Expedia trip tips: How to get the most bang for your buck in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has become one of the most popular vacation destinations for couples, and families, too. With so many different activities and attractions, Vegas has something for everyone, but whether you’re a high roller, or spend your time seeing shows and experiencing the night life, Sin City can get expensive — fast.
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So, how can you go about planning a Vegas vacation for cheap? Matt Villano of the Expedia Viewfinder travel blog, weighs in on how to get the most out of your trip, offering tips and tricks, as well as a 48-hour itinerary, that will give you the most bang for your buck in Sin City.
Join a Players Club. Pretty much every casino in town offers a Players Club program through which you can score coupons for free drinks or (better yet) free buffets. All you have to do is sign up.
Walk, walk, walk. Because most of the biggest resorts are located on the same street (that’d be Las Vegas Boulevard), Las Vegas is one of the best walking cities in the country. Be sure it’s not too hot when you go, and wear comfortable shoes — casinos are farther apart than you might think.
Get off the Strip. Some of the best (and cheapest) experiences in the Las Vegas Valley are actually far outside the city limits. Check out Hoover Dam. Go see Lake Mead. Hike Red Rock Canyon. For most of these attractions, the only expenses will be a rental car and gas.
And here is a sample two-day itinerary of how to get the most for your money in 48-hours in Sin City:
- Check into hotel and walk to the Bellagio for the fountains show and a stroll through Conservatory.
- Head north, and stop in at the Flamingo to see the Wildlife Habitat. The hotel’s on-site “zoo” is home to more than 200 different animals, and it’s totally free for visitors to experience on their own. My personal favorite attraction there is the flamboyance of flamingos.
- Continue north on the Strip to the Mirage to see the Volcano show out front.
- End your stroll at Treasure Island, for the Sirens show.
- Hop on public transport (The Deuce) to head to Downtown Las Vegas. Stop at Luv-It Frozen Custard en route.
- Take a taxi to Fremont Street, where you can stroll under the Fremont Street Experience, featuring more than one million LED bulbs in a canopy that stretches for more than four blocks, Downtown’s most garish attraction is still its most popular. With a revitalization underway down there, now is a great time to go and enjoy the sights under the lights. And be sure to duck in and out of old-school casinos with low table minimums.
- Take the pedestrian bridge to Symphony Park and tour the architecture of the brand new Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
- After dark, spring for tour of the Neon Museum, which lights up some of its most historic signs once the sun sets.
- Enjoy after-hours drinks on the rooftop deck of Commonwealth (and, when you’re hungry, grab a meal at Le Thai, located next door).
- Start your morning with a hike at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
- Stop at Ronald’s Donuts. This hole-in-the-wall donut shop, located in Chinatown, serves up fried dough that is a hit with locals and visitors alike. What makes the donuts so special? Because they’re vegan — that is, they’re made without eggs or milk — they’re light and spotlight all of the other natural ingredients. One dozen goes for just $7.
- Tour public art at the Las Vegas City Center and stop in at Todd English P.U.B. after 3 p.m. for a late lunch at happy hour prices ($1 wings, $2 oysters, $3 sliders).
- Head south to MGM Grand and sign up to review a TV show at CBS Television City. Tucked inside the hotel, this facility recruits regular tourists to participate in focus groups and watch new shows. Participation is free; and though you don’t get anything tangible for your time, it’s pretty neat knowing you had a say in the future of a television show (especially if the show makes it to prime time!).
- Hop a cab to Circus Circus and hit the rides at the Adventuredome.
- Walk south to Casino Royale and end the night sipping free drinks while playing $10 minimum Pai Gow Poker, which usually makes your bankroll last a long time.
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