ultimate guide visiting las vegas budget saving money

If Las Vegas is known for one thing, it’s doing everything to excess – and that includes spending. Your visit to Sin City doesn’t have to break the bank! Las Vegas can be just as budget-friendly as any other travel destination. With our tips and tricks, you can cut your unnecessary spending – or leave yourself more cash for the nightclub later on.

Let’s jump in!

1. Visit mid-week

One of the easiest ways to save money in Las Vegas is to visit in the middle of the week, and your flights will be cheaper as well. Visiting during the slow season (July and August, as well as mid-December) may also result in cheaper rates.

Book your Vegas trip for midweek for hotel savings. Hotel prices are cheapest on a Wednesday and Thursday.Suzanne, The Travel Bunny

If you’re hoping to sample Las Vegas’s active party scene, confirm that your favorite day or nightclubs are open during the week.

2. Watch convention dates

A lot of conventions are hosted in Las Vegas, and room rates can skyrocket as a result. Book your trip around these dates to get the best prices. This calendar can help you avoid any major conventions.

PRO TIP: If you’re coming to Las Vegas for a convention, booking as early as possible might get you a lower rate.

3. Stay in downtown Las Vegas

The hotels downtown may offer fewer fancy amenities like spas, headline shows, and dayclubs, but the rates will be cheaper – and so are the table minimums. Downtown Las Vegas is just a few miles north of the Strip, and it’s home to a vast mix of restaurants, bars, casinos, and other entertainment, so don’t worry about getting bored!

downtown las vegas fremont street john phelan

Fremont Street. Image by John Phelan via Wikimedia Commons.

Check out our guide to visiting downtown Las Vegas to learn more.

4. Join your hotel’s rewards program

You’ll get freebies just for signing up. If you gamble, you’ll earn even more rewards and comps, as long as you gamble at the right casino.

5. Stay in the middle of the Strip

Your room rate will be the same, but you’ll have an easier time getting around the Strip without paying as much for cabs or other transit.

6. Talk to your concierge

Deb from Aroundusty Roads recommends that visitors “check with the concierge of their hotel for show tickets or even ride tickets for the High Roller”:

They can also tell you where to eat without breaking the bank. When we were at the Linq the concierge was able to save us money on just about everything we asked for. It might only be a couple of dollars but it adds up. Plus they can recommend sights and attractions. I didn’t know what a wonderful experience you could have at the Venice Hotel with its canal and gondolas until the concierge told me about it. They are a great resource.

7. Visit with friends

Victoria from Pommie Travels suggests splitting your room with friends:

Las Vegas can be pretty expensive (especially if you’ve lost all your money in the casino) so it’s always nice to go with some cash in your pocket. If you want to save money I’d highly recommend going with a few friends and splitting a room with two queen beds.

8. Try the Las Vegas Explorer Pass

With the Las Vegas Explorer Pass, you can visit a selection of three or five of the 25 most popular attractions in Sin City for a lower price than individual admission would cost.

las vegas high roller observation wheel

High Roller Observation Wheel. Image by Nate Stiller via Wikimedia Commons.

Learn more about the Las Vegas Explorer Pass.

9. Book show tickets and tours online and in advance

If there’s a particular show you just have to see, booking your tickets online in advance is often cheaper than waiting till you arrive in Las Vegas. You should also consider booking a room at the hotel that hosts your show – you may get a discounted show ticket.

If you aren’t particular about what you want to see, you might be able to get cheaper last-minute tickets at a Tix4Tonight kiosk. There are 10 kiosks located along the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas.

You’ll see stands where you can buy discounted show tickets, so if you want to see a show that night you might be able to grab a bargain.Victoria, Pommie Travels
PRO TIP: Check online for discounts on show tickets and tours at places like Groupon and Vegas.com, suggests James from Escaping Abroad.

Guided tours and day trips to popular Southwest locations like the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon are also often cheaper when you book ahead of your visit. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing out if all the tours are full by the time you arrive in Las Vegas! Take a look at these popular tours:

grand canyon south rim bus tour

Grand Canyon

Experience the rugged terrain of the North Rim, soar to the South Rim, or take a stroll on the West Rim Skywalk on one of our many Grand Canyon tours.

RESERVE NOW
mini hoover dam bus helicopter tour

Hoover Dam

Journey deep inside the Hoover Dam! Combine your tour with a trip to the West Rim, a cruise down the Colorado River, or even a boat tour of Lake Mead.

RESERVE NOW
red rock canyon suv tour

Red Rock Canyon

Join us on a tour of Red Rock Canyon and experience the rugged beauty of shockingly red rock formations and the sandstone peaks of Keystone Thrust, only 15 miles west of Las Vegas!

RESERVE NOW

10. Shop smart for snacks

Hannah and Adam from Getting Stamped recommend picking up snacks, bottled water, and toiletries from nearby pharmacies rather than from within your hotel.

Stop by Walgreens/etc and pick up some snacks & drinks for your room to save some money on food & drinks.

