Las Vegas on a Budget

Has Vegas been on your bucket list for as long as you can remember, but it always appeared to be out of your budget? Keep reading then, as this post might just be what you need.

I have always pictured New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles as these huge metropolises where you spend a fortune, and you absolutely can – but you can also enjoy yourself by utilizing local free activities and if you are well organized ahead of time you can definitely enjoy Las Vegas without feeling like you’re missing out on key activities, just because you’re on budget.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada Sign

Here are my top tips for getting yourself and your budget ready for that one Wild Las Vegas Trip!

What to do in advance of your travel:

The number one thing you need, months before you travel to Vegas is to download an app called Pop! Slots. This sounds sketchy but hear me out. This is an online slot app, to which you log into using your Facebook Account. As you play slots on the app (for free – no payment or personal information required) you continue to collect points. This app will allow you to turn your points into discounted or free items in Vegas. I have had this app on my phone for the last 2 years and every few days I go into it, collect my points and play the slots for 5-10 minutes – the more you play the more points you collect to use on your rewards afterwards. The Rewards are applicable in the MGM Group Hotels, Resorts and Attractions in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York etc. New rewards are continuously added to the app. Some of the rewards include: Discounts on room rates in various hotels, discounts on attractions, discounts on show tickets, free credit on slots in the casinos and many more.

To access the app, you can click here or simply go to your App Store and Search for Pop! Slots – It should look like this:

Pop Slots Google Play App

Secondly in order to redeem your rewards you will need to set up the “M Life” Account – essentially an online portal on the MGM Group Secure Site, on which you can book your hotels, car rental, excursions, shows etc. You can sign up clicking here or simply Google “M Life Rewards” and you should be directed to the MGM Group Website.

This was our first trip to Las Vegas or West Coast of US for that matter and some of the items I was able to avail of by simply playing on the app in advance were:

  • Preferred Nightly Room Rates – to be completely transparent here is a comparison: 4 Star Hotel on Las Vegas Strip was $299.00 per night online (Christmas Season/New Year), through the app we got a rate of $79.00 per night, for the same hotel, room type & view. (Approximate Gross Savings of $640.00)
  • We were able to get Buy One Get One Free Tickets for the New York New York Roller-coaster & Shark Reef Aquarium, MGM Grand Buffet Breakfast/Lunch. (Approximate Gross Savings of $80.00)
  • 20% off Cirque du Soleil Tickets (Approximate Gross Saving of $36.00)
  • Free $75.00 Coupons for Slot Play in the Casino in our hotel (Savings of $75.00)

When you are in a city like Las Vegas, any saving no matter how small can go a long way.

Front of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas
Our Hotel

Travel

We have booked our flight from Vancouver to Hollywood Burbank, LA as we were firstly visiting our family and then were driving down to Vegas. We went with Flair Airlines. Now, I know there has been a lot of bad publicity around these airlines, however as we were only flying for 2 hours, how bad could it be?

Honestly, there is nothing to complain about. Yes, its clear they are budget airlines, however they are also a little bit more relaxed. We flew on December 23rd and one of the crew members sang a Christmas Carol over the intercom! You do have to pay for additional items, every step of the booking process, for example: You choose your flight times & dates at a base price and then you have to pay for your seats and you luggage (including hand luggage), however in that way it reminds me of the European Airlines Ryanair – no different whatsoever. I know that Flair Airlines also fly directly to Las Vegas from Vancouver, therefore I’d definitely not hesitate to fly with them again (on short flights). They are definitely cheaper to travel with and in addition if you fly into Burbank vs LAX you will also save yourself some money.

Accommodation

I already mentioned above, what is the best way to book most affordable, good quality hotels in Vegas, however if you prefer to use the traditional way, booking.com has some great deals if you book ahead of time and fully prepay for your stay. In light of the pandemic they do offer more flexible terms on your booking, however I’d always read the small print just to cover yourself.

Another great way to save on accommodation is to stay on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. It’s less than 10 minutes on the bus from the Las Vegas Strip and the accommodation there is more affordable. Fremont Street is an equivalent of a smaller strip, still with number of bars, shops and casinos on your doorstep. If you don’t mind not being right in the center its a great alternative for a more affordable price.

Fremont Street Experience

Tip: You’d also be staying only a 5 minute walk to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop from the TV Show Pawn Stars, which is cool to see and free to check out.

Transportation

Las Vegas is mainly all about the famous Strip which does go on for couple kilometers. If you are comfortable walking it is totally doable, just take your time. We have actually walked to the strip all the way from Fremont Street just to make sure we don’t miss anything and you can do it in an hour.

However if you’d prefer to get transportation which is 100% understandable, the local bus has stops outside every major hotel & casino along the Strip. They show up every 10-15 minutes, you never have to wait too long. You can get a 3 day pass for $20 for unlimited travel. This would work well if you are not a fan of walking or decide on staying on Fremont Street, to get you in and out of the Strip.

If like me, you are a lover of all things Italy, Venice especially – you have to take a ride in the gondola at the Venetian Hotel. The gondola is $136.00 per ride OR $34.00 per person if for example you go as two couples (with the pandemic it would make sense to go with friends rather than strangers from safety perspective). This will cut your admission by 50% and if you go between Monday – Thursday you will receive a discounted rate.

The Venetian Hotel Gondola

Eating & Drinking

If you would like to purchase a soda, bottle of water or even beer (!) don’t go to a regular bar, there are street vendors with coolers with ice located in between the hotels and they sell cans of soda, beer or bottles of water, ice cold for $2! If you go into a bar, you will be guaranteed to pay roughly $6 for water.

For dinner, visit to an Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo is a must. This restaurant targets larger families, therefore all dishes are made to cater from 2-5 persons. This way, instead of buying 2 dinners, you buy 1 for you and your other half or whomever you’re traveling with to share. The food is plentiful and its absolutely delicious. This restaurant is located inside the Excalibur Hotel and I’d strongly recommend booking in advance.

In addition to the above the Pop! Slots App has variety of Rewards focused on Food & Beverage options depending on your preferences which you can avail of.

I hope you found this guide useful, if you have any specific questions Las Vegas related feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try my best to answer them.

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