Tips for a Fabulous Budget Las Vegas Trip

Photo (cc) by Bukowsky18

A trip to Sin City doesn’t have to end with a visit to “Pawn Stars” to aquire money for a ticket home. There are many free and cheap things to do in Las Vegas — some family-friendly, others not so much.

You don’t have to partake of the 99-cent buffet to get your money’s worth. If you play your cards right, Vegas can be done swanky on the cheap.

Leaving (for) Las Vegas

Like all destinations, getting the best deal to Sin City involves going off-season and during the week.

Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air offer sweet deals. But be careful with the hidden fees. Many of the budget airlines charge for not only carry-ons but also your seat selection.

The plus with Allegiant is that it has nonstop flights from smaller airports. But you have to be flexible because they fly limited days and times.

Swimming with sharks

Look for hotels with amazing pools.

Golden Nugget has a shark tank in the middle of its pool complex. A three-story water slide glides you straight through the tank — but don’t worry; there is no chance of getting bit. The pool is free for hotel guests but $20 a person if you’re not staying there.

Mandalay Bay boasts an honest to goodness beach. You could easily spend all day at the wave pool with a lazy river and 2,700 tons of real sand.

All you can eat

If you plan on indulging in a few buffets during your stay, the Buffet of Buffets 24-hour pass is a great option. This gives you access to six different buffets and you can visit as many times as you want. The clock starts at your first visit, so you can easily get breakfast, lunch, dinner and breakfast with one pass. The cost starts at $49.99 for one day and varies with holidays and weekends. It includes the famous Carnival World Buffet at Rio.

My pick of the six is Le Village Buffet at Paris. The made-to-order crepes alone are worth the price. Add to that the all-you-can-drink mimosas for $10 and it’s my own personal heaven.

Happiest hours

Indulging in vittles and cocktails created by celebrity chefs doesn’t have to break the bank. Happy hours are a great way to get a deal. Here are two of my picks:

  • Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse has one of my favorite martinis on earth. The Sand Dollar is a delectable mix of Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, elderflower liquer, orgeat syrup and fresh lemon juice. And even better it’s only $7 from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.
  • American Fish at Aria has another fabulous happy hour. The Michael Mina establishment runs its deals from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. It is a great opportunity to munch on lobster rolls and truffled mac and cheese for only $5 a plate Get a few and you won’t even need dinner. Upping the ante is their drink creations for $7. Award-winning bartenders pick their choice each day alongside staples such as Manhattans and Moscow mules.

BYO, brown bag optional

It is legal to sip a cocktail or beer while strolling the Strip. Save money by mixing your own. Visit a store off the Strip to pick up your adult beverages so you don’t get price gouged. Las Vegas Advisor says casinos don’t mind if you bring your own, but bars and clubs do.

Freebie sightseeing

Bellagio offers two wonderful sights. The outdoor water fountains, which dance along to an array of music, shoot higher than a 24-story building. The breathtaking show begins every 15 minutes every night. Inside the hotel, the conservatory never disappoints. The displays change each season. Right now, it’s a lush floral exhibition featuring oversized sunflowers, colorful kites and live birds.

Vegas.com offers tips on many more free adventures.

“Free”mont Street Experience

Visit Downtown Vegas for a bit of old-school feel mixed with the latest technology. While Vegas Vic doesn’t greet passersby with his “Howdy Podner” anymore, fans of the retro will enjoy the cool old neon signs being restored.

Then when the sun goes down, the street comes alive with lights — 12.5 million of them, to be exact. The Fremont Street Experience is a mix of a twinkling display with a booming sound system. Every hour the downtown blocks are overtaken with tributes to acts like Bon Jovi and Queen.

If live bands are more your bag, the Rock of Vegas Summer Concert Series might be for you. On weekends through the end of August, rock bands such as Everclear and Presidents of the United States of America are playing for free.

Pay to play

If you have your heart set on a restaurant or enjoyed that happy hour so much you want dinner, check Tix 4 Tonight locations throughout the Strip and Fremont Street. You can get deals for places like Table 10, Brazilian steakhouses and buffets. The options vary each day depending on what’s available.

Show tickets are here too. I’ve gotten killer deals on The Beatles LOVE, Penn & Teller and Absinthe through these booths.

There’s usually a line, but it’s definitely worth it.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store

These household necessities are overpriced at the grocery store. Get them cheaper at these places instead.

5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less

In this week’s podcast: tips on retiring overseas — from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items

Here’s where to find the sweet spot at the intersection of price and quality.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.