This Las Vegas Travel Guide shares everything you need to know before visiting sin city, including where to stay, what to do and how to save.
Bright lights, neon glamour, expensive hotels and flashy casinos; welcome to Sin City. This is a city that serves to please, offering endless restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, spas, concerns and events. You can spend days wandering around gorgeous hotels (inside only of course, avoiding humidity) or sample food from around the world in just one buffet. I do love a trip to Vegas – and it’s even more affordable than you might of thought.
For those who love to gamble, welcome to heaven; though your bank cards may not agree. With options for all budgets and spenders, Vegas is great for newbies to pros. Spend some time in the big hotel casinos and enjoy the free beverages. Take in a show, whether its a fabulous singer or a Cirque De Soleli performance; all our worth a visit. Admire the hotel architecture and interior decorations; with many hotels offering a host of activities, excitement and exhibitions. Don’t forget you can also head to the amazing Canyons nearby. There is so many things to see and do in Vegas you will never get bored.
The key thing to remember with Vegas, is that your trip can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, there is something for everyones budget. We wrote a full comprehensive cost breakdown >> Is Las Vegas Expensive?
Budget: Dorm beds can be found from $10+ whilst privates are around $50+. However most hostels are not in the centre or the strip and a little further away.
Midrange: The great thing about Vegas is that prices of budget strip hotels are getting better, with rooms in strip hotels going for $40 if booked in advanced and most central hotels costing $100 – $170.
Luxury: Top hotels are obviously pricey, but for us it is all part of the experience. Suites in the big named hotels start at $200+.
Transport: Deuce and SDX day passes cost $7, the monorail costs $12 for a 24 hour ticket whilst most taxis will take you around the Vegas area for $15 – $25 plus tip.
Average cost of food:
Most hotels offer buffets, with the cheapest starting around $15 for lunch and $18 for dinner; there are some great buffets in Vegas to choose from.
For those on a budget, there are plenty of pizza and fast food places around but avoid the chains inside hotels as they can be more expensive.
Avoid using the mini-bars in your hotel as these cost a fortune, stock up at Walgreens; with many dotted along the strip.
Top notch restaurants at the best hotel will cost upwards of $200 for two people with drinks, whilst most sit down meals at reasonable restaurants cost between $50 – $100 for two.
Best time to visit Las Vegas
The best time to visit Las Vegas is from March to May and September to November, when crowds are lower and the temperature is warm but not too humid.
The cheapest months to visit Vegas are January , February, April and September. This is off-season and generally tends to be a cheaper time to visit the city.
Visiting in December also offers the coolest temperatures and the Christmas displays are gorgeous.
Summer time is a very popular time to visit but is also incredibly hot and humid. Avoid August if you can, it can be hard to walk along the strip in this humidity but July and August also sees an increase in rainfall.
Where to stay in Las Vegas
For those looking to stay on the strip, head to Sin City Hostel; dorm beds start at $32.
Offering a swimming pool and hot tub, the Las Vegas Hostel on Fremont Street is a good choice for those wishing to relax and party as well as see the sights. Don’t forget you will have to catch the bus to and from the strip- dorms start at $20 whilst private ensuite rooms start at $30.
The Flamingo, found in the centre of the action, can be found from $36 a night when booked in advanced whilst the MGM Grand is a popular choice for those interested in boxing, nightlife and clubs, rooms start at $47.
The Linq is growing in popularity and is also in a fantastic location in the centre of the strip.
The Cosmopolitan is a luxurious hotel smack bang in the centre of the action. The hotel is elegant and gorgeously decorated and the rooms are modern and stylish. Rooms start at $220 and you can also upgrade your room ($400) to get a balcony with a Bellagio fountain and Paris hotel view; beautiful!
Or you could even opt to stay in the most expensive suite in Vegas!
Save money in Las Vegas
America is not the best place to start if you are travelling on a budget but there are many ways you save money travelling the USA.
- Cheaper hotels – Staying in the cheaper hotels on the strip such as Luxor, The Strat and Excalibur for as little as $30 or stay on Freemont Street for $20 deals.
- Free transport – Use the bus to get around or take the monorail along the stripes well as the free tram between Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur.
- Discounted tickets – Use Vegas.com for discounted show tickets and check our Groupon for restaurant deals.
- Chain hotels – The USA has many budget chain hotels. These are basic and make sure to check reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor first, but you can save some serious money staying in places like Econolodge, Travelodge, Days in and Super 8.
- Hotels with kitchenettes – When booking a hotel or motel, check if there is a kitchenette. If there is a room or hotel with a kitchenette, then opt for that choice, especially if you are staying somewhere for an extended period of time. This means you can save loads of money cooking food yourself rather than eating out.
- Farmer markets – Heading to farmer markets or ethnic grocery stores can save you money on snacks and food.
- Early Bird – When eating out, either aim to have a big lunch or head to a restaurant before 5. Many places offer an early bird option, where you can save money when eating between 2 – 5pm.
- Coupons – Pick up the local newspaper to find coupons for attractions and restaurants each week. If you plan on visiting a chain restaurant or cafe (such as Starbucks), check for vouchers or gift certificates on Ebay.
- Reward cards – If you travel a lot, why not get a rewards credit card for your favourite hotel chain. Hilton and Marriott have great sign up offer, so you can collect points each time you spend money on the card and then redeem free stays and upgrades worldwide.
- Compare rentals – If you intend on road tripping, make sure you compare prices for a rental car on websites such as rentalcars.com or hotwire.com.
- Turo – Another option if you are looking to rent a car is by using getaround.com or turo.com. This is a similar concept to airbnb but for cars; you can rent a car from owners and this can work out cheaper than renting from a rental company.
- Avoid checked luggage – If you are flying in or out and visiting for a short period, avoid having checked luggage. You can book budget flights to save money but these don’t always include checked luggage.
- Hotel Tonight – This app can be used in the big cities such as New York, LA, Chicago, Miami and Vegas. It offers last minute rooms, particularly great if you are thinking of a weekend away.
- Download a Wifi Map – This map is fantastic at finding available Wifi Spots in your area. These aren’t just Free Wifi Spots too, they have a database of passwords to make your connection reliable and safe.
- Avoid Public Holidays – Hotel and travel prices rise around the 4th July and Labor Day, so avoiding travelling at this time. If you do want to travel at this time, book everything in advance.
- Avoid hostels – Hostels are a great way to save money accommodation everywhere else in the world but not in the US. There aren’t many hostels and most are overpriced. If you are travelling by yourself, you are better off using a budget hotel or look for a bedroom on airbnb.
- Free attractions – There are lots of free things to do in Las Vegas so spend your time visiting these.
Best things to do in Las Vegas
Bellagio Hotel & fountains
Paris & their Eiffel Tower
The Mirage Volcano
The Venetian & gondolas
Cirque Du Soleil
Red Rock Canyon
Las Vegas buffets
Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan
NYNY’S Big Apple Rollercoaster
The High Roller
Downtown Las Vegas murals
Seven Magic Mountains
The Bellagio Conservatory
How to get to Las Vegas
Fly – Many visitors fly into McCarran International Airport; where they’re greeted with slot machines galore before even getting past arrivals. There are shuttle buses from the airport to strip hotels for $7 each way and $9 for off-strip hotels. There is a set rate from airport to hotels via taxi, with taxis to south and centre strip hotels costing $16 whilst northern hotels charge $18 – $20.
Bus – Greyhound buses run from LA to Vegas several times a day, with the greyhound station located downtown; just off Fremont street. Catch the Deuce bus line to connect to the strip.
Drive – Many will drive to Vegas, taking about 4 and a half hours from LA, 5 hours from San Diego and 10 hours from San Francisco. When driving into Las Vegas Blvd, take the Tropicana or Charleston turning to avoid traffic.
How to get around Las Vegas
The 24 hour Deuce stops at every major resort and attraction, whilst the SDC runs between the strip and downtown, maps can be found: HERE.
Parking is free in most places, making driving a little less stressful. If covering ground between the strip and downtown take 1-15 instead of the Blvd.
Monorails link casinos on the east side whilst taxi rides are convenient but pricey.