As you may remember from a few posts ago, Derek and I had the brilliant idea of making a trip to Vegas while we were in San Francisco.
Well, it happened.
And it was an incredible time.
I’m going to share some of our gained knowledge on how to “hack” Vegas, and possibly come out with more money than you flew in with … Just kidding. If you choose to gamble, the odds are quite against you and your soon-to-be-empty pockets.
“The House always wins.”
But — there are easy ways to make your trip virtually inexpensive.
First let’s talk about flights and hotel-stay. When you book a flight through Expedia, there are a series of “package” options to choose from. By booking a flight AND a hotel at the same time, these package deals are generally a better steal than booking each separately. I found a flight to Vegas for less than $120 on Expedia via Spirit airlines (watch out for the checked-bag fees), and with that I began going through all the hotels that had those package deals available. I ended up booking a room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for two nights, and my total was $200 … Flight included! Granted, the Hardrock is about a mile off the strip, but compared to similiarly-priced hotels in the area, the HR was definitely the nicest.
Transportation: A mile-long cab ride could easily amount to $10+ with the initial surcharge and Vegas traffic, so take advantage of staying on the Strip (It’s a lot of walking, considering each enormous hotel is about a half-mile long, but it’s doable. Especially at night, when it’s cooler) If staying off the Strip, like me, then take advantage of the free bus or shuttle services that take you to the Strip. The HR had one, and other hotels in the area usually do as well.
Wining and dining: A Long Island Ice Tea cost me about $20 in a club… so if you’re not trying to drop $100 in a single club, take advantage of the many liquor stores around and make drinks in your hotel room. A beer at a pool party cost me more than $10, but the same beer (and about triple the size) was sold at the Walgreens next door for $3. Luckily the lack of open container laws allow one to drink as they please, wherever they please. I made the mistake of wanting to order fancy drinks while I was out … Not worth it.
Oh, you also drink free while you gamble, even if you’re just sitting at a slot machine. But it takes a while for the waitress to come around and then another while for her to bring you your drink, so, if patience isn’t your virtue, bring your own.
Getting into clubs/day parties: Go to this site, and sign yourself up. I was skeptical at first, thinking it could not be that easy to get my name on a guest list. I mean really, who am I? But the process was surprisingly efficient. You simply sign up, choose the clubs/parties you want to go to and you’re name is put on a guest list, which allows you to skip the line and enter for free! Once you arrive in Vegas, you will get a text message and/or email from a promoter, explaining what time(s) you should arrive and what to say at the door. It works. I went to Pure‘s rooftop club (which is now apparently closed from renovations, at Caesar’s Palace), which had free drinks for ladies until midnight, and the Marquee day party at the Cosmopolitan through this site.
As for gambling… stay off the penny slots. They’ll really get you. And if you sit at a Blackjack table, good luck getting up.