Traveling to Las Vegas On a Budget? Well, Contrary to most people’s beliefs Vegas is a pretty affordable place to visit. Hotels are VERY high end with some pretty rock bottom prices, in comparison to other cities. There are a host of attractions and things to see and do that won’t break the bank, you can snag free drinks, and there are endless offers to save huge amounts of money.
Essentially it’s all a scam to get you in and get you spending. As while it CAN be a cheap place to visit it’s also can empty the kid’s college fund and require you to remortgage your house… If you let it. This guide is designed to show you how to have an unforgettable trip to Las Vegas while not breaking the bank.
While Penny pinching is not on everyone’s minds when visiting Sin City, Even the highest roller can appreciate the need not to spend more than you have to, even if it’s only to spend it on the Tables or in the bar!
We will explain the best way to tighten your belts and save on all the biggest ticket items so you can make sure you get the absolute most out of your budget and enjoy the City in the best possible Style. This is a constantly evolving list and we will continue to add offers and deals as we find them, feel free to tip us off in the comments of any great deals you know of?
M-Life is the MGM Resorts Loyalty scheme, Us this in any MGM Resort Hotel and Casino to earn Reward point in Gambling and tier points on ANY spend in the Resorts or Casinos. Tier points add up to give you better benefits and perks whereas reward credit can actually be redeemed against real rewards such as free room, meal and Gambling credit.
Total Rewards is the Ceasers Entertainment Reward Scheme and works pretty much the same as M-Life only for CET properties.
Which to get?
This largely depends on where you are staying and where you plan to shop, eat, and play. Definitely sign up for the reward scheme for the Casino you are planning on staying in. So if you are in an MGM Get the M-life card and if you are Staying in a Ceasers Property Get Total Rewards card. Really Signing up for a Reward scheme is free and as far as we are concerned it has very little downside so we advise just signing up for both. If you don’t use them, you have not really lost anything.
Also, Remember if you are planning on Using MY Vegas, See Below, you will NEED and M-Life account to redeem!
M-Life Hotels/ Casinos
- Vdara at ARIA
- MGM Grand
- The Signature at MGM Grand
- Mandalay Bay
- Delano Las Vegas
- Park MGM
- NoMad Las Vegas
- The Mirage
- New York-New York
- Circus Circus
Caesars Entertainment Hotels/ Casinos
- Caesars Palace
- Planet Hollywood
- The Flamingo
- The Linq
- The Cromwell
Once signed up they will not send you a card, but instead, ask you to visit one of their kiosks in one of the associated Casinos to get your card which you can then slot into any slot machine or hand to the Dealer/Croupier. If you don’t sign up beforehand you can also sign up at these Kiosks.
Can’t find the Kios? Any member of staff will point you in the right direction.
The Glory days of the My Vegas reward game are over but it is still a worthwhile venture. This game was set up by the M-Life people and allows you to play, for free, on Facebook or via a phone app to win actual rewards such as cheap or complimentary room, Vegas Shows such as KA, Food and drink including FREE Buffet’s, Free Gambling Credit and even free Helicopter flights!
It is amazing what you can actually get out of My Vegas rewards and we suggest you do check it out. We are putting together our full guide on using My Vegas to win rewards and how to spend them in Vegas and plan to have it ready for you in the next few weeks. For now, check them out on FaceBook or download the My Vegas Slots and Blackjack App in the Google Play Store or Apple I Store.
We will point out below where you can use My Vegas Rewards to get free or discounted items!
Group-on is BIG in Vegas and can have some really good offers from time to time. We will update the best when they go live here. The best offers come and go periodically but check back here for our picks!
Caesars Palace Bacchanal Buffet – One of the Best Buffets in Vegas and this Groupon gets you Brunch for only $35.99 (Mon-Fri 7:30-10 am) or $88 for two with a Beer or Momoza Each. $110 gets 2 Early bird Dinner Buffets with a drink but really we prefer the Brunch options.
$24 for Two 32-Ounce Margaritas in Souvenir Cups at Tacos N’ Ritas – Giant Margs that you can take around town with you…
Sugar Factory – Amazing Cocktails that are really Instagram gold. Save 33% with this Group-on!
Save up to 25% on the High Roller – Day or Night, Happy Half Hour or not, great saving on one of our favorite Las Vegas attractions!
Sky Jump or Thrill Rides – Discounted Sky Jump Package or 2x Thrill rides at the top of the Stratosphere!
Let’s take a look at Specific activities and see how to save money on each, Trying to keep this in order of your trip.
One of the Cheapest ways to get to Vegas is actually flying in. Major Carriers such as Delta and American have regular flights in and out of Vegas, Maccaran Airport is a very busy hub with flights continuously ferrying in people from all across America. As such flights a cheap quick and regular.
We tend to use flight aggregator sites such as Skyscanner.net to find the cheapest flights for our dates.
Of course from anyone in the neighboring states a road trip there is one of the best ways to get there, just jump in the car and hit the road. Road links to Las Vegas are fantastic Large interstates carve their way through the desert. There is not much to see on the way but L.A to Vegas is around 4-5 hours on the I-15 or alternatively take the long way and see Death Valley on the way.
Really it’s rare we head to Vegas without incorporating some type of road trip.
The Issue with taking your car is the parking charges that have crept into Vegas Casinos.
Outside the US?
If you are heading in from outside the states, the big decision is are you going to book a package or a flight and Hotel Separately. As we said before Vegas is normally, for us, part of a two+week trip that includes a road trip elsewhere, as well as a stay in Vegas, as much as we love Vegas more than a week would leave us broken and poor, even with the money-saving tricks we have!
On this basis, we pretty much always Book flights directly and then book hotels separately. For this, we will use a flight aggregator such as Skyscanner and then a booking site that offers FREE Cancellations, usually Bookigng.com. Booking a trip like this means you are not as well covered in the event of a cancellation so having Free Cancellation really helps cover yourself, along with adequate travel insurance.
However, there are plenty of great Package trips available especially if you are just heading for a week. We love Virgin Holidays, But shop around BA, TUI, And any other Travel agent to get the best deal.
Las Vegas is a pretty easy city to get about. The Best way to save money is just Walking. However, be warned things can be a lot further away than you think. The Duece is the best way to get about distances further than your feet will carry you and is especially useful for getting to Down Town. At only $8 a day it won’t break the bank.
Rather than using Taxi’s we tend to plump for Uber or Lyft which are more convenient and cheaper.
Since the Arrival of Parking fees the use of a hire car is a very expensive option and only something we use if we are wanting to leave the City, and we only hire a car for the days needed rather than paying for it to sit in a parking lot.
This is potentially your biggest expense while on vacation and as such the best chance to save substantial money. But Scrimping too much on a hotel might mean missing out on some of that essential Vegas Vibe. You could save hundreds by checking into an off-strip budget motel, but really we don’t feel this is getting the real Vegas feel, for that it’s On Strip Mega Casino/Hotel. Read more about that here.
Fortunately, Vegas hotels are actually really cheap! When you consider the quality, amenities, room size, views location, etc… they are really quite a bargain! When you consider hotel costs in Cities such as New York, Or Chicago, etc… they really are a steal. Depending on the time of your stay and how busy the period is then Rooms in some of the top hotels can be had for under $200 a night.
Ok, that is not “cheap” Cheap but it’s stunning Value, and if you go down the chain a little. Even rooms in MGM Grand and Planet Holywood, both excellent Hotels in prime locations can be snagged for under $100. Venture slightly off-strip or down the far ends to hotels such as Mandalay Bay and Rio can be had for similar cash. And drop to the low end such as Excaliber, New York, New York or the Flamingo and prices plunge even further, and these are still better than grotty $200 a night New York Dives!
We stick to our favorite Hotel Aggregator Booking.com. On top of the excellent FREE Cancellation, they are often one of the cheapest out there.
