Including a Casino in Your Travel Plans

Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for my post.
Casino vacation packages are fairly common if you are searching for a vacation that includes the opportunity for gambling. There are plenty of international destinations for casino vacations - Aruba, Puerto Rico, or St. Maarten in the Caribbean, Monte-Carlo in Monaco, Sun City in South Africa, or Macau Region in China, just to name a few. In the US, the top destination for casino vacation is Las Vegas. I personally love Las Vegas and all the lights, chaos, and noise of the casinos, but after a few days I am ready to fly back to the peace and quiet of my home.

You don't have to go to Nevada if you want to include gambling at a casino as part of your travel plans. There are 34 states with Casinos in America according to wikipedia: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada (the most), New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Some of these states have casinos only on Indian Reservations, and others have them on waterways only. You could road-trip across the US and visit a casino in over half the states!
Many cruise ships have onboard casinos - Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian, to name just a few. You won't find casinos on the Disney Cruise line, since their focus is on family entertainment. CNN recently announced Disney is adding two more cruise ships to its fleet, but there won't be casinos on those either. When I cruised on Royal Caribbean, I was delighted to find a casino onboard, but found I actually spent less time gambling than when I went to Las Vegas, simply because there is so many other activities on a cruise ship.

On my first casino vacation, I spent way too much money. It's very easy to get sucked into the thought that if you just hit those slots again, this time you'll win. I learned quickly that Las Vegas was not built on the winners, but the losers. By setting aside a specific amount of money for gambling, and only spent that amount in the casinos, you can ensure that won't put yourself in the poorhouse on your vacation.
If you find you have a bit of extra money to gamble, but don't have the budget for an entire vacation, there are even ways you can play from the comfort of your home. Online gambling has grown over the years and you can play live casino games with live croupier (the person in charge of a gaming table). I personally haven't ever gambled online, but I do have a friend who has won at an online casino.

It's best to play casino games with an attitude of enjoying the entertainment, rather than an attitude of needing to win. If you're spending money that should have gone to pay a bill, rather than spending just your entertainment budget, then you're best off to avoid casinos. In addition, if your gambling money is coming from a credit card cash advance, it's time to go read a book instead. A casino vacation can be a wonderful idea, whether you're traveling within the US, exploring an international destination, or floating the seas on a cruise, but careful planning is important.

If you have a gambling addiction, call the NCPG Hotline at 1-800-522-4700.

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