For those traveling to Las Vegas on a limited budget, this is for you.The first time I went to Vegas with a group of friends, I only spent $300. We had a blast! I understand for some people, $300 is your first bet. But as the college kid I was, it’s all I had. These pointers may not be helpful for those who have bigger budgets, but may be worth considering anyway.
One thing to note is this does not include transportation to Las Vegas, so factor your flight, bus, or drive on top of these tips. A few more details, we arrived in the afternoon and stayed for three nights. We left in the afternoon on the fourth day. In all we had about 12 meals.
We picked up some Recycled Percussion tickets on Groupon and enjoyed their show at The LINQ (at the time it was The Quad). The tickets were about $20 a person and well worth it. We were entertained and one of the guys in our group won nice headphones for being apart of the act on Stage. There are many other shows you can find on the Strip that are $10-$20 that are fantastic.
My gambling budget on this trip was just $100. My goal was less about winning and more about being entertained with my friends. However, that didn’t keep us from having some luck. We played lots of electronic games because the minimums were lower. We loved playing blackjack, roulette, craps, and the occasional dog racing. The odds and payouts on these machines are commonly lower than your tables, but because I only had $100 to spend, I wasn’t too concerned about this. We also played $1 table blackjack at the soon to be closing Riviera, which was a blast.
While we were there, we had a car. This helped a lot. If you’re arriving by bus or plane, the bus system can become your wallet’s best friend. Taxis can get very expensive and will eat away a lot of your budget, bus fares are as low as $2 each way or a 24-hour pass for as little as $8 (there’s also a three day pass available for those who need it). The transit system can get you anywhere you need to go.
We had to eat a little cheaper than the average Vegas-goer on this trip. This included a stop inside the food court at Casino Royale for a $1.99 hot dog, a stop or two at McDonald’s for breakfast, a great meal at Earl of Sandwich, and even a couple Downtown buffets. We decided to go a little cheaper on food, so we could use the money for gambling and entertainment. Cheap eats don’t have to be nasty, there’s lots of great options for $6-$8. We spent about $80 on food.
Our hotel was one of our larger expenses. We shared two rooms between four people. We stayed at the Flamingo for around $10 per night (this was during the week in April), plus resort fees (which have gone up quite a bit at most resorts since then). Our total cost was around $80 for three nights in a standard room. We had a poolside view and the rooms were nice and clean. Now days, the resort fee will cost you around $25/night, but we have recently booked rooms as low as $15/night during the week at The LINQ and Harrah’s. It all depends on when you go. We often come in Sunday or Monday and leave Wednesday or Thursday and get great room rates around $100-$120 for three nights on the Strip. Obviously, there aren’t as many events or attractions on these days as prime weekends, but the price is certainly right for a budget stay.