first trip to Vegas any budget ideas

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by twoeeyy, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. twoeeyy

    twoeeyy DIS Veteran

    Mar 17, 2004
    going to Vegas for 5 nights in Nov.

    cast will me myself turning 40 while there and my BF 38. This is out FIRST vacation together.

    Staying at Treasure Island.

    We know that we will rent a car for a day to go to Hoover Dam and we will also do some ATV tour that goes to the CA border.

    We are not planning on doing that much gambling, maybe a few slots here and there.

    Other than that I am looking for suggestions of things that might be fun.

    We are not big eaters at all, Food actually is NOT a priority to us at all , we eat to stay alive and thats about it :rotfl2: We definately will not do any buffets, the BF is 5 years out from Gastric by-pass surgery so he eats very little and when I say little I mean like a bird.
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  3. Costumesaremylife

    Costumesaremylife <font color=purple>If someone's baking. I'm eating

    Mar 30, 2004
    Take the bus it is so much easier than the monorail and much more convenient

    The bus is five dollars for a twenty four hour pass I believe and it is worth every penny

    I Know you said you didn"t care too much about food but if you are going to go to one of the buffets the one at the Wynn is wonderful

    Go to the M&M store and watch the cute free movie
  4. 4Seasons

    4Seasons DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    I love the *vibe* of Treasure Island! Try to see Mystere while you are there, love that show!! :lovestruc

    I would rent a car the entire length of your stay if it were me.
    If you head west on Sahara there are lots of chain and fast food restaurants. Also you can head out to Red Rock Canyon, it's absolutely beautiful there.

    If you do any Vegas buffets, try to go towards the end of lunch, it will be cheaper than dinner prices. The food court in the Venetian has all the normal food court-type restaurants (Panda Express, Subway, a mexican one I can't remember the name of, and a few others) that aren't too expensive.

    The buffet at TI is ok but not fabulous. I like Spice Market buffet in Planet Hollywood and Bayside buffet in Mandalay Bay. The Bayside we ate at twice on our last trip, dinner prices are not worth it because it's the exact same food only with crab legs added.

  5. ambgoph

    ambgoph Mouseketeer

    Jun 6, 2008
    A great website to check out is

    At each casino sign up for a free player's club card. Some will give you a "fun book" that have all kinds of discounts. Some will also give you free play.

    Have a great time!
  6. thunderbird1

    thunderbird1 DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2005
    Check out the "California and the West" board here. There are a lot of threads about Vegas and a lot of people who either live in that area or travel there frequently who can give lots of good advice.

    We've been to Vegas probably 10 times over the last 15 years, and we're always finding new things to do. For your first trip, I wouldn't bother renting a car. Driving around the strip can be confusing at best, and nerve-wracking most of the time. It will be cheaper and more relaxing if you just take cabs anywhere you want to go. The bus is fun, too, as is the monorail (though it's a pain to get to and from). Really, it depends on how much walking you want to do.

    If you're willing to walk (or cab or bus or monorail), you could easily fill several days just taking in the various "free" shows along the strip. Wynn has the Lake of Dreams with shows running every half hour or so each evening. TI has the Sirens/Pirates show every 90 minutes or so several nights a week. Mirage has the erupting volcano. Bellagio has the fountains choreographed to music. I could easily spend an evening or two walking leisurely down the street watching the various shows (though I'd recommend finding out the times before you head out, as some are more frequent than others).

    Inside each hotel are amazing sights as well. The Secret Garden at the Mirage is a small zoo with dolphins and some of Siegfried and Roy's other animals. The Venetian has the river with gondolas. Bellagio has its conservatory, and they change the theme every month or so. There is a lion habitat inside the MGM Grand.

    If you're looking for rides or ride-type attractions, there are roller coasters at the Stratosphere, the Sahara and New York, New York. Most hotels have arcades, but Excalibur and Luxor's have a little more to offer, like IMAX movies and several 4-D movies and rides, including the Spongebob ride.

