Shopping, clubs, gambling, shows, hotel rooms, limos, dinners ... money can go fast in a city such as Las Vegas. However you don't have to spend megabucks to have an unforgettable time in Las Vegas.
As part of your trip to Las Vegas, it helps to equip yourself with a few Las Vegas money saving tips.
Saving money, especially on your trip to Las Vegas is a necessity. Don't ruin your vacation by running out of money prematurely. It pays to educate yourself before hand so that you can make informed decisions when you get to Vegas.
The city has so much to offer and there's something for everyone, no matter what your lifestyle or budget. Even though saving money is necessary in Vegas, you can still have fun on a tight budget by utilizing some of the tips here.
If you like Las Vegas buffets try going during the lunch time. It's usually much cheaper with often the same food selection.
Order wine by the bottle. If two or more people are drinking wine and can settle on the type of wine that you like, you can save some money by ordering a bottle.
Skip the soft drinks and the bottled water at restaurants. With soda costing as much as $3 a glass, and bottled water even more, your drinks can cost as much as half your meal. Even if the waiter is trying to talk you into bottled water, just order ice water.
Before entering a restaurant make sure you know how much it will cost. Check the menu if it is shown or ask the hostess if you could see one before entering. Prices could eat up your budget.
If you drive, don't get gasoline on the Vegas Strip. While those conveniently located gas stations are great, take a few extra minutes to drive east or west to get cheaper gas. With today's gas prices, you will be happy you did. Gas stations between the STRAT Hotel Casino and SkyPod and downtown will usually give you the best prices.
Riding the Las Vegas Monorail or walking are best. For those HOT, HOT, HOT days, cab it or use the Las Vegas casino shuttles. If you rent a car, rent compact or sub compact cars. With the soaring prices of gas, fuel efficiency is key.
Don't forget to put sun block on your ears, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking
Don't even think about jaywalking on the Vegas Strip, it is better to lose a little time than your life besides you will get cited if caught.
When taking a Las Vegas taxi cab from the airport, remember to tell the cab driver not to take the tunnel. The use of the I-215 tunnel from McCarran airport is NEVER the shortest route to ANY Las Vegas Strip hotel.
A tactics some taxi drivers use to scam passenger once you get to your destination, is to suddenly mention that they cannot make change. If your trip from the airport to your hotel is $12, and all you have on you is a $20 bill, you will find yourself reluctantly giving an $8 tip. To avoid this, make sure you have plenty of small bills and change ahead of time. Check here for the approximate Las Vegas taxi fare to your hotel and remember to tip accordingly.
While this is customary, tips or gratuities to taxi drivers in Las Vegas are optional and NOT required.
If you plan to pay for your taxi fare with a credit card, be aware that you will be charged a $3.00 fee over and above the meter charge.
Here is a way to save on taxi fare. If you're adventurous (and use good judgment on this one), while waiting for bags at baggage claim or standing in the long taxi lines at the airport, ask if anyone nearby is heading to the same destination, then split the fare. Cabs charge the same fare whether there's one rider or five.
If you are planning to rent a car while in Las Vegas, checkout some of these money saving Car Rental tips.
Show tickets are always cheaper online and it makes sense to buy your show tickets on-line before you get to Las Vegas and take advantage of all online discount offers.
If you purchase your Las Vegas show ticket online, always select "Tickets by email and on mobile" as a delivery option. With Tickets by email and on mobile, your tickets are sent to your email and all you have to do is show the email on your cellphone at the box office before the show. "Tickets by email and on mobile" is free and saves you on shipping and handling because there is No additional charge. You also don't have to worry about your ticket getting lost in the mail.
Use discount PROMO CODES and Book directly from the hotels to get the best deals and added freebies..
Take advantage of all discounts offered. Use online services and bundle offers; air, hotel, car, shows, etc. They can save you plenty $$$ and headaches too. Book rooms that make sense for you.
Plan to check-in on a weekday and not a weekend
Check the Las Vegas Convention Calendar to make sure there are no major events in town when you plan to be there.
Remember Vegas hotel room prices changes from day to day and is based on demand.
If you find a great room rate through a 3-party source, call the hotel directly to see if they can match it.
Remember, you don't come to Vegas to stay in your room, so why blow your budget on a bed? Save on hotel rooms whenever you can and get more out of your next Sin City vacation.
Once you decide on a hotel, always check the hotel's resort fee. When in doubt, call the hotel and ask for any hidden fee.
Whenever possible, avoid booking and paying for your las vegas hotel with a bank debit card. The reasons are explained here....
If you are traveling with children, do not assume they can stay with you for free. Always check with the hotel to make sure there are no additional charge for kids.
If you plan to drive to Las Vegas or rent a car while there, just know that most hotels on the Strip recently started charging for parking. Check the Las Vegas Parking fees for your hotel and remember the fees listed are for 24 hour parking.
Be aware, a few Las Vegas hotels will charge you a $10 processing fee for hotel reservations made by telephone. Avoid this fee by booking your reservation online.
Try and combine Air + hotel when booking and go through sites like Southwest Airlines Vacation, United Airlines Vacation, Expedia, Orbitz or Priceline.
Another trick is to do a search on Trip advisor engine. It will check all airlines going to Vegas from your travel destination and all major travel sites and return the cheapest fare.
Use amenities sparingly. Some Las Vegas hotel spas and other services are very expensive. Ask yourself, do you really needs this? If so, can you really afford it?
Most hotels will charge you for wireless internet connection. It's worth mentioning that there are a few spots on the Vegas Strip where you can find unfettered Free access. Here is a long list of other places where you can get free wireless internet along the Vegas strip.
