2.4 What should I bring with me?
Las Vegas will be hot in the summer, warm in the Spring and Fall ...and cool in the winter. Check the weather forecast before you leave and pack accordingly. Use luggage that has wheels so you can easily transport it around.
Packing in advance reduces your chances of forgetting something and allows you time to purchase stuff you still need. A good idea is to make a list of the items in your checked bags. If your luggage is lost you will have an easier time making a claim. Pack only what you need. Most people over pack.
Packing your suitcase:
For the most part, casual clothes are worn morning, noon and night in Las Vegas ...even when dining or to the shows. That means slacks (black, brown, blue or khaki); linen or cotton in the Spring and Summer, wool/wool blend or polyester for Fall/Winter. Skirts and tops for the women. Pack about three or four blouses or shirts per person. (A high collar will protect your neck from the sun.)
Include one nice dressy outfit (cocktail dress or a dinner jacket) for going to a gourmet restaurant or night club. But fancy clothes are usually not necessary.
Reduce wrinkling by putting your clothes in plastic bags (like the type you get from the dry cleaners.) You can also save space (and decrease wrinkling) by rolling clothes in newspapers rather than folding them and packing them like cigarettes in a pack.
Take two pair of comfortable shoes: one regular pair, and another casual pair of sneakers for walking. We can't emphasize enough the importance of having comfortable, well-broken in shoes! You'll be doing a lot of "strip crawling" and even inside, the hotels are huge. In Las Vegas, you’ll walk plenty! Women frequently think they need more than two pair of shoes. (My wife does!)
Play clothes; sun dresses, shorts, T-shirts and tank tops are a must for daytime wear. And bring a hat or cap with a wide brim to shade the searing sun.
It is always a good idea to pack a sweater or light jacket even though it is warm (or hot) outside. It can get cool after dark and the air conditioning inside some casinos can be chilly. (The temperature difference between outside and inside a casino can be 30 degrees ...and 70 degrees can feel like 50.)
Most hotels have swimming pools, so don’t forget to bring bathing suits and cover-ups ...especially during the summer. Also consider packing a pair of "flip-flops" or shower slippers for walking on unbearably hot concrete if the pool is outside ...or to and from your hotel room.
Sunglasses are very important in Las Vegas - as is plenty of sunscreen lotion and lip balm or Chapstick. Sun blockers are rated by their Sun Protection Factor (SPF.) The higher the number the longer a person is able to stay in the sun before burning. It is recommended to wear at least a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
Bring a week’s worth of underwear. Pajamas or oversized T-shirts for sleeping
Take a half a dozen pair of socks; casual, dressy ...some white. Placing rolled up socks and other soft clothing items inside shoes will save space and help the shoes keep their shape
You might need such personal items as a blow dryer, travel iron (check to see if your hotel supplies them) or hair rollers. Fragile articles are accepted as checked baggage only at the customer's own risk. The better hotels supply lotions, shampoos and irons/ironing boards ...sometimes a dryer. Consider bringing a small flashlight with batteries.
Purchase travel size cosmetics and health/beauty aids to save space. Put cosmetics, shoe polish, nail enamel, perfume, sunscreen and anything else that might spill, spurt, break, ooze and stain your clothing into re-sealable plastic bags, a leak-proof cosmetic bag or unbreakable containers. You’ll need deodorant, toothbrushes, tooth paste, a nail clipper and (men) shaving stuff. (There is a Walgreen's across from the Monte Carlo hotel on the South Strip if you forget something.)
Don’t forget aspirin, Ibuprofen, Extra strength Tylenol (or some other pain killer), adhesive bandages (band-aids for bistered feet), lotion/facial mosisturizer for the dry weather ...maybe even a small first aid kit. If you get air sick easily, or on your first flight, take some sort of motion sickness drug such as Dramamine before you fly. This is a readily-obtained over-the-counter at a drug store. (Nothing will relieve motion sickness once it has started.)
But you can forget the umbrella. Rain is very unlikely in the desert.
One thing you should not forget is your cell phone and the charger. All Vegas hotels charge sky-high high rates for phone calls. At the very best, it will cost $1 for a local call, and who-knows-what for long distance. And be aware that some hotels even charge for a phone call even if there is no answer! (If you are bringing a laptop computer along, there will usually be a local telephone call charge every time you connect to the Internet ...and sometimes every time you try to connect but do not.)
If you are traveling from overseas, you will need USA plug converter so you can charge your phone charger/camera battery charger. (An AC plug converter is needed by European/Asian travelers so they can use their electronic devices.)
Packing an extra roomy, expandable travel bag is a good idea to put your souvenirs and purchases in. A couple of large plastic bags are useful for wet or dirty clothing.
A "money belt" - the kind that has a small purse built into a belt - is a very handy thing in Las Vegas. It allows you to easily and safely access your funds while you are walking around.
