I’m about to save you potentially hundreds of dollars on your next trip to Las Vegas.
Here are my 32 tips that will actually save you money in Las Vegas.
And no this doesn’t involve playing all the apps and MyVegas rewards – while you can rack up some freebies that way – I’m not wasting my time on those – just actionable things that don’t take a lot of time, but save you a lot of money and hassle.
These are things that take no time or effort and can result in big savings over the cost of your entire Las Vegas vacation.
Here’s everything you need to know for how to plan a cheap Vegas trip.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. I only share information about things I know, love and trust!
Food and Drinks: How to Save Money at Las Vegas Restaurants
Don’t pay CNF tax
Always check your bill before paying – whether you had a full meal or just drinks.
Some restaurants and bars in Las Vegas have added a ‘cnf’ tax which stands for concession and franchise fee.
This is a discretionary tax that you don’t have to pay! They just hope that patrons won’t notice it.
If you see this on the bottom of your bill, just ask your server to remove it, they’ll do it with no questions asked.
Use Yelp Check-In Offers
Download the Yelp app to your phone and take advantage of check-in offers.
When you check in at an eligible restaurant, you’ll receive an offer on your phone that you can redeem on that visit, or save for another time.
Find $5 Breakfasts and Lunches
In the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, you’ll find Places like La Salsa Cantina that serves $4.99 breakfast until noon.
In the same mall is Ocean One Grill, all lunch menu items are $5.
But I also really liked Flights which has happy hour all day where you get 3 drinks for $10.
Eat a Big Breakfast and Skip Lunch
Another good way to save money in Vegas is to eat a large breakfast that will tide you over until dinner.
Hash House a Go Go is an absolute must on any trip to Vegas. The easiest location on the Strip is the one near the LINQ.
A few weeks before your trip, sign up for their email list and they usually send you a ‘buy one get one’ coupon to use on your next visit.
And if you manage to push your breakfast late enough, you can absolutely get by until dinner hour.
The portions here are so massive that you won’t be hungry for hours, saving you costs on not needing lunch that day.
Bring Your Own Coffee
If you have room in your luggage and you’re someone who needs a big ass cup of coffee before you can even get dressed in the morning – this is a huge money saver.
Pack a small single cup coffee maker, like a Keurig.
This will be much cheaper than paying $6-10 per coffee (and that’s just for drip coffee), as well as save you time from waiting in line.
For example, when we last stayed at the Paris Hotel we spent $13.50 each morning for 2 coffees.
After 5 days, that was over 67 dollars on coffee, in addition to the 25-30 minutes of getting dressed, waiting for the elevator, waiting in line and wasting precious Vegas time!
Make Your Own Drinks
On the Strip in Vegas, you can walk around with liquor as long as it’s not glass.
This means you can mix your own drinks and walk in and out of the casinos and not have to pay the high prices at the bars.
Buy your own drinks, mixers and water at the CVS or Walgreens. Even cheaper if you have a car or have someone bring you to a store off the Strip.
That’s why I liked the Paris Hotel since its right beside a CVS.
Also because it’s center strip, which saves some walking and Uber costs.
Don’t miss my review and tour video of the Paris Hotel.
Bring Your Own Cup or Mug
And, bring your own plastic cup or tumbler (not only will this keep your drinker cooler in the Vegas heat) you can ask for ice refills from any of the bars – just be polite!
I like using this style of tumbler because it’s got a lid, a straw and the insulation keeps your drink cold (or hot) until the end of time!
It also comes in 41 colors!
Read more about what I always pack for Vegas (13 things beyond the obvious items).
Take Advantage of Free Drinks
And yes, you still get free drinks while gambling in Vegas – whether you’re playing the penny slots or table games.
I have a bit of a method I use to guarantee getting the cocktail servers to serve you right away – I have a whole blog post about it – including the best drinks to order.
Read everything you need to know about getting free drinks in Las Vegas here.
Tip – sometimes there’s people with coolers walking the strip selling beverages. I don’t recommend buying water from them – this can be a scam as the water bottles could have been refilled with tap water. But we always look for these guys and buy beer from them, it’s usually 2 for $5.
Fat Tuesdays Money Saver
The big slushy drinks are always a big draw in Las Vegas, and as outrageous as they are, they can be a good deal.
At Fat Tuesdays, there’s a decent amount of booze in them (provided you get the floaters), but if you reuse your cup you save some money on your refills.
How to Save Money on Hotels
One of the best ways to save money in Las Vegas is by booking directly with the hotel. You’ll get the best rate by booking direct, and as far in advance as you can.
Make sure you’re a rewards member and signed in when you book.
And, after you’ve booked, go back and check rates everyday.
If you find a cheaper rate, give the hotel a call and get them to adjust the rate.
Most hotels even have free cancellation until a couple of days before – so you can even cancel your room and re-book online.
Many hotels even have a best rate guarantee, and will match and beat another rate by 10%
Also, another perk of booking directly with the hotel is that sometimes there are additional perks, like food and beverage credits.
For example, right now when you book at an MGM property, you can get up to a daily $75 food and beverage credit. You have to book directly through the MGM promotion page, here.
For budget hotels on the Strip, I like staying at the Flamingo Hotel.
You can book direct with the hotel here.
Or watch for deals on Booking.com.
3rd Party Booking Sites
However, that being said – if you’re Canadian, like me, sometimes flight and hotel packages are much cheaper.
Sometimes you can find great deals on Expedia, so don’t give up on these deals.
If you want to visit Vegas in the cheapest way possible and don’t care about spending any time in your hotel room, booking with a 3rd party website can actually save you a lot of money.
I’ve found great deals using Booking.com.
Tip – if you combine this with using Honey (either as a browser extension or the app), you can get up to 7% back that you can redeem for gift cards.
If you’ve never used it, you can sign for honey using this link.
So I encourage you to shop around and price watch!
$20 Trick Does Work
When you check-in, you can ask for an upgrade at the front desk, present a $20 or $50 dollar bill at the same time you provide your credit card and ID.
You don’t need to hide the bill or wedge it in between your cards since all staff need to disclose tips.
If it’s not busy (usually a weekday), you can also ask if there are any upgrades available without presenting a tip and you might get lucky.
The front desk staff have some leeway to move guests around to better rooms, but not give out comps or free items.
They always want to fill the best rooms instead of letting them sit empty, so if occupancy is low, you might get lucky and get a free upgrade.
Visit on Weekdays
Not only is visiting Las Vegas on weekdays going to give you the cheapest hotel rates, you have a higher chance of getting free perks and upgrades because occupancy is lowest during the week.
Visit in Off Season
January, February, April and September are the more affordable months to visit Las Vegas.
Don’t Pay for Extra Devices
Most hotels allow you to connect only 2 devices at a time to the Wi-Fi and they charge you for each extra device you want to connect.
If there’s more than 2 of you in a room, or if you have phones and tablet or a laptop, you can connect all devices to the Wi-Fi without paying.
Just setup a hotspot on one of your phones and this allows another device to use its internet.
Rack Up the Points
If you have a favorite hotel group like Caesars or MGM (M-life), try to make all your purchases (gambling, dining, shopping) at those associated hotels and casinos.
Charge everything you can to your room or present your rewards card every time you purchase something and this helps build up your rewards which makes you eligible for free rooms and comps.
Ask for Comps and Fee Removals
At the end of your stay, the evening before you check out, go find the casino host and mention you loved your stay and that you’re checking out tomorrow.
Ask them if any of your play or spending made you eligible to get some of your resort fees or parking fees comped.
A big part of their job is customer retention and satisfaction and as long as you’re polite and reasonable, usually something can get waived.
Don’t Touch the Mini Bar
If you have a stocked mini fridge or snack table, you will get charged for these items even if you pick them up and put them back.
Everything is on a sensor so they’ll know.
Try to Arrive in Vegas Early
Arrive in Las Vegas early! If you can get a flight that arrives in Las Vegas in the morning, you can save an entire night’s stay and still have a full day in Vegas.
No need to check into the hotel early – early check-in can cost as much as $50 for only 2-3 hours early.
Instead, use the bell desk where they will keep your bags all day for free, it is customary and appreciated to tip them for this free service.
This also works if you have a late flight leaving Las Vegas. Don’t pay for a late check out just leave your bags with the bell desk.
Use the Airport Sleep Rooms
If you’ve traveled a long distance or have a flight delay or maybe you’re waiting for others to arrive, you can utilize the sleep rooms in the Las Vegas airport.
