Author Topic: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas  (Read 27066 times)

ichangedmyname

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A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« on: January 06, 2014, 12:20:08 AM »
My husband and I are going together. Airfare and hotel are paid. We're gonna buy the $20 3-day bus pass since we're not renting a car. I'm looking to places off the Strip for food since it's almost half the price. Also going to take advantage of free activities and maybe half off ticket to shows we might like. I geeked out and created a budget that kinda looks like YNAB for the trip. Please tell me if this is realistic (see attached), this is for 2 people already. I am open to any suggestions and criticisms.

Thank you.


*Resort fees. Didn't know about these until after we booked it. But still even after the hotel and airfare, I don't think it's that bad.
**Meals. There will most likely be days with only 2 meals instead of 3. Maybe a trip to a grocery store for snacks.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 12:22:52 AM by ichangedmyname »

Melody

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 02:51:31 AM »
Have you been before? For someone who hasn't been before there is a lot you can do for free. (I was there 3 years ago so some of this stuff might no longer be current):
1) Show in the Sky at Casino Rio (Tacky buy cool)
2) Roller Disco at Casino Rio (Free if you happen to have roller-skates in your bag... I did! Otherwise $10... pretty awesome. Go go dancers and good tunes and they gave away free drinks for costumes etc.)
3) Watching buskers and hanging out on the strip
4) Swimming in hotel pool. (really awesome to watch planes landing as you swim!)
5) Photography (Especially at night, all the neon comes up really well but you will need a small tripod).
6) The fountains at Ballagio
7) The pirate show at Treasure Island
8) Looking at all the weird stuff in the casinos (eg The Flamingo, MGM Grand Lion, fake Venice casion etc)
9) Late night dinner at Flamingo $2 between midnight and 2am!
10) Breakfast can be something like pancakes at Denny's ($2) there are a few Dennys on the Strip (or cereal in your hotel room) - this will free up more money for stuff you want to do.
11) Free Irish Trad Music at New New York New York's Irish Pub. Really fun to dance too. Drinks were overpriced but as you can drink on the strip and there are heaps of little shops selling beers it's all good!
Needless to say don't gamble and Vegas can be highly frugal. I personally found the public transport a bit scary (where I come from no one takes guns on the bus, not even the transit police!) but it was very frequent and easy to use (grid system - so you had to transfer to get anywhere, but it was easy to use as every bus traveled in a straight line) and ran late at night.

There are heaps of cool shows/concerts so I'd try and use the money for that and cut the food budget a bit more. (Vegas is not a culinary capital - while the food wasn't bad, you've probably had better in other cities.)

My one other hint would be to buy a water bottle with a built in filter as the water tastes dreadful (like swimming pool water) and without a car, it's difficult to buy a 10L water container. Buying water on the strip costs an arm and a leg. Or alternatively bring some diet cordial you can use to mask the bad taste.

SnackDog

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 04:12:37 AM »
If you gamble enough you not only have fun and the chance to win a lot of money, they may comp you drinks, food, even a room!

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 09:11:15 AM »
Thanks for all the ideas Melody! We might also spend one night just walking around Fremont St. A day walking down the Strip and taking pictures and going into the major hotels, watching the fountain show, etc.

SnackDog, I'm not gonna say w're NOT going to gamble but we're not gonna do it so much. LOL

We're definitely going to take advantage of all the free things to do and the half off tickets to show (Marriage is Murder sounds fun!)

Any ideas on how to lower the food budget? My husband and I find that we usually just eat at the most 2 meals, sometimes just 1 when we're on vacation. We don't wanna eat too much and be too lazy to walk around so we both said no to the buffet pass.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 10:42:17 AM »
I'm headed there for 3 days in a week, and I also spent time there last month.  Then again, I don't live that far away.  The buffets seem cheaper on Fremont St. than on the strip.  You can get cold bottled water from folks on the walkways over the intersections along the strip for $1/bottle.  I usually eat using my points earned at the casinos, but then again, I do gamble...

