Viva Las Vegas! We all know that Vegas can be really expensive between the fancy hotels, expensive restaurants, drinks and of course, gambling. I love going to Vegas. However, to be able to actually afford to go and enjoy myself, I spend some time planning to get the best deals possible. Then I have more money for roulette and Keno! Here are some ways to save a little cash.
1. Try to get yourself a free flight: If you are a frequent flier with miles, jerk, then don't bother listening to me. For everyone else, start earning rewards points through buying groupons, shopping at online, shopping on itunes, dining out and doing surveys. I just flew to Vegas for free with points I had earned through emiles.com and erewards.com See my post on online surveys below for more details.
- Why I love Southwest Airlines and you should too: I personally like Southwest Airlines because it seems to have the most earning opportunities. Plus, they often have good deals Also, they do not charge fees (in most cases) for carry-on and checked bags. Kind of awesome. Sign up with your junk and then when you are planning a trip, remember to check your email for Southwest deals. Until then, rack up as many rewards points as you can through emiles.com, erewards.com and the other ways to earn rewards by shopping online through southwest.com and registering credit cards for dining points through southwest.com. I have never paid more than $325 for round trip flight to Vegas and that was over a weekend.
2. Choose Your Hotel Wisely: Choosing a hotel can be tricky. Staying in amazing and expensive hotel sounds like so much fun, but think about it...you are in Vegas, how much time are you going to spend in the room? Stay at a cheap place and then visit the fancy hotels. Here's some tips for choosing your hotel:
- Stay on the strip (or as close as possible): You can pretty much walk everywhere and won't have to pay for taxis or shuttles.
- Sign up for emails from Hotels: Go to hotel websites and sign up for their email lists so that they send you all their deals. Whether it is cheap rooms or free dinners or shows along with booking a room.
- Hotels to check out: These are my go to hotels for Vegas, they are decent hotels.
- Excalibur is right on the strip and connects to Luxor, New York New York, MGM and Tropicana, sort of. I stay in the old tower rooms because they are cheaper and still decent. Excalibur often has really great deals for staying on the strip and being in Vegas, plus everything you could ever want is all in the hotel. A decent Casino, plenty of food places (Baja Fresh, Dick's Last Resort, McDonalds, Auntie Anne's, etc), shops, sports book with keno, bars, a DQ and games downstairs.
- Hooters is technically not on the strip, but it's about a half a block away from the strip and right next to Tropicana and MGM. Hooters often has really cheap room deals, especially during the week. Plus, it has $9.99 prime rib dinner and inexpensive tables in the casino.
4. Casinos to fit a smaller budget: While I always love going to the grand casinos, I stop at those mostly for sightseeing not gambling or eating. there for sightseeing and MAYBE play a game if I'm feeling lucky, but these are are the Casinos that have lower minimum tables for poker, black jack and roulette.
- Bill's: They have $3 tables during the day for roulette and $5 tables for black jack and poker. I think then the minimum for roulette goes up to $5 at night. Bill's is purely for a good deal on gambling. You don't stop here for the sights.
- Hooters: This casino is also a place to stop purely for the gambling and not to view the pretty sights of Vegas. Cheap table minimums. It is a small casino so be prepared for it to get crowded.
- Excalibur: This casino has lower minimums as well, but seems to turn into all $10 minimums at night. At least on the weekends.
5. Don't Forget to Eat! Vegas has some great restaurants, many owned by famous chefs like Bobby Flay and Gordon Ramsey. I like to treat myself to one nice dinner while in Vegas, but the rest of the time, I am looking for the best deal possible. Here are the deals I have come across over the past few years:
- $9.99 Prime Rib Dinner at Hooters: It is suprisingly pretty good and comes with potatoes and veggies. Can't beat it! And it's available 24 hours a day. That's Vegas for ya.
- $5 for a Beer and Hot Dog at Excalibur bars: It is not a Chicago dog, but I suppose it will do. If you have an MLife Players card it is even cheaper.
- Fat Burger, bogo drinks w/ food: The people standing outside will give you bogo free drinks for Fat Burger so you'll sit outside. Their burgers are really good, so while you are walking the strip, stop here for food and drinks.
- Steak Special at Hard Rock Cafe: Vegas.com says there is a Gambler's Special for $7.77 at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 restaurant. It comes with steak, three grilled shrimp and choice of side. The site says you have to ask for it as it's not on the menu.
- Get a discount or at least rewards for your nice dinner: If you go to a nice restaurant in Vegas, book through opentable.com so you can get some dining points. You can get discounted dinners through tix4tonight.com. I have never used the site, but have read lots of reviews where people found good deals.
7. Sign up for the players cards in each casino: Get a players card in any casino where you plan to stay and gamble for a while. If you're going to lose all your money, you might as well get some comps for it! Every casino is different, so just check it out online ahead of time to plan accordingly.
8. Do not pay for the Shuttle from the Airport: Unless you are traveling alone. If you have more than one person, get in a cab, it will only cost about $15-20. Otherwise you pay per person for the shuttle and it stops at multiple hotels, so it may take some time, especially when going back to the airport.
9. If you decide to stay off the strip: If you stay off the strip, make sure the hotel offers free shuttles to the hotels/casinos on the strip because we all know you are going to want to spend your time there.
10. Do not take the Offer from the Seemingly nice cab driver to get you into a great club for free: It will most likely land you in a gross, run down club with all guys. It is a trick and the cab driver gets paid to bring people to clubs that are far off the strip. Then you are stuck there and they usually are not that great. I have heard the horror stories, so be warned..
11. Gambling: Well, what can I tell you? I love to gamble and know that I will just play and play no matter what, so I have to set aside a max amount that I can "afford" to spend and only take one debit card with me. I also play the "cheap" tables.
Vegas, baby, Vegas! Take me with you, please.