Las Vegas is a great place to spend a weekend, but it is definitely not a budget destination (if you do it right, at least). Here are some tips on how you can do a bit of travel hacking and get hooked up in Sin City without spending a fortune. These are all things that worked for me on a recent trip.
1) Getting Into the Top Nightclubs in Vegas
I’ll start with one of the biggest hacks of the trip. The main reason I wanted to go to Las Vegas was to party at some of the top nightclubs in the world. However, lots of other people have that same idea, which can lead to long lines and wait times to get in. Before I left, I did a bit of research online to find the names and phone numbers for promoters for all the clubs I wanted to go to. I sent them a message saying something along the lines of ‘I’m bringing a bunch of friends out to Las Vegas for a crazy weekend. Can I get our group on the guest list?’ This accomplishes 2 things: 1) you get to skip the ridiculously long lines at the clubs and walk right in with your group, and 2) girls will most likely get in for free. There are a few caveats to this, though. First, your group must have at least a 1:1 girl/guy ratio and the more girls the better. Second, guys will still pay the ridiculous cover charge, usually $40-$50 at most of the clubs (if you know how to get around that, definitely let me know!) Third, the entire group will have to be at the club before 11p (or sometimes 12a if you negotiate with the promoter). I used this hack to get into Tryst, Surrender (to see Afrojack), and Marquee, and I have to say that they were all AMAZING!
2) Pregame in Your Room or Drink For Free in the Casinos
Now that I’ve explained how to get into the top nightclubs in Vegas, the next hack will be saving some money once you’re inside. An average drink (Jack and coke, etc.) at any of the nightclubs will easily run you $13+ per drink. This can get expensive really quickly, especially since the clubs are open until at least 4am. I have 2 solutions for this. First, there is a CVS and a Walgreens right in the middle of the Strip. I recommend visiting one of these and picking up a good supply of alcohol for the weekend. Then invite all of your friends to your room for drinks before going out. This will save you a lot of money. Second, you can get free drinks at most of the casinos while you gamble. This may or may not save you any money depending on how much you gamble, but you get the idea.
3) Eat at the Hotel Buffets
Let me start by saying that Vegas has some amazing restaurants. The first night I arrived, we ate at a very good Japanese restaurant. However, I quickly realized I couldn’t do that for every meal. Solution: eat at the hotel buffets. I ate at the Bellagio buffet one night and it was well worth the money I paid for it. After I ate 3 plates of crab legs, I was about to explode! After doing a bit of research, it seems that the top buffets in Las Vegas are at Caesars, Bellagio, and Wynn. Mandalay Bay is supposed to have a really good seafood buffet, but I didn’t make it down there. The buffets are typically $40 for dinner or $20 for brunch, quite a good deal in my book.
4) Saving Money on a Hotel / Flight
Rarely do I ever stay at hotels when I travel, but I thought I’d treat myself in Las Vegas. However, you can get a bit of sticker shock when you look at the prices of the nicer hotels. Most of my friends were staying at Bellagio, but I couldn’t even think about dropping that much per night. Solution: I stayed at a hotel that is right on the strip, but doesn’t have a casino inside. It was actually connected to Bellagio by a short walkway (maybe a 5 minute walk) and was very modern and trendy.
You can also save money by booking a flight and hotel package together. Something I don’t recommend is catching a red-eye flight to save a little money. My flight left at 11:30p Las Vegas time and arrived home about 6:30a. This led to me being awake for about 30 straight hours after not sleeping much in Vegas as it was.
So there you go. Some tips on how to do some travel hacking and have a great time in Las Vegas. Do you have any tips on how to save money and do cool stuff in Sin City?