    If shopping (or window shopping) is your thing, there are fancy shopping areas in between Mandalay Bay and Luxor, at Caesar's Palace, and at Wynn/Encore to name a few. And TI is right next to the Fashion Show Mall, which is more of your average mall with some upscale extras.

    As for food, there are plenty of places to find a bite to eat that aren't buffets. There's a Margaritaville, a California Pizza Kitchen at the Mirage, a Rainforest Cafe at the MGM, and several nice, less expensive places at the Fashion Show Mall. Also, many of the lounges serve appetizers, so you could easily just snack around the hotels througout the day. Heck, even the coffee shops at the nicer hotels are pretty fancy!

    If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to help--good luck and have fun!
  7. Pakey

    Pakey <img src=

    Aug 29, 2007
    I'm not a gambler so here's a few things I've enjoyed doing there (I go approx once every 3 months).

    I enjoy grabbing a gelato at the Venetian at St Marks Square and watching the living statue(s). Great free entertainment, even if you don't want to eat a gelato!

    It takes over an hour to watch the entire circuit of the Bellagio fountains at night.

    MGM has a lion habitat and Mirage has the white tigers. Mandalay Bay has the shark reef but I thought it was outrageous for the price it cost to go through it (the cats are free).

    Go downtown and check out the Fremont Street Experience.

    There is a rollercoaster at NY NY and of course, the scary rides on the top of the Stratosphere. :scared1:

    The Cirque shows can be expensive but I've enjoyed every one of them I've seen. Actually, I've enjoyed the non-cirque shows I've seen too, even Bette Midler who I do not particularly like.
  8. loonytoony

    loonytoony Gotta Luv Vacations

    Jul 15, 2003
    Check out travel2vegas dot com.....awesome site with BB Board
  9. serene56

    serene56 DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2004
    Love Vegas- First time we took a bus tour to the Hoover Dam- We were on vacation and wanted to leave the driving to someone else.

    Second time we used and took aplane ride to the Grand Canyon. Best money I ever spent on a tour on vacation.

    Many things to do in Vegas for cheap or almost free- look for coupons for buy 1 get 1- Madam Trussades wax museum-
    The sirens of TI is a free show.
    the light show downtown.
    the volcano
    MGM tiger habitat.--see the streets in the casino at NYNY.
    You might not be gamblers but the hotels/casino are sites themselves.
    check out the venitian--walk the halls and watch the sky change. Ceaser palace has shows too that are free.
    Stratosphere to the top-- again find buy 1 get 1 ticket to see ALL of vegas.
    use lasvegasadvisor dot com for a lot of information.

    check ebay for show tickets. We saw Mystere for 50 bucks for both of us one night.--awesome show.
  10. SuperRhino

    SuperRhino Earning My Ears

    Apr 25, 2009
    Shark reef at Mandalay bay is really nice.

    Last time I was there Luxor had an Eqyptian gallery collection on display.

    Hilton a block off the strip has the star trek experience with a museum of stuff from all the different shows, a ride or maybe it's two now, and a great bar where you can sample weird drinks from the shows.

    Stratosphere has a the rides on the top of the building and a great viewing floor to see the whole strip.

    Don't forget the pirate show at Treasure island.

    The Wynn has a beautiful art collection.

    Go to the top of the small effil tower at Paris

    Hope you have fun! We go alot my mil lives there!
  11. bennyrn12

    bennyrn12 Earning My Ears

    May 17, 2009
    LOVE vegas!!! I have been twice in the past year and i cant wait to go back. The best way i saved money was to keep checking the hotel prices after you book. As you go closer (usually up until about a week before you go) the prices will get cheaper and cheaper. I saved 100 dollars just by calling and getting a cheaper rate. Sign up for all the players club cards. They are hurting so bad in the casinos they are handing out free slot play like no ones business!
    Most people have hit one the free stuff to do.. the one thing i did that was totall free and made me feel like a million bucks was go to tiffany co at the bellagio and try on a 250k diamond ring!! Cheesy i know but it made me feel like a princess and it was free! There is also an amazing chocolate fountain in the bellagio and the gardens are beautiful.
    Make sure if you go to the top of the strat you go at night... the view is breathtaking.
    Most of all Its Vegas baby have fun!!!!
  12. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

    Jun 8, 2005
    People watching and meeting is the best part of Vegas - no where else will you hear more 'Where are you from?'s I LOVE meeting new people.

