It’s a new year and it’s time to start planning the next trip to Vegas! The best way to save money on a trip to Las Vegas is to plan ahead. No matter when you’re thinking of visiting Las Vegas you can save money in advance of your trip.
Booking flights early is probably the most difficult part of planning a trip well in advance. If you book too early you may find prices decreasing if tickets aren’t purchased. Similarly, if you wait too long you can end up paying much more for your airline tickets. Here are a couple of simple tips:
- Book at least 14 days before you plan to be in Las Vegas. Prices jump inside 14 days of travel.
- Early Wednesday morning is often the least expensive time and day to get airline tickets. This is when all of the unsold discount tickets are released for you to purchase. Different airlines are based in different time zones. Here’s a good reference on when these tickets are released.
- Once your airline tickets are booked it’s going to cost money to change them so make sure your plans are firm before booking. Booking cheap tickets is a waste if you have add a change fee to the price.
Unlike airline tickets you can cancel most advance hotel room reservations a few days before your planned visit (each hotel is different, check their policy). Hotel room prices are simple supply and demand. If rooms are booked for a specific night then prices are higher. If there are a lot of rooms available prices are lower. This is great for the early planner who can lock in less expensive hotel rooms way in advance. You can always cancel and rebook if you find a cheaper room elsewhere.
If you know that you’ll be visiting during a busy time it’s especially smart to book hotel rooms early. Even if you’re booking a comp room you may have to book early. Comps for the majority of players club members (i.e. not super high rollers) get used early.
Shows in Las Vegas sell out when it’s busy. Once your flights are booked and your trip is confirmed you might want to secure your tickets. Discount tickets, like those you can get from Travel Vegas, are the first to go. The next to go are full price cheap seats. If you wait too long you might get stuck paying full price for the best seats at a show.
Las Vegas almost always has something going on to attract visitors. If you want to save money you should avoid those times. Here are a few tips on which day you should visit Las Vegas to save money:
- Midweek – Sunday – Thursday are usually the least busy days in Las Vegas unless there’s a major conference (here’s a list of conferences for your reference). Hotel rooms are less expensive, discount show tickets are more available and happy hour is available for food and drink.
- Right after the Super Bowl – The Big Game is February 1 this year. There are usually a few weeks after where there’s a lull in major events. That usually keeps people away.
- Between Thanksgiving and Christmas – The week before Christmas is the slowest week of the year with hotels booking less than half of the rooms. This is a great time to jump in the class of hotel for your budget or to save a few bucks at your favorite hotel.
There are certain dates that are always busier in Las Vegas than other days. These events always bring a crowd to Las Vegas. If you’re looking to spend less money in Las Vegas then you should avoid these events.
- Super Bowl weekend – Feb. 1
- March Madness – Opening weekend is March 19-22
- Cinco De Mayo – May 1-3
- Rock In Rio May 8-9 and May 15-16
- Memorial Day – May 23-25
- EDC – June 19-21
- July 4th weekend – July 3-5
- Labor Day – Sept. 5-7
- G2E – Sept. 29-Oct. 1
You now hold the tools to book a less expensive vacation in Vegas. See you soon!
Las Vegas is undergoing a major metamorphosis right now. The theming of casinos that was so popular in the 80’s and 90’s has given way to more simple, straight forward casino design. The detail that went into the castles at Excalibur have given way to a beautiful but simple chandelier at the Cosmopolitan. The casinos we love are changing with the times. This shouldn’t be too surprising as Las Vegas casinos have always evolved over time.
Imperial Palace was an Asian themed hotel-casino right in the middle of the Vegas Strip. When the property changed names to The Quad that Asian theme slowly started to go away. Late last year the final pieces of Imperial Palace were removed as the pagodas that sat atop the building were taken down. Today the property is known as The Linq Hotel and has entirely lost the Asian theme.
The Linq Hotel now has a heartbeat of its own and doesn’t depend on a the theme from the past for an identity. For better or worse the only theme at The Linq Hotel is sleek and new. There are still a few hotels on the Vegas Strip that are holding onto their themes – for now. If you’re a theme lover you might want to hit these casinos on your next visit to Las Vegas.
Luxor – The Luxor pyramid is one of the most iconic buildings on the Vegas Strip. The casino itself has undergone some de-theming over the years but the overall feeling is the same when you look at the property from the outside. Taking a picture of the pyramid outside will preserve the memory of this iconic building should Luxor move forward with less of a theme.
Excalibur – Excalibur has a solid place on the Vegas Strip as one of the more kid-friendly hotels. The theme and the castles are becoming a symbol of 90’s Las Vegas. While Luxor has de-themed part of the hotel-casino on the inside Excalibur still holds true to its medieval roots inside and out.
Paris – Le Paris Balloon has been cleaned up and much of the hotel still keeps the Paris theme. That may not be the case much longer. New restaurants Like Gordon Ramsay Steak and Martorano’s don’t fit the Paris theme. Even Burger Brasserie has lost the “Le” that preceded the name. You may want to grab an extra Eiffel Tower slushy drink vessel on your next visit to have keep the memory alive.
