When people think of Las Vegas, they probably picture couples or groups of friends roaming the Strip, drinking, gambling, and clubbing all night and all day. Certainly that’s the audience that most of the Strip resorts are marketing to these days. But hello—this website is for solo travelers. Solos are going to have a different experience in Las Vegas than that. It occurred to me recently that after setting up this website, I haven’t really written much about the actual experience of being solo in Las Vegas.
Solo travelers can do pretty much anything that couples and groups of friends can do—and have fun doing it. I realize Vegas isn’t for everyone, but I think almost anyone can enjoy Las Vegas if they do their research ahead of time and focus on activities and places they will enjoy. I don’t think it matters one little bit whether or not you’re a gambler, drinker, shopper, partier, or any of that. And you can have fun in Las Vegas whether you are introverted or extroverted, too. You just might need to approach your trip slightly differently depending on which you are.
I have no scientific evidence to back this up, but if I had to guess, I’d bet that extroverts will probably find themselves gravitating to table games, which are more social, while introverts may find greater enjoyment at slots or video poker. A good middle-of-the-road option is bartop video poker, where you can focus on the game or interact with others, depending on how introverted or extroverted you’re feeling at the moment.
The idea of dining alone might produce more anxiety in extroverts than introverts. Introverts can be perfectly content reading a book, journaling, or just people-watching while they eat. But extroverts are used to having someone to talk to over a meal. How can they possibly eat by themselves?
I’d recommend extroverts gravitate to dining at the bar, where they can meet other people. Introverts may also want to dine at the bar if they’re feeling well-rested and social. But I do recommend table seating at least once in awhile for everyone. It’s good to learn to dine alone comfortably (which can only happen with practice). Plus I think it sends a powerful message when a solo diner has a table and gets the same service as everyone else.
Extroverts will probably enjoy high-energy shows that include audience participation, whereas introverts will avoid audience participation like the plague. For introverts, it’s crucial to make sure your preferred show offers theater seating, not table seating. One time, I found myself seated at a table with 7 other people–who all knew each other. I was the odd one out. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. If I were more extroverted, I might have found that a great opportunity to make some new friends. But as an introvert, I just died a little inside until the show started.
The Extrovert’s Anxiety: Being Alone
Because extroverts derive energy from being around other people, the idea of traveling solo for the first time may cause some anxiety. What will they do without a traveling companion? Will they be lonely or bored?
Extroverts traveling to Las Vegas solo will be happy to learn that a) it’s much easier to meet other people when you’re traveling alone than when you’re traveling with someone else; and b) it’s really easy to find friendly people to hang out with in Las Vegas. Most people you encounter in Las Vegas are approachable—even us introverts. Why? Because people are happy to be there! It’s Vegas, baby!
Where can you meet people? Pretty much anywhere. At the pool, in the elevator, at the bar, in the line for the buffet, sitting next to you at a show or at the blackjack table. You just have to smile and be friendly. Seek out social activities, like night clubs and day clubs, busy, fun pool areas, and day tours where you can interact with other travelers. Perhaps join in a meet-and-greet arranged on a Vegas forum (or set up your own meet-and-greet via a Vegas forum). You will love the dueling piano shows.
My favorite ice breaker in a quiet elevator is: “So. . .are you winning?” Not everyone’s a gambler, but if not, they’ll tell you and it will give you an opening to find out what else people are doing in Las Vegas.
The Introvert’s Anxiety: How to Get Some Alone Time
The difference between extroverts and introverts is this: Extroverts get more energy from being around other people, while being alone tends to drain them. With introverts, it’s the opposite: Being around other people drains our batteries, and being alone recharges them.
I am an introvert. Initially, when I touch down in Las Vegas, I enjoy the sensory stimulation of the city—the bright lights, the sounds, the busy-ness of it all. It’s exciting and very different from Vermont, where I live. When I go on vacation, that’s exactly what I want: Something “different”.
But after awhile, all the people and all the noise starts to take its toll on me. It’s important that I carve time out of every day for a little quiet, alone time to recharge my batteries, or my energy and tolerance levels for other human beings will deplete quickly.
How do I do this? There aren’t a lot of public quiet spots in the tourist zone. But I try to find them.
If my hotel has extensive grounds (aside from the pool area), I wander them, looking for those isolated corners where I can sit for awhile, alone with my thoughts. I try to head out to the pool first thing in the morning before it gets loud. I’ll go to a movie sometimes, (because people have to be quiet during movies). Sometimes, I’ll just go back to my room to read a book for awhile or take a nap.
Going to the spa is a great retreat from the noisy casinos, and afternoon tea is also soothing. Or visit one of the quieter attractions, such as the Bellagio Art Gallery or the Titanic Exhibit. Book a hotel that has a quiet pool, indulge a favorite hobby—classic cars, photography, hiking, riding rollercoasters. Whatever it is, introverts can rejoice that when they travel solo, they can focus on the things that make them happy without having to accommodate someone else’s needs all the time.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What parts of Las Vegas fit you like a glove, and which are most challenging for you, based on your personality type?