Vegas, Baby! What happens there, stays there . . . but how do you get there? That is the question we are looking at on today’s blog. Since it is just a five-hour drive away from Southern California, Las Vegas is an extremely popular road trip for CISL San Diego students. Let’s take a look at what you need for this weekend getaway!

Vegas Vick, seen to the right of this photo, has been a staple of the Vegas Strip for decades.
Vegas Vick, seen to the left of this photo, has been a staple of the Vegas Strip for decades.


1. Renting a car

CISL partners with Dirt Cheap Rentals, where you can get a rental car at a very good price. The company gives discounts to CISL students, so make sure that you tell them where you study! Dirt Cheap will help you with everything  you need for a rental car: insurance, stipulations about gas, GPS, etc.


2. Booking a hotel

Where to stay? There are so many hotels in Vegas: how can you choose one? Websites like Orbitz are great for booking last-minute hotels at great prices. If you are on a budget, Hostel World is an excellent website for booking hostels and has a reliable rating system. Las Vegas Hostel is the only hostel in Las Vegas with a swimming pool and a hot tub: keep this in mind if these amenities are important!


3. Getting there

It takes roughly 5 hours to travel from San Diego to Las Vegas by car; flights are about 1 1/2 hours. Remember that traffic leaving Las Vegas on Sunday is notoriously terrible, so expect the travel time to be significantly longer if you are leaving on a Sunday. If you are traveling with many people, renting a car is a cheaper option: if your group is smaller, flying might be more practical.


4. Enjoying

There are so many fun things to do in Las Vegas, we simply could not list them all! A good start is to check out our post on Travel Tips for Las Vegas: it provides some insider information that you may not know. From roller coasters to water shows to medieval jousting, there is something for everyone in Sin City!


CISL San Francisco students enjoying a weekend in Las Vegas
CISL San Francisco students enjoying a weekend in Las Vegas

Important things to know before going to Las Vegas

There are plenty of things for you to do in Las Vegas if you are not 21, but drinking is not one of them. Bars, casinos, and clubs all check IDs, so it is best to plan non-alcohol related events. Do not worry, you will still have a million things to do in Sin City: shopping, seeing shows, taking gondola rides at the Venetian, riding roller coasters at New York, New York, trying delicious restaurants, watching the free nightly shows at Treasure Island . . . you will be busy!

Remember that you are crossing into another state (Nevada) and that many laws are different from California. Some law are less strict than in California; for example, smoking inside is legal, and the hours for alcohol sales are not restricted. Keep in mind that the laws are different, and if you have any questions, just ask a friendly hotel staff member.

Don’t forget that “the strip” (the main road where the hotels are casinos are located) is very, VERY long. Factor in money for cab rides at the end of the night, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes: you are definitely going to be doing a lot of walking!


Past CISL students have written great articles about their experiences in Las Vegas. Click here to read all about Patricia’s experiences and here for details on a recent trip with CISL San Francisco students.