For decades now, Las Vegas has been the go-to destination for people around the world who want to experience an alternate reality for a few days. Preparing yourself with the right gear for Vegas is crucial to ensuring you and your friends have an awesome time, right? I’ll answer that one for you: yes it is.
This Vegas packing list covers all of the must-have essentials for an EPIC Vegas holiday. I leave behind the frills and useless crap that other less respectable travel websites may suggest to you. I am here to plant the seed for important Vegas packing ideas that you might not have thought of already or that I found to be extremely useful during my travels there.
Settle in and take some notes. By the end of this article, you will have your Vegas checklist sorted.
The Ultimate Las Vegas Packing List
So let’s take a look at the Las Vegas packing essentials – everything you need to bring for your Vegas adventure!
The Backpack and Luggage: Nomatic Travel Bag
Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Las Vegas, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.
The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Las Vegas checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.
You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack.
Check out our Nomatic Travel Bag review if you’re keen to learn more.
Luggage Option #2: AER Travel Pack 2
Our number two selection for an epic travel backpack is the AER Travel Pack 2. Like the Nomatic Travel Bag, this AER backpack is fully featured, big enough to hold an extended weekend of clothing, and tough enough to last years of travel abuse.
I have taken the AER Travel Pack 2 on multiple trips and since then it has risen has in the ranks of my go-to travel backpacks.
Check out our AER Travel Pack 2 review to learn more.
The Suitcase: Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro.
This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase.
Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase.
The Camera: Fujifilm X-T3
For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning capabilities. If you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with a mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T3.
This camera is not a camera for total amateurs per se. It does deliver pro-quality photographs and video if you are an aspiring content creator. Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you taking epic shots well beyond your time exploring the Vegas strip.
What to Pack for Vegas: Personal Gear
Many people think of Vegas as a hedonistic city in a hot, dry desert where temperatures are always scorching. While this is true for a large chunk of the year, Vegas can actually be pretty cold when the seasons change, especially at night. In the winter, it is not unheard of for Sin City to receive a bit of snow.
Point being, when you plan on going to Vegas will greatly determine what you need to pack. Below I break down what you will need to enjoy Vegas comfortably in both the warm and cold seasons as well as the must-have essentials for any time of year.
You know what you like to wear so I am not going to suggest that you bring this sundress or that pair of underwear. This list is the must-bring essentials to pack to get the most out of your Las Vegas holiday.
#Good Shoes: Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero
Visitors to Vegas have a tendency to underestimate the amount of walking that is part of the day to day Vegas experience. Shuffling between casinos and bars, checking out the lengthy strip, and exploring the local mountains outside of the city all make the miles on your feet add up.
I admit that most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear. But they are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of walking about town. I mean, your body is already going to be suffering enough from all of those 2-for-1 shots and bottomless mimosas you will be drinking, so do yourself a favor and buy some good shoes.
Plus, the mountains outside of Vegas offer excellent day hiking opportunities, so packing a pair of hiking shoes gives you the option (and eliminates excuses) to go head for the hills when the city becomes too much.
Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero.
A Down Jacket: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody
Granted if you visit Vegas in the summer you probably won’t need to bring this. Pack extra bikinis instead. But from October – April temperatures plummet in the desert and you’ll be happy to have this ultra-warm down jacket with you.
It weighs just under a pound and provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio. If you don’t go for one of the super bright colors, it is pretty stylish and city-worthy also.
If visiting Vegas in the winter, this jacket is an absolute must.
Check out our best travel jackets article for more inspiration.
Any time of the year there is a pool or jacuzzi waiting with your name on it in Vegas. You will be the disappointed guy or girl in the corner if you forget to pack swimwear while everyone else is in the water. Or you might get drunk, lose your inhibitions, and jump in naked with the risk of getting arrested.
Don’t get arrested for being drunk and naked. Instead, just pack whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable in the pool.
Ok, you can’t pack travel insurance in your backpack, but you can take out a cheap policy to insure yourself against theft, flight cancellations, accidents, etc.
I admit I traveled for many years without having travel insurance. Because of it, I paid the price a few times in foreign hospitals. Especially in an expensive country like the USA, you NEED to have insurance in order to avoid unimaginably high hospital bills. I have countless stories of friends who have been injured while traveling in the USA – and in one case – the bill was over 50k USD.
We recommend going with World Nomads or SafetyWing. You’ll be happy you did when the time comes to use it.
Sunglasses: Native Eyewear Wells Polarized Sunglasses
Have you ever been inside of a casino. There are no windows and thus there is no natural light. When you stumble out of a casino at midday the sunlight is blinding. You’ll be glad you packed a pair of sunglasses.
As much as you will be inside bars, clubs, and casinos in Vegas, you will also spend a lot of time walking outside as previously mentioned. The desert sun is fierce so don’t forget to pack your polarized sunglasses.
Otherwise, you will be forced to buy $20 sunglasses with “I Heart Vegas” etched into the corner of the lens.
Sunglasses Pick #2: Sun God Sunglasses
A reliable pair of sunglasses is undoubtedly one of your Las Vegas packing essentials. Our favorites are SunGod Sunglasses because they deliver on quality and style. They’re built tough with triple-layer scratch-resistant lenses and trademarked Adventureproof? Frame Material; but you can also customize them with your choice of lense and frame colors to reflect your own style. Plus they’re covered by SunGod’s lifetime guarantee of free repair. Check our in-depth review here.
