Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations within the United States. Travelers come here from all over the world, lured by the siren call of the bright lights of the nightlife and the ample venues for gambling. It is often taken as a matter of course that no one ventures to Vegas without being prepared to lose a fortune and few people even consider trying to save money while there. The sad truth is that many people spend more money needlessly trying to have fun than they would ever be willing to risk in the casinos. These tips can help any frugal traveler have a great time in this city of excitement without breaking the bank.
1. Don’t Gamble
This is the most obvious bit of advice on this list, but it is still one of the most valid. You can never gamble and expect to come away with more money then you went in with. The odds are always in favor of the house, so if your wallet is thin you would be best off avoiding the casino floor. However, since no trip to Las Vegas is complete without tipping your hat to Lady Luck, be sure to set yourself a strict budget. Decide how much you can afford to lose, and bring only cash with you to the casino. Leave your credit card in your room, to avoid any chance of deciding to take “just one more try”.
2. Carry a Map
Most guests in Vegas will be taking a taxi cab to any destination across town, so it may never occur to you to carry a map. Unfortunately, like any major tourist hot spot, the taxi drivers know that tourist aren’t going to know how to get around town off the top of their head, and some will not flinch at fleecing an unsuspecting fare. This usually just means taking a route that is a bit longer than necessary, but that can add up to a few extra dollars every time you are in a cab. To avoid this, carry a city map whenever you go sightseeing, and check the route you are taking. If the taxi seems to be taking an overly long route, politely call them on it.
3. Avoid High Priced Bars
In glorious Las Vegas the over consumption of alcohol is second only to the gambling. It is a city that was designed to be drunk in, both the sights and the booze. Keep in mind that it is a tourist mecca though, and the drinks are priced accordingly. If you go to any of the large popular clubs on the strip be prepared to pay a huge bill. However, there are a couple of options available to you, which will allow you to drink without taking out a second mortgage.
The first wallet friendly option is to just go to the casinos. Most offer free drinks to gamblers, so find a seat at the nickel slots, and feed the machine until a cocktail waitress comes by. Tip her generously so she will be feeling kind, then just sit back and enjoy the free drinks. Even if you still play the odds occasionally, you can have quite a few free drinks for less than the price at a bar. And better yet, since the casinos like their guest to feel happy and laid back, their drinks will have more alcohol than standard bar fare.
The second option is to look for drink specials. Most of the tourist bars will offer drink specials every day. So just find a bar with a drink you like, and be sure to stick to the special.?
4. Look For Half-Priced Shows
The shows are among the top three reasons why so many people choose to go to Las Vegas. Here you can find almost any act, from Broadway to off Broadway, to acts so bizarre that their not even in the same zip code as Broadway. The one thing that all of these performances have in common is that they are expensive. It is sometimes possible to get free tickets, but this often means sweet talking just the right ma?tre d’ and cannot be relied on. Luckily, it is possible to get cheap tickets, sometimes as much as half off. Tix4tonight is one of the best options, as they have locations at five convenient locations in Vegas. There are also several other companies offering discount tickets. The staff at your hotel should be able to point you towards the closest one.
5. Research Before you Depart
The best way to be sure that you will be able to save money while in Las Vegas is to research before you leave home. Make a list of things you would like to do while in the city and then research how to do them while saving money. If you plan on gambling, look up which locations have the loosest slots with the highest payouts. If you are looking for a glimpse of a celebrity, look up the current celeb hot spots rather than running all over town. It is not necessary to research ever detail on your trip, but a little information can help to ease your budget.
What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but if you are not careful the bills can haunt you for months to come. With a bit of care, it should be easy to have a vacation to remember, without going in to debt. ?Keep in mind though that nobody ever has fun while stressing about money. Make a budget and try to hold yourself to it, but don’t worry about every cent you spend. After all, you’re in Vegas to have fun, not count pennies.