Vegas is one of my favorite cities because there’s no shortage of things to do and amazing things to see. Each casino I visit seems bigger, grander, and flashier than the last, and I’m always amazed at the architecture, theme, and sheer enormity of them.
When I think about Las Vegas I think about over-the-top casinos, high rollers, and live shows. However, I also think about off-menu restaurant specials, free entertainment, and free slot machine play. This is because when I go to Vegas I’m on a mission to get the best deal available.
Lucky for me, Las Vegas has so much to offer for someone on a budget, it’s unbelievable. Read on to discover how I do Las Vegas on the Cheap!
1.) Take advantage of free transportation
The distance between casinos can be much longer than it appears on a map. Walking in the scorching desert heat for long distances isn’t usually a great option, and taking taxis every day, multiple times per day is expensive. What’s the solution? Free trams and shuttles! Take advantage of this free transportation provided by the casinos in an effort to get you in their door to spend money.
2.) Watch the free shows
Some of the free shows in Las Vegas are worth going out of your way for, especially if you’re not busy gambling the day and night away. They provide some variety to your day at a price that can’t be beat! Read my article on the 10 Best Free Shows in Las Vegas to figure out which ones are worth your time.
3.) Don’t live it up
Nope, that wasn’t a typo. I’m sure you’re accustomed to hearing the exact opposite: “Live it up!” However, living it up can be expensive. Sure, who doesn’t want to stay in a luxury hotel in a central location on the strip? If you’re trying to stick to a budget, you might have to compromise by staying at a less fancy hotel or casino off the strip. With all of the free trams and shuttles that take you to the heat of the action, staying at a budget hotel on the strip like Harrah’s or Flamingo, staying off the strip, or staying at the far end of the strip like at Excalibur really isn’t a big deal.
4.) Eat steak
Yes, you can do Las Vegas on the cheap and even eat steak! However, you have to know where to go in order to get a great deal and not break the bank. At the Ellis Island casino about one block off the strip, you can feast on a full steak dinner for only $7.99. At Mr. Lucky’s in the Hard Rock Casino ask for their steak special to get steak and shrimp for only $7.77. For a more comprehensive list of meal deals, visit Las Vegas Advisor before you travel to see the most up to date bargains.
5.) Purchase Las Vegas Advisor’s coupon book
A worth-while investment is purchasing a Las Vegas Advisor membership. A diamond membership at only $37 dollars gives you exclusive access to dozens of valuable coupons. It offers plenty of 2 for 1 dining deals to delicious buffets with huge, mouthwatering spreads. Free drinks and casino play are also included as well as other dining deals. Using a couple of the buffet coupons more than covers the cost of the membership.
6.) Go downtown for the loosest slots
If you are dead set on playing the slot machines, first, decide how much you are willing to lose. Next, do not spend a penny over that amount – even if you think the next game might hit. And lastly, for the longest play or best chance of winning, head Downtown. The downtown casino slots are known to be the loosest, and they also have the best food and drink deals to lure gamblers away from the strip. A cheap and easy way to get downtown is to take the Deuce Bus, which is the city bus system.
7.) Do stuff for free
The amount of free things to do in Las Vegas could keep a person busy for days! There is plenty of variety beyond wandering aimlessly around all of the casinos or even soaking in the free shows. Read my Las Vegas Top Ten Free Things to Do article to check out my favorites.
8.) Travel during the off season
Las Vegas is busy year round, but it tends to be the busiest around holidays and from late May through early September with the exception of scorching hot July. Traveling outside of these times will get you the best hotel deals and most likely the best airfare.
9.) Weekday getaway
Hotel prices increase on Friday and Saturday nights because many people drive in from California for the weekend. Take advantage of this knowledge and plan your Vegas getaway from Sunday to Thursday. After all, your hotel could be one of the biggest expenses of your trip and it makes sense to save some money when you can!
10.) Play the best odds
Again, if you really want to gamble, go for it – after all, you’re in Las Vegas! However, set a hard limit and stick to it. If your limit is just a few dollars a day, one of the best ways to make your cash last the longest is by betting on a sporting event. A $10 bet can last 2-3 hours that way. Alternatively, to have the best chance at “beating the house” learn to play blackjack or craps. These games provide the best odds to win. Plus, you’ll feel really awesome throwing your dice at the craps table and shouting, “Winner winner chicken dinner!”
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Las Vegas on the cheap. The glitz and glamour of the flashing lights, slot machine music, and the show girls make it easy to feel like a million bucks without spending anywhere close to that amount.
With so many budget hotels, meal deals, and things to do for free, Las Vegas is the perfect destination for a budget traveler.
If you haven’t been on vacation for a while or are dying to get away, Las Vegas is calling your name!
Read Next: 10 Best Free Shows in Las Vegas