This past weekend, my current roommate and my roommate from college ventured to Sin City for the weekend. We booked the trip in June and between the long work days and adventuring in Denver, the trip snuck up on us. The night before we left, I was scrambling to pack everything so needless to say we didn’t have a concrete agenda for the weekend besides knowing where we were going to stay. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I like to live on a budget and travel on a budget. The girls I went with all had a mutual agreement that we weren’t going to do anything extravagant, which can be hard in Las Vegas. Especially on the strip, Vegas can be extremely pricey so we had to be strategic in order to not break the bank. Below are my dos and don’ts for Las Vegas on a budget!
1. Travel via Southwest Airlines:
I was able to get one of my flights completely free because I had points saved up. I know this isn’t feasible for everyone booking a flight to Vegas, but Southwest has amazing sales like all the time! My roommate and I booked our first around June because we both had a free one way. We waited until their next sale to book the returning flight. If you want to save money, usually the first flight out for the day is the cheapest. But that also means waking up at 5am or earlier!
2. Make sandwiches in your room:
On our first day in Vegas, we headed to the CVS attached to our hotel and bought bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Who doesn’t love a classic PB&J?! Plus we saved sooooo much money by snacking on sandwiches instead of heading to a $20+ meal along the strip. We only ate out twice and both times was for brunch. A solid breakfast will help you not splurge on snack and food throughout the day until dinner. My roommate and I also packed some snacks from home to munch on.
3. Guests lists will save you so much money $$$
This tip is usually for feasible for girls. Luckily for the ladies, when you’re in Vegas you have the ability to get in places for free and even get free drinks. We got on the guest lists for both Encore Beach Club and Marquee Night Club. Entry to two clubs alone could cost you upwards of $50, so I recommend connecting with a promoter to get free entry.
4. Booze will drain your bank account fast!
I do not recommend buying drinks at any clubs. We accidentally made the mistake of buying a slushy boozy drink to share between the three of us at the pool party and it cost $55!!!! Even though we split the prices three ways, it was painful to say the least and we learned out lesson. We also overheard people at one of the bars at Marquee buying two well drinks for $40! It is actually ridiculous how much clubs charge so I recommend buying your own alcohol to keep in the hotel room, or better yet, don’t drink at all! Note, sometimes being on the guest list gives you the ability to get a couple of free drink coupons too!
5. Uber and Lyft it!
Cabs are generally more expensive than Lyft and Uber in general and in Vegas it is no different. I actually had one of my college friends pick us up from the airport Thursday night and drop us off at the hotel, which saved us $25. The rest of the weekend we used Lyft and split it three ways within the app. Trips were no more than $3.25 each.
6. Research the best hotel deals
We stayed at Treasure Island, which isn’t the nicest/most fabulous hotel on the strip, but it did the trick. We paid a little more per night than I would have liked, so I recommend doing through research to find the best deal. Hotel prices fluctuate based on the day of the week so if you really want to save money, go during the week. Websites like booking.com and priceline.com are amazing!
Including flights, lyft rides, hotel, and food I spent under $500!