Are you looking for something to do while in Vegas that isn’t Magic? Are you looking to save some money when looking for food, hotels, or experiences? Are you looking to impress your friends after selling your.
Last time that I visited Las Vegas for Grand Prix 2017 I wanted to try and spend as little money as possible. I was judging side events and wanted to make sure I brought home as much money as possible to put towards my education that coming fall. I also wanted to experience Las Vegas as much as possible while there for only five days.
First and foremost, let’s start by talking about your hotel and how to save money on your stay. When first looking for hotels I had issues finding something that was close enough to the event. I knew that I did not want to rideshare back and forth because of how costly rideshare apps are in my home state. I booked at the hotel right next to the convention The Westgate and ended up spending much more than I needed to. Something I found that was interesting was when booking this hotel with the room block it was cheaper some days to book directly with them. Take a second and ask questions about how much each day is going to cost you. I ended up making two different reservations and connecting them after the second was booked to save money by not booking in the room block during the week. Rideshare Apps in Las Vegas were not very expensive – so that is always an option if you want to be in a hotel that is farther away.
As a side note, whenever I travel I use the mobile app Hotel's Tonight. This mobile app always has a great deal for me and when looking at this year’s trip it should cost around $100/night ($63 + $37 nightly fee + taxes). *Please note that Hotels Tonight only allows for bookings within 100 days of your trip.* Which brings me to my second point that’s very important when looking for a cheap hotel. Each hotel in Las Vegas (like most hotels) have nightly fees added to the price of your room. Ask about that price as well when booking. A $45/night hotel might also have a $45 hotel fee making it more expensive than the $75 hotel with no fee ($90 versus $75). Each of these little amounts can add up and make what you thought was a good deal awful. (You can always use promo code SGilhuly for $50 your first hotel with Hotels Tonight).
My final tip when looking to book a hotel is looking at how much it’s going to cost you to take a rideshare to and from the convention center. Staying at a hotel that’s 45 minutes away to save money might not be worth it when the rideshare is much more expensive than staying within a 15-minute walking distance. Also, something to note as well with walking. Las Vegas heat is much different than other parts of the country/world. There is no relief from the heat. A 15-minute walk may not seem like a whole lot but unless you are prepared to carry your backpack with cards and walk in the heat, I would suggest either ridesharing or doing a practice walk before the day of the event, watch the weather.
One of the things I worry most about when traveling is food. I have a weird diet myself and like to always eat more on the healthier side of things and while I do not mind spending more money to eat better, I would prefer not to. When visiting Las Vegas, I knew that a lot of my options were going to be convention center food – which is traditionally expensive. I knew that I had access to a fridge from my hotel room and wanted to try and save as much money as possible on this trip. The only grocery store that I found that was close enough was Trader Joe's located at 7575 W Washington Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89128 which is a 16-minute drive away from the convention center. (This cost me around $9.00 each way when using a rideshare service to get there). I collected enough food to make breakfast (yogurts, bagels, fruit), lunch (sandwiches), and snacks (granola, fruit/veggies, protein bars) in the room for everyone I was staying with to be able to eat for the week that we were there. I ended up spending $150.00 for five people to eat ten meals ($3.00 a meal) which allowed us to save money for two meals a day and splurge on dinner and drinks.
*** Food Suggestions: Priced cheapest to most expensive ***
Tacos El Gordo – A hidden gem just north of the Las Vegas strip about 13 minutes away from the convention center where you can get authentic Mexican food for $2.00 - $4.00 tacos and $7.00 house margarita. Not very expensive but you do need to pay for a rideshare to visit this location. Suggested by Josh Langdon
Rikki Tiki Sushi - Nearby to the convention center, you can find a great sushi restaurant at an affordable price. Expect to spend around $30.00 when going out to eat here. While it’s not the most expensive location the food is great for its price.
Bacchanal Buffet within Caesar's Palace - - I personally have not eaten here but a friend of mine, Tom Davis, can be quoted saying that the food is “*insane* for food lovers. Bit (read: very) pricey, but you get 2 hours and the offerings are superb.”
Monday - Thursday: $40.00 - $55.00
Fridays: $40.00 - $65.00
Saturdays - Sundays: $55.00 - $65.00
All You Can Drink: Draft Beer, House Wine, Mimosas $15
Hell’s Kitchen – ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Place’ – Caesar’s Palace - Food options from here can cost you as little as $32 .00 for a simple meal or as much as $130.00+ for a three-course menu with wine over dinner. (suggested by Alea Gilhuly-Mandel)
Quick grabs from Google:
While we all expect to be playing Magic the entire time that we are in Las Vegas that will not be the case. Not everyone is looking to gamble so I have compiled some other options of activates to do while visiting Las Vegas.
While there are many different options of shows that you could attend I highly suggest seeing any Cirque Du Solei show ranging from FREE to $100.00+ these shows are jaw-dropping and will leave you very entertained. Video
Something that always excites me personally are trills. Slotzilla Zip Line is a crazy fun experience that will leave you breathless after seeing most of the Las Vegas Strip for $25.00 - $40.00+ (depending on the time of day). Video
These are the two main experiences that I suggest but other options include: Window shopping at the Venetian, seeing the fountains at the Bellagio or the Moving Statues at Caesar's Palace (suggested by Steven Zwanger), taking an entire day off from Las Vegas and doing any Hotel run Bus Tour (suggested by my Grandmother who has visited many times), taking a bus trip over to the Hoover Dam (suggested by my Aunt), or finding your own adventure through a night out on the town.
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- Do not always go with a room block to see how much it will cost if you book independently
- Look at other options besides a room block or calling the hotel directly – Hotels Tonight (Use code SGilhuly for $50 off your first hotel)
- Using Rideshare to save money does not always work
- Always stay with friends to save money but bring a pair of earbuds just incase
- Grocery shop nearby and splurge for dinner
- See a show in the area (Free to $100.00)
- Experience the Las Vegas Strip via Zipline