Never leave your luggage unattended. If you must leave the area where you have placed it, even for a moment, take your luggage with you. Never allow anyone that you do not know to “watch” your luggage for you and do not carry anything for someone that you do not know or watch a bag for someone that you do not know.
Keep in mind that most airlines limit carry-on bag dimensions to 9x14x22 inches (45 linear inches.) It must be able to fit in the aircraft overhead rack or under your seat. You are allowed one carry-on ...and a laptop computer or brief case is considered carry-on. You also carry one personal item such as a purse or camera. (It is confusing why a brief case is considered "carry-on" while a hand bag or purse is not! But that's the rules.)
You should always carry important travel documents (plane tickets, hotel paperwork and such) and valuable items in your carry-on luggage. It doesn’t hurt to have photocopies in your checked luggage in case the originals get lost.
Be certain to carry a government issued ID (with a photo) such as a driver’s license ...a passport and birth certificate if coming from a foreign country. You will need to show it several times during your stay.
Bring an ATM card for emergency withdrawals, a major credit card (VISA, Discover, American Express or MasterCard), and a couple of hundred in cash ...more if you plan on gambling a bit.
You’ll need a camera, or course, and plenty of film. Do not put film in your checked bag as it will get damaged when X-rayed by machines that scan checked baggage. (The scanner at the gates is less powerful and won't hurt film.) You might also take extra camera batteries. Be aware that everything is more expensive if you have to buy it in Las Vegas.
If you take medication, put it in your carry on bag so you will have it in case your checked luggage gets lost. (Not likely, but it does happen.) You might even pack a single change of clothes if you have room. Bring a pen and small notepad.
Be sure to place your name, address and itinerary on (and in) all of your bags so the airlines can find you if it gets lost. Carry a list of phone numbers important to you. Tipping is a way of life in Vegas. Carry a supply of $1 bills for tips; you will need them on your trip from the airport to the hotel.)
Dealing with lost luggage
The bad news is that it does happen once in a while. The good news is that 98% get returned to their owners. But it can take time. A waiting period of one week is required before baggage can be declared lost. Make sure that you get a claim check for every bag that you check. Don't throw them away until your bags are returned.
Make (and carry) a list of what it inside your checked luggage, along with estimated values. Consider taking a snapshot of what is included in the bags. Remember: It's easier to make a list of your effects while you are packing, than to reconstruct one under duress at the airport Lost & Found counter. Don't pack the list. Keep receipts of items purchased on your trip.
You can also buy excess-valuation insurance from the airline, when the value of the belongings exceed the replacement value that is reimbursable by the airline. Under federal law, airlines are required to pay up to $2,800 per passenger for baggage lost or damaged on domestic flights.
When a bag is declared lost, you will have to submit paperwork to the airline documenting the value of the bags and their contents. You may not necessarily get full value for all the lost items. Reimbursement will come 2-6 weeks later. Not a cheery thought when you are on vacation and need your stuff. Hint: To prevent your look-alike bag from being grabbed off the carousel by a traveler too rushed to check the tags, tie a colored ribbon on the handle.
It is a good idea to bring enough things in your carry-ons to manage for a couple of days, just in case. Always hand carry your prescriptions, travel documents, money, jewelry, valuables and other important items.
Each airline has its own rules and standards for what it requires and how it settles claims, but the process should rarely exceed one month.
When it becomes apparent that baggage is missing, consumers should fill out a form for delayed baggage at the airport. Tracing the missing piece can normally take up to one week.
Before leaving the airport, ask the airline if they will deliver the bag without charge if it is found. (It normally is.) The airlines scan bags when they're loaded into the baggage claim area and keep records, so it is normally just a case of the airline checking their computer to see where your bag is. Also ask about an advance or reimbursement for any items you must buy while your bag is missing.
After one week, file a lost bag claim with the airline. List the lost items and their value. For more information about the proper procedures, contact the Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
Airlines will not reimburse for currency, photographic or electronic equipment (such as cameras, mobile telephones, laptop computers, etc.), rare and expensive jewelry or artistic works, or medication, unless excess valuation insurance was purchased). Some credit cards will cover these items if the tickets were purchased with the card.
Airlines keep all unclaimed baggage for three months before selling it at auction. Here is the final resting place for lost luggage.
If your bags are damaged, the airline will either fix them, reimburse you for the cost of repairs, give you new bags, or pay for the cost of replacing them, depending on the amount of damage. You must report any damage within seven days. If your bags are damaged before you check them, the airlines will ask you to sign a damage waiver at check in, which states the nature of the damage and exempts the airline for that damage.
Otherwise, if the bags arrive damaged and the airline didn't have you sign a waiver, the airline is fully liable for the condition of the bags. Normal wear and tear, of course, is not subject to a damage claim. Carry-on bags are not subject to damage claims.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has an excellent online write-up on your rights as an airline passenger. You should read it.
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