Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one

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Las Vegas isn’t necessarily known for its reputation as a budget-friendly destination. It’s all about the glitz and glam, mega casinos, huge hotels and pricy live shows – but believe it or not, Las Vegas is more accessible than you might think if you’re trying to save money. There are many ways to make travel to Las Vegas affordable, and we’re here to share our best money-saving tips and tricks.

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Time your trip right

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
Håkan Dahlström, Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Timing is everything when it comes to saving money on your Las Vegas vacation. Right out of the gate, avoid weekends, if you can, when hotel prices are higher, often doubling (or even tripling). In addition, make sure your potential trip dates don’t coincide with a big convention or sporting event when, again, rooms will be pricier and harder to come by. Also, consider the off season. While August is quite hot, you can find great deals and there are plenty of ways to keep cool.

Stay off the Strip

Fremont East Entertainment District
Truque da Banana, Las Vegas via Flickr CC BY 2.0

The advantage of staying right on the Strip is the convenience of being, well, right on the Strip. But those are going to be some the most expensive options when it comes to where to rest your head in Vegas. By opting to stay off the main drag of ultra-glitzy hotels you can save yourself some money. And we’re not talking way off the Strip, but going slightly off the beaten path and opting for a non-casino hotel will be cheaper. That said, do your research and map where a hotel is located to determine just how far your trek to nearby attractions will be.

Find deals downtown

The Golden Nugget hotel
LVLights, Golden Nugget via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Some of the best hotel deals in Vegas can be found in the once-seedy, but now totally up-and-coming downtown area. The Golden Nugget, for example, has rooms that start at $49 depending on when you book and still offers amenities like a casino, pool and numerous bars and restaurants. If you book online, Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel offers rooms as low as $38 and you can find rooms at the recently renovated Plaza Hotel & Casino for less than $50 a night.

Check out the Fremont Street Experience

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one 4
Sarah Nichols, Fremont Street Experience via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Downtown Las Vegas doesn’t just offer cheaper accommodations, it’s also an ideal place to be entertained outside of the Strip – for less. Make your way to the Fremont Street Experience, a five-block entertainment district downtown that offers free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages, as well as free light shows on Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen. The Fremont Street Experience also puts you in close proximity to eight casinos and more than 60 restaurants and shops.

Search out discount tickets

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one
Daniel Ramirez, Zarkana Theater at the Aria via Flickr CC BY 2.0

It’s no secret that going to see live shows in Las Vegas can be a drain on your wallet, but if you’re not tied to seeing any particular show, flexibility can save you money. Visit a Tix4Tonight booth (there are 11 locations) either along the Strip or downtown on Fremont Street to see what discount tickets are on offer for up to half off the regular box office price. The list of deals is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Tix4Tonight also offers discounted dining deals at many Vegas restaurants and discount admission to many attractions.

Take the bus

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one
time anchor, Las Vegas transit stop via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Taking public transit when you travel is one of the easiest ways to save money and Vegas is no exception. Skip the taxi when you get to the airport and instead head to Terminal 1 to get the Route 109 regional bus, which will take you directly to the Strip or to a connecting bus that will take you downtown. A single ride is $2 or get a 24-hour pass for $5.

Find free things to do

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one
David Stanley, Circus Circus Acrobats via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Sure, you might come to Vegas to try your luck in the casino, but balance out the gambling with other activities and sights on offer – many of which don’t cost anything. Plant lovers will want to make time for the 14,000-square-foot Bellagio Conservatory for a rotating roster of elaborate plant and floral displays. The current display is themed around Chinese New Year and is on until March 12. If you don’t want to shell out for Cirque du Solei tickets, you can catch free daily circus shows at the carnival midway at Circus Circus starting at 11 a.m. Chocoholics can check out M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate World and the Ethel M Chocolate Factory.

Take advantage of happy hour

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one
Gaby Av, Cheers via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Having a few drinks in Vegas can be an expensive endeavor depending on where you decide to imbibe, but it can also be pretty cheap if you know where to look. Happy hours are a great way to save while you sip and often also have deals on food. Here are a few to consider:

  • FIZZ at Caesars Palace offers “bottomless bubbles” every night from 5 to 7 p.m., where $36 gets you as much champagne as you can drink.
  • Find deals on small bites and drinks at Double Helix Monday to Friday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. including various beers for $3-$4, wines by the glass starting at $5, cucumber martinis for $7 and snacks like the BBQ pork sliders for $6.
  • Happy Hour at Trevi runs from 2 to 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to close and gets you half off mixed drinks, beer and wine as well as $6 small bites like homemade meatballs, bruschetta, fried calamari and mini cheese stuffed burgers.
  • Head to dbBrasserie from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m. daily for $4 draft beer, $5 select wine and discounted eats like an artisan cheese plate for $9 or eggplant and hummus with spicy pita for $6.

RSVP for Rock n’ Roll Wine’s Wine Lounge Thursday

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one
Marlon E, wine via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

If you know you’ll be in Las Vegas on a Thursday – and you like free wine – check out a Wine Lounge Thursday hosted by Rock ‘n Roll Wines. The company sets up shop at various venues around Vegas to offer complementary samples of their roster of wines from 6 to 8 p.m. Depending on where the event is being held (usually a hotel bar or restaurant) there might also be deals on food.

Featured image: istockphoto.com/gilaxia 

Las Vegas: How to win in more ways than one was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Jessica Padykula
Author: Jessica Padykula (91 posts)

Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world.