With some team work, I was able to go to Vegas for under $120, that included gambling, seeing one of my favorite DJ’s at the Marquee, dinner at a Brazilian BBQ Restaurant, transportation, drinks, 2 taxi rides, and my room! SAY WHAT?? Typically, when I think of Vegas, the word “budget” is far from my mind. Like everyone else, I like to see shows, drink, eat well, and be merry. This past weekend was my best friend’s birthday weekend. I was apprehensive about going since my husband has a landmark birthday this weekend. I’d like to hook him up with a gadget that he’s wanted for a while. Plus, if you are going to do Vegas, do it right. However, being present at my bff’s birthday was more important than indulging on luxuries. Like I said, it was a group effort, but if you collaborate with your friends, you will find yourself in a comfortable situation. You don’t have to be a female or spend a fortune to use these tips and tricks. Here is how my weekend went:
I picked up my good friend Jessica and we drove to Vegas early Saturday morning. If you aren’t driving distance to and from Las Vegas, I suggest signing up for JetBlue, Virgin Airlines, and Southwest newsletters and get privy to their sales. Even if you are driving distance to Las Vegas, I suggest checking these sites anyway, since it actually could be less to fly than drive (or even cost). We each spent $45 on gas. This was our biggest cost. However, if the $39 one way sale was running during the dates I needed to go to Vegas, I would have been all over it!
When we arrived to Vegas, our accommodations were already free.The birthday girl, Christa, cashed in on the offer to stay 2 nights at the Tuscany in Las Vegas for free, BUT she had to go to a 90 minute timeshare presentation. She graciously took one for the team and attended the presentation and came back bearing gifts. A $50 gift certificate to Pampas Brazilian BBQ, a bunch of daytime show vouchers, and $100 in chips at a another casino. Click here to go to the timeshare company that granted our stay at the Tuscany Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Just remember, if you are truly not interested in getting a timeshare, say no from the get-go and don’t waste your time or the sales reps time (after your 90 minutes are up though).
Christa was having dinner with friends that evening and gave us her gift certificate. Thank you Christa! Needless to day, Jessica and I rocked the Brazilian BBQ. The food was all you caneat. The salad bar had a great selection and the cuisine was tasty! After the free $50 gift certificate was applied, the bill was only $25 for the both of us, including tax and tip. Even if you do not attend a timeshare presentation or have gift certificates, the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops have a great food selections that won’t break the bank. Most casinos should have a low to moderately priced food court. Don’t think you have to eat at a buffet or spend copious amounts of money at a restaurant to eat well. I used to do buffets religiously. It only weighed me down, which obviously doesn’t go well with clubbing.
After dinner, we had some drinks. I hat to admit this but we brought our own alcohol, juice and had a ice chest in the car. We had shots and drinks before going into the club. Let me tell you, being frugal never felt so good! Hum, let me see, a $32 for 2 drink or $32 for endless shots of my favorite vodka and juice? Yea, I’m no longer embarrassed and rather proud that I opted to do this for the first time in my life. I was sufficiently saucy and ready to go into the club for free at this point!
To get into guest lists for clubs, even if you are a MALE, all you have to do is show up to the casino (that contains the club of your choice) and you will see promoters on the street and in the casino. This works best when you are walking around during the day. You will get bombarded by promoters that want to give you guest list and wristbands. Sign up for multiple ones if you are interested in multiple clubs and see where the night takes you. DO NOT PAY for tickets or wristbands, there is NO guarantee that they are real! I have a very dialed in friend, DJ DragonXL and he hooks me up every time I visit Vegas. If you do not have connections, you can make them by using social media. For instance, say you know that you want to visit club Surrender. Go online and look up Surrender Nightclub and follow them on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Do your homework and find out who the promoter is for the club that you want to go to. Click here for a website that will give you access to promoters and guest lists in Las Vegas.
We had a fantastic, amazing, mind-blowing and fun filled night at the Marquee Club inside the Cosmopolitan. I loved the production value! My favorite part was the poppin’ fembots. Great costumes and choreography! You can see two of them at the top of the picture. Fireworks came out of her bra. I was awesome! Anyway…part of my small budget went to two drinks. That is how I was able to make the price comparison. We did get freebies though, Christa mentioned that she was in Vegas for her birthday and got her first round of drinks for free. So if it is your birthday or bach party, order your drink from a bartender of the opposite sex and see if they grace you with some free drinks. It never hurts to manifest it! But don’t expect it…. just sayin’.
After the club, we decided to gamble. I don’t suggest gambling when you are on a budget, however, when you have $3 craps and $2 blackjack, who can resist a game or two or two hours of play?! Most people assume you have to go downtown Las Vegas for cheap bets. You don’t have to go far at all. I learned to play craps at the Tuscany, which is located on Flamingo and Koval. I put in $20 and played for about 2 hours. It was such a great time and had a great opportunity to learn without losing much. I wish I would have bet on myself when I rolled TWO ACES, but I didn’t and I totally thought I did. Sad. Anyway, the good news was that I learned to play a game that I’ve always wanted to play. I was able to ride out my time by being conservative with my single roll bets.
Although I didn’t see a show this time, I have a hot tip for discounted tickets. Go to Tix4Tonight. You will find several locations along the strip. The tickets sold here are half price and first come first serve. If you are feeling daring or really feel like seeing a particular show, you can go to the show’s box office and ask for “stand by” tickets. This means that if someone cancels or if they have remaining seats, you will get them at a dramatically reduced cost. This works well for 2 people. Once you are in groups, it becomes difficult to see the show together.
I hope that I have you some great pointers! This was the first time that I went to Vegas on a budget. Not only did I have a blast, it was deeply gratifying and I didn’t feel like I was missing any elements at all. I truly enjoyed myself. Please comment if you have any additional tips or questions!