We also use My Vegas as a way to claim free rooms. Exchange your “gold” for one of the free room perks and then book the rest of your stay to follow on from it. At check-in simply mention this and they will combine the bookings. We recently booked a Spa Suite in MGM Grans and one of the free nights via My Vegas and at check-in a well placed $20 tip got our FREE room upgraded to the Spa Suite we were booked in for the rest of our Stay!
Also, remember the $20 Trick is still alive and well in Vegas and this can easily get you upgraded to a nicer room when you booked the cheapest. Full guide here to the $20 Trick.
Food in Las Vegas is hugely varied from ultra-fine dining down to bargain food courts and everything in between. It’s not hard to save money on food in Vegas just by hitting the cheaper restaurants. But we can go further. We have a selection of Great Groupon offers above for a start. Buffets are expensive but you can eat as much food as you like and really you can probably eat for a day ( week!) from just one buffet!
We also always use a My Vegas Reward to claim a free dinner buffet. It’s hard to beat eating all you want in a top Buffet for literally nothing!
Cheap eats can always be found in the form of Fast food form the normal establishments, most casinos have a food court where you can grab a cheap meal anytime for the day. We tend to use these when food isn’t important and splash out on the odd special meal in a fancy restaurant while using Groupon and My Megas to give us some free or heavily-reduced options.
This gives you chance to dave p for that special blow-out meal!
Drinking is a huge part of Las Vegas Culture, and if you are not careful this could end up your biggest expense, even if you don’t drink much. With cocktails at $30 and beers at $15, your bar bills can get big. High Rollers and big spenders take pride in racking up giant bills but for the more modest visitor snagging some cheap drinks are essential!
Drink for Free!
It doesn’t get much cheaper than free! For the time being at least, you can still get free drinks while gambling in Vegas. We compiled a full guide to the current and potential future of Las Vegas’ free drinks.
Like most USA Cities Happy hours are always a great way to grab cheap drinks. Always look out for Happy hours, and expect to find half-price drinks or 2 for 1, etc… One of our favorites is the 107 Sky Lounge at the top of the stratosphere that has a 2 for 1 on cocktails every day 4-7 pm and 11 pm-3 am. This also gets you free access to the Stratosphere observation deck. Incredible drinks and incredible views!
if you are wanting to spend a day by the pool then you are likely to want a few drinks, this will not be cheap! At the big resorts expect to pay around $8 – $12 for domestic and $35+ for a bucket(5) of beers and cocktails can be upwards of $30…Ouch
But all is not lost! Most pools allow you to take in your own drinks…sort of! You are not going to be allowed to rock up with a six-pack or a bottle of wine. But you can usually bring in an outside drink if it’s in a plastic cup. Lots of pools also provide plastic cups for you to transfer your drink into. It’s not ideal as once your drink is finished then you are going to need to head back to the room to refill! but it can be better than paying the poolside prices or at least soften the blow.
Remember you can buy one of the giant 48oz Margaritas from the many vendors such as Senior frogs, Tacos and Ritas (check out Groupon Above) or Fat Tuesdays. These should keep you going a good while and can easily be refilled back in your room!
Most hotels have now restricted this to drinks bought from the vendor associated with there hotel, which is a bit of a pain, but most hotels will have a vendor selling large drinks that you can then refill in your room!
Street Drinks / Pre Drinks
Las Vegas has very strange drinking laws. It is perfectly legal to enter a convenience store and purchase a Beer, only to walk outside and crack it open on the street. You can even head into a Casino with it and sit down and play!
This is known as an open container Law and these are lacking in Las Vegas and on the strip. This means you are free to have an open alcohol container and to drink from it at your leisure! However for safety reasons, this does not include Glass, but as long as it’s an aluminum can or plastic glass you are good to go. Assuming you are 21 or over. You are also not allowed open containers on public transport.
