tips from a local who has seen it all

Hello Friends! Welcome back!! I’m so glad you could join me today as I discuss something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. I feel like we all (maybe?) know these things, but I wanted to share my thoughts and tips for drinking in VEGAS. Some items are obvious and some you might not think about it if you’ve never been to the ultimate oasis in the desert.

And let’s face it, I’ve either made, witnessed or come very close to making all the mistakes. So take my advice and learn from them so you and your group maximize the amount of fun you have in this amazing city!

Let’s break it down.

*PHASE 1 – BEFORE YOU DRINK – 

a – FOR THE LOVE EAT SOMETHING – Failing to eat BEFORE (BEFORE, BEFORE, BEFORE) even a drop of alcohol touches your lips is the biggest reason I’ve turned into one feisty, drunk mess. Drinking on an empty stomach means you’re probably going to be the first of your friends to pass out or get the entire lot of you kicked out of wherever it is that you plan to party. A pregame snack, even if you plan on going to dinner, is key and can save you in the long run!

  • My personal favorites include:
    • Instant Oatmeal
    • Potatoes/Fries
    • Bagels/Bread

Basically anything with some sort of density to line your stomach so you don’t absolutely shock it when the alcohol comes pouring in. My best friend swore by applesauce in college – so maybe try that. And no, a green juice does NOT COUNT.

b – FOR THE LOVE, DRINK WATER. WATER, WATER, WATER – It’s easy to forget just how DRY Las Vegas is with all the pools and aggressively ostentatious fountains in front of certain resorts. The truth of the matter is – this is a desert and for that reason you will get dehydrated faster than in other locations. Not to mention the sun here is powerful and will contribute to the speed and severity of that dehydration.

So, if you’re drinking coffee and Red Bulls (sugar free please!) to stay awake before switching to alcohol, you’re only contributing to the dehydration as these are diuretics. Be sure to prepare your body for all of this madness by drinking WATER and/or Gatorade before drinking! Just like you would prime your face before putting on foundation or drink pre-workout before hitting the gym, prepare your body and DRINK THE FUCKING WATER. I’m being so so serious.

c – Altitude…Something To Consider – Las Vegas sits at 2,001 feet, which is apparently 1/2 a mile high (thanks Wikipedia!) Depending on where you’re traveling from, this may pose an issue with your tolerance. When you travel to a higher elevation, there is less oxygen in the air which, along with some science-y stuff, is why you may feel drunker. While this may or may not actually be true it is something to make a mental note of and is something I personally experience when traveling back to Idaho. So there’s that.

d – Dress The Part – So, this is a touchy subject because you NEVER know if the club/bar is going to enforce the dress code. Yes, many places in Vegas have a dress code – even off The Strip. Certain bars downtown won’t let you in if you’re wearing a hat, jersey, or “gang attire.” I’ve seen girls get into clubs in jeans and converse when the dress code strictly says “upscale, fashionable attire.” Even I wasn’t let into a pool club because I was wearing my Kobe jersey and these are reasons why I stress the dress code to people. It’s better to be prepared than not and it is also better to look your best!

  • Here’s a quick breakdown –
    • GUYS – A nice collared button down, khakis or dark pants and dark dress or boat shoes is perfect. Don’t wear sneakers or white shoes though…definite deal breakers, I’ve seen it firsthand!
    • GIRLS – A cute, upscale (not expensive) dress or upscale skirt + nice top combo with heels or dressy flats/gladiator sandals – as long as they have a back to them and you’re good to go! It’s also important to feel good about what you’re going out in – it’s no fun to constantly be worried about your outfit when you’re trying to let loose and PARTY! In the winter I’ve worn tights under rompers and that’s totally fine too. Just don’t bring a huge purse to the club. Another thing to consider – don’t wear your most expensive jewelry, bag or outfit to the club. You will sweat and someone will spill alcohol on it.
    • NOTE FOR EVERYONE – you will be thoroughly searched as you enter so if you plan on being sneaky…I advise that you don’t. If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about! But, hey, live your own life.

Basically the point is to try to look nice. Look at people who check in at club locations in Vegas (OMNIA, Hakkasan, XS are all good ones) or look under the hashtags: #vegasnightlife #vegas #vegasnights. OR – follow me on Insta to see what I’ve worn in the past.

a couple examples of club outfits
a couple examples of club outfits

 

*PHASE 2 – NOW YOU CAN DRINK –

giphy-6a – THE PREGAME IS KEY – If you went to college or have made it this far in life you know, the pregame is essential. And in Vegas it’s no different. Here’s the truth: alcohol in bars and clubs in Vegas is EXPENSIVE AF. I’ve spent $65 on two glasses of Prosecco and nearly $100 on four Tito’s & Red Bull all at OMNIA (love you OMNIA, mean it!)