In December friends and I got the 24 hr. buffet pass for Luxor/Excaliber as that was where we were staying.  It is $35/person (I think, it's from memory).  I plan to get the one for all of the Harrah's/Ceaser's buffets for 24 hrs this time, but it is closer to $50 (again, from memory)   

If you don't have a lot of luggage the bus from the airport isn't bad.  If you have more luggage than you want to take on the bus, it is a toss up money-wise whether to use a cab or the shuttle if there are more than 1 person riding.  For me, I'm using the bus this next time as I'm going with just a carry on.  The bus is the way to get arround as far as I'm concerned.  Most of the monorails are at the back of the casinos and there can be a lot of walking to get to the stations once you are at the proper casinos.  I've not had a bad experience on the buses in Vegas.  The past few times I went I drove up from Phoenix, but I decided it is cheaper and easier to fly, costing about what it costs in gas to drive it. 

Re-reading this, I may not be a good person to post about 'cheap' and 'Las Vegas' in the same paragraph.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 10:46:55 AM »
I am planning on just a carry-on and a personal bag which would most likely be a backpack or a messenger bag. My husband thinks he needs to check a bag I told him it better be worth the $25 he would spend on it. Then he changed his mind.

We plan to do a lot of walking around. Thanks for your opinion on the bus system. I am looking forward to that.

I'm just appreciative you shared your knowledge :) This will be the first time for both of us.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 11:32:13 AM »
When I was looking on the internet at the bus system before going the first time I was intimidated by the 'transfer station' mentioned between the strip and the airport.  It is just a bunch of seats at an intersection where you change buses.  The SDX (I think it's called) is the primary bus up and down the strip.  It's double decker and easy to spot.  At Fremont street it stops to head back down to the strip at the end near the Heart Attack Grill, something that I had a difficult time figuring out for some reason last time I was there.

When I get back I'll try to remember to post again anything I think might be interesting.  I'll be there from the 13th-16th.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 12:16:15 PM »
Thank you shadowmoss! I'll be very happy to read that post.

Any comments or suggestions on the budget? Is it too much? Things I can tweak?

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 12:30:27 PM »
Remember Vegas is very dry, take chap-stick, moisturizer if you are use to a wetter climate.

I would recommend seeing Fremont in the evening, after dark but not to late.  Hotels there are also cheap.

Not free but not to expensive are the pinball hall of fame, neon sign museum and nuclear weapons museum-depending on your tastes.  Hoover damn is worth the time but wo a car would be hard to get to.  Going to the top of the Stratosphere is also very cool after dark. 

Depending on what you want to do renting a car might not be that bad, I think I normally see some for around 20$/day parking is free everywhere.  Remember your time is worth something too especially when somewhere cool for a limited time.  But you can definitely do vegas wo car, but I think most people would be doing it by cab.

There are 'normal' restaurants off the strip.

Would also suggest you talk a walk through the high end malls just to see your jaw drop at the prices.

Edit: Also know that Vegas is big.  And by big I mean you can walk for hours and not get half way up the strip.  I once walked for 16 min from the hotels only breakfast spot to the hotels car park-all within one hotel/casino.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 12:34:45 PM by AlanStache »

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 12:33:07 PM »
I'd definitely be ogling the designer stuff (handbags for $25000, anyone?) LOL

The reason we're not renting a car is because I cannot drive and my husband doesn't have a license :D

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 12:35:32 PM »
Quote
The reason we're not renting a car is because I cannot drive and my husband doesn't have a license :D

good reasons :-)

Edit: Also the Hard Rock has lots of cool memorabilia on display all around the casino-free for viewing.  I think MGM has similar but for fights/sports but have not spent much time there.  And the art at the Bellagio is worth seeing.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 12:47:11 PM by AlanStache »

aglassman

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 12:52:58 PM »
My Vegas Tips:

There is this little convenience type store on the strip that sells $1 silos of PBR  and High Life.  I'm not exactly sure where it is, but my alcohol memory recall manages to find it each time I'm there.  Best deal on the strip!

Other great deals:  $1.99 steak and eggs at Bill's Gambling Hall.  It's not the best steak obviously.
$1 margaritas at Bill's as well. (tiny, but potent).

Avoid the Excalibur buffet, it's pretty gross.  Actually just avoid Excalibur and Circus Circus all together.

SnackDog

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 05:55:34 PM »
Which place has the best $5.99 prime rib buffet??

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 07:07:48 PM »
Avoid the Excalibur buffet, it's pretty gross.  Actually just avoid Excalibur and Circus Circus all together.

Hell no.  Circus Circus has free circus shows going off all day.

Cecil

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 10:06:04 PM »
$1 margaritas at Bill's as well. (tiny, but potent).

They come with a ton of sickly sweet sugary syrup. They won't serve them without it, but if you ask nicely you can get them with half the syrup!

TickInTime

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 08:11:26 AM »
Can I reccomend a side trip?

Valley of Fire.  It is one hour northeast of Vegas.

This April we will be flying into Vegas and then running quickly away to SW Utah to explore the desert!

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 08:21:40 AM »
Can I reccomend a side trip?

Valley of Fire.  It is one hour northeast of Vegas.

This April we will be flying into Vegas and then running quickly away to SW Utah to explore the desert!
Sounds awesome! Except we cannot drive to there. :)

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 08:31:08 AM »
I was gonna recommend the Indigo Lounge at Bally's as a fun place (with no cover charge) to see Motown-style cover bands, but it looks like it is currently closed and being remodeled/reimaged, so that reccomendation is out the window.

The casinos only give out free dinks if you are gambling.  If you are not gambling, they will charge you and if I remember right, mixed drinks cost a lot.

There's definitely a lot to see on the strip, but that might take up two days.  Vegas isn't really a cheap town anymore.  Heck, the trend has been towards getting away from comps and freebies to low rollers. 

Vegas is the food capital of America now.    I'd definitely plan to have some good meals out there.  Look at the various casinos' websites and research the different restaurants out there.  There's something for everyone.  Find some that fit the food types you like and meet your price points. 

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2014, 08:37:13 AM »
Bill's is closed for remodeling now.  Doesn't look like it will be done any time soon.

ABC is a cheap(er) store to get basic toiletries and there are several around the strip.  I paid I think $5 or more for a travel size tube of toothpaste at the Harrah's shop my first trip.  I don't do that now.  There are Walgreen's and CVS stores on the strip as well.  this is down past Paris, between there and MGM Grand.  These are better places to get the things you can't pack because you go carry on.

Let me know roughly what area you will be staying in and I can recommend how to get around that area if it's on the strip.  The comment about seeing Fremont street around dusk/dark is right on.  That is why I mentioned where the bus picks up, just off the end of the Fremont Experience next to the Heart Attack Grill.  If you know you know where to get the bus, it may not be as intimidating to hang around after dark.  It's not like it is deserted or anything at that time.  :)  Also, if you want cheap tacky (as opposed to expensive tacky) souvenirs buy them on Fremont street rather than the strip.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2014, 08:41:39 AM »
Shawdowmoss we'll be staying at the Hard Rock so it's not ON the strip but it's close enough to walk and catch the bus.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Bellagio fountain of course and maybe a gondola ride. My husband wants to check out that geeky museum and I want to do the mob museum. Maybe a show.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2014, 09:10:28 AM »
RE:  your budget

Depends on your tolerance for sitting through vacation rental scam, errr, sales talk.  You can let yourself be grabbed at the entrance of the Venetian, second floor where you would go in to get to the inside gondola, and they will offer you the world and a show to give them a $250.00 deposit that they return to you when you come back within a year for the free nights there and sitting through a presentation.  A first class show like David Copperfield, which friends took me to in December, is approximately $100.00/person.  Worth it if you can afford it.  It was fun.  However, not in your current budget.  I have no other experience with the lower tier shows.  Your budget is very tight.  You might look into one of the 24hr Harrah's/Ceaser's buffet tickets as that is close to what you have budgeted for food anyway and it is good (I think) at any of their buffets.  Before and after  that you could get by with Denny's/McDonalds, which are all around in the food courts of the casinos.  Of course if you are spending only 1 evening, and you plan to spend it up at Fremont (a half hour bus ride, approx), that won't work.  I saw signs on a casino on Fremont for a surf and turf meal for, I think around $10.  You just have to figure out what is important to you, food wise.  You may get some discount coupons when you check in with comps for food. 

There are all kinds of discount show folks who you have to make a definite, and sometime desperate, maneuver to avoid.  If anyone asks 'where are you guys from?' run like hell!  Otherwise you will be in a half hour long discussion while they befriend you and help you into spending your money/time on whatever it is they are actually selling.  They will offer free shows/drinks/breakfasts/nights at nice casino hotels.  Choose carefully and you may find a deal that you actually like.  I do plan on talking to the nice folks grabbing passersby at the Venetian when I go back this time.  However, without my married couple friends with me the offers will dwindle to very little, as happened when I was the only one in our group who was interested.  The time before that I stopped someone who looked official to ask where the buffet was in Paris and ended up signed up for a free breakfast the next morning and an almost 4 hours of discussion about vacation time shares.  :)  I declined to buy, but know how that all works now so I don't feel at all deprived, and I had the time to spare.

Can you tell I'm still excited to head back next week?  :)

lentilman

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2014, 09:35:52 AM »
Vegas is great.  I will give some suggestions:

Don't schedule tightly.  The distances are further than they look.  Spend a day or two (or five) just exploring the strip.  If you like people watching, Vegas is the place!

If you time the buffets correctly you can enter at a cheaper time. For example, if you arrive at the end of breakfast you will pay breakfast prices but be able to eat the lunch food.  A good value buffet is at the Mirage.  The Bellagio & Wynn are great but more expensive.  Some are horrible.  Reading reviews is a good thing to do!

Casino Royale has beers for $1 (no gambling needed). 

You can get half price show tickets at locations on the strip or downtown.  Be sure to check if your show is available before paying full price. 

There is an off-menu steak special at Ellis Island that includes steak, side, veggie, and microbrew for around $8.  It's quality food.  They also have a BBQ joint that is good value. 

Fremont St. is great.  I like to take a break from the strip to visit.  If you eat downtown the 777 in the Main St. Station is nice.  There is a shrimp cocktail in the Golden Gate that is well known - I don't know what the price is these days.  Probably around $3 (used to be a buck before they remodeled it).  If can swing it, a stay for a day or two downtown is cheap and you avoid wasting travel time.  It's nice since everything is an easy walk from everything else.

If you are hoofing the strip and are hungry for cheap fast food you should aim for a non-casino joint.  Some that come to mind are Fatburger (near MGM), Chipotle (near Harrahs), Peppermill (Near Riviera).

There are free shuttles - you can use them to catch a ride to outlying casinos (for example Rio & Orleans - and Hard Rock!).  You may not need a bus pass - use the free shuttle from HR to strip and then catch the Deuce from anywhere on the strip to downtown and back.

The PawnStars shop is on LVB between the strip & downtown.  It's smaller than you might expect, but worth a stop if you like the show.

Since there are two of you, you can benefit from 2 for one deals.  Spend some time researching.  One suggestion is the LVA coupon book.

There are tours to the Grand Canyon & Red Rock that pick you up and drop you back at the hotel.  If you want to do something like this keep your eyes open for coupons.

There will be coupon books showing up the second you step off the plane, in your cab, in your hotel, on the street, being handed out, etc.  Keep your eyes open.

Wear comfy shoes.

Have Fun! 

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2014, 10:14:05 AM »
Roller coaster at New York New York is fun, not great as coasters go but for 10$(?) is a cool experience. 

Vegas can be the best time ever and can be done cheaply but you still have to be willing to spend 10$-20$ on admissions to things.

Cant believe no one has mentioned it but a ride south to the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" is cool just to really see it, only thing would be scheduling the transportation. 

Things to skip: Bodies at the Luxor - is ok but unless you are a real bio/anatomy geek is repetitive and dull.  Also the Da Vinci thing at the Venetian was a let down, just some replica models and videos.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2014, 11:22:49 AM »
I've been trying to find a map of the Strip with labels of not just the hotels/casinos but things to see or restaurants,attractions.

Any ideas?

