Las Vegas has something for everyone–including the visitor on a budget. If you’re counting pennies (and who isn’t these days?), you’ll find good deals on everything from rooms to shows. After you’ve lined up a room at a great rate and enjoyed some free entertainment, you can head to the casino to play the games that offer the best possible return on your bet. And yes, while playing, you can enjoy free drinks.
- Check out free shows. Las Vegas is full of free things to see. The Bellagio’s fountains, the Sirens and Pirates show at the TI, the Lion Exhibit at the MGM Grand, the Mirage’s volcano, and the Fremont Street Experience’s Viva Vision show are all free. Perhaps some of the best free entertainment in Las Vegas is people-watching–you’ll see street performers, wandering Elvi, and a whole lot of people that simply defy description.
- Enjoy wandering through one of the themed shopping malls on the Strip: Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, Caesars Forum Shops,and Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile. Elaborate faux cityscapes, wandering performers, gondola rides, talking statues, and indoor rainstorms compete for your attention with the window displays of posh retailers.
- Join the players’ club at the casino where you gamble. You’ll get points for play and discounts on food, games, and shows. Accumulate enough points, and you’ll get free stuff, too. When you sign up, ask if they have any coupons or special offers–you’ll probably get a handful of deals (which is a lot like a handful of cash).
- Use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to find deals from your favorite hotel casinos. Las Vegas hotels have embraced social networking, and they constantly post information about rate deals and special events, just for their friends and followers. I re-tweet many of these deals on the NileGuide Las Vegas Twitter feed.
- Stay at a vintage Strip property, downtown, or off the Strip. Many Las Vegas visitors find that they don’t spend much time in their hotel room. Why pay for a fancy room in an expensive new Vegas resort if you won’t be in it?
- Be an informed gambler. One of the easiest ways to spend too much money in Las Vegas is to go over your gambling budget. The average visitor spends about $500 on casino games, so make your dollars count. Some of the lowest payouts in casinos are on keno and roulette. Blackjack and craps give the player some of the best odds–but every game has bets and strategies that can give you some advantage, or swing the odds further to the house (the house always has the advantage–it’s just a matter of how much). Do a little research before you put your chips on the table, and look for low-limit tables–downtown has lots to offer in this category.