    I could watch the Bellagio fountain show all night long with no problem - it is my favorite free thing.

    For non-buffet, reasonable food on the strip (reasonable on the strip is a bit expensive though) - we like Margaritaville in Flamingo - you can just grab an available table in the bar area without having to wait an hour by giving your name to the hostess for one of the restaurant tables. The turkey burgers are amazing and only a few bucks more than I would expect to pay in any other restaurant back home. You and BF could split a meal here - they are large (I usually bring 1/2 mine back to the room frig, but then, I'm drinking alcohol while I'm eating so that's filling too) - or an appetizer and a meal. The other non-buffet good option would be the food court in Caesar's - lots of options - salads, pizza, baked potatoes, fish n chips, and plenty more that I can't think of. Again, a bit more expensive than same thing back home - but you can get a good sized meal for $10 each which is a very good deal on the strip.

    The best money-saving tip I can offer would be to bring a cooler with you (soft-sided would work, but we find hard-cased keeps ice longer) - IF you don't have a frig in your room. Walk down the street to Walgreens and grab some bagels, cream cheese, cheese & crackers, etc - and eat some 'meals' or just snacks in your room. Also - if you like a drink or two - there is a liquor store just behind Bill's Gamblin Hall (next to Flamingo) - and you can get some beer/wine or liquor to have some drinks in your room instead of paying $8 each at the casinos.

    M&M factory is a lot of fun. There are two 1/2 price, same day ticket places right down near the M&M factory. They usually don't have the 'big name' shows - but you can get great prices on some lesser-name (but known) comedians or some impersonator acts that are so much fun!!! They usually open for the current night's show at 2:00pm.

    Have a great time!
  13. Jenny-momof3

    Jenny-momof3 DIS Veteran

    Nov 15, 2006
    We go to Vegas frequently. Just went 2 months ago and going again in 2 more months. :banana:

    We ALWAYS rent a car! And never pay more than 50-$60 for a 4 day stay. Just the taxi ride to and from the airport can run you that. :headache: We come from a small town and have no trouble navigating around Vegas.

    We've seen every Cirque show there is out there. My favorite is Mystere.. which is shown where you're staying. If you go to the 1/2 price ticket place try and get there around 10am. They open at 10:30am. They often have reduced tickets for Mystere, Love, La Reve. The place is called tickets4tonite. They aren't always half priced but they are reduced.

    Food... if you're not big eaters dn't bother with the buffets. Venetian, Ceasar's Palace and New York New York all have nice food courts wih plenty of cheaper options. A fun restaurant to go to is ****'s Last Resort!

    Make sure to take time to enjoy Freemont street one night. Lots of fun people watching there!!
  14. MoniqueU

    MoniqueU <font color=peach>Anything with Malibu in it is gr

    Aug 12, 2005
    I also agree that thr driving in Vegas is easy. We go often, I went 9 times in one year one time. Got a bit burnt out. Anyway driving is fine, if anything they drive real slow there compared to where I am from. Nov is low season and I expect it to be even lower this year, so traffic on the strip would most likely not be an issue. You didn't say if you are drinkers? I am not at home much but all bets are off when I am in Vegas. I love the piano bar at times square at NYNY. Very very fun, carnival court next to harrahs is also fun and I lofe having a drink at wynn at parasol up parasol down bar, I do the patio so I can see the lake or the upper bar late at night. I also buy the drinks by the yard!!! As far as some easy not huge portion or overprice meals the Victorian room at Buffalo bills next fo flaming has a wide variety of choices and is great for the price.
  15. 4Seasons

