Las Vegas is an amazing city, but all that glitz and glamour can come at a price. Billion-dollar resorts don’t just pay for themselves, and these days it can feel like every step you take costs money in that town. Well, we are here to help you out by providing you with a list of tips to help you manage your money a little better so you can save it for the tables or something special.
Play games before you go
You can start your savings well before you get to Las Vegas by finding a place to earn comps from your living room! There are now sites available like MyVegas, which give you a chance to play games on your phone or computer and collect valuable discounts. These can range from dining coupons to savings on hotel rooms and airfare. You should check them out and see what kinds of discounts you can accumulate before you touch down in Sin City.
Choose your dates wisely
The cost of traveling to Las Vegas can vary widely, depending on the time of year and what else is going on that week or weekend. Start your planning early – look at multiple dates that you can travel to see what the differences are in prices. You can also search for what larger conferences are happening in the city during the year – that can have a dramatic impact on the price of flights and hotel rooms. If you are able to travel mid-week as opposed to the weekend, you are also likely going to find a better deal, putting you in a better financial position before you even check in to the hotel!
Stock up your room with snacks
Las Vegas hotels find every way possible to take money from you, and one of the most egregious is the minibar. Even the convenience stores inside the resorts charge inflated prices for standard goods. Once you land and get settled in your room, the next stop should be out to a store like Walgreens or CVS, both of which are located on the Strip. You can pick up items to snack on in your room late at night that won’t leave you wondering what mistake you made picking something from the minibar the next morning.
Take advantage of the Free Entertainment
While there is no shortage of activities you can pay to enjoy in Las Vegas, there are plenty of free shows to take in that will leave you entertained as well. Whether it is listening to the band play outdoors at Carnival Court at Harrah’s, or all the great entertainment you will find in Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street, you can fill your days and nights with great options that don’t require you opening your wallet.
Eat off the Strip for breakfast
While we want you to enjoy all the great food options that Las Vegas has to option, let’s be honest: breakfast is pretty much the same everywhere. Given the state you are likely to be in when you wake up, ordering room service or heading to the buffet or restaurant is a pretty pricey option for bacon and eggs. If you walk out onto the Strip or just off of it (depending on where you are staying), you will find plenty of fast food and diner options that will leave you with more money in your pocket and just as full. For a cheap breakfast (around $6.50) head off the strip to a diner called Mr. Mamas for some cheaper eats.
Earn comp points and use them
If you don’t already have one, the first thing you should do when you check into your hotel or sit down at any casino is getting a Player’s Card. These cards track your spending on the property and reward you with discounts or comps on meals, entertainment, and hotel rooms. Keep that card with you at all times and use it every time you spend money. No amount is too small, and you would be surprised what freebies you are awarded for your loyalty.
Use the right transportation option
Visitors to Las Vegas get hosed by the amount of money spent getting around the city. You only need to do a little bit of planning to minimize the reliance on taxis or rideshares, and when possible, you may find you can take advantage of public transportation. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t take taxis, but you can find yourself racking up hundreds of dollars in charges in a heartbeat.
Get yourself Half Priced show tickets
If you aren’t dead set on seeing any particular show (they are all amazing in Las Vegas), then you can head to the Ticket Time booth, line up, and get access to discounted tickets. Unsold tickets for an evening show are offered around noon of the same day via this method, and even if you don’t get the show you want, you may find yourself taking a gamble and enjoying something you would never otherwise have chosen!
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!
In the old days, travelers to Las Vegas would receive a physical book of coupons offering discounts on everything from meals to shows to souvenirs. These days, there are still some smaller coupon books available (and you should grab one), but a simple Google search will uncover the online version. Also, have a look at sites like Groupon and Living Social, as there are always good deals on activities on and off the Strip. You may uncover something here that you weren’t planning, but is such a good deal you can’t say no!
Find a free drink wherever possible
One thing that attracts people to Las Vegas is the free drinks available in every casino. However, if you are not gambling, then you have to pay full freight for your drinks, which can be costly, to say the least. There are a couple of things you can do to take advantage of the rules (and believe us, the staff isn’t going to be checking too aggressively). First, go to any bar that has video poker machines built-in. Some of these can be found off the casino floor as well if you need a break from the slots. Slip some money in the machine (with your loyalty card) and play a $1 hand every once in a while so the bartender can see you. You can then order drinks to your heart’s content without paying. You can do the same at slot machines if you want to wait for the waitress to make it back to you with your drinks.
Find casinos with lower minimum bets
When it comes to gambling, you are always going to be at a disadvantage – that is why they call it the “House Edge.” However, when and where you choose to gamble can have an impact on your budget. We aren’t going to tell you not to gamble – it is tough to avoid it in Vegas. However, some casinos offer lower minimum bets during the day, switching over at some point in the evening to higher stakes. Also, if you head to some of the smaller or less glamorous casinos, you may find lower limits day and night. You will also likely get better service at these casinos.
As you can see, there are loads of ways to maximize your money on a trip to Las Vegas. This is by no means the full list – it is only the tip of the iceberg. However, if you follow some of these suggestions, you are going to find yourself with more left in your bank account at the end of your trip.