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04 Jul Las Vegas – All you need to know for your trip

On August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip, Irish UFC hero Conor McGregor will fight Floyd Mayweather in what will surely be a historic boxing match. If you’re thinking about heading over, we’ve got all the details you need to plan what will be a definitely be memorable trip, no matter what the outcome of the bout may be.

Getting there:

Currently, there are no direct routes from Dublin to Las Vegas. One of the most popular ways and easiest for Irish people to get to Vegas is to fly from Dublin or Shannon to JFK in New York and get a connecting flight from there to Vegas. You can also fly from Dublin or Shannon to London and then on to Las Vegas. Alternatively, you could fly to California and get a flight, rent a car or bus it to Vegas from there. Aer Lingus have a number of different direct flights to American cities and offer connecting flight to Vegas so you can work out which option suits you best. You’ll also need an ESTA in order to get into the country.

 

The ESTA is an electronic registration system requiring travellers who are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to register in advance of travelling to the US. You should register through the Department of Homeland Security website, where you will have to pay a fee (currently $14).
Registration can be done by third parties on your behalf, such as travel agencies, and multiple applications can be completed and paid for in one transaction.

You can submit an ESTA application at any time prior to travel – the Department of Homeland Security recommends that it be submitted at least 72 hours in advance of travel. Once approved, it will be valid for multiple entries into the US and generally for up to two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

  • If you don’t get authorisation to travel you’ll need to go to your nearest US Diplomatic or Consular Mission and apply for a visa.
  • An ESTA approval does not determine admissibility into the US. The final decision for entry to the US rests with immigration authorities at the port of entry.
  • The ESTA programme does not apply if you have a visa for the US.
  • Children, including infants, who are endorsed on a parent’s passport must have an individual machine-readable passport or else obtain a visa in the parent’s passport.
  • In most cases, to enter the US, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date you enter. However, Ireland has an agreement with the US that allows you to enter on a current passport up to the actual date of expiration – so your Irish passport needs to be valid only for the duration of your stay in the US.
  • However, if you’re travelling visa-free on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and your passport is valid for less than 90 days, you will be admitted only until the date on which the passport expires. If the passport is not valid for the duration of your stay, you must apply for a new passport from your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate while in the US.

Information gathered via The Department of Foreign Affairs

 

Getting around:

Most of Vegas is accessible on foot. However, the Las Vegas Strip is 4 miles long so public transport is a better option for most. Buses on the strip are very easily accessible and run 24/7, every 15 – 20 minutes. You can also travel the strip by monorail, which has trains arriving every 4-8 minutes and runs Monday 7am – 12 midnight, Tuesday through Thursday 7am – 2am and Friday through Sunday 7am-3am.

 

Things to do:

You’ll never run out of things to do in Las Vegas, it just depends on how long you’re there for. Here’s just a couple of things we recommend doing while in Sin City:

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Place a bet: No trip to Vegas would be complete without a little gambling. Try your hand at one of the thousands of slot machines around or have a go at red or black. If you’re feeling more confident, take a seat at one of the more serious tables in any of the hotel casinos.

Watch the Dancing Waters Fountain Show at the Bellagio: One of the best free attractions in Vegas. Over 1,200 water cannons dance to music in the lake in front of the hotel, reaching highs of over 400ft. They take place every 15-30 minutes until midnight, depending on the time of year.

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SlotZilla Zip line: One for the thrill seekers! This zip line flies you over downtown Las Vegas. It has two different height levels, depending on how daring you feel. Prices vary from $20 to $45.

Go to a pool party: Dayclubbing is a phenomenon which has really developed in Las Vegas in the last few years. What better way to cool off from the intense Vegas heat by partying it up poolside with some of the world’s best known DJs? Some of the most popular are Encore Beach Club, Drais Beach Club and Wet Republic at MGM Grand. A full schedule of DJ sets and venues is available here.

See a show: Whether you’re interested in concerts, magic, sport, cirque, comedy or musicals, Vegas has a show for you. Most hotels have venues in their establishments with nightly entertainment from some of the world’s best performers. Full schedules and ticket information is available here.

Visit The Hoover Dam: The Hoover Dam is one of the largest in the world and is just an hour from Las Vegas. Tours go daily from most of the hotels on the strip.

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Before travelling, it’s recommended that you take out annual multi-trip travel insurance. This will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

If you’re planning to rent a car while in the US, and you’re an AA customer, you can get up to 10% off and an additional driver added free with Enterprise, Alamo and National Car Rental. Click here for more information.

Jennifer McCormack
McCormackJ@theaa.ie