Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to visit but if you are not careful your week in the desert could end up breaking the bank. There are many ways to do Las Vegas on a budget! Here are ten ways to offset some of the losses you’ll have in the casino.
1) RIDE THE MONORAIL AND WALK – I always choose a hotel near a monorail stop, this will save you a lot of money on taxi fares and will minimize the time you’re in the scorching sun. The monorail only travels on the Las Vegas strip so you will need to plan other transportation if you want to visit off strip sites like Fremont Street or the Hoover Dam. I recommend buying a multi-day monorail pass before you leave for your trip. Sometimes a quick Google search will turn up a monorail discount and you can save even more.
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2) STAY DURING THE WEEK – The best hotel deals in Vegas (or almost anywhere for that matter) can be found if you stay during the week. There are some very nice hotels on the strip that can be had for less than $50 a night during the week. If you have to stay over a weekend, there are still good deals to be found if you shop for them. I tend to limit my searches to the strip area so I can take the monorail. There are several quality hotels that are a quick walk to the strip that tend to be more affordable than staying on the strip itself.
3) USE THE APPS – If the monorail can’t take you to where you want to go, use Uber or Lyft. It’s easy to find a code for a free your ride when you sign up and the prices are much more affordable than a taxis. Also look at airbandb.com and vrbo.com for places to stay. Last year I found a three bedroom condo at a resort a couple blocks off the strip for less than $100 per night, if you’re traveling with friends you could save a fortune.
4) DRINK FREE OR AT LEAST CHEAP – If you like to have a cold beer to cool down there is no reason why you should be paying for one in Vegas. Almost every casino will have a bar with video machines in it. At nearly all of them, if you are playing a game at the machine, the bartender will bring you free drinks as long as you stay. I like to watch sports and it’s easy to find a bar with your favorite game on and a down a few cold ones for nothing more than a tip and a few hands of quarter video poker.
5) FREEMONT STREET EXPERIENCE – If it’s your first time to Vegas, you should make at least one trip to Freemont Street. When you think of Vegas you think of flashing neon and Fremont Street is the best places to see all the vintage style lights. Several blocks are pedestrian only and covered by a gigantic canopy which puts on periodic light shows nightly. It’s totally free to walk around and in the evening there will be street performers and people dressed as a variety of characters. It’s an experience, for sure.
6) GO TO THE CIRCUS – Circus Circus is at the far end of the strip but it’s a must see if you are traveling with kids. The have free circus acts as well as a large indoor amusement park. You only have to pay if you want to ride anything but you are free to walk around and throw down a few dollars on your favorite carnival games.
7) WALK AROUND THE CASINOS – It doesn’t cost anything to enter the casinos and if you’ve never been in town, you could spend an entire day just checking out the different casinos. Many of them are themed like the Luxor (which is a gigantic pyramid) and the New York New York (which has a New York skyline built out front) and several others have beautiful flowers like the Wynn and the Bellagio.
8) BIG ELVIS – When you Vegas you have to have an Elvis experience and Big Elvis is the way to go. At the piano bar in Harrah’s, Pete Vallee puts on a short Elvis tribute several times a day. He sits on a giant throne and sings his heart out. Times are posted in front of the bar and admission is free.
9) SEE A SHOW – Las Vegas is known for some of the best entertainment in the world but that doesn’t mean you should pay full price for it. Show tickets for nearly ever act are available at a discount the day of the show at various Tix4Tonight stands around the city. Sometimes you can save half of the price by buying your tickets this way. If there is a very popular show that you’ve planned your vacation around you are safer buying your tickets in advance but if you’re flexible about what you want to see going to Tix4Tonight if your best value.
10) M&M’s WORLD AND THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA – These two places are free to enter and are both in the heart of the Las Vegas strip. M&M’s world is four floors packed with M&M merchandise and a free film. You can even create a personalized M&M. Further down the street is the World of Coca-Cola where you can buy all things Coke, meet the Coca-Cola polar bear and sample different Coke products from around the world.
The Broke Dad says
Excellent list and advice. We just did Vegas last year on a 3 week road camping trip through the West (on a very tight budget) and after spending a little more then we had planned on after a break down in Utah we headed to Vegas. Why would we head to Vegas if we had less money then we had planned on? Well because it was literally cheaper to stay at a hotel in Downtown Las Vegas then it was to camp. True story. We found a deal on Trip Adviser that gave us a three night stay at the Downtown Grand for like $18 a night and the Downtown Grand is a really nice place just about a block from Fremont Street. Highly recommended.
Well just wanted to share my story. Thank you for sharing all your great ideas.
The Broke Dad
Thanks so much for your comment! We are so glad you got such a great deal! A 3 week camping trip sound like a lot of fun!