Las Vegas Is for Extroverts. . .And Introverts

This entry was posted in Las Vegas, solo travel on by .

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.

 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.

Video Poker Bar

Video Poker at the D’s Long Bar

Gaming

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.

Fleur

Most restaurants offer both table seating and bartop dining. (photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

Dining

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.

ImperialTwins

Introverts may want to seek out shows with theater-style seating (photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

Shows

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.

Dueling Pianos

There are lots of opportunities to meet people in Vegas.

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.

Palazzo Pool

Head to the pool early for some peace and quiet

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.

Valley of Fire

The desert is blissfully quiet compared to the Strip.

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?

 

12 thoughts on “Las Vegas Is for Extroverts. . .And Introverts

  1. Hardware

    I have taken a few solo trips to Vegas, and on one trip I decided to do Caesar’s All-Stage pass deal for 48 hours. Got great value out of it, but yeah, you really don’t want to have to sit at a table with others when you’re solo. Didn’t know that I’d get that kind of seating at the former IP, but indeed I did, so the minutes before Human Nature started kinda sucked. I talked with one of the nice old ladies at my table, but it was rather awkward. I was at the back of the table with three old ladies, so it looked like we should be a foursome, and I’m sure they expected that fourth seat was going to stay empty when they were seated.

    Went back an hour later for the Divas show (overrated) and knew what I was getting into. Despite the awkwardness of it, it wasn’t as bad overall, as I didn’t look so out of place next to those sitting at my table, and I don’t think every chair at the table was full.

    I went to a bunch of stuff during my 48 hours, great value for the money, but I’m not sure I’d do it again solo. And honestly, the value of that pass seems a bit diminished since I did it in 2011, but that’s another story.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Oh my God, Human Nature is the same show where I got stuck with that table of 7 friends! Once the show started, it was fine, but beforehand, yeah…excruciating. I remember looking at the All Stage Pass and thinking it sounded like it would be too much work to get your money’s worth, so I appreciate hearing your experience with it, Hardware. Thanks!

  2. Mitzie Mee

    I often go traveling on my own, but one place I’ve never considered going to without a friend or two is Las Vegas. After reading your post, I’m reconsidering:)

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Ah, then my work here is done, Mitzie. Mission accomplished. 🙂 Seriously, I think you’ll find it’s a different experience, but a great one.

  3. Dave

    I looked up the “extravert” spelling when I saw your original post and was excited to see that both spellings are correct. See, I read all these blogs for educational purposes! 😀

    As a fellow introvert, I really appreciate the distinctions you’ve made here. I’m a table games player for the most part, and I’ve found that “table talk” is fine with me. Typically, I keep remarks focused on the game itself (“Can you believe the dealer drew to a 7-card 21? Again?”) or general Las Vegas topics (“Where are you staying? How do you like it? Seen any shows?”).

    I’ve never liked eating at bars for the very reason that you say — I find that the bartenders will try to talk to me, and mealtimes are often my down time when I just want to be left alone. I often find that a friendly “I’m kind of beat and just want some quiet time” will do the trick, if the fact that my nose is buried in a book doesn’t send a strong enough hint.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Educational purposes….riiiiight. Sure, Dave. 🙂 I’m intrigued that you enjoy table games. I guess I should have made an exception for serious gamblers, too. After all, introvert or extrovert, if you actually care about winning, you’d want to play table games, because the odds are better. In that case, odds of winning trump introversion. 🙂

  4. Kayday

    I know it seems counterintuitive, but I actually enjoy table games as an introvert. It can be difficult for me to approach and talk to people when I travel by myself, which can get kind of lonely. But when I’m at a blackjack table, I get just enough interaction with other people to relieve the loneliness, without feeling any pressure to interact any more than I want to. Craps is good for that too. Players often don’t interact with each other much, but you can still have fun and feel like you are part of “the team.”

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      It is a little counterintuitive, Kayday, but whatever works, right? I guess I feel the same way about dueling piano shows. I feel like I’m part of a group, but I don’t really have to interact with anyone if I don’t want to.

      1. Administrator

        Most of my trips to Vegas are solo for work. So I really appreciated your advice, here.

        And Gray, if you can survive being seated at a table of 7 strangers at a show, I think you can survive anything! Socially speaking. I can’t even imagine. Man, you’re a solo rock star. : )

        My first couple solo trips were a little difficult for me as I adjusted to being alone. But like you, I quickly found that it’s all about planning and expectations. And there really is no better town than Vegas to go solo. Instant friends await you everywhere.

        I have enjoyed dining solo at the bars of places like Andiamo at the D and similar places. In addition to the points you’ve mentioned about having people next to you to chat (if you feel like it), another advantage is the bar staff are not as “random” as the table staff. If you go back to a restaurant six months or a year later, chances are pretty good you’ll get a different server.

        But at the bar, it’s not uncommon to get the same person year after year. I’ve done this several places and it’s nice to come into town and see the same person each time. Sometimes they even remember what you ordered last time!

        It’s great. Try to be a regular a few places and you’ll have develop that connection with people that can only come from sharing memories together. Even if those memories are only about the filet mignon.

        1. Gray Cargill Post author

          A “solo rock star”, eh? I should tell you sometime about the time I got into a cablecar with a family of 3 Asians before realizing we didn’t need to share cars to fill them. I must’ve thought I was at Disney or something. AWKward. Great tip about dining at bars! You’re right, they do tend to stick around a bit longer than waiters and waitresses, and it can be comforting to be remembered from trip to trip. You may even make some long-term friendships that way. Thanks, Steven!

  5. Larry

    Introvert! Definitely color me an introvert! And I love it! Here are my thoughts…
    When I wish to be left alone in a crowded place, especially when dining, I merely place some earbuds in my ears. If I feel like music, I turn the MP3 player on; if I just wish not to be bothered but otherwise take in the sounds, I just leave the buds in loosly and not turn the player on. People rarely approach you when you’re wearing earbuds.

    An activity that I thoroughly enjoy, and is right in the heart of the city, well, actually, in two hearts of the city, is jet watching. This is paractically a unique Vegas experience in its own, simply because Vegas has both a major civilian airport (McCarrant International), and a busy military airfield (Nellis AFB). At “Nellie” you can watch jets all day long provided you park on public land on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard (careful, though, as some parts of the base are located on the west side as well). Probably anywhere on the Speedway or to the northeast of it, or on the west side of the intersection of LV Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard would be okay. If you’re going to take pictures, make *darned* sure you’re on public land (the west side right-of-way of LV Bl is public). McCarran offers up close and personal jet watching; on the north side of Sunset Road, about midway between the Strip and Eastern Avenue, there is a pullout with maybe a hundred parking spots where you can park and watch all day long if you wish. They even have it set up so you can listen to the tower and the jets on your car radio. By the way…the 737s painted white with a long red stripe but no other markings are the jets that ferry the workers to and from the base at Groom Lake, otherwise known as “Area 51.” Their radio call sign is “Janet.” And now that I’ve told you that…

    Seriously, jet watching can be enjoyed by intros and extros, and Vegas is blessed with lotsa cool things zooming through its skies…more than most cities.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Ooh, the old earbud trick, eh, Larry? LOL. That’s a good idea. You’re right; nobody talks to you when you have earbuds in, but they don’t know whether or not you’re actually listening to music. That’s pretty cool about the airport. We have a place like that at my local airport too. Pretty breathtaking when the planes fly right over you.

Comments are closed.