Some hotels will add an additional resort fee to your bill. The fees can be between $3 per day to $20 per day. According to them, this fee gives you free access to their Fitness Center; free local and 800-number calls. In my opinion, this is a rip-off. Excalibur for instance, charges a daily resort fee of $9.95 and that provides you with free local calls, two free drinks (well drinks, draft beer or a $5 credit toward any other beverage) per room per stay and two free Fantasy Faire Midway Games per room per stay. Most people are not aware of what they are getting for their resort fee. Here is a list of hotels that DO NOT charge resort fees.
At check-in, remember to ask for a Funbook if one is not given to you. A Las Vegas funbook is a little book filled with Las Vegas coupons for a variety of things at the hotel. Each hotel prints it's own funbook and examples of what you can get for free or at discount prices are food, drinks, Las Vegas shows, buffet coupons, and free slot plays.
If you are new to the gambling world, consider seating in on one of the free gaming lessons offered by the casinos. Anything from roulette, blackjack, and craps.
Avoid the 5-cent slots. They may look like a bargain, but they're not.
Sign up for the players card at every casino you enter. Some offer free slot play and discounts for food just for signing up.
Always use a slot card when gambling and check with a host before you leave to see what you can get comp-ed.
Before leaving on your vacation, decide how much money you'll spend on gambling. Don't make this decision when you get to Vegas. This amount is your gambling bankroll. Try not to go over it.
Do not gamble for comps
Gambling odds are better off the strip than on the strip.
Have a plan on gambling loses and gambling wins. Make a daily budget and stick to it. If you win, great! If you lose, you're DONE for the day!. Never, ever, ever pull out extra money. You are not going to win back lost money. The odds are against you.
Avoid at all costs credit-card cash withdrawal machines.
It's common knowledge that you get free cocktails while you gamble in Las Vegas. That might sound very tempting but you honestly don't want to gamble for cocktails. Here are the reasons. 1) The cocktail servers show up once in a long while to ask you if you want free cocktails. 2) They are trained to watch you to make sure you have gambled for a while before asking you. 3) You are expected to tip $1 for each cocktail you receive.
Buy your beer at the 7 Eleven, CVS or Walgreens. (see locations here) Any bar will allow you to walk in with a beer in your hand. They figure you'll finish it sooner or later and buy more.
Buy your bottled water from the street vendors or at 7-Eleven by the six-pack. You'll need water. (plenty of it)
Casino bartenders, even in showrooms and lounges, will give you a glass of ice water for free although a $1 tip will be appreciated.
Casino Royale, is one of the cheapest places to drink on the Strip.
Starbucks on Koval behind the Vegas strip is way cheaper than any of the Starbucks on the Strip. Open 24 hours.
Don't order room service. We know, it sounds tempting, but room service includes all kinds of additional charges and fees, and you need to tip the room service attendant.
Everything in the tourist areas of Las Vegas will be more expensive than back home, don't complain how expensive things are. It is Vegas and it is a tourist trap. You didn't come to Sin City to save money.
Avoid casino ATM's. Fees on those machines average $3 - $5 per transaction. If you must withdraw cash, use one of the Bank ATM's listed here.
If you're strapped for cash, don't go to Vegas. Stay home or keep it local. Gambling, restaurants, hotels, shows and such will only deplete your savings and you'll feel like a total "L"oser when you're done.
Learn when to say when, or when to hold em and when to fold em.
Don't be afraid to just ask for something. The worst thing you could get is a "No". The best thing you could get is a discount or a freebie.
Las Vegas has a desert climate. Drink water to prevent dehydration and nose bleeds. Stop at Walgreens or CVS along the strip to buy your ice water. Their prices are a lot cheaper than in the hotels. Buy anything else you need there as well. (see locations here) The hotel shops are way over priced.
To get a good view of the Vegas Strip, rather than pay up to $13.95 to see the Strip from the STRAT Hotel Casino and SkyPod observation deck, head to the bar at Mix atop Delano Las Vegas before 10 p.m. for a better view. Free.
Try not to wander off the Vegas strip too far, especially at night. The tourist areas are safe for the most part. You do have to watch out for scammers. Just ignore anyone on the street who comes up to you trying to sell anything. Overall, Las Vegas is a very safe town for tourists. But many people do become victims of things like pick pocketing and scams. So just be vigilant and you will be fine.
Watch for pickpockets at the Bellagio Fountains and other busy areas on the strip. They usually operate in groups.
Avoid the people who come up to you and ask if you are going to be there over night or want free tickets to a show. The strip is loaded with these pushers of timeshare sales. They are pushy as can be and it would be the biggest waste of your time. Nothing is worth that aggravation. Just tell them you are leaving that evening. Do not answer any other questions.
On the Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, If you come across Bugs Bunny, Hello Kitty, Elmo, Elvis, Transformer or your favorite character from Star Wars, it's ok to get excited and want to take a picture with that character to show your friends back home. However be aware that these characters are not licensed to be on the street. They expect a tip for taking a picture with them and you will be associating with these characters at your own risk. If you are harassed by any of these individuals please notify police immediately by calling 702-828-3111.
Also be aware of the "porn slappers" along the Vegas strip that hand-out "Hot Babes Direct to your room in 20 minutes" cards of naked women. You will notice them by the annoying sound they make flipping their cards. Trust me, there is nothing hot about these girls. You will just be asking for hot trouble. Besides it's not wise to give any stranger your hotel room number or your contact number. If you become a victim please report it by calling 702-828-3111
When in Vegas, just be yourself and dress appropriately for the occasion. Vegas is very laid back and anything goes but if you are going to a nice restaurant, dress formally. The same thing goes for shows.
Remember to check the weather and pack your bags accordingly
Las Vegas is a lot of fun. Have a great time.