Known for its glitz, glamour and cha-ching price tag, Las Vegas tempts many a traveler to its world-famous collection of dinner shows, spas, restaurants and shopping venues. Hoping to experience Sin City on the cheap? Try these tips.
Food: Happy hour deals offer a source of cheap eats for Vegas visitors. Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina features several $7 bite-sized bar food items in a happy hour menu that lasts all day long. Snacks of note include baked polenta with sausage and peppers, grilled pork belly and a chilled mushroom antipasto plate. Matt Reider of Canuck Abroad, a Canadian travel website, favors late night dining for the best deals. Many restaurants and buffets offer steep discounts between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., advises Reider, providing penny-pinching meal opportunities for night owls and early birds alike.
Transportation: If your desired destination is a little too far away to find your way to on foot, Reider also recommends the Deuce — a popular double-decker bus — to travelers looking to save money. This bus services the Vegas strip around the clock, with 24-hour passes ringing in an only $7. For affordable site-to-site transport without all of the stops and starts that come along with bus travel, consider the Las Vegas Monorail. The $12 one-day pass allows unlimited transportation between all of the major stations along the strip, with climate-controlled cars that are clean and comfortable.
Accommodation: Room rates in Vegas are frequently priced to entice. Travelzoo.com for example, currently lists accommodation options for less than $100! While costs fluctuate with availability, the site provides real-time pricing options for vacationers in search of the ultimate Vegas deal. Condo rentals also offer significant savings. This was recently evidenced on a site called Flip Key, where I found a two-bedroom, two-bath condo listed for $149 per night which was connected to the MGM Grand by a moving walkway.
Experiences: To get a sense of Las Vegas on foot, try a downloadable walking tour and scavenger hunt you can participate in from your cell phone. Strayboots.com has family-friendly options available for as little as $9 per person, providing an interactive tourism experience. Prefer something a bit more posh? Book any treatment at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and receive complimentary same-day access to common-area amenities, including heated relaxation chairs, vitality pools and personal experience showers. With face and foot treatments priced below $100, this can be an affordable way to spend the day in decadence.
Theriault is the best-selling co-author of the book "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget," and founder of TrekHound.com, a website for independent travelers. She also founded TheLessonMachine.com, a website for teachers.