I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me why I go to Vegas so much. I’ve lost count. But it’s the follow-up comment that cracks me up. “Buuuuuut it’s so expensive.” My response — “then you’re not doing it right!” So here’s my the LPO Guide to Vegas aka how to do Vegas on the cheap and still have a blast.
I’ve got so much to share with you, I’m going to break it into segments, starting with hotels.
LPO Beauty Guide to Vegas
Part One – Hotels
You’ve got to have somewhere to stay, right? I’ve got to give much props to my significant other on this one, for two reasons. First, he was the one who introduced to me to Vegas. Some of these tips I discovered on my own, some he discovered and many we discovered together. Second, I adore that he loves to experience new things as much as I do. We’ll try anywhere once, and lately if we hate a place or an experience, our motto is “now we know.” We both share the view that you just don’t get the same experience if you visit places you could go anywhere in America (McDonald’s, Chili’s, Marriott, etc.)
My top places to look:
2. eBay – NO I am not kidding. There are a lot of condos in Vegas, and owners will often rent theirs out. Some of these condos are sold as timeshares and, if an owner can’t use their specified dates, they will cut their losses by renting at an extremely reasonable rate. Speaking of timeshares, if you don’t mind attending a presentation, you can get awesome prices too.
3. If you are interested in a particular hotel, sign up for their email alerts and like their Facebook page. Individual properties, especially ones that are not owned by the large conglomerates (MGM and Caesars own many of the strip casinos), do a lot of 24 sales. I found a sweet sale at the Palms this way – $480 for five nights in an upgraded room with two free breakfasts on Halloween weekend.
4. Consider splitting nights. We do this for a couple of reasons. Friday and Saturday nights are always dramatically more expensive than other nights, especially on holiday weekends. Second, it’s great to try more than one place to see what you like.
5. ALWAYS investigate resort fees. Most Vegas hotels charge resort fees. These range from around $10 – 3o per night. What that covers is varied, so be sure to check this when you book. For example, if wireless access and fitness center use are important to you, make sure it’s covered by the resort fee.
6. Pets. I love my dogs. I love them to death. But I WOULD never take them to Vegas because they’d be abandoned in the room. Read between the lines – noise and pee. Sooooo many hotels in Vegas have become pet friendly. If this is going to bother you, check if your hotel is one of them. If so, request to be placed far away from the pet floor.
7. Check reviews. My fave site for this is tripadvisor.com, the S.O. uses hotels.com. Regardless of which site you use, throw out the worst and the best reviews and pay attention to the rest. Also, look at the date of reviews. Vegas hotels tend to renovate frequently – make sure the things people complain about still apply.
8. Location. If you want to be by the action of the strip, there are many places just a couple blocks off strip that are extremely affordable. If you are looking for a low key experience, downtown hotels have great rates. We stayed at The D last time. It had just been renovated and the rooms were nice for just $35 a night.
9. Get your money back. If you gamble AT ALL, join every player’s club you can. Some of them offer free play when you sign up. I’m not a huge gambler, in my opinion. I lose $200-300 TOPS over the whole trip. But I still get lots of offers for free and discounted hotel nights because I use my players club cards. Many of them also let you use your points on drinks, food and merchandise. On our last trip, in addition to a nice set of crystal beer mugs for free, Hooter’s let us use points for drinks, gave us $10 off a meal and matched our bet at the roulette table.
Stay tuned for part two – my best secrets on food and drink deals!