Listen, we’re not here to judge why you suddenly need budget Vegas tips. Probably it was ill-advised, dangerously foolhardy even, to wager your life savings on a spin of the roulette wheel, but the past is the past and we’re not going to worry about that anymore. (Double-zero three times in a row, seriously? Do they rig these things just to make fortunes vanish?)
Or maybe, you know, you don't want to get trapped in the financial black hole that is Las Vegas.
Either way: want to do Las Vegas on less than $100 a day? No problem, amigo, we have you covered. Here are five things to do to pass the time in high style and have some suitably epic Vegas stories to tell on your return home.
Photo by cliff1066/Flickr.
When you’re on a budget, nothing satisfies more than free entertainment options. Big Elvis has been a Vegas staple for decades (7,000 shows on the Strip and counting) and he recently made the move to the big time at Harrah’s, where he routinely performs before packed crowds at The Piano Bar. The show features all the Elvis hits you expect, plus a few extras cultivated from six decades of rock ‘n’ roll history. Sit close to the stage and you’re liable to be called up to help sing and dance. Did we mention the cost already? Oh yeah, it’s FREE.
Shop for yourself or bring back souvenirs for everyone on your Christmas list at one of the world’s only zombie retail outlets. Pink machetes? They have stacks of ‘em. Zombie t-shirts, bumper stickers and shot glasses? Only about a thousand varieties of each. Crossbow accessories? Uh, sure, man, whatever you need. The Zombie Apocalypse Store also offers entertainment options, including a shooting gallery to practice headshots and a 3D photo studio with props, green screen and costumes. Go a little nuts and you’ll still have money to spare for the other items on this list.
Okay, it’s not exactly pennies but Pink’s is a great deal compared to what you typically pay around town for a good meal. The main attractions at Pink’s: incredible variety and a boatload of toppings. You can satisfy all your major food groups with a dog from Pink’s, and that’s not just because the government claims ketchup is a vegetable. Heaps of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peppers and more will satisfy any vitamin deficiency or drunken craving. Basic dogs start around $4, the more extravagant concoctions will set you back 5-7 bucks.
You probably thought these things were just for London. Nope, Las Vegas has its very own fleet of super-pimped double-decker buses, decked with plush seating, air conditioning and huge viewing windows. The buses run a circuit that includes all the sights on the Strip, as well as Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Attractions. They even have a catchy nickname: "The Deuce." A two-hour ride costs only $6, and for $8 you can ride all day whenever you like.
Las Vegas has cheap rooms by the bushel, as long as you aren’t too picky about where you stay. Begin your search off the Strip – The Downtown hotels on Fremont Street are a good place to start, or the Stratosphere, which is a nice location compromise between the Strip and Downtown. If "the Strip or bust!" is your motto, Excalibur typically has rates that fit a low-roller budget. The key to the best rates: book online. The online discount travel sites – Expedia, Priceline, Kayak, etc. – have the best rates available, look for mid-week prices as low as $15/night and weekend rates under $50 nightly.