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 09:25:04 AM »
I leave in 4.5 hours.  I'll look around.  I know the monorail has a good map in their handbook, and I found a couple of others.  When I get back, ping me again here if I don't remember and I'll scan them and email it to you.  I plan on making a list of things to do while I'm there.  Making note of the cheap breakfast, and other things. 

beeth_oven

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2014, 11:36:48 AM »
I went to Vegas with the parents over Labor Day. We were pretty shocked at how expensive all the food was! Some things we did to save monies:
-Went to Walgreens on the strip for water jugs for the room, and to buy snacks, lunch for the day. They have prepared sandwiches, fruit, etc. that should be fine if you are on a budget.
-Trolled the discount sites (Groupon, Living Social, Travelzoo, etc.) for any useful coupon I could find. I got the City Bus Tour this way. From Travelzoo, I saw some deals on the magic shows. Worth taking a look!

Also, we went to Siegfried and Roy's secret garden, and I totally don't think the admission price was worth it at all.

Insanity

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2014, 01:02:37 PM »
The distances are further than they look.

There is no way to describe how true this is!!!!

1 Block is not the same as a normal block. And if you have to cut through a Casino there is no such thing as a straight line!!!!

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2014, 01:11:52 PM »
I was wondering how far it all was, going along the strip from the south end of Mandily Bay to Fremont st is six and some change miles.  One way.  San Francisco is just over 6 miles wide east/west in total.

lentilman

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2014, 02:12:45 PM »
I was wondering how far it all was, going along the strip from the south end of Mandily Bay to Fremont st is six and some change miles.  One way.  San Francisco is just over 6 miles wide east/west in total.

The "strip" usually just refers to the Mandalay Bay (or so) on the south to the Strat (or so) on the North - about 4 miles.  Las Vegas Blvd between the Strat and Fremont is fairly unpleasant to walk.

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2014, 02:28:11 PM »
Quote
Las Vegas Blvd between the Strat and Fremont is fairly unpleasant to walk.
Yes but where else are you going to get budget crack?

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2014, 06:55:13 AM »
Do I need this coupon book?
http://lasvegasperks.edgeplatformlive.com/vegasdiningdiscounts.html
It's 19.95 it has dining and show coupons. It doesn't have the show I want to watch though but I think just the dining coupons would be worth it.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2014, 09:51:30 AM »
I was wondering how far it all was, going along the strip from the south end of Mandily Bay to Fremont st is six and some change miles.  One way.  San Francisco is just over 6 miles wide east/west in total.

The "strip" usually just refers to the Mandalay Bay (or so) on the south to the Strat (or so) on the North - about 4 miles.  Las Vegas Blvd between the Strat and Fremont is fairly unpleasant to walk.

I don't drink anymore so when I'm in Vegas, in the mornings when everyone is still sleeping, I'll walk/jog from Harrah's down to Mandalay Bay and back.  It's like a completely different city then. 

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2014, 10:20:29 AM »
Yep running on the strip in the early morning is great.  Actually more people are out there then you would expect.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2014, 05:44:04 AM »
I'm back.  So, I believe you said that you will stay at the Hard Rock?  I'll verify this in a minute.  The bad news is that while you are a block and a half from the strip, the 'blocks' are a mile long and so you are a mile and a half from the strip, and no bus goes on that street.  This was verified by the workers at the Hard Rock cafe on the strip.  No good way to get to the strip, so ask the hotel if they have a shuttle or something (anything!).  You will probably need a taxi to get from the airport to the hotel.  Now the better news.  The taxi should only cost about $15 or so, maybe a bit more.  I took a taxi from the Tropicana to the airport for $15.50.  A shuttle would be about the same for both of you, and a lot more hassle.  Just my (not-so) humble opinion.  I did the bus thing from the airport to Harrahs and it worked great.  Tried to do it the other direction on the way out and it was a loss.  At my 3rd or 4th bus stop (partly my fault, partly unclear directions and not RTA people manning the stops like they usually do the help) I was talking to a nice gentleman about my age or older (middle aged?) and we figured we had another 50 minutes to wait for the WAX bus.  We went over to the Tropicana and got a taxi instead.  Best $15 I've spent in awhile.  I was pretty much done with the process as I had an hour into it already and still had another hour to go.  It's like Vegas is a vortex and it is easy to get into but hard to get out of.

