Did you know you can save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars by taking advantage of Vegas freebies and public services? Despite its popularity as Sin City, Las Vegas is among the few fun destinations in North America where you can have a great time for less than $1200.
It is estimated that the average cost of a 3-night stay in Vegas can cost you about $1,244. That is almost $1,000 less than the same stay in San Diego, California, and about $600 less than in New York City. So, what makes Las Vegas a great vacation destination to save some money?
Read on to know how you can save money on the Vegas Strip as well as Downtown Las Vegas. Learn of the 31 Proven strategies that tourists and locals have used for decades to get the most affordable fun weekends of their lives.
Vegas Hacks to Save Money on Rooms and Hotel
Before we get started, it is important to remember that proper planning is the first key to saving your money in Vegas, or any trip, for that matter. Especially if you are new in town, it can be easy to get ripped off and overcharged for some services.
Learn these tips beforehand and use them as your holy grail guide before planning your exciting Las Vegas vacation.
1. Off-the Strip destinations
Las Vegas Strip hotels are more expensive than those in Downtown Las Vegas. Off-the-strip hotels like Golden Nugget Hotel can cost between $90 to $190 for their standard rooms per night, while most Strip hotels charge above $150 per night.
Staying in a hotel off the Strip is cheaper, has low resort fees, is less crowded, features cheaper meals, lots of free parking, and the casinos have favorable gambling slots.
However, you should also know you are going to be further away from the Strip where most of the activity is. Also, the environment is less luxurious, you may spend more on transport, and the amenities are fewer.
2. Cheap Hotels
If you opt for Strip hotels, then it is a good way to save money if you stick to their cheapest options. Cheap Strip hotels are still more expensive than off-Strip destinations but have more access to the best of Las Vegas action and amenities. Typical rooms start from $150 or $100 at discounted prices.
Book a room at Circus Circus for an affordable stay in the home of the world’s largest permanent circus. Other affordable hotels on the Strip include the Strat, Luxor, Excalibur, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s, and the Linq. Horseshoe, Sahara, Tropicana, Park MGM, and Treasure Island.
3. No Resort Fees
There are less than 23 hotels in Las Vegas that do not charge resort fees. Most establishments have opted for the resort fee models to offer more services and charge for them. It is a cause for many customer complaints and upcharges when checking out of a hotel.
To avoid the extra fees charged for phone access, pool access, fitness centers, and more opt to stay in Vegas hotels that do not charge resort fees. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all hotels without resort fees have cheaper rooms.
Some of the Vegas hotels without resort fees include most of the Vegas Hilton Hotels and all Wyndham hotels in Vegas.
4. Off-Peak Seasons
The fastest way to lose your money in Vegas, apart from gambling, of course, is to visit during peak seasons. Vegas prices are high already; booking your stay during peak seasons is going to cost you hundreds of dollars more for the same services you would get in off-peak seasons. Vegas’ off-peak seasons are January – April, and September-November.
5. Direct Booking with the Hotel
It can be tempting to go for third-party booking sites that promise lots of hotel discounts bundled up with more offers. However, it is a good practice to always book directly with the hotel you want to stay in unless a better offer is available.
Hotels prioritize direct bookings since they do not have to pay commissions to third parties. Hence, they are more susceptible to offering discounts, room credits, and much more to guests who opt to book directly.
If you see an offer on a third-party site, feel free to call the hotel and ask for any equivalent offer they may have. You may be surprised to know how many times they can give you the same deal for a more favorable price.
6. Hotel Discounts
Hotel discounts are always in plenty, especially during the off-peak seasons and holiday celebrations. MGM and Caesars are some of the biggest players in Las Vegas that seasonally offer up to 15% discounts on all bookings.
Hotel discounts also include more offers like complimentary access to some of the resorts’ main amenities, discounted meals in on-site restaurants, and free access to pools.
