Las Vegas Can Still Be Sinful Under 21

Las Vegas may be the epitome of American excess, but if you’re going to visit Sin City before you can order a straight whiskey without being escorted out of the bar, you run the risk of leaving with your wallet embarrassingly full. How-to Guru has some well-tested tips for making the most of the experience (without wasting a night and a Benjamin on Cher’s 12th Farewell Tour).

First and foremost, go with your cooler, old friends. The next best thing next to being 21 in Vegas is being around those who are. Don’t waste $200 on a fake ID with no magnetic strip; try to score an expired driver’s license from a friend who bears enough of a resemblance that the bouncer lets you in. (Girls, there’s no such thing as too much cleavage.) If you get your hands on an ID that says you’re 24, it’s a lot more legitimate when causally inspected among a sea of 20-somethings than a group of jittery 18-year-olds.

Even if you can’t get a fake in time, there’s no need to be stuck sipping Red Bull your entire stay. Instead, pitch in a little extra so your older friends return with plenty of cheap, efficient booze in tow. Get someone to take you under his or her wing: The gates will open, and the alcohol and opportunities will flood down your throat in no time.

Be ready (and excited) to blow cash on unneeded extravagances. The Vegas experience isn’t complete without a depleted bank account and a consistently rising blood-alcohol content. Withdraw cash for all the places you don’t want your parents seeing on your bank statement, and expect to pay $15 for a strip club (plus a wad of singles to lure Kandi’s assets up close), $40 for an elk-and-ostrich buffet and $79 for that two-girl special.

Of course, no Vegas trip is complete without the ultimate casino staple: sketchy-ass old men. Don’t write them off completely — play your cards right and Hank from Reno just might buy you a bourbon. Ladies, a wink and a smile never hurt, but back away the moment that geezer starts to invade your space. Chastise him as you would a particularly horny dog; a bitchy “down boy” usually does the trick.

A final piece of advice: Sleep when you’re dead. How-to Guru enjoys a nap as much as the next Adderall-fried student — just not in the flashiest city in the world. Let your hair down, because you’re not technically having fun unless brain cells are begging for better days of mere hyper-caffeination. You may have been out staving advances from guidos geezers in the club since 11 p.m., but that’s no excuse to succumb to exhaustion before sunrise. Take slutty photos. Polish off half-empty bottles and warm fallen soldiers. Put “Bad Romance” on repeat ’til you’re face-down on the carpet. Don’t worry, a couple efficient hours of shut-eye goes a long way — even if it is on a vomit covered bathroom floor at 8 a.m.. Lest you forget: This is Las Vegas. No matter your age, you go big or go home.

Special how-to requests? Contact the guru at [email protected].

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