Of all American experiences, visiting Las Vegas is one of the most incompatible with frugal travel. Pandemonium for penny-pinching people, a challenge for frugal people. What does it mean to be frugal? I separate it from being “stingy” as most often real stingy people don’t even want to engage in activities, so not even visit Vegas or experience the casino. Frugalists search for the best comprise to engage into something without breaking the bank, i.e. visit the casino and enjoy as much as possible without spending a lot.
Book the cheapest hotel… on the Strip
Not sleeping on the Strip would be missing out the point. The experience of these huge, kitsch rooms with a view in hotel made of fake marble is really worth it. The key is to visit Vegas in the middle of the week, such as a Tuesday or Wednesday evening and during off-season, such as February (frankly, it’s not worth staying longer).
To find the best deals, we use last minute discount hotel apps: Priceline and Hotel Tonight. On Hotel Tonight, we found the Treasure Island hotel for $35 + tax. To this, one must add so called “resort fees”, which was $37 for the Treasure Island. Which gives us a night for about $80. The room was luxurious with a very large movie star bathroom. The resort fee includes a free cocktail.
Take a stroll in Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas is a jewel. If you like cinema and specifically the movie Casino, then it’s a must see by day or night. The neighborhood is up and coming, and besides the beautiful marquees and signage, one can find street art and galleries. It’s a 3-hour visit that also gives an opportunity to eat for cheaper than on the Strip.
Admire the Bellagio Fountain Show
Among the free spectacular things to do in Vegas, the Bellagio Fountain Show is number 1 and can’t be missed. The show starts every 15 to 30 minutes. Then, one can try to find all the Celine posters.
Lose $20 on slot machines and then forget about gambling
Honestly, if you don’t know how to play black jack or poker before heading to Vegas, you won’t learn there in one night and become a millionaire. You will just lose a lot of cash in just 5 minutes, and the most appaling is how quickly you can lose (no fun). Forget about it and just play one hour with quarters on the slot machines. It’s accessible, you’ll lose too but you’ll have fun and a free drink. No shame and fun. Then, just do something else, for example visiting the outdoor spaces which are really impressive in every casino.
We knew we would only spend one night in Las Vegas because deep inside, it’s really not our cup of tea, but we had a lot of fun. All in all we spent $200 (hotel included) for the two of us by avoiding traps, but we really enjoyed ourselves and were happy about our stay.