If you’ve been longing to take a Las Vegas vacation, but are worried that you won’t be able to afford it, think again. While it’s true that Vegas is known as a glitzy and glamorous desert paradise, complete with $300 bottle service, world-class spas and resorts, high-stakes Poker games and shopping sprees at high-end designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior and Versace, you can still experience all the luxury and posh-ness of Vegas without breaking the bank. With a little planning ahead and some tightening of the budget, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying Las Vegas on a dime.
It shouldn’t be hard to find cheap flights to Las Vegas. Thanks to the Internet and discount websites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline that allow you to compare flights and rates to cities around the world, it’s easier than ever to save on travel arrangements. To save the most money, look for flights that depart during a less busy travel time, like the middle of the week. To cut costs down even further, search for red-eye flights, as those are often the most inexpensive options. And don’t forget to check for rewards points on your credit cards, as these can be redeemed for airfare.
Do your research beforehand. Make a list of all the Las Vegas hotels you’re interested in staying at and sign up for their email list. Hotels often send out any discount offers that may be going on, so make sure to shop around before you book. Just like flights, hotel prices are often more expensive on the weekend, so try to plan your hotel stay on Sunday-Thursday evenings. And hotel prices often fluctuate from day to day, so to save the most money, you might need to a different hotel mid-trip to take advantage of the lowest price. Location is also key—you may not find an amazing hotel right on the Strip, but choosing accommodation that is a little off the beaten path will allow you to splurge on the Strip.
With so many amazing dining options in Las Vegas, it would almost be a shame without splurging on one meal and having the dining experience of a lifetime. But if you’re enjoying Vegas on a budget, this can’t be a regular occurrence. Not to worry—there are still tons of opportunities to eat for cheap in Sin City. Scour your hotel room magazines for coupons and discounts on great area restaurants, or check out any number of the deal websites before leaving for your trip, such as Groupon and Restaurant.com. Las Vegas has perfected the art of the buffet, and many places like Buffalo Bill’s, Fiesta Rancho and Gold Strike offer breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets for as little as $5.95. Drinks at restaurants and clubs can be expensive, so pick up a six-pack at the local convenience store or ingredients to make a mixed drink and have a drink or two in your hotel room before going out for the night. Many restaurants offer happy hour specials like two-for-one drinks, and a number of clubs offer ladies’ night where women drink free before a certain time.
Can’t afford to drop thousands of dollars on entertainment in Vegas? Not to worry, as there are a ton of things to do to stay entertained for little to no money. If you’re feeling lucky, head to the Casino Royale, one of the top Las Vegas budget casinos on the Strip where visitors can enjoy low-limit games such as $3 craps tables and $5 blackjack tables. No trip to Vegas is complete without taking in a show, but you won’t have to spend hundreds on a ticket. Scan local magazines for free show listings, or head to one of the half-price ticket booths on the Strip or Downtown and purchase same-day show tickets. There are also a number of attractions that you can enjoy for free, like the Bellagio fountains and Conservatory, the Living Statues at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian and the Fremont Experience light show downtown.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Rpyscho