If you’ve got a late flight at the end of your Vegas trip, sometimes you’re just done with the Strip and the crowds and want somewhere to relax before your flight. The airport sleep rooms are the perfect solution.
It’s $35 for two hours and this includes a private room as well as access to the fitness center, showers and towels.
At the Airport look for ZEROlevel Fitness.
Transportation & Getting Around
Avoid Surge Pricing
If there’s a big event like a concert or sports game in town, book your Uber in advance so you don’t get caught with surge pricing!
Even if you’re going to be taking your ride share at a time when you anticipate it will be busy, you won’t get charged surge pricing if you book in advance.
Uber, Lyft and Taxi Pricing
At the airport (and even on the Strip) compare Uber and Lyft prices – these are often several dollars cheaper than a taxi.
Taxi rates are now flat fees depending on which zone your hotel is in on the strip. The prices are posted in the airport, so check this before you exit.
When you get in the taxi, if they ask if it’s your first time, say no – even if it is your first time.
Some (not all) taxi drivers might try to take a longer route if it seems like it’s your first time.
Take the Free Bus
Take the Downtown Loop! This is a free bus that runs from the STRAT to Fremont and has several stops along the way.
You can get on and off at places like Fremont East, the Mob Museum, Circa, Pawn Plaza, the Arts District, and the STRAT at the north end of the Strip.
Download the app which tells you in real time where the next bus is and when its coming.
Use the Free Trams
On the west side of the Strip, there are a few free trams that run all day and well into the night.
- Treasure Island and Mirage are connected by a tram.
- Aria, Bellagio, Vdara, Park MGM, and the Shops at Crystals are all connected on the same tram system.
- Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay are the south strip hotels connected by the free tram.
How to Save on Attractions in Vegas
You can find some popular Las Vegas attractions on Groupon like the High Roller Observation Wheel, ziplines and the dolphin habitat.
Sometimes you can even find dining deals where you buy a $50 gift card for $25 or $30 dollars.
I’ve even seen this come up for the Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood so you never know what you’ll find.
Vegas.com always has flash sales where shows are randomly 17-33 % off.
The GoCity Pass is a multi-attraction pass that helps save you money by combining admission to several attractions compared to buying them individually.
It’s perfect if you want to see at least a few of the popular Vegas attractions or want to pack as many adventures into your trip as you can.
It’s especially good if you’re traveling as a family with kids.
You can spend all day along the strip and only spend money on eating and drinking and be entertained all day.
You really can plan a cheap Vegas trip by eating at low cost restaurants and only taking in the free attractions.
There’s also really inexpensive things to do like the Pinball Hall of Fame where it’s free admission and only a few quarters to play games. Lots of museums also have low admission fees.
I also love the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.
It’s totally free to walk around, enjoy the live concerts, the light show, and the people watching.
Get off the Strip
There is so much more to Las Vegas than the Strip. And one of the best ways to save the most money is to see and do things off the Strip.
There are an abundance of things to see, do and eat off the Strip – so check out my video where I show you 12 places in Vegas off the strip that you’ve probably never heard of!
If you’re a Nevada resident, there’s often discounts for locals! For instance, at the Lion Habitat Ranch, locals pay $20 instead of $25.
And if you’re military, a veteran, an educator, first responder, health care worker, student or a senior, there are often discounts for hotel stays and attractions.
There’s also discounts on attractions if you’re a hotel guest!
For example, you save money on the Eiffel tower experience if you’re a guest at the Paris Hotel.
Ways to Save on Gambling
First of all, the best way to save money in Las Vegas is to not gamble at all! I made a list of 38 things to do in Vegas besides gambling if you want some ideas.
If you do like to gamble, it’s cheaper in the mornings and on Fremont Street and the downtown area.
We found $5 roulette at the El Cortez casino, and you can usually find more cheap tables at most of the Fremont casinos.
Ellis Island is off the Strip just behind Bally’s and still have $5 black jack that pays 3:2.
And then when you’re hungry, you can have a steak dinner for $12 or prime rib for $22.
Get Free Play!
There are a few hotels/casinos that will give free play for showing your boarding pass!
At El Cortez, show your boarding pass and you will get between $10-1000 free slot play, $25 black jack match play and a free drink at the bar.
The D and the Golden Gate used to offer deals as well, but I haven’t been able to confirm if they still exist. Let me know in the comments below if you know!
Watch the full video where I explain all these money saving tips for Las Vegas: