There are more ways than one to have a dream vacation filled with fun and excitement. Some enjoy visiting sand beaches and blue oceans, others are more of mountain types, with snow covered hill tops, skiing, and snowboarding. And some, like yours truly, enjoy taking a few days off from work to try their luck at a fresh casino.
Say what you will, gambling can be so much fun if you do it right and don’t over-extend yourself. If you’re going on a holiday, you’re going to spend some money anyways, and this way, you actually have a chance to come back with more than you had.
Not that it happens very often, but it does from time to time.
There are a few tricks you should know about, though, when planning your gambling holiday. These tips should actually help you reduce your other expenses so that you get some free meals, accommodation, and get to see a couple of events as a courtesy for your efforts on slot machines and in the pit.
Deciding Where to Go
There are many great places around the world you can pick for a gambling vacation. Most of you reading this are probably already familiar with them to some extent, so I’ll just give a brief overview without boring you with too much detail that can be found online anyways.
Often referred to as the gamblers’ mecca, Las Vegas is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for a full package. Apart from dozens of casinos all over, the city truly never sleeps. There are amazing night clubs, restaurants, concerts, and all sorts of other events you can enjoy while there.
Depending on where you’re from, though, getting to Las Vegas for a simple vacation can be a bit tricky. If there are visas involved, preparations can be somewhat extensive. Also, make sure to get familiar with the exact tax situation and if your country has a tax treaty with the US or your big win, if you happen to hit one, could take a serious hit before the money even gets to your hands.
Monte Carlo (Monaco)
If you’re a type of person who enjoys stylish glitz and glamour then Monte Carlo will definitely leave an impression on you. The gambling hub of Europe, Monte Carlo is more suited for those with deep pockets. Prices of everything are through the roof and casinos there aren’t particularly great for small-timers.
This isn’t to say that you can’t still have some fun there even with a limited budget but it will take some detailed planning because things don’t come cheap in the Principality of Monaco. Also, dress codes are often regarded quite strictly, so you’ll actually need to dress up to visit most casinos.
Some people actually do enjoy this, so no problems there, as long as you know what to expect.
The former Portuguese colony, Macau has risen to the status of the absolute leader for all things gambling in Asia. More and more casinos are opening there all the time and the number and versatility of available games is constantly growing as well.
Macau is a perfect destination for your gambling holiday if you’re looking for a completely different and a new experience, especially if you’ve never visited Asia before. The culture and the way of life there are completely different so it will definitely be an exciting experience, but do keep in mind that people from Asia take their gambling and their superstitions quite seriously.
Of course, there are many other places you could pick, but these ones are the usual destinations as they offer most in terms of what one might be looking for if planning a gambling trip.
Planning Your Gambling Budget
Since gambling will be at the very heart of your holiday, you should spend some time carefully planning your gaming budget so it lasts you a while. If you spend everything you have the first night you land, the rest of the holiday won’t be much fun, even if you have everything else covered for in advance.
Figure out how much money you can afford to take with you and then try to distribute it across your entire stay. Of course, it is easy to get carried away when gambling, especially in these huge casinos filled with all bells and whistles, so you’ll need a failsafe system. Try to only take the amount of money you’re willing to spend on that particular visit with you and leave the rest behind. That way, it will be much easier to resist the temptation.
Carrying Cash Across the Border
Most countries around the world have limits on how much cash you can have on you when crossing the border. Usually, this is around $/€10,000. If you want to take more with you, it is probably easier to put the rest on a separate bank card and bring that with. You can take more money in cash as well, but you’ll probably need to declare it and spend time explaining what you plan to do with it, which is definitely not a good way to start a vacation.
Accommodation, Food, and Perks
Cities like Las Vegas, which exist primarily to get tourists to visit and spend their time (and their hard-earned cash) gambling can be very generous in helping you stay there for as long as possible. If you start looking on time, you should be able to find a bunch of great deals in hotel casinos, as they will often offer cheap accommodation deals.
On top of this, since the main purpose of your visit is gambling, make sure you pick up a loyalty card in every casino you visit. Even if you play moderately high for several hours every day, you can get plenty of great things, including your room being completely comped for the rest of your stay. In fact, you don’t need to gamble nearly as much as most people think to get these things paid for by a casino, especially in Las Vegas.
Travel When Others Don’t
Like with all other popular destinations, things are usually much more crowded in these gambling cities around different holidays and during summer months. These are the times of year when everybody is going on a vacation, which means air companies, hotels, and everybody else isn’t actually crying for business. I.e., you won’t get very good deals in terms of prices.
Since you’re going to gamble, you don’t really care all that much when you’ll be there, as casinos work around the year and you can play whatever you want, whenever you want. So, pick a time of year when the demand is much lower. You’ll be able to find some great deals and casinos will be much happier to comp your stay since they need as many traffic as possible.
You Can Eat for Free
Even if you’re a relative low-roller, simply by spending a few hours a day on slot machines, you’ll get more than enough loyalty points to eat for free every day of your stay. Casinos are very relaxed as far as food is concerned because they don’t really want you to leave and look for your meal elsewhere. Getting some food in your belly right on the spot works for them as you’ll be able to get back to playing immediately after.
Have Contingencies in Place
Although this is a good piece of advice every time you go for a holiday, having contingencies in place is especially important if you’re going for a gambling vacation. First of all, you should always have your return ticket all paid for, just in case things don’t quite go as planned.
This isn’t just about you gambling your money away. Spending time in casinos is likely more risky than visiting theaters and famous landmarks. Although none of us wants to get robbed or similar, these things can and do happen. So, better safe than sorry.
Having a bit of extra cash stored away somewhere where you can’t easily reach it is also a good idea. You could even have a good friend or relative back home waiting with a bit of money ready to send them over to you via Western Union or another quick method in case you need it. Just make sure you entrust this to someone reliable because if it comes down to you needing to resort to this option, it will probably be an emergency type of situation.
Planning Isn’t Fun, but It Will Provide You with More Fun
Having to plan ahead and working out every detail probably seems like a rather boring and time-consuming task – and it can be. But, in the end, spending some of your time doing it now will give you more time and more money to spend on having fun during your holiday. So, the tradeoff is well worth it.
Although there is no such thing as a “perfect” holiday, you can really cover a lot of ground before you even get on that plane. If you do it right, you’ll save a lot of money and everything will be ready for your arrival. So, as soon as you touch the ground, the fun can start and you can use the full seven, ten, or whatever days you have, on having a blast and creating memories that will last you a lifetime!