This is totally different from going up and down the strip and up to Freemont on the busses.  They run every 15 min or so and are efficient.  The SDX is an express and only makes about 4 stops on the strip, good to get places quickly if they stop where you want to get off.  The Deuce is a double decker bus that stops about every casino on the way up and down.  Fun to ride if you aren't in a hurry.  Same bus pass works on both of them (but not on the other bus routes).

I didn't find any breakfast deals.  Dennys or a food court is probably going to be the cheapest way.  Fremont street had the casino with the meal deals, like steak and lobster for $12 between certain hours.  The Flamingo changed the hours of their restaurants, and nothing was open at 4am (I work nights so I wander around at odd hours).  The Hash House A Go-Go in The Quad (where I was staying) was open, but it was expensive and not anything interesting.

The street vendors and panhandlers are agressive these days.  They don't stop when you say you aren't interested.  They don't stop talking when you walk away, they follow you.  I was cussed out 2 times as I walked away.  As I said before, you have to make a decided attempt to not be 'worked' by these folks.  I find I can't even be basically polite and smile and nod as I walk by, they take it as a sign to keep walking and talking.  You have been warned.  :)

I did have fun.  I was wandering the strip at times I probably shouldn't have, and felt safe enough.  Then again, I lived for 2.5 years in Honduras, so my idea of safe may be a bit skewed.  :)

I don't see my other edit, so if this comes through in two posts, sorry, but reguarding coupon books I'd say don't pay for any.  There are coupon books everywhere for free.

Have fun.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 06:04:16 AM by shadowmoss »

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2014, 05:54:12 AM »
Do I need this coupon book?
http://lasvegasperks.edgeplatformlive.com/vegasdiningdiscounts.html
It's 19.95 it has dining and show coupons. It doesn't have the show I want to watch though but I think just the dining coupons would be worth it.

No, I'd say you don't.  There are coupons and such everywhere, and 'nice' folks who will be more than happy to help you find good deals (see previous post about agressive sales persons).  You won't really know what you want to do until you get there.  You won't be able to do nearly as much as you think.  The distance thing really plays into this.  Also, think about trying to see The Smithsonian in one day or even two.  Not possible.  My suggestion is to go with the flow.  Your first time there will be amazing just walking around figuring things out.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2014, 06:16:55 AM »
One of my edits hasn't show up yet, so forgive me if this comes though again. 

Get the Vegas2go booklet (they are everywhere, and free).  They list the shows and times and prices.  That way you will know if you are being offered a 'deal' or not.  The best map I found was given to me at the Hard Rock Cafe.  They may have them at the hotel as well.

The bus passes:  you might want to get the 24 hour $8 and go from there.  Since you can't use the bus to get to/from your hotel it may be cheaper.  You won't really know what you want to do and where you want to go until you get there.  Trust me.

Gerard

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2014, 06:46:23 AM »
If the "regular" Vegas things start to pall:
*A fun/cheap/crazy-busy place to eat is El Gordo, in a mini-mall toward the north end of the strip (near convention centre blvd.). They're one of the few American branches of a Mexican chain, open 24/7 I think. Try the beef brisket (suadero, right hand lineup) and anything with pork. Remember to ask for the free grilled onions and peppers, and score some lime and radish from the self-serve bar.
*Head farther east on Fremont in the evening (to the part where it starts to feel sketchy) for more vintage neon from the neon museum.
*Go birdwatching in Vegas! The Henderson Bird Preserve is an oasis where thousands of wild birds (mostly ducks) cluster. You can also see desert birds like roadrunners, and hummingbirds up close. And you can walk on to the wash, which is one of the few wild-looking areas near Vegas that you can get to without a car. I think the bus you'll need is the BHX, and yes, you'll have to walk about 15 minutes from the bus stop (at Sunset).

(edit: I thought suadero was shoulder, but it's really brisket)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 08:07:30 PM by Gerard »

swiper

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2014, 07:47:24 AM »
We went for a 2 week camping/hiking style trip fall 2013. We spent a few extra days in Vegas because we were kicked out of the national parks due to gov shutdown.

Eating close to strip

Cafe Rio (Mexican http://www.caferio.com/locations/state/NV). I think this is a Utah based, Mexican chain.
+ Very reasonable prices.
+ Made-to-order, tasty, quality food.
+ Awesome self-serve drinks: real lemonades, Horchata (creamy rice based drink, very good with spicy food)
- Not really "on" the strip, but they have a few locations so depending where you are touring, I highly recommend.

Lotus of Siam (Thai http://www.saipinchutima.com/)
+ Very good food and famous place
- Pricey, but it is quite famous. This was our splurge dinner.

Secret Pizza in the Cosmopolitan (Pizza http://www.yelp.com/biz/secret-pizza-las-vegas)
+ Great pizza, very filling after a day of walking the strip.
+ Good location for people watching. We got a pie and watched all the fancy dressed people party.
- Hard to find place, its hidden inside the Cosmopolitan, down a corridor, behind some pool tables (google the directions).

Hotel

We spent 2 nights at the end of our trip at the Aliante resort, in North Vegas ( http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g45981-d1200840-Reviews-Aliante_Casino_Hotel-North_Las_Vegas_Nevada.html ). Its a very nice modern 4 star resort. We had a car so it served a a good home base. We were there during the week and used hotels.com to book the room. Each time we got it for $30/night (all in) but you need to book <24 hours before you intend to stay.

Otherwise we stayed just off the strip in a 2 star motel (Motel 6? or travelodge ~$50 night, booked well in advance). Nothing special here, clean and walkign distance to strip ... good enough for us.

City activities we enjoyed
  • The Atomic Testing Museum - A nice break from the heat and noise
  • Gun range - hehe ... we did "American Shooters", wanted to try "Clark County gun range" but it was closed for the day.
  • Walking and photography, very nice especially at night.
  • Swimming in resort pools.
  • Free music performances on Fremont street.

dragoncar

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2014, 01:59:30 PM »
Have fun!  It would be great if you followed up with a report in a couple weeks for posterity

FrugalZony

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2014, 09:01:31 PM »
We have done Vegas on a shoestring MANY times.
The first few times out of necessity and then later it kinda became out thing!
I love downtown vintage vegas and the deals there and the whole fake "new vegas" on the strip just irks me.
Our favourite site of all times back when we did not live in the US was
http://www.cheapovegas.com/

I would always crack up about the reviews etc.

We now know our ways around so well, we hardly consult it anymore (especially as so many of our fun places have been closed), but it's definitely worth a look if you really want to find all the cheap eats etc.

spider1204

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2014, 09:15:14 PM »
When's your trip actually happening?  If I'm still here, you're welcome to join me any time for a day of rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon.  I can provide transportation and gear.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2014, 08:34:34 AM »
When's your trip actually happening?  If I'm still here, you're welcome to join me any time for a day of rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon.  I can provide transportation and gear.
Spider, we leave Colorado Springs on Thursday 1/23 and we fly back 1/27 :D

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2014, 08:37:17 AM »
Have fun!  It would be great if you followed up with a report in a couple weeks for posterity
Thanks. I definitely will and hopefully with some pics too. Plan to post a recap of it on my blog. We're both so excited! I definitely wanna go to the Mob Museum and hubby wants to see the Atomic Testing museum.

We have done Vegas on a shoestring MANY times.
The first few times out of necessity and then later it kinda became out thing!
I love downtown vintage vegas and the deals there and the whole fake "new vegas" on the strip just irks me.
Our favourite site of all times back when we did not live in the US was
http://www.cheapovegas.com/

I would always crack up about the reviews etc.

We now know our ways around so well, we hardly consult it anymore (especially as so many of our fun places have been closed), but it's definitely worth a look if you really want to find all the cheap eats etc.

I will check out that site :D

greaper007

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2014, 09:01:55 AM »
$1.50, I think, huge hot dogs at slots of fun along with big Heinekens of the same price.   In college we stayed at the circus circus and a hot dog and two beers was my breakfast every morning.    Then I'd watch my friends lose money everyday while I had free drinks and read a book at the casino bar (way quicker to get free drinks at the bar than on the floor, the key is to put $15-$20 in a machine and play a hand every once in a while, also tip a dollar on every drink and the bartender will keep you un-sober) I was even able to get top shelf drinks downtown for free with no money in a machine.    While at the Paris casino the bartender got wise to me and started to watch me play.   I played two hands and hit a 4 of a kind, $120 payout.   He took a look at my machine and thought I put $120 in, so I ordered top shelf tequila neat and my wife had a sapphire martini, I then quickly cashed out.   That ended up paying for our whole vacation.

Use the low money for food and drink savings, don't eat lunch, then do an early dinner at one of the moderately priced buffets.   One of my favorites is the Rio World Buffet.   It's not the best, but it's very good and I think it comes in under $30.   You can find some really good discounts for buffets from some of the ticket brokers on the strip.   If you really stuff yourself you should be able to let that food ride until lunch the next day.

Also, don't forget about aps on your smart phone for happy hours.   Just about every casino has a bar with a really decent happy hour special and they're so easy to find now with smart phones.   Cheap margaritas and free chips is always one of my favorites. 

One other thing, check out the ellis island casino slightly off the strip.   It's family owned and old school.   If you like to gamble the odds are ok (i'm not a gambler) and they have their own brewery inside.  Super cheap beers and there's karaoke a few nights a week.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2014, 10:30:42 AM »
Got here yesterday. it was not mustachian but day 2 is starting much better thanks to breakfast buffet at the hotel for $9.99 we are gonna get the buffet of buffets pass because it seems cheaper than single meals.

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2014, 09:12:23 AM »
I was expecting to eat more. Lol we didn't get the buffet pass yesterday. We walked to the Atomic Testing Museum. It was great, stayed for about three hours. I did lose some money in the slots. Then we did the Big Bus Night tour that took us down the strip all the way to Fremont and watched the light show. It was so much fun, worth it. Afterwards we got a couple of subs at Subway. Day Two was a success.

Today we're going to take it easy since we're doing the Sin City Club Crawl tonight and we have too rest up our thirty something asses to keep up with the young kids. Good help us lol. Just thought it would be fun. So far plan for tomorrow is to walk down the strip at a very leisurely pace we haven't been there yet shameful.

AlanStache

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2014, 11:04:52 AM »
Sin City Club Crawl has a 'bus' this is the web description: "”The Monster” Double Decker Party Bus is  one of the biggest party buses in the US. The Monster can seat up to 65 people. It has 2 bars with 2 kegerator’s one upstairs, the other downstairs. There are 6 LCD TV’s on board, 6000 Watt Stereo system, with ipod hookup, LED lights,1 Bathroom, 4 stripper poles, Nightclub lighting, this is the ultimate nightclub on wheels. If you would like to charter the Double Decker Party Bus for private events"

I really hope the GOP has there convention in Vegas, rents this bad boy and some video goes viral, endless free entertainment there!

ichangedmyname

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2014, 11:29:33 AM »
Yeah. I wanted to do something different. Lol we got a promo code $34 off so we'll see how long we can stay up.

shadowmoss

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2014, 10:53:57 AM »
So, I keep checking back for an update.  How was the trip?  I'm guessing it wasn't anything like you expected, but that is because Vegas wasn't anything like I personally expected.

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Re: A Realistic Budget for a 5-day Trip to Las Vegas
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2014, 10:10:07 PM »
Hi Shawdowmoss!

I've been trying to get a grip on it. We had fun. We went to the Atomic Museum that was so much fun and learned so much. We took the Big Bus Night Tour and got to go downtown for the light show. Watched the Bellagio fountain show twice, saw the Volcano. We did the club crawl and went to 3 out of the 4 clubs before we decided to go home.

I got sick though :( The day before we had to leave I got the flu. Managed to go to at least one buffet at the Flamingo.  Our flight back to Denver was delayed almost 2 hours and the flight from Denver to CO Springs was eventually cancelled due to snow. Three other travelers decided to go in with us to rent a car and we drove. got home really late and missed work for 2 days since I was sick.

I plan to go back so I can watch Britney :D It was fun I just wish I didn't get sick.