Whether you’ve been planning your Vegas vacation for months or have booked a last-minute getaway, deciding what to bring to Sin City – the Entertainment Capital of the World – can be difficult.
No matter how well you’ve organized your packing list (if you have one at all, that is), something usually gets left behind. Forgetting something on your Vegas vacation certainly isn’t the end of the world, but finding a replacement is far from ideal – in addition to eating into your gambling, food, or party budget, it also takes valuable time away from your explorations.
To help you make the most of your time in Sin City, we’ve put together a list of must-pack items for your Vegas adventure, complete with a downloadable printable list at the end of the post.
1. Walking shoes
The Las Vegas Strip is more than five miles long, and the massive casino resorts are a lot further apart than you think – in some cases, it can take half an hour to walk to the resort right next door. If walking the Strip is part of your plan (and definitely it should be), you’ll need a good pair of walking shoes. You’ll also be doing more walking inside the resorts than you might expect – the trek from the main entrance to your room can easily stretch longer than 15 minutes.
Good walking shoes with decent tread are also essential if you plan on doing any excursions beyond the city limits. Las Vegas is within driving distance of a number of adventurous hotspots like the Grand Canyon or Red Rock Canyon, and the terrain can be rough. Flip flops or high heels definitely won’t make the cut. Good walking shoes are recommended for all of our guided tours.
2. Bathing suit and cover
Las Vegas hotels are renowned for their lavish, luxurious pools. Whether you simply want to lounge by the pool in the heat of the desert sun or turn it up at a dayclub, you’ll certainly need a bathing suit when you visit Las Vegas. If you don’t think you’ll have time to lounge by the pool, bring one anyway – better safe than sorry!
Pack a bathing suit cover or t-shirt as well for when you’re walking through the hotel (and for looking stylish poolside). It could be a long walk to the pool from your hotel room, and the resorts are often quite cool. While you’ll see all types of attire, you (and the other guests) may not be comfortable seeing people walk through the casino floor in a bathing suit.PRO TIP: Pack your bathing suit into your carry on in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.
3. Flip flops
Who wants to be stuck tying and untying their shoes by the pool? Pack a pair of flip flops to get you from your room to your lounge chair – and from your lounge chair to the poolside bar.
4. 1 or 2 nice outfits
In addition to your regular complement of shorts, shirts, and jeans, it never hurts to bring along one or two nice outfits. After all, you never know what will happen in Las Vegas.
Most of Las Vegas is pretty casual, but if you plan on going to a club or out for some fine dining, you’ll need at least one nice outfit. And while there’s no official dress code for most shows, lots of people like to step up their wardrobe for the occasion.
For men, dress pants and a nice button-down shirt will do for clubs and restaurants. For women, a dress or good jeans (no tears) and a nice top will do. Get more dress code tips in our Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas.
5. A pair of nice shoes
While you’ll definitely need good walking shoes for exploring the city and the many nearby Southwest locations, running shoes or sneakers won’t get you into a club or a nice restaurant. Men should bring a pair of dress shoes; ladies, bring along a pair of nice flats or heels – just remember that you’ll likely be doing some walking and waiting in line, especially if you’re going clubbing.
6. A sweater or light jacket
Las Vegas may be in the desert, but it can get chilly at night. Casinos and performance halls also often blast the AC to compensate for the sweltering daytime heat, so it can get quite cool indoors. A light cardigan or jacket doesn’t take up my suitcase space, and it’ll certainly come in handy. Plus, it’s always useful to have an extra layer if you go on a guided tour – you’ll likely have to wake up early, and a light layer will also offer you some protection you from the sun.
7. A hat
Polarized sunglasses are best for keeping the bright desert sun out of your eyes so you can fully enjoy the sights of the Strip and the Southwest.
Las Vegas gets over 300 days of sunshine every year, and because of its desert location, the sun’s rays are fairly direct. Along with a hat and sunglasses, sunscreen is essential if you plan on spending any time outdoors.
10. Ear plugs
You may be settling in for an early night before you have to get up at 4:30 AM for your Grand Canyon tour, but your next-door neighbors might be busy gearing up for a night on the town instead. Make sure you get your rest by bringing along a pair of ear plugs. And if you’re the neighbors getting ready to hit a club, ear plugs are also essential for that well-deserved mid-day nap.
11. Government-issued ID
You’ll need ID to get into clubs and bars, as well as to gain access to the casino floor. You may also need it just to cross the casino floor, so make sure you bring your ID with you wherever you go.
12. An open mind
Las Vegas is full of interesting characters and offbeat experiences. While some people are born to embrace the Vegas lifestyle, for others, the hustle and bustle can be offputting. Whether you’re in town to party, to gamble, or to explore the many cultural sites and nearby iconic landscapes, keep an open mind and go with the flow!
Make sure you pack everything you need – download our printable Las Vegas packing list:
Learn more about visiting Sin City. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas.
Get more tips for visiting Las Vegas: