I've got to be honest with you, Vegas is one of the my most favorite places on earth. Unfortunately, the first few times I visited Las Vegas, I blew my budget. Big time. I was so caught up in the glitz & glam and lights & sights that I completely lost track of my spending, which made the flight back home all that more painful. I don't want you to make those rookie mistakes, so today I’m sharing a few of my favorite Las Vegas money-saving tips.
1. Save money on Vegas hotels
Go during the week
If your schedule allows, go to Vegas during the workweek. Avoid staying in a Vegas hotel on a Friday or Saturday night and you can save hundreds on your stay. Hotel prices are sometimes up to 50% off when you book Monday through Thursday versus over the weekend.
Stay at more than one hotel
Because hotel prices fluctuate during the week, I sometimes book a couple of hotels during my stay to save money. For example, a night at the Paris hotel (my favorite!) may be $89 on Wednesday and Thursday, but jump up to $219 on Friday and Saturday. In order to avoid having to pay $219 on Friday and Saturday, I’ll look for another hotel offering a cheaper weekend rate, then book both hotels to save money during my stay.
2. Save money on Vegas food and drinks
Listen, the thought of a buffet isn't super appetizing, I get it. But for around $35 you get all the food (and sometimes wine and beer) that you can possibly consume. I’ve found this to be cheaper than any other meal at a traditional sit-down restaurant—especially if the drinks are included. My favorite buffet on the strip is the Bayside Buffet at the Mandalay Bay Resort—the view of the tropical water garden alone is pretty amazing!
The key to scoring cheap drinks in Vegas is to avoid the bars (hotel bars especially!) and sit yourself down at the penny slot machine. Before long, a cocktail waitress will come around and take your drink order…your free drink order! All you have to do is tip well! The first time I went to Vegas, I made a huge mistake and went to the hotel lobby bar and ordered a cocktail, at the price of $15! What I didn’t realize is that I could’ve sat myself down at the slot machine 10 feet away and been served the same drink for free!
3. Save money on Vegas entertainment and activities
Daily deal sites
As soon as your tickets to Vegas are booked, you should sign up for Groupon and Living Social Vegas deal alerts to find discounts on entertainment and activities. I was able to score a Poolside Cabana for 50% off the regular price by purchasing a voucher on Groupon several weeks before my trip.
Discount show tickets
You can save up to 50% on show tickets by purchasing same-day tickets from ticket resellers like Tix4Tonight. You’ll find these outdoor kiosks all over the strip. They have discounts to all of the hottest shows and attractions! (One of my favorite shows is “Jersey Boys”!)
My last tip is to go to Vegas with a budget in mind. I know that takes away from the fun of Vegas, but trust me—if you go there with a maximum dollar amount that you’re willing to spend, it will help you make better spending decisions.