Unfortunately, the best way to save money on Gambling is not to! However, most people want to try at least a little bit of gambling while in Sin City. Our Beginner Gambling guide will show you how to have a go at Gambling without losing your Shirt.
Gambling is also one way to earn free anything in Vegas. Shows, Hotel Rooms, Food, Drink, anything the casino offers can be comped if you put enough over the tables. But this is a false economy. It will cost you many times over the value of your comp to earn it. And while it is possible you will clean up on the Roulette wheel and claim your free stuff (Comps are based on spending not profit) the chances are you will lose everything and the comped stuff will be a scant reward. Gamble only because you want to and can afford the losses, chasing comps is a real mug’s game!
It is also worth mentioning that one of the My Vegas Rewards is Gambling Credit, $10, $25 or $50 of credit for you to play in a casino of your choice. Although you will have to stay in an MGM Property (1,2 or3 Nights) to redeem this reward.
One of Our Favourite Ways to Save Money is with an Attraction Pass. As we have mentioned Above Group-On is a great way to save on attractions but it’s quite a hassle hunting out all the best deals, purchasing individually and carrying around printouts and vouchers. With an attraction pass, it’s one simple purchase and then you use your pass either as print out or from your phone and save potentially hundreds of dollars on attractions.
We have in-depth reviews on Las Vegas’s Best passes:
The Las Vegas Pass – All Singing All Dancing pass with tons off attractions, including top shows, helicopter rides, sightseeing tours, club Tours, Pool Parties and much much more!
Las Vegas Go Card – A really great value All-inclusive Pass that covers nearly all of Las Vegas’s most popular attractions, plus a choice of premium attraction to really make your trip special.
Las Vegas Explorer Pass – Very Similar to the All-Inclusive Go Pass only without the Premium attractions and based on a per attraction basis. Perfect for just seeing and doing a few choice attractions in your own time.
Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass – Another high-end all-inclusive pass
Dinner and a show is a great way to spend an evening in Vegas. Like most things, Groupon and My Vegas can be the answer here. Free tickets to KA, Love, Fantasy, Zumanity and a few others can all be got through My Vegas rewards. And there are several shows available through Groupon.
The Las Vegas Go Card, Las Vegas Explorer Pass, and the Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass all have quite a few shows available as attractions choices. These are especially good on the all-inclusive passes if you don’t really know what to expect from a Vegas show.
Tix4tonight offers Half-Price Tickets to all the major shows. The only caveat is you will have to buy them on the day. They deal with unsold tickets and flog them off to get people through the door. The big issue with this is you will be limited to what is left over. There are no Guarantees. If a particular show is important to you book in advance as if there is no availability you are out of luck. Really these are no longer the best way to get discounted tickets anymore and we have better luck buying in advance or using My Vegas.
Vegas may not be the most obvious shopping destination in the world but America’s Love Affair with the Shops is certainly well represented. Any Brand worth knowing about is represented in Vegas and you can shop till you drop in a number of huge malls such as the Forum Shops or the Fashion Show Mall. However, while these shops will all have offers and ways to save they are no different really to your standard hometown Mall, Just bigger and a bit more Vegassy!
However, Bargain hunter will have a great time at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. Outlet shopping is big across the states and the Las Vegas Premium North Outlets are one of the best in the country. With over 175 Stores with some of the biggest and well-known brands in the world, it is bound to have something for everyone.
Outlet Mall Shopping can be hit or miss but when the offers are good they can be staggering sometimes up to 60-75% off major brands. It is not likely to be the LATEST items. after all, that’s why they are in the outlets, but it’s still top quality items at seriously slashed prices.
There is also the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets which are fine just not as big as the North Outlets.
Have Your Say?
Let us know your Las Vegas Money Saving tips? We intend to keep this page updated with all the best and latest money-saving tips and would love to hear from you if you have any top tips to share? A favorite Happy hour? The best Discount show site? just let us know in the comments below. Or drop us a comment if you have any questions or queries on saving money in Las Vegas!