    4Seasons DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    A little tip we discovered this past December about driving in Vegas.
    If the traffic on the strip is bad (as it usually is later in the day and into the evening) we used Paradise Road, which runs parallel to the strip on the east side.
    You can get to the strip from Sahara Ave. (north end of strip), Desert Inn Rd., Flamingo Ave. and Tropicana Ave. (south end). I believe there are 1 or 2 more but these are the major ones.
    All the casinos have free parking.
    We stayed at the HGVC at Las Vegas Hilton and discovered this, and it cut down alot of time sitting in traffic for us.
    Also check out what might be going on at the convention center during your trip. We just lucked out and the Auto Show was at the convention center during our stay. We decided to go on a whim, and as we were walking in the door some guy was walking out and asked if we had tickets (they were $8 a piece and since it was a last minute decision we didn't look for coupons). We said no and he gave us 4 free tickets!
  16. MoniqueU

    MoniqueU <font color=peach>Anything with Malibu in it is gr

    Aug 12, 2005
    I guess everyones idea of traffic is different. We have been at all different times of the day and night and every month of the year over holiday weekends, convention weekends etc. We take paradise not to avoid the traffic but because that is the best entrance for alot of the valets. I also reccomend going to the top the Palms and going out on the glass floor, the lounge up there is quite a party but if you go earlier in the evening you can get in with no dress code and no cover. Also we had a friend that was a memper of the foundation club at Mandalay Bay, very very nice, they have one night a week where it is open to the public for a cover charge. I can't remember what night of the week it is but it has the most awesome view of the strip.
  17. twoeeyy

    twoeeyy DIS Veteran

    Mar 17, 2004
    thanks for the tips so far.

    Yes we do drink and we also have no problem walking. I'm used to walking 10+ miles a day at WDW so walking will not be a problem for us.

    There are a few clubs that I know he wants to check out while we are there, one of them I'm not so sure about :rolleyes1 ( I think its green door or something like that ) I'm not sure about that , I told him I'd think about it.

    I want to do the dinner in the sky but at 200.00 a person thats a bit pricey wouldnt you say.
  18. lgruender

    lgruender Mouseketeer

    Apr 17, 2006
    We drove through Red Rock Canyon. Also, most of the hotels have a special attraction to see and majority of them are free. Something that is a MUST, you need to go to Fremont Street at night, just to walk around and see the light show and the street performers.
  19. MyMuse

    MyMuse From there!

    Jan 12, 2009
    Great info!

    I'm going to Vegas next month as well for 2 nights, tacked off from a trip to San Fran. I'm staying at the Gold Coast since I want to se a show at The Palms, then next night heading to Mirage to see LOVE. So far, no luck in finding discounted tickets, but I'm still looking!

    I'm going to visit those other threads. THank you!!!! :goodvibes
  20. PirateDad

    PirateDad Look Out Below!

    Feb 17, 2007
  21. andrews_dad

    andrews_dad DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2009
    Excalibur is $22 per night right now, about $50 on weekends for a first-time visitors promo.

    Excalibur also has an all-day buffet for $25. Pay the $25 at breakfast and get your lunch and dinner on the same day.

    Ticket booth for 1/2 price day-of shows. Under the giant coke bottle near MGM, at the Hawaiian Marketplace mid0strip, and one at the mall near TI.

    Love (a mix of Cirque du Soliel with Beatles music) is buy one, get one at $25 right now. Cirque discounts are rare and not often at the 1/2 price booths.

    Take the Duece bus to hit downtown Vegas one night. Lightshow is worth the trip. Never take a cab or the monorail if you are on a budget.

    Sign up for the free players club card at Harrah's/Paris ONLY after getting a free buffet coupon from the lady with peacock feathers on her hair showgirl costume). You can't get the free buffett coupon at the counter w/o the voucher from the peacock feather lady.

    Free slot tournament at Planet Hollywood daily with their free players card. We've won Stmp! tickets there via that. Pretty easy to win a little something.

    Free slot pull at Sahara daily with free club card. I won Amazing Jonathan tickets via that, but he's now moved to another casino. He was not any good, anyway.

    Free drinks abound. Sit at any slot machine and wave at the cocktail waitress. They don't care if you are not actively gambling at the time. Many folks just plop down at a penny slot and drink away! A small tip is customary, of course.

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