Vegas on a Budget

Male using a laptop to book a cheap vegas trip.

Las Vegas is synonymous with luxury and opulence. A land notorious for its grand mega casinos and lavish experiences, Vegas can make a severe dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to. We’re here to dispel the rumors that in order to do Vegas right, you need to spend a lot of money. Thanks to budget-friendly restaurants, free attractions, and affordable accomodations, you don’t have to cut your experience short to save a pretty penny. Let’s look at some top tips to make the most out of visiting Vegas on a budget.

Affordable Hotels in Vegas

When you’re wanting to do Vegas on a budget, the first expense you need to tackle (outside of airfare) is accomodations. Despite what you may think, nightly hotel rates in Las Vegas can be quite affordable when you take more time to do some research. Here are the top tips for finding deals on Las Vegas hotels:

1. Join a Membership Program for Discounts – Every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas has a gaming club that offers discounted room rates, exclusive deals, and promotions.

2. Visit Mid-Week – Las Vegas hotels slash prices Monday through Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to visit Las Vegas.

3. Shift Your Weekend Getaway – Can’t swing a weekday trip? Fly in Saturday and out Monday for cheaper flights (and a room rate drop on Sunday night).

4. Don’t Go on a Busy Convention Weekend – Las Vegas is the convention capital of the United States and while there are always smaller conventions taking place, avoid any major convention weekends like CES, which has upwards of 175,000 attendees. For more information, consult the Las Vegas Convention Calendar.

5. Avoid Major Sporting Event Weekends – Las Vegas is a city founded on gambling, so weekends with major sporting events like the Super Bowl or any big fights are the city’s busiest times. This also means hotel prices will skyrocket.

6. Avoid Festival Weekends – Las Vegas is home to many major music festivals which draw crowds of 25,000+. Avoid these popular weekends to save a little money on your accommodations.

7. Share Your Room – It’s simple math. The more people you have in a room, the smaller percentage you have to pay. If you have 4 friends, consider booking a room with 2 queen beds to save.

8. Stay Away From The Strip – Downtown Vegas has underwent many changes over the past several years and has so much fun and entertainment to offer for less than comparable Strip attractions.

9. Book with the Hotel Directly – Booking directly with the hotel can be better than using a third party booking site because it eliminates extra fees. Booking directly usual offers a best rate guarantee so you can rest assured you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas is made out of shipping containers.Attribute: Downtown Container Park

Free Things To Do in Vegas

-Local chocolatier Ethel M is located in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world. The factory tours offer free samples after a walk through the unusual gardens.

-You can’t miss this Vegas staple! Watch a dazzling display of waterworks at the Fountains of Bellagio as you listen along to an enchanting concert of classical and pop tunes.

-Stroll along the new LINQ Promenade, a high energy marketplace, all the way to the High Roller.

-Snap a photo at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the south end of the Strip. The sign itself is now solar powered and has plenty of parking nearby.

-Head to the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. The Container Park offers free entertainment and a 55-foot-tall fire breathing praying mantis outside.

-Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District when night falls and check out all the refurbished vintage neon lights!

Eating on a Budget in Vegas

If you’ve got 5-star taste on a 1-star budget, you’re in luck! Vegas offers an abundance of cheap eats within the city. Here are some tips to save money on drinks and dining in Las Vegas.

-Gamble Your Way to (Nearly) Free Drinks – The best way to drink for free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, where the play amounts are lower.

-Eat at the Hotel Food Court – Many hotels and casinos in Vegas offer a food court with awesome hours that work for lower budgets.

-Skip Room Service – Keep in mind that you’re paying for the convenience. If you’re looking to do Vegas on a budget, eliminate room service.

-Dine on a Pre-Theater Menu – Most restaurants inside hotels that have a nightly show offer a pre-theater prixe-fixe menu where you can get quality food at a cheap price. Most times, you don’t even have to show a theater ticket to keep the reservation.

-Take Advantage of Happy Hour – Prime-time seating at the Strip’s five-star restaurants is between 8 and 10pm, but these hot spots like to be full all the time, so most host a happy hour between 4 and 7pm. Details vary by restaurant so call ahead or ask your concierge first.

-Affordable 5-Star Restaurants – While spending between $40 and $80 to enjoy a five-star meal may sound a bit pricey, the value is certainly there. Under typical conditions these meals can reach into the hundreds. If you want to eat like a King at a fraction of the cost, here are a few options:
>L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, MGM Grand
>Michael Mina, Bellagio
>Milos, Cosmopolitan
>Jean-Georges Steakhouse, Aria

There are so many ways to cut costs and score some Las Vegas deals. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to deplete your life savings to have an awesome experience. In fact, doing Vegas on a budget is one of the best ways to experience this spectacular city!