So the biggest key to saving money here is (I shouldn’t tell y’all this – it might hurt our economy) drinking before you even leave your room. However, don’t get so drunk that you or anyone in your group gets kicked out of or prevented from the club. Harsh reality in this town.

b – Drinking in PUBLIC in VEGAS is LEGAL! YAY! – On the Strip (and Downtown), you can absolutely bring your dranky-drank with you – as long as it’s not in a GLASS container. This is where we can relive the glory days of red, plastic solo cups! I also learned while researching (because I care) that aluminum containers aren’t allowed either. But I haven’t personally seen anyone get in trouble for that. I have, however, seen people get in trouble for carrying glass bottles of Jack Daniel’s around.

You’re also not allowed to take a glass of alcohol from one resort to another – they are supposed to put it in a plastic cup for you. BUT, I have walked out of a particular restaurant with a TALL GLASS of beer and walked pretty far down the street to another resort. Which I should NOT have done, but I didn’t get in trouble soooo…do as I say not as I do.

c – WHAT are you actually drinking? – It’s the sage wisdom I’ve heard since high school, but never actually follow. “Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” So I guess I can’t give you an accurate assessment of this wisdom. But I can tell you that what you choose to put in your body does matter.

If you want to be wise and responsible about your drinking, I suggest sticking to the same type and color of alcohol. The nights that I’ve gone from beer to tequila to whiskey to prosecco usually turn into a shit show circus. And if that’s what you’re going for, cool! Just be careful (because I am your mom).

Non-well, clear liquor tends to agree with my body the most at this point so I usually try to stick with Gin and anything Patron. I’ve tried to go the vodka route and it’s hard pass from me, 95% of the time. And always, ALWAYS keep the empty cup and consume all of the ice. That way you at least get some hydration in the midst of it all. We’re trying here.

d – A Note That Is Very Important & Not About Alcohol – Do NOT be an asshole to your waiter/server/bartender/the bouncer – I cannot tell you how many times being an entitled drunk asshole will prevent you from accomplishing your Vegas party-related goals. Just last week I watched drunk girl almost get her ENTIRE group of girl friends banned from even coming into the club. And I’ve discussed this point in detail – HERE!

When dealing with any of the people who are helping to facilitate your night remember to smile, be nice and have patience because their job is actually really difficult and they don’t need another drunk asshole yelling at them. It doesn’t hurt you to help them out.

When dealing with bouncers specifically ask them how their night is, make the same face as you do in your ID and look them in the eyes. Like I’ve said before, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.

Plus – if you’re waiting in a line to get into a club, you surely have no right to be an entitled asshole. You didn’t buy a table and you’re not special, you’re just another name on a promoter’s list. Tough love.

e – HAVE FUN YOU’RE IN VEGAS! WHEE!

*PHASE 3 – THE NIGHT ENDS –

a – Walk It Off – If you can and you’re not alone, I highly suggest you walk back to your hotel. Walking can help metabolize things faster so you go to sleep less drunk (I can science). There’s nothing worse than leaving a club, realizing how drunk you are and then immediately passing out in a Lyft.

b – Get Some Food/Water? – There’s a trend here. If you’re hungry definitely eat and refuel your body. I highly suggest drinking as much water as you can before passing out so that your body can get a head start on re-hydrating itself.

c – Maybe Let It Go? – Just like you can delete all those awkward drunk texts, you can also puke up the evidence of your night before it even ends! (Cute visual, Jess!) I’ve been told that this can help prevent the need to do so in the morning. And if you’re like me, you would much rather puke when you’re drunk than when it’s morning and you’re hungover and you are more aware of the situation. No thanks.

*PHASE 4 – HANGOVER aka JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL –

giphy-7

First of all, I feel like if you’re not hungover at least once on a Vegas Vacation…did you even really Vegas?? It happens to the best of us so here are my go-to tips for hangovers:

a – Drink WATER, but also drink COCONUT WATER – It’s actually more hydrating than just plain water and has cured me on my worst mornings. I’ve also heard Pedialyte is the way to go but have not ever tried that. And you would think that I’ve tried the “Never Hungover” thing you can purchase at GNC? Nope haven’t done that either.

b – Eat! – Sooner rather than later – I always used to put off eating because I thought it would make me feel worse. As I’ve gotten older (and slightly wiser), I’ve learned that the quicker I get some nutrients into my body, the better I will feel. I highly suggest eggs, bagels, pancakes, waffles. Anything to soak up the rest of that alcohol. And a perfect excuse to BRUNCH! Which brings me to…

c – The Hair of the Dog that bit ya – Go to brunch, keep your shades on, enjoy the sun and DEFINITELY order a Bloody Mary and/or a Mimosa. And a water, always include a water.

I hope this was insightful. If I was truly as wise as I claim to be, I would take my own advice. Then again if I did that, I wouldn’t have these gems to share with y’all.

 

BYE! HAPPY VEGAS-ING!

adios from me and frank

Author: Jess

Las Vegas local / writer, creator, festival goer, explorer, marketer, promoter, special event & experience curator

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