Another great perk of booking directly is the ability to rebook. Booking directly allows you a certain cancellation period, sometimes up to 24 hours prior to check-in. This helps you recheck the hotel’s current discounts so that you can cancel the room you reserved and book a cheaper one if you so wish.
7. Free Parking
There used to be a time when free parking was a standard in Las Vegas. Today, less than 13 hotels have free self-parking, let alone valet parking. Daily charges can be as high as $23 per day and $15 for one hour.
Head over to hotels with free parking to save a few bucks. Some include the Strat, Wynn Las Vegas, The Palazzo, Resorts World, Sahara Las Vegas, and Treasure Island.
8. Booking (third Party Sites) Services Discounts
Booking your hotel room from third-party sites is a great way to save in Las Vegas, especially if you are not planning on spending a lot of time in the hotel room. Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia frequently bundle room bookings with Vegas’ best activities and transportation at discounted prices.
This is a great way to save on both a room and the money you were going to spend visiting Vegas’ sights. Other bundled packages may include discounted meals, and show tickets at lower prices. Take advantage of rebooking policies in case third-party services allow it.
Phone apps from hotels and other sites are great for getting discounts. A good example of this is the myVEGAS app from MGM Resorts.
It is a free-to-play slots and tables smartphone game that grants you reward points that can be redeemed in MGM Resorts. Free offerings range from suites to meals and show tickets.
9. Rewards Member
Vegas is full of hotels with loyalty programs that reward its members with promotions, free services, and exclusive access to some perks. MGM Resorts has the M Life Program, and Caesars Entertainment has the Caesars Rewards Club – these two are among the most rewarding casino loyalty clubs.
Fill out an application form to get the rewards card if you do not have one. Proceed to use the card at every gambling game for you to get the highest returns. You can earn points without gambling, but it is much slower.
Use the card when you shop at the resorts while dining and every time you check into the respective hotels. The more points you earn, the more discounts you get on rooms and other amenities. You can easily get free hotel rooms with enough reward points.
10. Las Vegas Airport Sleeping Pods
You may get charged a hefty sum (a whole day’s worth) if you extend your stay in the hotel for even a few hours. This can be very expensive, especially if you are just waiting for your flight.
To solve this problem, the Las Vegas Airport introduced sleeping pods in the terminals where you can get the first hour for $35.
How Do I Save On Food and Drinks in Vegas?
Hotels are the biggest spenders of your money, but food & drinks may just be the Achilles’ heel if you do not take advantage of these money-saving tips:
11. Yelp Check-In Offers
Yelp is known for its many offers when it comes to the Las Vegas dining scene, particularly its Check-In offers. Several restaurants post-check-in offers on Yelp to attract more customers and give them rewards that can be redeemed when they visit.
Take a look at your favorite restaurant’s review on Yelp, and you may find a check-in offer that can offset the price of your meals.
12. Dine in Buffets
Buffet restaurants are something Las Vegas is famously known for. Several venues offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes for less than $30. Remember that the meals are not the most exquisite, but you will be satisfied by their many offerings.
For the cheapest buffets in Vegas, visit MGM Grand, Excalibur, Luxor, Circus Circus, Main Street Station, and the Palms Casino Resort.
13. AYCE offers and AYCD deals
Buffets are open throughout the week, but all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink offers are weekly and sometimes seasonal. AYCD is available at various brunches in Vegas, with $15-$30 on bottomless drinks for 1.5 – 2 hours. Visit Umami, Sakana Sushi, and Sushi Koma for AYCE sushi in Vegas.
14. Cheap Eats in Vegas
Las Vegas is home to some of the cheapest meals, like the $5-dollar lunches and breakfasts, as well as enormous breakfasts in diners like Hash Hash a Go Go. Visit Ocean One Bar & Grill for their unbeatable $5 lunch right on the Strip.
Fast food and quick bite diners are other best places to feast on cheap meals ranging from burgers to fried chicken and hot dogs. Top cheap eats in Las Vegas include Tacos El Gordo, Viva Las Arepas, BBQ Mexicana, La Salsa Cantina, and other American staples like Shake Shack.
15. Cheap Drinks in Vegas
Vegas is a fun city to get wasted. Ever seen tourists and locals walking around with yard-tall drinks? Or carrying sippy bags filled with some booze? Well, you already know how to get cheap drinks in Vegas from those two.
Yard Drinks from Fat Tuesday are a good way to have fun, get a bit tipsy, and yet not break the bank. However, they do not beat the all-day happy hour bars, the 3-for-1 drink from Ocean One, or $4 beers at the Strip Burger & chicken in the Fashion Show Mall.
You can also save a lot on drinks by gambling. In Vegas, gambling is equal to free drinks. Let the server know you are gambling and need your drinks refilled. You can have your glass topped so long as you are on the table.
16. Buy Your Own Drinks
CVs and Wall Greens are your go-to places for buying and making your own drinks. You get to buy drinks at the regular store prices and get to drink them on your way along the Strip.
It is not illegal to carry alcoholic drinks while wandering in Las Vegas, provided the open containers are not glass, just paper or plastic.
17. Cook in Your Room Kitchen
Why stop at buying your own drinks? Buy your own grocery and cook in the kitchen available in your hotel room. Keep in mind that not all hotel rooms include a kitchen section, and this may cost you more than booking a room without one.
If you have a room with a kitchen, it is financially wise to stick with in-room meals since room deliveries and eating out are more expensive.
18. Bring Coffee Maker/Make Coffee in your Room
Did you know that a cup of coffee in a Las Vegas hotel or casino is about $14? That is just $8 more expensive than a cup of coffee outside the casinos. Also, coffee places in the city usually have long lines in the morning and can derail you from getting to where you want to be in time.
It is a good practice to make use of the in-room coffee makers or carry your own coffee maker when visiting Las Vegas.
How Can I Not Spend A Ton of Money on Vegas Travelling/Attractions?
Las Vegas is home to the Fremont Street Experience, known for its mesmerizing Viva Las Vegas light show and the long SlotZilla zipline. Museums are in plenty, on and off the Strip, and incredible architectural marvels envelop the entire city.
You will be glad to know that Vegas has a few free attractions you may love to visit, especially if you are new in town. Here are some of the tips and tricks to save you some money when traveling to visit Vegas attractions.
19. Pick the Best Travel Dates
Like booking a hotel room, travel dates are important when it comes to Vegas attractions. Conventions and sports events in the arenas can make regular sights more expensive and very crowded. Off-peak seasons in January-April and September-November are the best times to save a few bucks when vacationing in Vegas.
It is also better if you stay clear off on the weekends. Weekend prices are higher because of the surge of guests, which in turn leads to a surge in prices. When traveling, stick to weekdays when fewer people come in or go out of the city.
20. Get a Water Bottle
A non-disposable water bottle is your savior in the hot, humid weather of the Las Vegas desert. It is also a great tool to save on drinks when moving up and down.
There are many water filtration centers where you can get your water instead of purchasing expensive bottled water. You can also carry your smoothies, juice, or beverages and not spend a dime buying them on the road.
21. Las Vegas Power Pass Discounts
Several companies, including Vacation Pass and Viator, offer a wide range of activities in a discounted pack called the Las Vegas Power Pass. The pass grants you an organized several days stay and trip to more than 25 attractions in Vegas, from theatre shows to helicopter tours and discounted entrance to Live shows.
22. Gamble of The Strip and In the Morning
An old-time classic tip for saving money in Las Vegas is to avoid gambling. However, in case you want to indulge and have some fun, then you will save more bucks playing at off-the-strip casinos. Some of the best casinos on the strip include Red Rock Casino, Palace Station, and Sunset Station.