11. Don’t rent a car unnecessarily

If you’re planning on staying on the Strip and don’t intend to do a whole lot of exploring, don’t spend money renting a car. Parking can be expensive, traffic is crazy, and it’s generally easier and less stressful to either take cabs or ride-sharing services, walk, or hop on the monorail.

We usually do travel on a budget which is why skipping the rental car is a plus. Big savings there.”Deb, Aroundusty Roads

If you’re planning to explore outside the city limits, then you may want to consider renting a car or taking a group tour to places such as Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley.

12. Party smart

Ladies, talk to club promoters to try to get free entry into nightclubs. Gentlemen, if you’re in a group of only guys, try to join up with women – you’ll get cheaper entry into the club. A 2:1 ratio of women to men is best, but if you don’t have any ladies in your group, booking bottle service is likely your cheapest bet.

If your chosen night club is attached to a restaurant, eat dinner at that restaurant – you might get discounted club entry. Just ask your server!

Get more tips for partying in Las Vegas in our guide.

13. Get drinks on the casino floor

If you’re going to a club, pre-game on the casino floor – gamblers get free drinks. Make sure you tip your waitress. Start with $5, then $1-2 for subsequent drinks.

14. Check out some free attractions

There are tons of cool, free spots to hit up during your stay, such as:

  • Fremont Street Experience: A free light show, called “Viva Vision”, runs every hour from dusk till midnight. There’s also usually live music downtown.
  • Bellagio Fountains: A coordinated music, light, and water show shows every 15 minutes from 8PM till midnight, and every 30 minutes during the day.

las vegas hotels bellagio

  • Hotels: Most hotels will have free attractions like aquariums, gardens, and shows. Circus Circus offers a free circus show every half hour from 11AM till midnight. The wildlife habitat at the Flamingo is popular as well, as is the conservatory and botanical gardens at the Bellagio.
  • People Watching: If you want to save money in Vegas, Turner from American Travel Blogger suggest checking out some low-cost (and high-interest!) attractions like the Mob Museum or Neon Museum, or “just people watching in Old Vegas”. You’ll certainly be able to spot some colorful characters!

15. Bring all the cash you need

ATM fees can be significant, up to $6 per transaction. Taking out enough money before you travel or hit the casino floor can help you avoid this hidden cost, and can makes it easier to resist temptation and stick to your budget or gambling limit.

16. Don’t rely entirely on taxis

Use the Deuce – a double decker bus that run the length of the Strip up to Fremont Steet 24 hours a day every 15 minutes – to get around the Strip. It’s $5 per ride, or $12 for a day pass.

There are also three monorails that run for from the Mirage to Treasure Island, the Bellagio to Monte Carlo, and from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur for free. Ride sharing options like Uber and Lyft are also good choices.

PRO TIP: If you’re visiting from outside the United States, an international mobile data plan can help you avoid racking up huge roaming fees.

17. Hit the buffet during a transition period

At Las Vegas buffets, you pay when you sit down – not after you eat. If you sit down shortly before dinner service starts, you’ll pay the lunch price but you’ll get the dinner menu. Make sure you confirm meal service times before you head to your chosen buffet!

las

Carnival World Buffet at Rio. Image by Mark Miller via Wikimedia Common

If there’s one place you don’t skimp when you’re in Las Vegas, Hannah and Adam recommend making it the buffet:

You shouldn’t skimp on the buffet. For the extra $20 you can eat at Caesars Palace’s buffet with crab legs & steak and they even have a package to add on drinks. Get your money’s worth and stay for hours, this will fill you up for the entire day, trust us we’ve done it!Victoria, Pommie Travels

Get our tips for taking advantage of a Las Vegas buffet.

18. Use coupon booklets

Look at your hotel’s check-in desk and inside taxis for coupon booklets. They contain lots of coupons that you can use at restaurants and around the city. “When you check in to your hotel you’ll usually be given a leaflet with a bunch of food/drinks tokens, so it’s always worth using those”, advises Victoria.

19. Check out a happy hour or pre-theater menu

Many restaurants run a pre-theater menu between 4 and 7 PM for showgoers before the dinner rush. You may also be able to find some solid happy hour deals.

20. Take advantage of student and military discounts

Some hotels offer discounted rates for students and those in the military. Don’t be afraid to ask!

21. Limit your gambling!

If you really want to gamble, set a daily budget and make sure you stick to it.

You shouldn’t skimp on the buffet. For the extra $20 you can eat at Caesars Palace’s buffet with crab legs & steak and they even have a package to add on drinks. Get your money’s worth and stay for hours, this will fill you up for the entire day, trust us we’ve done it!Megan and Mike, Mapping Megan

Turner seconds Megan and Mike’s suggestion:

If you are going to skimp, I would try to go easy on the gambling. Make sure to know your limit and bet under it. Don’t forget to get the free drinks and walk away when you are ahead. If you succeed in this, let me know how.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas

Find answers to all your questions about Las Vegas in our Ultimate Guide!

Special thanks to all the expert travelers who contributed their tips to the Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas!