Quick warning: This article is not going to get you around Las Vegas for free – I’m pretty sure that’s not possible. However, if you have never been to Vegas, this will most definitely help you save some serious cash. Of course, if you plop those savings back into the slot machines and lose it, that’s your own business.
Getting to/from the airport
If you rented a car for the duration of your trip, you won’t have to worry about this part. Most casinos offer free parking, so if you can handle the traffic you’re good to go. If you’re on your own, the bus will be the cheapest option. If you’re in a group, I’d suggest just going with a cab as it’s based on total fare and not per person.
Drinking on the strip
You can drink in public in Vegas, and you will find many vendors selling “margaritas by the yard.” RUN away. No, really. Run! These places will charge you up to $30 for a watered down drink. Instead, find the ABC convenience stores in the casinos or find one of the fully stocked liquor stores along the strip. There, you will find cold alcoholic beverages for sale at a fraction of the cost of the outdoor vendors. I personally went with the big cans of Bud Light Straw-ber-ritas, which cost me around $4.
Drinking in casinos
Drinks are free in every casino I’ve been into on the strip. As long as you’re gambling, the cocktail waitresses will come serve you. Of course, the more you gamble, the quicker they are to wander their way over to you. Just make sure to tip, or you might not see them again for quite some time, if at all.
Walking the strip
Don’t. Seriously. Get the bus pass for the Deuce and save your feet. $7 a day is seriously worth avoiding the discomfort and ensuing crabbiness due to pinched piggies. Everything looks so much closer than it is. Don’t get caught up in the “ooh, lets go see this place” and “oh, it’s right over there, lets just walk a little bit more.” You’ll end up walking the entire 8 miles+ before you know it and you’re feet will be screaming at you the entire rest of your trip. Not cool my friend, not cool.
Sure there are the free shows at Circus Circus and those pesky “Information desk attendants” trying to peddle their buy-one-get-one-free nonsense. As far as the “information” people go, just tell them that you’re not staying long and if you’re with another person that you don’t live together – that will get them off your back. Book ahead of time and go to at least one good show. You are on vacation after all. Might as well get that one big memory in before you lose all your money at the tables.
If you’re fine with spending $20+ per person on every single meal, then go ahead and walk into the Casino restaurants right on the strip. If that’s not you’re thing, then dive a little deeper into the casinos and find the food court. There you will find many less expensive options. Also, if you head over to Fremont Street (transportation included in the buss pass!) there’s even more options over there – including a Denny’s.
Sign up for Ebates before booking your trip. You’ll get cash back at your favorite vacation package sites like Priceline and Orbitz. You’ll also get cash back on prepay deal sites like Groupon. You can get everything from meals to shows and massages. By going through Ebates first, you’ll earn cash back on your already discounted deals/vacation packages! Just be careful not to book too many things ahead of time – you don’t want to be stuck getting stressed out running around from one thing to another and not getting to enjoy any of it.