48 hours in Las Vegas


Sin City, The City of Lights, The Entertainment Capital of the World… Las Vegas is on everyone’s bucket list and attracts some 42 million visitors each year. With its enormous hotels, gigantic casinos and its buzzing nightlife, Vegas is one of America’s biggest party capitals. Only got two nights to explore? No problem – here’s my list of must see’s and my guide on how to make the most of your time in the city…

Check out the hotels

The hotels in Vegas are like mini cities. I’m not even joking. They are separate resorts within their own rights and they are HUGE! I couldn’t grasp the size of them until I went into four or five consecutively, and then wandered around them all in awe. It’s like being in a gigantic shopping mall and never being able to find the exit. Each time you think you’ve seen it all there’s something else to discover!


#Vegas seems like forever ago now!! What a place 😍🇺🇸 @contiki @statravel_uk #contiki #noregrets

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


Favourites of mine were The Venetian – who doesn’t love a little bit of Venice in Vegas?! – The Mirage – actual real life dolphins in the garden #saywhaaaaattt – and The Bellagio – those fountains are amazing! I stayed at the Harrahs during my time in Vegas and it was fab, it wasn’t as big as some of the others but there were casinos, bars, restaurants and shops aplenty. I would have loved to visit Caesar’s Palace and The Luxor whilst I was there but I just didn’t have the time, there are too many to try and squeeze in but if you are staying for a few days then you must try to visit them all!


Miss this place with its dancing fountains 🇺🇸😍 #bellagio #Vegas #contiki #america #USA

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


Vegas can get INCREDIBLY hot, especially during the summer months, so some respite in the hotel air-con systems is welcome especially when walking around during the day. The heat is so intense, it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, I’d liken it to standing in an oven, I literally was BAKING. If you can deal with the dry, desert like heat then you’ll be fine, but I was so sick on my first night I just wanted to jump into an ice bucket and cry!


Amazing stay in #Vegas at the Harrahs hotel! Next stop Grand Canyon 🎉🇺🇸 @contiki @statravel #noregrets #contiki

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


Gamble in the casinos

It’s the classic bucket list item – gamble in a casino – TICK! I went to a good few casinos during my stay although I wish I had the time to gamble properly! I don’t really know what I’m doing when I’m gambling, I just kind of play along and hope for the best, but I would have loved to have moved on from the slot machines and tried my hand at poker or craps!


Flashing lights and big screens can only mean one thing… It's a #Vegas #casino! 🎰🎰 #TravelTuesday #lasvegas

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


There are sooo many casinos in Vegas, you could go round each of the hotels just visiting each casino without even seeing the individual ones on the main strip! Gambling is so huge in Vegas, embrace it and have fun but remember to gamble responsibly while you’re away.

Go to a pool party

This is a must if you love sunbathing, dancing to club tunes and socialising with randomers! You’ll make friends with people you’ve only just met and you’ll spend way too much money on alcohol but you’ll have a blast, I promise! I went to one of the biggest pool parties in the city during my time in Vegas – Wet Republic at MGM Grand is one of the hottest places on the pool party scene so I was so excited to be attending! Be aware though that prices are sooo over the top at pool parties – you’ll easily pay over $18 dollars for a drink and at least $10 for a bottle of water, it’s crazy but I guess that’s how they make their money and it’s such an exclusive place you’ll feel like a VIP when you’re there, it’s all about the experience!


When in #Vegas a pool party is a must! 🎉👙

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


*TOP TIP* – there are often promo guys stood near to the entrance of Wet Republic offering reduced or free entry to the pool party – snap up the free wristbands and save on entry charges so you don’t have to pay on the door! Alternatively have a look on Instagram or Twitter for promo people using the #wetrepublic or #vegas hashtags and they should be able to sort you out with free tickets.


Pool party time 🎉 #Vegas

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


Watch a Cirque Du Soleil show

You can’t go to Vegas and NOT see a Cirque Du Soleil show – it’s one of the most iconic shows in the world and where better place to watch it than in Sin City itself?! There are a variety of different shows to watch, from The Beatles Love show to the magical Mystere show, but I opted for the O show at The Bellagio Hotel.


Watching a Cirque Du Soleil show in #Vegas – TICK! ✅ 🎪#bucketlist #traveltuesday #cirquedusoleil

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


The whole thing was incredible from start to finish – each dancer, acrobat, performer and presenter gave 110% and I was blown away by what I saw. During the show part of the stage gave way to water and then all of a sudden the stage transformed into a pool and there were water stunts and splashes a plenty! The show made me laugh, made me stop and stare and, at times, left me totally speechless. Tickets weren’t cheap, I think I paid around $120 for a seat but it was so worth it and I’d encourage anyone to attend a Cirque show when in Vegas!

Head over to Fremont Street

I have to admit I’d never even heard of Fremont Street when I rolled into Vegas but I am SO glad I visited this place during my time in the city. Fremont Street is everything you think Vegas would be, but it’s just on a smaller scale without the skyscraper hotels! Think bright lights, street entertainment, people zip-wiring across the fake ceiling (yes, really) and bars and casinos on every corner.


Wherever you are in #Vegas don't forget to look UP!! Fremont Street is where it's at! 🇺🇸🎉 #TravelTuesday @contiki @statravel_uk

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


Fremont Street was super cool, I literally only had a couple of hours to check everything out and most of that time was spent inside one of the casinos, but by wandering around properly you’ll get a true taste of the area and can fully submerge yourself in the old school Vegas spirit! If I ever return to Vegas I’ll definitely make sure I spend more time in this place.

So there we go, my top tips on exploring Vegas in a whirlwind 48 hours! There’s so much to see and do in this city that you’ll need more than two days to get the full Vegas experience, but hopefully this round up points out the must sees and dos and helps with that all important planning!

Have you ever been to Vegas? Tell me what you thought of it, I’d love to hear your comments!

Love Jess x


Made it to this old place 🇺🇸🎉 #Vegas

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on


#tbt to Sin City Las Vegas 🇺🇸🎉 @contiki @statravel_uk #contiki #grandsouthern #america #USA #vegas #noregrets

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

  1. chloeharris1001
    chloeharris1001 says:

    Hey Jess! I’m going on the grand southern contiki in Jan for my 21st birthday and I’m trying to get a budget for my spending money!! How much would you recommend taking including optionals!

    • JourneyswithJessica
      JourneyswithJessica says:

      Hey Chloe!! Ahh amazing, you’re gonna have the best time ever! Do you turn 21 before you leave or when you’re over there? It’s hard to budget, but I took $3000 dollars (around £2200) for spending money and I spent it all! I did most of the optional extras and just really enjoyed myself; I treated myself to souvenirs and clothes etc and had the best time, it was so nice not to worry about money! I have loads of posts on my blog as well if you’re looking at what to take etc 🙂 Hope that helps if you have any questions at all or just want to take a sneaky look at my photos feel free to head over to my Insta or add me on Facebook! Jess x

      • chloeharris1001
        chloeharris1001 says:

        Oh great! It’s so good to be able to get a rough idea from someone who’s been on it!
        The contiki actually starts in LA-Vegas on my 21st!
        I can’t wait I’m so excited! I’ve been reading your posts about the grand southern since you started posting them!

        • JourneyswithJessica
          JourneyswithJessica says:

          That’s so amazing, turning 21 in Vegas will be insane and you’ll have SO much fun there! I think you might have just seen my Insta story about me doing a Contiki Q&A session? I’ve had lots of messages from people already so feel free to send any questions over either on this blog, or via Instagram, FB or Twitter! If you want to add me as a friend on FB just search Jessica Buck and you can see some of my album photos on there 🙂 So glad you’ve been reading my posts since I’ve been on the trip, hope they are of some help to you and honestly if you have any other Q’s just get involved with the Q&A! 🙂 Jess x

  2. Alys George
    Alys George says:

    Thank you for telling me you had this post. I was already excited about my trip, but now I’m ready to go!
    The heat I will handle when I get there, but everything else I just want to see now!

    I need to start making massive lists of what to do. I’m there for six days and have no intention of sleeping!

    • JourneyswithJessica
      JourneyswithJessica says:

      You’re so welcome lovely hope you found it helpful!! In terms of things to do I would defo make sure you see the Belaggio Fountains at least once (I saw it multiple times as they always do it to different music!), see a cirque de solei show if you can (expensive but worth it) and do a pool party! Don’t pay to get into a pool party, there are club promoters everywhere who will give you wristbands so you can get free entry! If you wanna get it before you go, instead of on the day, look on Instagram as they always have codes etc you can show to the guy on the day! Hope you have the most amazing time 🇺🇸🇺🇸🎉🎉 Jess x