Vegas On A Budget: Tips to Save Money and Still Have Fun

Las Vegas On A Budget

Ah, Las Vegas. Even if the good old Sin City has left you in alone in an alley, penniless and weeping in the fetal position, there’s something about it that always keeps you coming back for more. It’s probably not the promise of winning money from gambling (the odds are always against you in Vegas), but more of the promise of adventure and excitement. Vegas is a place we return to time and time again because we believe it’s somewhere that anything can happen. As adults, we’re taught to be polite, show restraint and constantly keep our desires, opinions and true nature at bay, but Vegas is the one place where we’re encouraged to drink (and drug) excessively, sleep around and most importantly, be our true selves.

Unfortunately, Vegas bankrolls all this fun and craziness by making as much money off visitors as they can (anyone who has been to the Subway across the Cosmopolitan knows what I’m talking about. Paying $12 for a gross sandwich is not unheard of on the strip), and you should be well aware of this fact before you try to make your next trip to Las Vegas. Luckily, with enough planning and creativity, an amazing trip to Vegas doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some few Vegas on a budget tips to help you have fund without wasting too much cash.

Avoid Casinos with Resort Fees

This is a checkout cash grab plain and simple.

Highest resort fees reach $39 per night before tax, which is $44.21 including tax per night! In some cases, the resort fee can be higher than the room rate! However, in 2018, the fees have gone up, lucky us! You can read more about resort fees here.

Which hotels do not charge resort fees?

A few hotels have not implemented resort fees yet. Here’s a list of Las Vegas hotels that do not charge resort fees as of this writing in January 2018.

  • Americas Best Value Inn
  • California
  • Casino Royale Best Western Plus
  • Desert Rose Resort
  • Elara
  • Four Queens
  • Fremont hotel and casino
  • Lucky club
  • Main Street Station
  • Marriott Las Vegas
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites
  • Residence Inn
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Royal Resort
  • Travelodge Center Strip
  • WorldMark Las Vegas Blvd
  • WorldMark Tropicana
  • Wyndham Desert Blue
  • Wyndham Grand Desert

Get Off The Strip And Check Out Fremont Street

If you sleep, gamble and drink exclusively on the strip, you’re almost guaranteed to pay the highest prices in Vegas. Hotels and casinos on the strip are betting that you’ll fly in, take a taxi and be confined to the strip through the entirety of your whole trip. This is why they can charge premium prices (especially for food). Consider spending a night or two (or your entire trip) on Fremont Street.

Fremont Street is classic Las Vegas: old casinos, storied hotels and $3 blackjack tables. This is an area of Vegas that’s managed to maintain its charm and style, and it’s much more affordable than the strip.

Vegas Tip: Stay at The Golden Nugget (on your second trip)

For your first trip to Las Vegas you’ll want to stay at one of the massive Casinos on the main strip, but once you’ve seen all the attractions and understand the chaos that goes on from walking the strip and dealing with the high prices, you’ll understand why I would suggest an alternative.

The Golden Nugget, in my opinion, is the nicest place to stay on Fremont Street.

Where some of the Casino’s on Fremont Street are much older, the Nugget is far from a dump. In fact, their newest tower is extremely modern. The Nugget’s casino is pretty standard, but for me, it was the restaurants and pool that made it a favorite of mine.

The Golden Nugget’s pool actually has a water slide that goes through a shark tank!

Free Booze Takes Forever, Cheap Booze Comes Fast

Vegas On A Budget Tip: The “I’ll Just Look Like I’m Gambling And Get Free Drinks” Thing Doesn’t Work.

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re planning on a Las Vegas on a budget trip by sitting at a slot machine and throwing in one dollar or two every half hour in the hopes of getting plastered for free, it’s not gonna work. Cocktail waitresses aren’t idiots; they’re experienced professionals who are well aware that shmucks like me and you want to get drunk on their casino’s dime.

Vegas On A Budget Booze Trick:

The trick to Las Vegas is changing the way you think about the “free drink” system. The Casino’s strategy is to offer you a free drink allowing you plenty of time to pump hundreds of dollars into a slot machine as you wait for a free beverage.

Free booze sounds amazing and is a major draw for people to go to Las Vegas, but how does 10 drinks for $10 sound?

Here’s the reality of the drink process: The waitress serving you likely has a massive section and will focus most of her attention on where she can make the most money from tips. If you think about it, you’d do the same thing if you were in her shoes – so don’t judge.

The trick to getting her to come by a lot is to tip her on every single drink she brings you.

What you do: When she brings you your first drink you look her in the eyes and tell her that you’re going to tip her $1 for every time she brings you a drink. If you’re with a friend, tell her that you each are going to tip her $1 for every visit – This works even better. The waitress now knows that every time she swings by to see you and your friend she makes $2. If you’re motivated to drink she’ll take notice and start making extra visits your way.

Bonus Tip: Learn the basics of the game Craps. Every Casino has free lessons every day to show you how to play. Not only is this a great way to learn an awesome game, it’s the best game to be playing for getting drinks. The waitress can empty an entire tray of drinks around a craps table and make $20 in two minutes. The craps tables see heavy attention from waitresses.

To Recap: Get the basics down for playing craps, join a busy table and be friendly, tip her $1 for every drink, you’ll be wasted in an hour and it might not cost you a thing.

Other Alternative: Another option is to find a liquor store off the strip, buy booze there at a reasonable price and bring as much as you can with you while you enjoy Vegas (a camel pack filled with whiskey and coke is ideal for these sorts of things). Also, drinking on the street is legal in Las Vegas. Plan accordingly, and you won’t have to sit alone at a slot machine like a dumbass while irritated cocktail waitresses pass you by.

Don’t Go Clubbing Without Doing Some Research

A few years ago, Vegas casinos began to see their gambling revenue go down, and they had to think of other ways to bring in money. Dance clubs have become a massive industry in Las Vegas, and if you’re not careful about the club you go to, you could drop anywhere between $50-100 just to get in the door. Drinks at these clubs sometimes start at $15. As a guy, this is a big problem you’re likely going to run into time an time again in Vegas (women tend to always get in these clubs for free).

Before you head out for the night, do a little research into promotions and deals for local clubs. has a good list of clubs that men can get into for free or a reduced price.

Also, if you can avoid it, go to these clubs with women, and not just a huge pack of horny dudes. Dance clubs are sure to let you in for free or cheap if you have some girls in your group. If you’re a guy trying to get in alone at a club, they might not let you in no matter what because that’s just creepy.

Check Out For a List Of Cheap Buffets

This is an awesome website with a huge list of Vegas buffets which includes prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a star rating. Vegas is a town where you can get steak and eggs for $3.99, but do you really want to do that? This site is great because it’ll help you decide on buffets that are cheap but high quality.

Main Street Station’s buffet is a good example of a place that’s cheap ($8.99 for breakfast) but still has 3 stars.

Good Site for more tips:

Do you have a Las Vegas Tip?

We’d love to hear it. Please drop us a comment below!

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Mike Patch

Mike Patch is a blogger, SEO and runs a number of websites online. He is a writer for Slick Panda and offers help in the editing and publishing of all content. Mike is married, has two children with a third on the way. Mike is a Philadelphia Eagles fan of over 20 years.

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