A city that’s built in a desert, but a very popular tourist destination non the less. Known for its party life, gambling and everything that goes on in sin city. It is no surprise that it can be one of the most expensive cities to visit. But you don’t have to break the bank, with these simple tips on how to travel to Las Vegas on a budget.
Las Vegas is definitely an experience we will never forget and one we would do again. But it can be expensive when you have to pay for flights, accommodation, food and drinks, shows, exhibitions and everything else you can do in Las Vegas.
While it can be expensive, it really doesn’t have to be!
You can still experience Las Vegas on a shoestring and we share with you how this is possible.
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Table of Contents
Tips on how to visit Las Vegas on a budget
We share our tips with you, so you can visit Las Vegas on a tight budget.
When to travel?
Prices will vary depending on the time of year that you travel. So, to keep your budget to a minimum and save some money along the way, let’s look at when the best time to travel to Las Vegas on a budget.
It is always recommended to travel midweek. Flights and accommodation prices are far cheaper compared to the weekend.
Where possible, travel during school term time and avoid school holidays, prices inflate during school holidays.
Certainly, the cooler time of year to travel and often the cheapest.
We will look at prices later on, but we found that travelling between January and February was cheapest on flights and accommodation.
Avoid December as this is the most expensive month in winter to travel.
Climates getting warmer, but so are prices.
While prices are increasing during the spring months, they don’t increase too drastically.
The climate can get very hot in the desert and so can prices.
The summer months are the most expensive, flights and accommodation will see prices double.
Avoid the school holidays between June and August.
Cooler temperatures during autumn along with cooling prices.
As the autumn months draw in, the prices will make a slow decrease, making it more affordable to travel.
Always check for any big events happening in Vegas, as hotel prices will soar.
When you’re researching and planning your trip to Las Vegas, you need to be flexible with your travel dates, to get the best possible deal.
If you can be flexible, you can then choose the cheapest time to travel, meaning you’ll make the best possible savings. That saving can then go towards gambling in the casino’s or for another adventure later in the year.
How to book cheap flights to Las Vegas
This links with the above point, depending on when you travel, will impact how much you’ll pay on flights.
To get the cheapest flights, you want to travel off season, or during the shoulder months, which are between March and May and September to November.
It’s also important to check if flying mid-week or weekend is cheapest. Often mid-week works out the cheapest.
Do you want to fly direct or do you intend to stop over?
Direct flights are the most expensive. But get you to the location quicker. Stopping over at an airport, before taking a connecting flight to Las Vegas is longer, but cheaper.
If you’re wanting to spend as little on flights as possible, then you’ll need to consider a stopover.
Always check the length of stopover, some connecting flights can range between 1 hour to 5+ hours. It can get very tiring spending more than 5 hours in an airport waiting for your connecting flight.
Cost on flights will also depend on where you travel from. For example, we live in the UK, so booking flights from London to Las Vegas will be different compared to, flying from somewhere in the US.
If you’re flying from the US, we would recommend using a budget airline such as Spirit Airlines. We actually used them to fly us from New York to Las Vegas.
So, the first key element to booking cheap flights to Las Vegas, is to be flexible with your travel dates and pick the dates that work out the cheapest.
We use Skyscanner and booking.com to research the cheapest deal and to plan our holiday and budget.
But before you make any purchases, first check if purchasing the flights via the main airline website is cheaper. In a few cases, you may find that the airline directly is cheaper.
Do you have airmiles with the airline?
If you’ve already accumulated airmiles, you might be able to make some savings by adding the airmiles to the purchase which will save you some money on flights.
Alternatively, apply the airmiles to upgrade to business or first class.
So now you have the cheapest dates to travel, you can add any airmiles you’ve accumulated to save some more money on flights.
Now that you have idea on how much it will cost you on flights, just make a note of this.
Need help with planning your holiday to Las Vegas on a budget, then download our FREE travel planner. Fill out the details on the planner as you follow these tips.
How to find cheap accommodation in Las Vegas
The next biggest thing that could set your budget back is the accommodation.
Do you stay on the strip in one of the luxury hotels that’s expensive? Or do you stay in a cheaper hotel away from the strip, but pay transport fares to get to the things you might want to see. When do you travel to get the cheapest room rates?
When booking accommodation, prices will increase or decrease depending on the high season or low season.
Our advice would be to travel during the low season (off peak) or the shoulder months to get the cheapest rate.
You also need to decide if you can afford to stay in a luxury hotel along the strip, or stay in a cheaper hotel that’s a distance from the strip.
When we visited Las Vegas, we stayed at Bellagio, one of the most iconic, luxury but expensive hotels directly on the strip (it was our anniversary, so saved hard and budgeted for this expense, so we could splurge a little).
But if we were on a tight budget, we would actually look to stay in a cheaper hotel just off the strip and walk to the hotels on the strip.
Walking between the hotels on the strip are free, which we will come to later on. So, you don’t need to stay on the strip to enjoy the luxury of Las Vegas.
So where would we stay on a cheap budget when looking at accommodation in Las Vegas? We have done the research for you, by choosing the best hotels we would stay at on a budget in Las Vegas. We have also included links, so you can book your hotel room, with a click of a button.
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If you are looking to spend a bit more money for the experience of staying in a luxury hotel, then Bellagio is definitely the place.
Spacious, clean rooms and bathroom, friendly and supper helpful staff. The biggest plus is that the hotel is in a very good location, being directly on the strip.
The facilities within the hotel are amazing, there’s a large casino, with tables and machines, bars, restaurants and even performances.
Explore the interior design of the hotel, with statues, ceiling designs, gardens and more all to wander around for free.
BUT this is about how to travel to Las Vegas on a budget, so spending $100s for a room might not be for you.
Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park
Located north of the strip.
The reviews are great, with most complimenting on the staff, the rooms and its location.
The facilities will keep you entertained for a day at least, with an indoor theme park, a large roller coaster, Circus Circus splash zone pool, 50-foot water slide, shaded cabanas, hot tub and more.
When it comes to food and you don’t want to walk far, then Circus Circus has you covered, with a number of restaurants, free nightly entertainment with a drink and food specials.
You can try your hands in the casino with slots and tables, watch the latest sports games on the TV and plenty more.
In our honest opinion, this hotel ticks all the right boxes, yes, it is a little distant from the main attractions on the strip, but for the price that you would pay for a room, that outweighs the distance.
Distance doesn’t have to be a problem, when there’s plenty of public transport, or better still, keeping things cheap, just walk to where you need to go. Las Vegas is flat, so walking will be easy, especially when you are skipping from one hotel to the next.
To give you an idea of how much it will cost to stay at Circus Circus, for 3 nights in January, you’re looking at about £100.00+. That’s it!
If we compare it to Bellagio, for 3 nights in January, you’re looking at £500.00+.
By staying north of the strip, in a good hotel, you’re already saving £400.00.
Again, I do want to stress with you, that hotel prices will increase and decrease depending on the time of year you travel.
On a road trip around USA? Then you’ll find plenty of parking facilities at the hotel.
Bposhtels Las Vegas
There’re not many hostels in Las Vegas, but this one fit the bill for any backpacker looking to visit Las Vegas on a budget.
Located north of Las Vegas about 2.5 miles from the main hotels on the strip and would take some time to walk it. With good public transport, getting from the hostel to the main sites wouldn’t be a problem.
There are basic facilities, such as outdoor swimming pool, communal lounge and garden and evening entertainment.
The reviews are great, with most commenting on the good size of the dorms, shower and vanity station within the room.
We would definitely book a dorm room here if we travelled solo.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
In a great location, only about 30 minutes’ walk from the strip. But if you don’t fancy walking then there’re plenty of public transport that will connect you to the main drag.
The facilities look great with a full-service spa and outdoor pool, panoramic views from your room, restaurants, bars, and buffet restaurant.
The reviews are pretty good and definitely a hotel to consider.
Motel 6-Las Vegas, NV – Boulder Hwy
This very basic motel nearly 5 miles from the Las Vegas strip has some excellent views.
Don’t worry, there is public transport that will connect you with the strip and the sites around the city.
There is the all-essential outdoor pool, plus free coffee in the lobby and a laundromat if you need to do any washing.
There isn’t much you’ll need from a hotel stay in Las Vegas. As long as the hotel offers a great level of services, clean and tidy rooms. In our experience, much of your time will be spent doing other things in Las Vegas, wandering between the hotels on the strip and spending time in casinos.
Here are some other accommodation options in Las Vegas:
Unfortunately, you will have to pay resort fees/hotel fees, taxes etc on arrival.
It is going to vary from hotel and resort, so factor this into your budget.
Places to eat
Las Vegas as some lovely restaurants, serving delicious food, but it all comes at a price to pay.
We also noticed that USA’s portion sizes are massive. Well, they are compared to the portion sizes we get back home in the UK.
So, how can you save money on food and drinks in Las Vegas?
Firstly, when it comes to the portion sizes, could you share a meal? I mean, the States portion sizes are double the size compared to the UK, so we could both have one meal between us and be completely full.
Why would we waste our food, if we both can’t eat two separate dishes. It’s not like when we are back home and we order a take away. You can’t take the food back to your room and reheat it in the microwave the following day. There’re simply not the facilities to do this in the room.
By ordering the one meal, it has saved us some money and you can do the same.
We noticed that breakfast and lunch meals are often cheaper than dinner. If you eat two big breakfast and lunch meals, then you’ll only need a light dinner, which could save you some money.
Another of our little hacks we use, is to make a pack lunch for the day.
By buying a few groceries from the local supermarket can work out far cheaper than eating out for every single meal. You could save a lot of money, making homemade food.
The only thing we will mention about this method, is be careful about what food you purchase from the shop.
The only fridges in your room, are the fridges already stocked with alcohol, drinks and sweets (Americans call this candy) by the hotel.
You won’t be able to put anything in those fridges.
So, if you buy something that will perish left out of the fridge, then don’t buy it.
Here are a few of our suggestions on where we ate while in Las Vegas, although not all are budget friendly.
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We were starving by the time we arrived in Las Vegas and checked into Bellagio Hotel. Our first stop for food was at Noodles.
Not the cheapest place to eat, but one of the cheapest in Bellagio Hotel.
A step to Asia when ordering a dish from Noodles. Order some of the traditional dishes from Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam.
Dishes range from $15.00 – $20.00 and the food is very good.
We enjoyed a few of the starters and a noodles dish. We enjoyed the dishes so much, that we returned for a second time on another day.
It is definitely one we would recommend, but you must ensure you have included this in your budget.
The good thing about buffet, is that you can eat as much as you want. But at a price of $40.00-$50.00 per person depending on the day you visit; it can get expensive.
Many also associate buffet’s as poor-quality food, that’s been sitting there kept warm for hours. But Bellagio Buffet is high quality, great food.
Fill up on savoury dishes, before finishing off the feast with a large selection of desserts. Many of the dishes are freshly made to order and will definitely fill you up.
We enjoyed the buffet, but we couldn’t spend this sort of money every day.
This popular fast-food outlet is not the healthiest dish, but definitely a cheap eat.
Shake shack can be found all over America, but our first time we had this was in Las Vegas, before ordering a meal again in New York.
They offer a good range of beef burgers, chicken burgers, and even vegetarian and vegan burgers. Plus, hot dogs, fries, milkshakes and even sweet desserts.
You really can’t go wrong with this budget friendly way of eating.
Looking for other places to eat in Las Vegas on a budget? Don’t worry, we have done some research and would highly recommend this post on, best places to Eat in Las Vegas on a budget.
Getting around Las Vegas
Getting around Las Vegas is easy, simple and relatively cheap. There’s plenty of public transport that will get you around the city and further afield.
Our most favoured way to get around is to walk. Its environmentally friendly, keeps you fit and healthy and its FREE.
Walking around Las Vegas will save you money, plus sin city is flat, making it the best way to get around.
But let’s look at some other methods of getting around Las Vegas.
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The airport is next to the strip, depending on where you stay, you are likely to see the planes take off and land.
But after you have come off a tiring flight, you really don’t want to lug your luggage to your hotel. So, make use of the hotel’s airport transfers.
Most of the big hotels will provide a free airport pickup and drop off service. Just let the hotel know your flight details and they will be there to pick you and other passengers up, to take you from the airport to the hotel and back again.
Some hotels may not offer this service or you’ll have to pay for the pickup and drop off. Make sure you have researched before booking that accommodation.
When we stayed at the Bellagio, we met at the pickup point and the van took us straight to our hotel.
Then a day before check out, we spoke to reception, who arranged our pickup from the hotel to the airport.
One of the most expensive ways to get around Las Vegas, but if this is your preferred method, then order the taxi via Uber.
Far cheaper than other taxi firms in Vegas.
If you’re only going a short distance, there really is no point in booking a taxi, save some money by walking or catching the bus.
Las Vegas has a great network of buses. Want to get away from the strip, just catch a bus to the destination.
You can purchase bus tickets on board the bus.
If you only intend to visit places on the strip, then the Deuce will cover you.
The route starts or finishes depending on the direction of travel from Freemont Street Experience (on Las Vegas Blvd) and ends at South Strip Transit Terminal (SSTT).
The bus runs 24 hour a day and between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the time of day.
There’re a few ticket options which are as follows:
$6 for 2 hours
$8 for 24 hours
$20 for 3 days.
You need to decide how many times you’ll use the bus to work out if it really is worth it and if you only need 2 hours, 24 hours or 3 days.
In our experience we walked most of Las Vegas. Why would we want to spend money on taking a bus, when our legs do us well and its free.
Most of our trip in Las Vegas was contained within the hotels along the strip, so walking between the hotels are ideal.
The only time we would consider the bus, would be if we want to skip any hotels, we had seen the previous day, as hotel hopping can be time consuming.
If you’re on a tight budget, then walking is your friend, otherwise, work out which ticket you’ll need and factor this into your budget.
You can purchase Deuce tickets either on the bus, at certain ticket machines or on the rideRTC, Lyft and Uber apps.
Las Vegas Monorail
The monorail in Las Vegas starts and finishes at SAHARA to MGM Grand.
A great way to connect you between a number of hotels along the strip quickly and easily.
The monorail runs from 7am to 12 midnight Monday, 7am to 2am Tuesday to Thursday and 7am to 3am Friday to Sunday.
The biggest thing here is how much does it cost to travel on the monorail?
One ride if $5.00, one day pass $13, two day pass $23, three day pass $29, four day pass $36, five day pass $43 and the seven day pass $56.
Again, in our opinion, the best way to discover the hotels on the strip, is to walk between each hotel. If you want to use the monorail, you would probably only need to use it once.
To really save you money, walk, but if walking is too much for you, make sure you work out if a one ride or a couple of day pass is worth it and include this in your budget.
There are three trams’ systems, which are free of charge to ride.
The trams help you take some weight off your feet, from walking the length of the strip, to catching these short journeys.
The routes of the trams are, Treasure Island to Mirage, Bellagio, Aria and Park MGM, and finally the Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
Taking the tram was definitely the quickest way to hop between hotel and hotel. And the tram is free, so use it as often as you like without having to pay a penny. Especially if you don’t want to walk from one end of the strip to the other end.
We mentioned this above, but felt we should highlight this, as it is the best way to stay on a budget.
Walking around Las Vegas, will not only keep you to your budget, but will save you money in the long run.
Walk where ever possible, unless you want to take the free tram.
Things to do in Las Vegas
Sightseeing can be extremely expensive.
A Cirque Du Soleil can cost anything between $70.00+ per person depending on what you want to see and the seating.
You’re in Las Vegas, do what everyone comes to Las Vegas to do and that’s gamble in the various hotels along the strip.
There so much to do in Las Vegas, that can cost you a lot of money. But there are some things you can do for free.
Check out our post on the things to do in Las Vegas. Much of it, is just walking between our favourite hotels. All of which is free to do, so you can keep to that tight budget.
Day trips from Las Vegas
Why not get out of the city and explore the surrounding areas.
On our trip to Las Vegas, we took a bus tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, via the Hoover Dam.
Wow, the Grand Canyon was amazing, but we only got to spend a short time there.
Bus tours are great, you don’t have to worry about transport, food and sometimes drink. On our tour, the bus picked us up from our hotel, they provided us with a light breakfast and then a buffet lunch, before returning late in the evening.
The tour was lovely, they took us to two main points on the south rim. It was definitely a great way for us to see other areas of America in such a short period of time.
As mentioned before, you will need to factor this into that all important budget of yours.
Here are some of our favourite day trips from Las Vegas.
The main points to take away from visiting Las Vegas on a budget, is firstly do your research.
Research when the best time is to travel, consider the weather, flights and accommodation. What things can you do for free and make sure these are top of your list, before considering any paid trips.
You must set a budget for how much you intend to spend in the casino and keep to it.
Once you have established how much it will cost to travel to Las Vegas, create a budget tracker. That way, when you’re travelling you can keep an eye on whether you’re keeping to that budget or not. If you’re not, then you’ll need to cut back on certain things, so you can keep within your budget.
Look at ways you can save money before you travel so you have a little bit more money to spend in Las Vegas.
This great tool will help you with budgeting and how much to set for you budget.
Have you visited Las Vegas? Did you set a budget before you went? How much was your budget and did you keep to it? If you’ve not been before, do you feel you can now visit Las Vegas on a budget? Let us know in the comment’s below.
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