To a first-time club-goer in Las Vegas, the world of velvet ropes, bottle service and famous DJs can seem daunting. As you stand in the long, long line of girls in sequined dresses and guys trying to talk to said girls in sequined dresses, a series of questions might race through your mind. When can I take these shoes off? (Answer: Never.) How much is this going to cost me? Should I tip the guy at the door?
If you’ve never been to a Las Vegas nightclub before, the best way to ensure that you have an epic night is to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you – or, in this case, those who have stood on the dance floor before you. Consider the following your guide to what not to do when hitting the clubs in Vegas:
Don’t Ignore the Dress Code
Following a nightclub’s dress code can mean the difference between access to the best party of your life versus a “Not tonight, buddy” from the bouncer. Most nightclubs have the same basic dress code rules. For women, a dress or even pants and a nice top will work just fine. Men can usually get by with a collared shirt, and should avoid baseball caps, sneakers, shorts, sweatpants and baggy jeans. Always check a nightclub’s dress code online before getting ready for the evening.
Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes
Another sartorial faux pas: don’t make the mistake of placing vanity over comfort. No one wants to be the barefoot girl carrying her her shoes through the casino at 4 a.m. If you must rock the six inch stilettos, pop a pair of roll-up flats in your purse for later.
Don’t Arrive Late for the Guest List
If you get on a nightclub’s guest list, either by way of a club promoter or guest list website, make note of when you have to arrive by. There’s usually a cut-off time, and if you’re fashionably late for the party, you’re going to have to stand in a long line and pay at the door.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Planning Ahead
Sure, Vegas is all about the kind of spontaneous adventures where you end up dancing until sunrise with strangers, but when it comes to the nightclub scene, planning ahead is the key to the perfect night. Know which nightclub you want to go to, which DJ is playing, when the doors open, whether or not you’re going to opt for bottle service and all of those other important details.
Don’t Be Too Drunk When You Get There
The sticker shock of that $20 vodka cranberry might inspire you to save money at the club by pre-gaming in your hotel room, but don’t go so hard that you’re stumbling in front of the guy at the door. If you’re wasted when you get there, you’re not going to get in, no matter how many times you yell, “But it’s Vegas!”
Don’t Expect Headliners to Hit the Stage Before Midnight
If you can count on anything in life, count on this: headliners at Vegas nightclubs never perform before midnight. Whether you’re going to see a famous DJ such as Calvin Harris or you’re hoping to brush elbows with a celebrity host, be aware that it likely won’t happen until around 1 or 2 a.m.
Don’t Assume Nightclubs Are Open 365 Days a Year
If you’re going to Las Vegas on a weekend in July, you’re going to have your choice of nightclubs. But if it’s a Tuesday night in November? Eh...not so much. Most nightclubs are open on weekend nights along with select weeknights. These weeknights, sometimes referred to as Industry Nights, can often result in even wilder parties than you’ll find on a Friday. In addition to being aware which nights your club of choice is open, keep in mind the season. Summertime is always hopping in Las Vegas, but in between Halloween and New Years Eve, many nightclubs go into hibernation.
Don’t Skip the ATM
Las Vegas is a service industry town, so that means you’ve gotta tip. Always have cash on hand to slip to doormen, bartenders, bottle service girls and bathroom attendants. It’s not just good karma; they might be able to hook you up.
Don’t Go With Just Men
Sorry, fellas. In the Las Vegas nightclub scene, girls run the world. If you want to get in faster, get a better booth and just have a better time, don’t roll to the club with just men.
Don’t Be a Jerk
Las Vegas was built on the idea of having a good time, so don’t be the person who ruins the party. When you look back on the night, you don’t want to remember how long you had to stand in line or how much you spent on a drink; you want to remember dancing, taking shots, letting loose with old friends and making new ones. Be patient at the bar, be nice to your fellow club-goers and the party gods will reward you with the best night of your life.