Posted: 1 December 2017
There’s a common belief that Las Vegas is an expensive city to visit. But is this really the case?
True, there are plenty of glamorous resorts, five-star restaurants, high-roller suites to choose from.
But the great thing about Vegas is that it’s accessible to everyone. There are plenty of ways to have a five-star experience on a one-star budget.
Are you planning a trip to this fun-filled, sun-drenched metropolis? Here are 9 helpful tips for traveling to Las Vegas on a budget.
1. Travel Cheap
Our first tip is not to spend all your money getting there.
Of course, if you’re traveling from New York, you’ll probably pay more than someone who’s traveling from Phoenix.
Still, look for economical ways to get to Vegas. Consider flying with a budget airline like Spirit or Southwest. If you’re a reasonable distance away, a bus might also help you save money.
Or, if you’re feeling truly brave, plan a family road trip to Vegas. Not only will you have a blast when you arrive, but you can enjoy the scenery along the way.
2. Pick the Right Hotel
Everyone dreams of a beautiful suite overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. While this fantasy may not be in your budget, you should still be able to find excellent accommodation in the city.
Take advantage of weekday rates if you can. If your heart is set on staying on the Strip, consider one of the budget hotel options.
You might also consider picking a hotel a few blocks off the Strip. This way, you’re not far from the action, but it won’t break the bank either.
3. Consider Packages and Promotions
One of the best ways to experience Vegas on a budget is to look for special packages and promotions.
Hotels often run promotions that include free buffets, discount show tickets, or free nightclub passes. You might also save by bundling your room with spa treatments or show tickets.
You can wait until you get there and look for same-day discounts on shows and activities. You can also start your search early by looking for giveaways and discounts online.
4. Look for Freebies
Looking to go even cheaper? There are lots of great things to do in Vegas that won’t cost you a penny.
Here are a few of our favorite free activities:
- Bellagio fountain show
- Treasure Island’s nightly sirens show
- The Mirage’s volcano light and sound show
- Visit the lions at MGM Grand
- Watch the gondolas float by inside the Venetian resort
- Birdwatching at the Flamingo
- Street performers
- Bellagio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory
- Matinee circus show at Circus Circus
- People watching and window shopping
You can easily fill your days with these free activities and still experience all that Vegas has to offer.
5. Use Public Transportation
You might feel tempted to rent a car when you arrive in Vegas, but you don’t need to.
Why not? For starters, half the fun of visiting the Strip is simply walking up and down it. Plus, the major attractions are close enough to each other that a car simply isn’t necessary.
If mobility is a concern, consider a day pass for the bus for the monorail. That way you can still get around without taking a major chunk out of your budget.
6. Eat Smart
No, we’re not talking about eating a bowl of veggies. It is possible to dine like a king in Vegas on a budget–you just have to know how to do it.
Start by looking for deals on sites like Groupon or Travelzoo. You might be able to save 50% (or more) at some of the best restaurants in the city.
You can also look for restaurants that offer a pre-theater menu. These typically include a prix-fixe menu of great food at a fraction of the normal price.
Another helpful hint? Take advantage of happy hour specials. If you’re a night owl, many restaurants and bars also offer a late-night “reverse happy hour” after 11 pm.
As cliche as it sounds, Vegas still offers some of the best buffets around. Why pay to eat a restaurant when you can fill up on a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner buffet?
7. Free Casino Drinks
Like other big cities, alcohol in Vegas can come with a hefty price tag.
The best way around this is to save your drinking for the time you spend in the casinos. Cocktail servers will be more than happy to serve you complimentary drinks while you play poker, slots, or Blackjack.
A word of warning, though: Don’t drink too much while you’re gambling, or you could gamble all your money away!
8. Ask for Discounts
There’s a lot of competition in Vegas, and every business wants to win you over as a customer. That’s why most are eager to extend discounts to any who qualify.
Here are a few common discounts you might ask about:
- Military discounts
- AAA discounts
- First responder discounts
- Teacher discounts
- Student discounts
- Nevada resident discounts
- Membership rewards programs
Ask for these discounts when booking your hotel or making dinner reservations. You might be surprised by the response!
9. Splurge (A Little)
It’s totally possible to do Vegas on a budget. The key is picking and choosing which activities to “splurge” on.
You may not have $150 to spend on a headliner show, but there are plenty of awesome things to do for less than $20.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Ride the roller coaster at New York New York
- Take a daytime spin on the world’s tallest observation wheel
- Enjoy a gondola ride through the Venetian resort
- Check out the funky Neon Museum and Boneyard
- Enjoy the view from the top of Paris’ Eiffel Tower
- Pet stingrays at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef
Each of these activities is worth a little splurge. Best of all, they should still be well within your budget.
Ready to Explore Vegas on a Budget?
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to have fun and live it up even if you have to experience Vegas on a budget.
Looking for more helpful travel advice?
Check out our latest travel posts and giveaways for more information.