Travel Tips

How I Spent 3 Days in Vegas for Under $300

Las Vegas is flashy. Lights, casinos, entertainment, food, alcohol, nightclubs…basically, Vegas is full of all the things that cost money. A lot of money. But you want to see Vegas on a budget, right?

Most people go to Las Vegas with the intention of splurging. It’s all about having fun and indulging. People go to Vegas because they want to feel rich and live in the lap of luxury for a weekend. Las Vegas businesses know that, which is why prices are often high. People are willing to pay the price for fun.

But that’s also why you won’t usually see Las Vegas listed as a budget travel destination.

You CAN visit Vegas on a budget, though. I took a three-day trip to Las Vegas earlier this year, set on making it a super-budget trip. While I didn’t indulge in the partying and gambling, I did have a lot of fun. Vegas can be done on the cheap, and it’s actually a lot easier than you’d think.

Keep reading to see how I spent 3 days in Las Vegas for under $300!

Las Vegas on a Budget: How to Spend 3 Days in Vegas for Less than $300 - How to Find Cheap Flights to Vegas - Free Things to do in Las Vegas - Las Vegas Budget Accommodation - Las Vegas Budget Breakdown


How to Visit Vegas on a Budget


Find Cheap Flights to Vegas

My short Las Vegas vacation began with a flash airline sale from Frontier. When I saw that I could get cheap flights to Vegas and back for only $60, I booked a ticket immediately. There were only a few dates available for the lowest price, but I had flexibility on my side. If you’re looking for cheap flights to Vegas, check Frontier and other budget airlines first.

Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Vegas:

  • Check directly with budget airlines like Frontier or Southwest
  • Book your ticket immediately (you can cancel within 24 hours if necessary)
  • Be flexible: the cheapest flights will be during times other people don’t want to fly
  • Subscribe to airfare email lists

Cabana Suites at the El Cortez Downtown Las Vegas Cheap Vegas Hotels

Las Vegas Budget Accommodation

People usually like to live in luxury while in Las Vegas. While it’s totally understandable to want that kind of Vegas trip, you don’t HAVE to spend a lot of money on fancy hotels. Instead of booking a hotel on the Strip, stay somewhere off strip. Instead of booking a suite, book a modest room. I found tons of Las Vegas budget hotels that are super affordable, so there’s no need to splurge. There are also plenty of Las Vegas AirBnBs and hostels you can stay in.

I chose to stay downtown during my budget trip to Vegas. There are lots of affordable hotels downtown so the choice was tough. But ultimately, I chose to stay at the Cabana Suites at the El Cortez. For just $42 a night, I had a nice room in a cute & stylish boutique hotel.

More Tips for Finding Las Vegas Budget Accommodation:

  • Stay somewhere off the strip–Downtown is a great option
  • Book a modest room instead of a suite (most of your time will be spent out & about anyways)
  • Consider renting an affordable Las Vegas AirBnB (+$40 towards your first booking)
  • Use the Dosh app to get cash back on your Vegas hotel (+$25 bonus for your first booking)

How to Be Frugal in Vegas

Most people go to Las Vegas to party. That means going out to nightclubs, drinking, and gambling. All of that adds up to A LOT of spending on unnecessary things. If you’re in Vegas specifically to party, then by all means indulge. But obviously that will empty your wallet pretty fast.

I personally avoided all of that stuff, which made it easy to keep my money in my pocket. I walked through the casinos, I had a couple of drinks, but other than that, I just didn’t engage in that side of Las Vegas.

Tips for Saving Money in Vegas:

  • Set a strict budget before you go to Las Vegas and STICK TO IT.
  • Don’t gamble. You will only lose money.
  • Avoid those crazy expensive drinks you find at the clubs. Either have a few drinks in your hotel room before going out, or stick to a couple of cheap drinks for the night.

Las Vegas on a Budget: How to Spend 3 Days in Vegas for Less than $300

Free Things to do in Las Vegas

The biggest obstacle to visiting Vegas on a budget is finding a way to spend your time without spending money. I spent most of my time in Downtown Las Vegas, but I did take a day to explore the Strip as well. Like I said before, there was no gambling or drinking for me, but there’s still plenty of ways to keep busy without buying things. The hotels on the Strip are attractions in and of themselves; just walking through and looking at what’s on offer is a fun way to spend time.

Here are a few free things to do in Vegas:


Las Vegas on a Budget

This is a breakdown of everything I spent during my 3-day budget trip to Las Vegas. My one splurge was a tour of the Neon Museum. I also ate at restaurants for every meal (which is unusual for me), so there are cheap places to eat in Las Vegas.

$60 Round-trip flight from St. Louis to Las Vegas

$126 3 night accommodation

$8 Public transit (buses to & from the Strip + the Airport)

$75 All food & drink

$18 Guided tour at the Neon Museum

Total Spent: $287

Visiting Las Vegas on a budget like this might not seem realistic for a lot of people. If you are headed to Vegas specifically to enjoy the nightlife, gambling, and party scene, then consider this bare bones budget a starting point. If you can get all of the necessities (flight, accommodation, food) for under $300, that will free up the rest of your budget for the fun stuff!


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Looking for more posts about Las Vegas?

A Quick Guide to Downtown Las Vegas

Experience Old Vegas at the Neon Museum

8 Awesomely Affordable AirBnBs in Vegas

 

Looking for more ways to save money on travel?

How to Save Money on Hotels with This New App

The Best Way to Transfer Money Abroad

My Top Travel Planning Resources

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynne Sarao
    November 6, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Wow, well done. 3 days in Vegas for under $300 is not easy to do. So glad you had a great trip! #FlyAwayFriday

  • Reply
    Chiera
    November 7, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Well played! I am a big fan of a budget holiday. It’s a good feeling when you work out how much it cost in total and have it ben less that you exected!

  • Reply
    Kreete
    November 8, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Well done! My expertise is getting stuff (better yet, travel) cheap too! I am, however, curous what did you pack in your tote bag for three days? It seems so small ha!

    • Reply
      traveldaze
      November 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

      My plane outfit was a lot of layers (jeans, a basic tank top, button-front long sleeve top, light jacket, boots). In my bag I brought yoga pants (+ the tank I wore on the plane to sleep), a nicer dress for going out or for dinner, a cute short-sleeve top, and ballet flats. It was a really tiny bag looking bag, and I could have gotten away with a bigger bag as my personal item but I didn’t want to risk it. For 3 days it was easy to re-wear most items a couple of times without washing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ava @ My Meena Life
    November 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I love how simple – yet effective – your recommendations are. Looks like a great trip! #FlyAwayFriday

    • Reply
      traveldaze
      November 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thanks. The thing is, for Vegas it actually is so simple to visit on a budget, it just doesn’t seem like it because it’s this flashy place all about going out and gambling etc.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    November 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Super impressed with your budget Vegas trip, I’ve only been once and spent so much money. Thats really awesome that you did the not so typical Vegas stuff!

  • Reply
    Kana
    November 17, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Courtney! This is SO clever to do an expense report and how you did it! Hope you pinned this to the board, I freaking love it! I always end up spending more than I budget in Vegas so I can learn a thing or two from you! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, see you again this week! xo

  • Reply
    Agness of a TukTuk
    December 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Wow, I love your budget plan, It’s really not easy to spend such amount of money for three days in such an expensive country and you did it. Have to say i learnt a lot om your post!

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