Sponsored post disclosure: Cause I am not one to turn down free flip-flops, we received free product from Wiivv.com in exchange for inclusion in this post. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal use and opinion.
I have to admit, heading to Las Vegas has never necessarily been on the top of my wish list.
However, despite all of my international travels, I had never been to the western part of the United States, which is really a shame.
When Mr. L and I had the chance to get away for just a couple of days, I started my trip planning process and found that I could get to Vegas cheaper than I get to Miami. Since, we live in Orlando… I was pretty shocked.
I knew Vegas was cheap to get to…but I also discovered the many ways to make it cheap. Period.
If you want to get to Vegas and really have some extra cash when all is said and done, here are some of the best tips I discovered to plan a trip to Las Vegas on a budget.
Find a Cheap Flight
I talk about budget airlines in my post how to get a cheap flight for your next vacation, but they are worth emphasizing here.
McCarran International Airport is a major hub that serves the city of Las Vegas. It is crazy easy to get from the airport to the strip and is also really cheap to get to. Most major carriers and budget carriers fly into McCarran.
By doing just a bit of travel hacking and booking two separate one-way tickets, we were able to score a great deal on airfare. We flew from MCO to LAS ( the McCarran airport code) on Frontier airlines and back to MCO on Spirit.
Websites like Priceline will easily do this hack for you and find you the best flight deal from your nearest departure point.
Join Players Clubs
Even if you are not a gambler, join a Players Club for some of the best offers and discounts that Las Vegas has to offer. They are generally free to join and you can easily sign up online.
I recommend the Total Rewards Club through Ceaser’s Entertainment.
Simply by signing up for the club and booking through their site, I was able to snag a ‘comped’ room at The Flamingo.
Note* – in Vegas lingo, “comped” means zero…but there are always resort fees if you stay on the Las Vegas Strip.
Mr. L. and I ended up spending two nights at The Flamingo for a grand total of $79.37.
The Las Vegas Strip is 4 miles long stretching from Mandalay Bay to The Stratosphere.
If you join a players club like I mentioned above and get a great deal on the strip, I would suggest staying somewhere in the middle.
We stayed at the Flamingo, which was fairly centrally located, but the Mirage, Ceaser’s Palace, Bally’s, Harrah’s, Paris and the Venetian would all be good options, as well.
By staying in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip, you can easily walk to almost all of the major casinos, saving you transportation costs.
Just make sure you have a good pair of shoes.
We were able to collaborate with Wiivv.com and try out their custom-fit footwear while on our Vegas vacay.
Ya’ll…my feet have never been so happy!
Mr. L was able to test drive the custom insoles that easily transferred between his Pumas ( cause…he can never decide which set are his faves) and I walked nearly 24,000 steps ( and hiked up a mountain, mind you) in my custom sandals.
Wiivv sandals and insoles are custom mapped to your foot, which provides the ultimate comfort.
We were able to order our Wiivvs quickly and easily from home. Wiivv utilizes an app that guides you through the foot mapping process.
Our sandals and insoles arrived about two weeks later and we were ready to hit the strip.
Investing in a good pair of shoes allows you to walk longer and further in comfort.
It really is the best way to experience the strip and save on cab fares.
If You Must Use Public Transportation:
We only used uber once to get from the airport to our hotel, and we used the bus system once to get from Circus Circus back down to our hotel so we could catch a show.
Click Here to get your first ride FREE with Uber or use promo code keril220ue
Don’t Get Sucked into Buffets
We didn’t eat at a single buffet while in Vegas.
The reality is that I eat one small plate of food and I’m full. Buffets can average between $20-$30 per person and often have long lines.
If you don’t eat much, you can likely find cheaper food at joints all around the strip.
We had some great steak for $10 ( no joke) at a funky place just off the strip called Ellis Island.
The restaurant wasn’t much too look at. It’s not a super fancy place. However, it was recommended by a local, which is usually our number one travel trick. Go where the locals go.
The steak was thick and delicious. Not bad for a meal that cost about $22 for both of us.
If you really do want to check out a buffet or book a nicer restaurant on the cheap. Plan ahead and check out LivingSocial or Groupon. Last time I checked, vouchers were available for the buffets at The Flamingo, Paris and Harrah’s.
Also, consider doing a breakfast buffet, which is generally cheaper. If you fill up in the morning, you may be able to get by with light snacking throughout the day.
Use LivingSocial or Groupon for Show Tickets
We were originally not going to schedule a show because we would be in Las Vegas for such a short time. I did not not want to over-schedule ourselves.
After arriving, though, we really wanted to catch a show and regretted not booking one.
There are discount booths around Las Vegas that you can purchase last minute tickets to shows that are not sold out. But, I found a good deal on LivingSocial for two tickets to WOW: The Vegas Spectacular. I was able to purchase them just two hours before show time at nearly 40% off the original ticket price.
The show was PHENOMENAL. I am so glad we didn’t miss it and would highly recommend it to anyone who visits Vegas.
The show is appropriate for kids and features plenty of acrobatics, dance moves and thrilling stunts that made us say… “wow!” (So cheesy… I know. I couldn’t help myself)
Don’t Blow Your Money in Slots
This seems obvious, but it’s worth saying.
Vegas is cheap to get to, because they expect you to lose money when you are there.
Sure…you may win. But, you may lose. Know how much you are comfortable losing before you go.
I have a pretty week stomach when it comes to gambling. It takes about 30 seconds to blow $10 on slots and I usually regret it.
Know your limit and stick to it. Save up money in advance specifically for gaming and know that slots are your worst bet. They take zero skill and the house edge is higher.
One of the best things to do in Vegas on a budget…is to get out of Vegas.
Seriously. McCarran is possibly the cheapest airport that gets you the closest to the Grand Canyon.
Since my ultimate goal was to see some of the west, we wanted to rent a car and take a drive.
Our flight wasn’t leaving until Tuesday evening at 10:00 p.m., so renting a car seemed like a great way to pass the time after we had to check-out of The Flamingo.
The only problem was that Mr. L wanted a convertible…and I didn’t really want to pay convertible prices.
Turo is like the AirBnb of rental cars and I completely stumbled upon it by happenstance.
We were able to book a Mazda Miata convertible directly from its owner, Alfonso, who delivered it to us at the Flamingo and picked it up from us at the airport.
Since it was our first trip with Turo, we were able to use a $25 referral code from Alfonso, so the entire day only cost us $33.46! Alfonso didn’t even charge extra for the delivery and pickup.
Turo saved us a ton of money, plus the hassle of having to get to a rental counter.
If you want a fun day driving around the Valley of Fire State Park and the Hoover Dam, Turo is the way to go.
Different owners will have different policies and fees regarding pickup and drop-off. But, if Alfonso’s Miata is available, I can’t recommend it enough.
As for the drive, it was ah-mazing!
We left the strip in the morning and headed over to the Coffee Cup Cafe in Boulder City, NV for some breakfast. It’s delish and affordable.
Then we headed over to the Hoover Dam and up through the Valley of Fire.
Definitely head towards Hoover Dam first, as the line to get through the security checkpoint gets significantly longer as the day wears on.
I took us about 6 hours to leisurely make the drive, since we stopped at the Visitor’s Center and at occasional scenic points to take in the view. But, it was the best way to end the weekend, cost just about $10 for the car to enter the park and we made it back to the airport with time to spare.
Using these simple tips, we were able to plan our trip from Florida to Las Vegas for just a couple hundred of dollars.
Have you been to Las Vegas? Share some of your budget-friendly things to do or top tips for planning a trip in the comments!