vegas on a budget

Enjoying Vegas on a Budget

In Travel by Susan TuckerLeave a Comment

vegas on a budget

In my house, we have a “no secrets” rule, so after enjoying an awesome, fun and kinda-decadent four days in Las Vegas with very little money, I knew I had to share all – regardless of that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” saying. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned to save cash on and off the Las Vegas strip.

Staying in Vegas

If you’re coming with the family – or if you need your beauty sleep, like I do – check out the Hampton Inn Tropicana located less than a mile from the strip. I love this hotel because it’s quiet, relatively close and they serve up a tasty, hot breakfast. The beds are cozy and the quaint pool offers a ton of lounge chairs and tables. Aside from the grumpy shuttle driver, I found this hotel to be perfectly comfortable (and not too flashy.) If I were to come back with my family, this non-gaming hotel is ideal.

hampton inn tropicana las vegas

The Hampton Inn is a little oasis in Las Vegas

Eating in Vegas

Oh, the food in Vegas. It’s overwhelming! You only eat three meals a day and there are certainly more restaurants than my tummy has space to enjoy. My very first meal, and the least expensive one, was at In-N-Out Burger, conveniently located directly across the street from my hotel! Oh, my goodness! For less than $5, you get a fresh hamburger and hand-cut, crispy fries. Best deal ever!

If you’re hankering for something a little more nutritious, check out Todai all-you-can-eat (not-that-you-will) sushi located in the Miracle Mall shops near Planet Hollywood. I enjoyed a pile of shashimi, sushi rolls and seaweed salad. There were loads and loads of other seafood and non-seafood options to choose from and for far less than I would spend for sushi at home at $35 a person.

The fanciest meal we had in Las Vegas was had at Scarpetta’s inside The Cosmopolitan. A modern Italian menu with an almost amazing view of the Bellagio fountains, this restaurant was very romantic. The portion sizes were quite large, so Hubby and I split everything (saving on tummy AND wallet space!) Each course was mouth-watering delicious. The only downside to our experience was a big long bar that partially blocked our view of the fountains.

scarpettas in the cosmopolitan

Decadent dining in Las Vegas is possible when you share entrees.

Playing in Vegas

If going to shows is your gig, check out Tix4Tonight, a ticket seller offering huge discounts at a ton of different shows. You probably won’t get tickets to big shows like Beatles Love or Cirque du Soliel’s “O”, but there are a lot of options for every kind of show available.

We decided to skip the show and go thrill-riding instead. The roller coaster atop New York New York is a super-fun quickie that gets your heart pumping. Get half off your ride when you visit Coupons for Fun.

new york new york roller coaster

It’s pretty cool to ride a roller coaster through a miniature New York City!

Other awesome rides for thrill-seekers live 1,149 feet above the ground on the top of the Stratosphere Tower. There are four crazy rides to choose from, including the SkyJump free fall (um, no thank you). I purchased a ticket to ride the BigShot (shoots you 45 mph up the needle on top of the tower), but as soon as I got to the top, they had closed it because of the wind. Oh well. At least I got to see this amazing view – and for free, since they refunded my money.

stratosphere tower las vegas

The red needle on top of The Stratosphere is a 45 MPH thrill ride, the BigShot.

For half of my traveling party (um, Hubby), gambling was the number one way in which to enjoy Vegas. He found $5 buy-in Black Jack tables on the strip at Tropicana, New York New York,  and The Stratosphere and slightly off-the-strip (near our hotel) at the locals-friendly Wild Wild West casino (this place was a trip!)

Relaxing in Vegas

For an exquisite, low-cost way to enjoy a luxurious spa experience – not to mention, have the best shower of your life – Caesar’s Palace has the place for you. Acting on a tip of a very savvy travel friend (because this is not listed on their website), I knew that the Qua Spa & Baths offered a day pass. For $45, you get to experience clothing-optional Roman-style baths and be treated like an Egyptian Goddess. I enjoyed healing tubs of varying degrees, the Arctic Ice room where it literally snowed on me, an herbal steam room and a high-end-multi-jet shower. I didn’t get a massage, but I walked out of there more relaxed than I have been in a long, long time.

relaxing in vegas at qua

Baths, baths everywhere. Pamper your inner goddess at Qua!

Getting around in Vegas

Cabs can get pricey in Vegas and walking everywhere in sassy high heels starts to hurt after a while. It wasn’t until my last day in town that I discovered the Las Vegas Monorail. The monorail basically runs the length of the strip from MGM to The Stratosphere. I loved that each stop was clearly marked with which casinos you could access from there. Trips were $5 for one or $12 for a day pass and, to me, totally worth it.

Many hotels also offer shuttle service. Ours included airport pick up and strip drop off.

What are your favorite Las Vegas on a budget travel tips? I’d love to hear them, please share below.

Meet the Author | Susan Tucker

Susan lives with her husband, two young sons, and a new super-cute puppy near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. When she’s not chasing her boys on the ski slopes or watching them on the sidelines of the soccer fields, she helps start-ups with social media and online marketing. Susan is social media junkie and you can often find her live tweeting from just about everywhere she goes.

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