Circus Circus – Like Excalibur, Circus Circus is an inexpensive hotel-casino for the whole family. The Circus theme expands the entire property. Even though there are new rides added to the Adventuredome you can see the age of this casino that opened back in the 60’s. The Steakhouse has a vintage feel and makes a great dinner. It’s a good excuse to check out Circus Circus if you haven’t been in a while.
Treasure Island – It may be too late to enjoy all that this once nautical and pirate themed hotel-casino had to offer. The Sirens of TI show has been cancelled and a new shopping element is being built on the north end of the property. You can still get take what’s left of the Pirate Cove on the outside while the inside still has a little theme left from the previous incarnation of Treasure Island.
The Big Game is just a couple of weeks away and Las Vegas is getting ready. Visiting Las Vegas for the Super Bowl used to be reserved for the biggest sports fans. That’s no longer the case as the Big Game is regularly the most watched TV show of the year. The game now reaches everyone. The Las Vegas restaurants, bars and casinos are getting ready to meet that demand. There are parties to watch the Big Game in Las Vegas just about everywhere you can squeeze a television.
Big Game parties come in all shapes and sizes. You can reserve a bar stool and drink until you can’t see the score, you can watch the game at a Gentleman’s club, you can get bottle service at a nightclub and can sip champagne all game long and you can stuff your face at a restaurant buffet. There really is something for everyone.
If you’re looking to save money you can head to a casino sportsbook a few hours before game time and grab a seat. There’s nothing cheaper than free although you may not be able to leave your seat empty as there will be people ready to pounce on the available chair.
According to Vegas Chatter the majority of Big Game party’s will run you over $100 and as much as $50,000 (yowza). Here are some of the best Big Game party deals you’ll find in Las Vegas.
Red Rock Resort – $40 at Rocks Lounge
Rocks Lounge has bottomless draft Bud and Bud Light as well as all-you-can-eat pizza, hot dogs and chips for this all-inclusive price. There will be big screen TVs to watch the game. Doors will open at 2 p.m.
Caesars Palace (Forum Shops) – From $75 at Carmine’s
Price includes admission to watch the game and a buffet which includes some of their signature dishes like Penne Alla Vodka, Scarpariello Wings and Chicken Parm. I’ve had all 3 of these and love each of them equally. You can upgrade your party with everything from open bar to private rooms for $50,000. If eating is a priority this might be the best deal you’ll find on the Vegas Strip.
Monte Carlo – $75-$125 at Double Barrel
It’s free to just sit and watch the game as long as you’re eating and/or drinking in the restaurant. $75 will get you open bar for well drinks and draft beer. Tap beers include Sam Adam’s Rebel IPA, Goose Island Honkers Ale and Firestone Double Barrel Ale. This is a pretty good deal for beer drinkers that enjoy a little flavor with their beer. Open bar begins at 3pm. Note: Price is subject to demand, so you may want to make reservations early.
Cosmopolitan – From $60 at Marquee Dayclub
This party is held inside the Q-Dome which is coincidentally outside at Marquee Dayclub. $60 entry includes open bar. You can add a buffet which will feature selections ranging from sushi rolls and shrimp cocktails to wings, pizza and lamb chops for another $60. This is an unconventional party and the kind of experience you can tell people about for years.
Las Vegas used to be known for the $1.99 All-You-Can-Eat buffet but that’s changed over the years. Las Vegas is now one of the culinary capitals of the country. Some might even say that there is better fine dining in Las Vegas than anywhere in the world.
Las Vegas doesn’t just have restaurants by celebrity chefs, Las Vegas has restaurants from award winning celebrity chefs. You know chefs who are famous because of their cooking, not just because they’re on TV. Here are 5 new restaurants that will be opening in 2015.
Bardot Brasserie at Aria
James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina will open his newest restaurant, Bardot Brasserie, in January at Aria. The restaurant will be slightly secluded from the action as it will be located on the second floor of the hotel and away from the casino. Bardot Brasserie will offer traditional French dishes that pay homage to the café culture of Paris offering both lunch and dinner like a Paris cafe.
When I first started visiting Las Vegas my trips were mostly contained to the Vegas Strip. That was the Las Vegas that my friends and I saw on TV and movies and that’s what we wanted to experience. We’d make a day trip to Old Vegas (AKA Downtown Vegas) to see what Las Vegas used to be but we always returned to the Vegas Strip. This was the Vegas vacation that we were supposed to have.
A lot has changed in Old Vegas since I first visited and especially over the past few years. Downtown Vegas still has that “Old Vegas” feel but everything from bars to restaurants to hotels and casinos is far from being old. Not only have many of the hotel-casinos been renovated over the past few years but there are more bars and restaurants than you may remember from visiting years ago. The rejuvenation of Downtown Vegas makes it a great way to flip your vacation upside down and save money on your next trip to Las Vegas.
