Las Vegas is built upon consumption and extravagance, and if you like the good things in life, it’s easy to spend a lot of money. Though that doesn’t mean, that visiting Las Vegas on a tight budget have to equal staying in your hotel room all day, because a lot of the fun in Las Vegas is actually free. I have put together a guide to some of the free things you can do in Las Vegas, plus some money saving tips, which will help your travel budget last longer.
Where to eat?
It is hard to find inexpensive grocery stores on the Strip, and some hotel rooms do not have a fridge, so storing milk and other breakfast supplies can be quite a challenge. However, most hotel rooms have water boilers, so buy some of those “just-add-water”-oatmeal cups from 7Eleven or one of the pharmacies (or bring some from home), and you’ve got yourself a cheap and filling breakfast.
Regarding buffets, the lunch buffets are less expensive than dinner buffets, and they do not attract the huge crowds that line up at dinnertime. My advice is therefore to make lunch your main meal of the day. Some buffets are open all day, which means that there is no clear limit between lunch and dinner. If you come in for late lunch, some of the dinner dishes will therefore also be available, fresh from the kitchen.
At dinnertime, you’ll probably still be full, but otherwise, you can grab a $6 pizza slice at Sirrico’s (New York New York), two $2 tacos at Tacos El Gordo (just north of Wynn/Encore) or a sandwich at Subway.
The cheapest buffets are the ones at the hotels in Downtown Las Vegas, which is the old and original part of Sin City, in the area around the Fremont Street Experience. This is the place to go for cheap buffets, but remember that quality and price are often interconnected, and you get what you pay for.
Many of the free magazines that you will find in your room have coupons and vouchers with special offers for dining and entertainment, and some resorts even provide guests with small booklets full of discounts, so make sure you have a look at those.
Just walking down the Strip at nighttime is quite an experience, as there are so many things to see. I always stop at the Bellagio to watch the dancing fountains in front of the hotel. Make sure you go there in the evening, as the fountain show is even more amazing in the dark. Inside the Bellagio, you can go and see the beautiful flower displays at the conservatory and botanical garden. The theme and the decorations change with the season, and it provides the perfect mini-getaway from all the hustle and bustle outside.
The malls in Las Vegas are taking “themed shopping malls” to a whole new level. Go for a walk along the canals at The Venetian, watch the Rainstorm Show at Miracle Mile Shops, or stop by the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and visit the Fall of Atlantis show.
If you are feeling lucky, some of the slot machines have 1-cent minimums, so just a few dollars will keep you entertained for hours, if you play your cards right, literally speaking.
How to party
If you gamble, you’re entitled to free drinks, so depending on your luck, spending a couple of dollars at the gambling tables or at the slot machines might be a cheap way to get tipsy. However, don’t forget to tip the cocktail waitresses, if you want them to come back regularly (it’s not their fault that you’re on a budget).
There are plenty of opportunities for ladies to party for free in Las Vegas, and it is always ladies’ night somehere. During the week, a lot of clubs (even the more popular ones) have free drinks for ladies until midnight, and on weekends, ladies usually get in for free if arriving early or registering for the guest list in advance.
The dress code in Las Vegas is all glitter and glam, so remember to bring your sequined dress and those super high heels, or rent your Vegas outfit at Fair Fashionista.
The best way to find out about guest lists and other free drinks-opportunities is by getting in touch with a promoter, which you can do before you arrive in Vegas through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by visiting websites (just google “promoter, Las Vegas”).
One of the worst thing about Vegas nightlife is the long distance between the casinos, which means that you will have to count in taxi/Uber/Lyft money, if you are planning on going clubbing at other places than the casino, where you are staying. If you are really into clubbing, try to book a hotel with plenty of nightlife options. Marquee, Wynn/Encore and Caesars Palace all have great (but rather pricey) nightclubs on the premises. If you don’t mind walking quite a bit, you can bring a pair of flats or flip flops, or buy a pair of foldable flats, which are available at most pharmacies, for your night out. With those in your bag, you can party all night in high heels and when the club closes, you change to something more comfortable and walk back to your hotel.