Suncream: Thinksport Safe SPF 50+
By now, all of us are as pasty as the driven snow from sheltering in place for the last six months. Am I right? This means we are even more vulnerable than usual to the sun’s fierce rays. Packing sunscreen for Vegas may seem like a no brainer, but you would be amazed how many sun-burned cocktail-toting people you see wandering around.
Thinksport Safe SPF 50+ sunscreen gives folks strong sun protection in a non-oily formula that’s free of gluten, paraben, phthalates and biologically harmful chemicals. Check.
Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.
Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential.
Sandals: OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops
Circling back to the footwear question, now we are going to talk about sandals. Whether you are traveling to Vegas during the warmer months or plan on spending time by the heated pool in winter, having a pair of flip flops is a good idea.
Your feet will be tired and sweaty from those long days wearing shoes so do yourself a favor: pack sandals and give your feet some well-deserved cushion and fresh air. These Olukai flip flops are ultra-comfortable, well-made, and come in a variety of colors.
Check out the women’s OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops.
Your Passport or Other Government ID
The authorities in Vegas are super strict about checking everyone’s identification. People coming from Europe may not even know that the legal drinking and gambling age in the USA is 21 years old. If one thing can be said about Americans it is they have an obsession for checking IDs or “carding” people as they say.
If you forget your ID you will not be allowed entrance into an untold number of establishments including bars, clubs, casinos, and other venues of responsible adult entertainment.
Vegas is the one place where you absolutely must not forget your ID!
Security Belt: Active Roots Security Belt
This is a very practical packing choice for Vegas. Stash the cash you won playing slots around your waist or keep a few extra bills on you for when you go out and keep your money hidden in the process.
We prefer accessories like the Active Roots Security Belt because it’s not obvious that it’s being used to carry around your money. It looks like a regular pant belt from the outside, but there’s a cool zipper pocket hidden on the inside for safely tucking away your valuables. It’s genius and does not cost much.
Electrolytes and Headache Medicine
For some reason, people tend to drink a lot when visiting Vegas.
Having some form of hangover kit is strongly advised for your ‘what to pack for Las Vegas’ survival items. A combination of partying, hot desert weather, and lack of sleep is a recipe for feeling a bit out of sorts the next day. In addition to drinking plenty of water, you may need an extra rehydration boost with travel-friendly electrolyte tablets.
And if the headache is too much to bear, it’s a good idea to have some over-the-counter medicine to help nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
A Hat – Patagonia Fitz Roy Trucker
As you should know by now, the sun in Vegas is strong and you will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time outside. Having a hat on your Vegas packing list is a good way to ensure your face is protected from the sun throughout the day.
Patagonia makes great hats. I have probably bought three or four of these over the last five years. Simple. Practical. Comfortable. That is what you are after.
Let’s face it; for the foreseeable future, COVID 19 risk is just going to be a part of travel. How do we do our best to mitigate the risk while still traveling and experience life’s pleasures? Pack the right PPE gear.
Las Vegas is a dream environment for a pathogen like COVID to spread. Slot machine knobs, crowded casinos, packed theaters, hundreds of bars; you get the idea.
It is absolutely essential that you pack the following items for your trip to Vegas to ensure you keep yourself and the people you will be coming into contact with safe from spreading COVID around like wildfire.
- Bring a Mask.
- Bring Hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.
- Consider disposable gloves for slot machines or other when touching other stuff that hundreds of other people have also touched that day. From an environmental point of view, these types of gloves are fuc**** awful. Use these only when necessary and keep in mind these things are very polluting and will end up in a landfill after one use.
Waterbottle – Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.
Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles. Everywhere in Las Vegas from casino drinking fountains to the water coming out of your bathroom sink, the water is safe to drink. Fill up your bottle each time and carry it with you when you go out in order to avoid buying water throughout your day.
We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Vegas trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth.
If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.
Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle.
The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered.
Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS!
The Basic Stuff to Pack for Vegas
On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a weekend in Vegas:
- 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
- 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer/late spring)
- A few pairs of socks
- (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
- Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy!
- Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy!
- Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
- Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
- Phone charger
- Amazon Kindle for reading by the pool
- Aeropress if your Vegas AIRBNB or Hotel has hot water making capabilities
- Basic first-aid kit
- Copy of your passport just in case
- Cash (not too much, there are ATM machines everywhere
- Packable Towel
Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Vegas
And there’s your complete Las Vegas gear survival guide. You are now prepared and primed for epic experiences in one of the most unique cities in the USA.
Focus on the essentials, and be ready to go with the flow. You can never be 100% sure of what to expect when it comes to traveling in Las Vegas, packing the right stuff is a good way to manage the curve balls life inevitably throws our way.
Have an amazing time and please try to be responsible along the way as you let loose.
Also – don’t forget to sort your travel insurance – seriously! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.
Need More Inspiration?
- 10 Best Hostels in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas Weekend Itinerary
- BEST Airbnbs in Las Vegas
- 7 Best Lodges in Las Vegas
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