There are many different Vegas experiences you can have. The difference from spending the majority of your time on the Vegas Strip or in Downtown Vegas is drastic. Let’s look at the prices. You will find a mid-level hotel room in Downtown Vegas for well under $100 per night during the week. That same hotel room might even be under $100 on the weekend. Good luck finding rates like that on the Vegas Strip.
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Creating better wellness is becoming increasingly more popular as a resolution. Not only is it important to have a more healthy life physically but it’s more important to have a sound mind.
MGM Grand has Stay Well rooms where you relax, refresh and rejuvenate your body and mind. Vitamin C showers, aromatherapy, special lighting and healthy menus help sooth the body inside and out. The rooms are a little more expensive than traditional hotel rooms at MGM Grand but they come with a host of exclusive features that you won’t find in any other hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
In 2015 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be offering new fitness and wellness classes for hotel guests and locals. The FITiST Collective has partnered with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to change the way guests experience fitness and wellness when they travel. This isn’t another run on the treadmill at a hotel gym, this is series of the hottest trends in fitness brings together the best of the best at one of the world’s leading luxury resorts.
Not everything in Downtown Vegas is cheaper than the Vegas Strip but a lot of things are. You can find less expensive hotel rooms, dining, drinks, casino gaming limits and more in Downtown Vegas then you will on the Strip. Using Downtown Vegas as your headquarters for a Vegas vacation is a great way to experience Vegas and save a little money.
Like every part of Las Vegas you’ll find some fun and free activities available in Downtown Vegas. Here are some of the best free things to do in Downtown Vegas that you can enjoy at all times of the year.
Visit Downtown Container Park
Downtown Container Park opened last year to a lot of fanfare. This opening is a major part of the revitalization of Downtown Vegas beyond the Fremont Street Experience. Located on 7th Street and East Fremont St., the Container Park is laid out like a small outdoor mall surrounding a park with a treehouse for children to the kids. The mall type stores are independently owned shops located inside prefabricated spaces that look like shipping containers (hence the name). There’s a variety of bars, restaurants and stores to enjoy. There’s also a park and a grassy events area for live music or just lounging in the sun.
It’s an exciting time in Las Vegas. Then again, it’s always an exciting time in Las Vegas. We could use the time to reflect on the year that was but it’s more fun to look forward to what’s ahead in Las Vegas. Things are always changing in Las Vegas and 2015 won’t be any different. There will be new leadership at some of the newer hotels, new hotel room designs, new restaurants and new places to shop in 2015.
Next year won’t be the groundbreaking of a new Las Vegas. That’s already underway. 2015 will be the continuation of the reinvention of Las Vegas you’ve seen over the past couple of years. Unlike 2014 there won’t be any new hotels-casinos opening but that doesn’t mean the existing hotels won’t offer anything new.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was sold earlier this year and there will be changes to the entire property in 2015. Those changes begin at the top as former CEO John Unwin was replaced with William McBeath. The major change you can expect to see at the Cosmo is on the casino floor where the new owners are looking to “reinvigorate” the action. The hotel is planning on adding almost 50 hotel rooms and something special on the top floor of the east tower. Perhaps they’ll be adding a restaurant or new nightclub. We can’t wait to find out.
If you’ve been following this blog you know that I am an advocate for planning a trip to Las Vegas well in advance. Planning a trip to Las Vegas early allows you to save money on just about every facet of your trip. Prices on flights often increase closer to flight date. It’s easier to get a reservation at a restaurant or tickets to a show if you plan in advance. While hotel room rates may go down after you book early you have better selection booking in advance and you can always cancel a reservation and rebook at a less expensive rate.
Having said that, we’re heading into one of the busiest weeks of the year in Las Vegas. You’re going to want to make sure you have hotels, restaurant and show tickets reserved sooner than later. The in between Christmas to New Years Day is one of the busiest in Las Vegas. Rooms go from 20%-30% booked in early December to nearly capacity for this week, restaurants are booked and shows are sold out during this week. I’m talking about regular shows and dining experiences. Just wait until we get to the special events for New Years Eve.
Las Vegas is in the desert but it tries to get in the holiday spirit despite its warm climate that accompanies the holidays in most parts of the country. The holidays in Las Vegas can be a magical mixture of “Sin City” and something close to traditional holiday fun. Here are 9 ways you can enjoy the holidays in Las Vegas.
1. Check Out Christmas Tree – There is a 65 foot “tree” outside of the Venetian and the Palazzo. A cynic might say that it looks more like a bubble wrap triangle with lights but it’s still pretty and brings the right spirit to the Vegas Strip. If you’re looking for a more traditional Christmas tree, head to the Fremont Street Experience where you’ll see one of the tallest real trees in Las Vegas.
It’s a new year and
Las Vegas is undergoing a
The Big Game is just
Las Vegas used to be
When I first started visiting