23. Vegas Freebies
There are more than 19 free things to do in las vegas. Check out our complete guide on all the best cost-free activities to indulge in while in Vegas: from watching the fountain show at the Bellagio to a visit to the Botanical Gardens, Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, and Fremont Street Experience.
24. Cheap Attractions
The most expensive attractions and shows in Vegas can be cheap by just booking last-minute tickets. Keep an eye on online merchants (including Vegas.com) to have the most discounted tickets to leading shows from the Blue Man Group to the Cirque du Soleil.
Visit the Miracle Mile Shops for cheap souvenirs or get cheap goods and foods from the Grand Canal Shoppes. Head into the Lake of Dreams for just $5 or enjoy unlimited gaming in Excalibur’s $12 Fun Dungeon.
25. Discounts for Select Individuals
Nevada residents get lots of free offers around Las Vegas, from free parking to discounted access to museums and other attractions. Check-in with the management to know of any special offers for select groups, from veterans to military personnel, locals, healthcare workers, students, or guests at specific hotels.
26. Groupon Deals and Tix4Tonight
Vegas.com offers flash sales and discounted prices to the best of Las Vegas shows, including the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. Visit Groupon and Tix4Tonight for the best deals and offers to take through the full Vegas show experience.
27. Public Transportation
The Monorail is the most convenient and yet inexpensive public transportation in Las Vegas. It won’t get you to all the places you want to go, but it won’t break the bank. Take the single-ride or weekend tickets to have multiple rides across the Monorail as you move about from show to show, buffet to buffet, or bar to bar.
28. Complimentary Transportation
A nice addition to booking a hotel in Vegas is you can get your hotel room with a complimentary shuttle that will take you to and from the airport. These shuttles are also available for making pitstops across the Vegas Strip. Please keep in mind that you will be sharing a ride with other hotel guests, and there are only a few select dropping points.
29. Avoid Car Rentals at Airports
If you have budgeted for a car rental, you may be interested in knowing that airport rentals are more expensive. Save a few hundred bucks on a rental car by getting the vehicle from a dealer far away from the airport.
30. Use Uber and Lyft instead of Taxis.
Uber and Lyft are cheaper than taxis in Las Vegas. Regardless of where you are going, it is always best to stick two the two rather than get a taxi. It is also a good practice to examine how their prices compare; Lyft is usually cheaper than Uber.
31. Free Trams
The Las Vegas free trams are better options for commuting in Las Vegas than walking. This is a good resort when you have a set plan and are not in a hurry. Take advantage of the three free trams, the ARIA Express Tram, Mandalay Bay, and the Mirage-Treasure Island Tram.
Read More: Best Time to Go to Vegas
How Much Cash Should You Have in Vegas?
The amount of money you are going to spend in Vegas varies on what you are planning to do while visiting. For a standard vacation, $1200 per weekend is a good bet to have the best Vegas experience without missing out on much.
Keep in mind that most of the money will go to transportation and a hotel stay (about $400 each, depending on where you stay and if you fly in)
What Is the Best Way to Carry Money in Vegas?
The best way to carry money in Vegas is by using your credit cards. The cards help you earn several points that can be redeemed not only with your card providers but also with the various hotels and destinations you visit on your way.
It is also recommended you carry spare cash for tipping the waiters, servers, and staff on your trip.
$50 Trick Las Vegas/does the $20-Dollar Trick Work in Vegas?
If you are looking to save money in Vegas, then you may have run into the $50/$20-dollar trick. This is how it works: You pass a $20 tip to the front desk staff so as to get a complimentary upgrade to any available rooms or amenities at the Vegas hotel.
Some think it is a bribe; others call it a tip, but you can call it amateur hour. Vegas staff have seen this move a million times, and it doesn’t work as well as people think.
The reason being; some staff isn’t allowed to take tips, you lose your $20 if the upgrades aren’t available/staff chooses not to upgrade you, and the fact that you can get the upgrade for free anyway if you cleverly & politely ask for it. Try asking for a free upgrade.