We loved Vegas – this place is insane and so much fun. While it can be super expensive, there are ways to save without having to sacrifice all the fun. Read on if you want some tips on what you can do to experience Vegas without breaking the bank and what we enjoyed during our 4 day (crazy, we know) stay.
Before you go
Get cash out before you get to Vegas – this saves you $4 to $6 for each transaction at the ATMs on the Strip. While you can pay by card for a lot of things, you’ll need some small notes to tip. We started collecting $1 notes before we headed to Sin City. You’ll also want to have a $20 note handy – check out Flashpacker Family’s post for the $20 trick. It worked for us!!
Get water, cheap beers and fresh produce at supermarket outside of Vegas – it was super difficult to find one close to where we were staying and there are so many better ways to spend your time! The food at restaurants seems to be either expensive (like $12 for an Acai Bowl at the Venetian) or you can save money and eat processed fast food (great for hangovers!). Anyway we were really grateful for our veggie snacks that we stored in the fridge in our room.
Pool Party vs Clubs
Pool parties or “day clubs” are the bomb! Dress code is simple (T shirt and swimmers for the boys, bikini and optional clothing for the girls..) and you get to party like crazy in Vegas in a pool! Make sure you bring your flip flops or other shoes you don’t mind getting wet – we would not recommend walking to the bar or the bathroom without them (Duh!).
Guest list all the way! Make sure you get on a guest list for whatever it is you choose to do. Warning this is harder for groups of guys, so try to make sure you have at least one girl in the group. Girls, most day clubs offer free drinks for those on the guest or VIP list – some until 2pm and some all day. They’re pretty relaxed too – Flo got drinks for free all day at Bare Club and we both benefitted from that. Check out Free Vegas Club Passes and Las Vegas Guestlist .
We did not make it to a Club in the end, partly because we partied too hard at the pool parties during the day. If you do go make sure you wear nice shoes and long pants – there seems to be a dress code for pretty much all venues. Vegas.com is a good guide to find out where to go and what to wear!
The real Vegas
Being first timers, we almost felt like we had arrived back in Disneyland when we walked around the Strip. It is full on! Fremont Street Experience is so much more fun – Old Vegas is all the crazy you expect to find and more but in a much nicer setting. From the topless showgirls prowling the streets to dive bars with live music this place has it all. Drinks are cheaper too… Need we say more?! Extra Tip: Find the horse racing game at the D you can use your quarters here (everything else just takes notes) and feel like you’ve gone back in time.
Our first tip is to find a time share “scam” and milk it, we got 50 bucks and free tickets to a show of our choice – this worked out to over $250 worth of free stuff for 2 hours of “pampering” and a sales pitch… worth it! After we’d done our time we literally told the person to stop and get us out of here.
The best trick for free drinks is sitting by the slots and just playing 1 cent – you won’t win much (or anything at all) but the waitresses will feed you beers and anything you want. Tip them 1 dollar or more and they’ll take care of you.
Gift shops along the strip and inside the Casinos actually sell the cheapest beers (big tins for 3 bucks) so buy them there – you can walk around and drink almost anywhere n Vegas. Don’t fall for the fake bottle shops on the Strip – they actually mostly belong to the large hotels and charge you as much as it would cost to buy the drinks at a fancy bar, minus the view and service.
If you check out early and fly out late, go to a pool party (guest list!) And spend the day at a nice pool with the potential for free drinks. Less hassle that way and you can enjoy the weather while cooling down – your hotel should hold your luggage while you’re out. This also saves you the resort fee to use a pool during that time. Yes, you probably won’t be able to shower before your flight, but this is Vegas and by then you have probably been drinking for days straight and need a deeper cleaning than just a shower anyway!
Catch Uber Pool or Lyft Line instead of the bus unless you’re alone or plan to never walk. It worked out cheaper for us and you get to meet cool people if you’re lucky.
Tips for girls: don’t bother with heels unless you go clubbing, which we didn’t end up doing. You’ll walk so much just wandering around in awe and nobody really wears heels in bars and Old Vegas.
Get Away for the Day
We loved our day trip to the Grand Canyon South Rim! We hired a car and drove ourselves, but be warned it’s a lot of driving… If you have time we’d recommend spending the night somewhere nearby and taking your time to explore and appreciate this breathtaking natural wonder. Bikes and hikes are available at the South Rim too. No matter how long you stay – it is a really nice way to escape the craziness for a while.
We did not do well with our gambling at all (partially because Flo just does not enjoy it) but had so much fun partying and meeting crazy people. Reach out if you need tips on where to eat or what show to catch – we’d love to help out!