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If you're looking for fun and debauchery, there's no place like Las Vegas. World famous casinos, top notch nightclubs, and an abundance of hot women in barely-there outfits keep the fun going 24 hours a day. But all that partying and gambling can send you home broke as a joke. Here are five tips to help you live large in Vegas without dropping too much dough.
1. Get Players Cards at Casinos- especially if you plan to gamble. If you gamble at a single casino enough, you can win comps (free meals, hotel rooms, or other perks). Unless you’re gambling a lot (or really big stakes) you probably won’t earn much but it’s still worth getting the card. First of all, it’s free. Second, they sometimes offer additional benefits. For example, your Palms Players Card saves you about $7 off their champagne brunch (discounted cost is about $13 for all you can eat and all you can drink mimosas). Last but not least, it gets you on their mailing list, so you’re more likely to have coupons and be “in the know” on your next trip to Vegas.
2. Schmooze Promoters if you want to party. This tip is especially helpful if you’re an attractive female, or know several people who are. It’s a promoter’s job to make sure clubs are packed with good-looking people. Find them on Facebook or Twitter and reach out to see what hook-ups they can offer you. If you have a mixed group, they can probably save you some money on your cover charge at least. If you're in town with a bunch of your boys, have low expectations.
3. Get off The Strip. Casinos, hotels, and restaurants off the strip have to work a little harder to lure tourists in, so they offer some really good deals. They also tend to have looser slot machines. Some of them are a bit less glamorous than the Las Vegas Boulevard landmarks, but not all of them. Plus, they usually have free shuttles that will take you to the strip if you don’t want to drive or pay for cab fare.
4. Do some research. Spend some time online comparing different deals to make sure you're getting this best one, and be sure you know what you're getting into. I probably don't need to remind you that casinos exist to make money. They love to nickle and dime guests for things like using the pool or exercise facility. If those things are important to you, find a hotel that includes them in the room charge.
As part of your research, look for the hotel's resort fee. Most Vegas hotels charge an additional resort fee per night. These start around $5 and go up to $25, so it can add up pretty quickly. The resort fee doesn't usually get you much, probably internet and they may give you a free drink (remember that drinks are free on the casino floor anyways). Save money by staying somewhere without these ridiculous fees like Ceasar's (or any of their properties, like Rio or Paris), Cosmopolitan, or Planet Hollywood. You can find a full list of resort fees here.
Vegas is famous for its massive buffets that let you stuff your face with crablegs without breaking the bank. This $45 pass gets you 24 full hours of access to six buffets. If you do a late dinner the first night and an early one the second, you can squeeze a whole lot of value out of that pass! If there’s a particular buffet you just can’t miss, go at lunch instead of dinner for a lower price. And check online or look for signs before you eat somewhere- many of the buffets have specials (Champagne Brunches, Seafood dinners, etc.) on certain nights that have different prices than usual. And always look or ask to find out if beer and wine are included- you definitely don't want to miss out on that!
5. Use sites like Groupon or Living Social. Visit the Las Vegas pages of these sites and look for deals on things you might enjoy. You’ll find great deals on things you wouldn’t otherwise know about, like bar crawls.