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Where I Went: Travel Tips for Las Vegas

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I love to go to Las Vegas. Even if you don’t want to gamble, there are plenty of things to keep you busy for weeks. So I figured I would share some info on how to roll like you’re rich in Vegas … or at least have a really great time.


Hotels: I almost always use Priceline for my hotels, and name my own price. You can specify where you want the hotel located and what star level. Request and receive a five-star hotel for $100/night. Last time I did this, we stayed at the new Trump International and had a suite with a full kitchen! The bathroom in this thing was the size of a normal hotel room. Pros/Cons: No smoking, and no casino in this hotel. For a cheaper hotel, use Priceline also. Name your budget and come out with a bit nicer place.


Other hotels I recommend: Paris, The Luxor, The Bellagio, The Wynn, The Palms, and The Hard Rock Hotel.


Gambling: The best places to gamble are definitely downtown. The slots are looser, and the table minimums are much cheaper. One shining star I have found on the Strip, is the Sahara. This is one of the oldest hotels on the Strip, so they compensate by having $3 blackjack. You can sit down with $100 at a blackjack table, and unless you hit a horrible streak, you can play on this for hours at $3/hand. If you have to play slots (I do too), then make sure you play the Max Bet. Yes, your money goes faster, but I can’t tell you how many time a $300 win would have been a $3000 win, had I not been a cheapskate.


Food: Vegas is one of those places you can eat really cheaply, or really high-class. For a cheap, but awesome meal, go to Lucky 7’s in the Hard Rock Hotel and ask for the steak special. It’s a steak, salad, and potato combo for $7, but is not on the menu. For another cheap steak dinner, go to Ellis Island for their famous $6.99 deal that includes one of their micro-brews. Up partying till 6 a.m.? Eat a meal in the middle of the night. After 11 p.m., you can find $2–4 Breakfast deals at almost every casino. For a more memorable dining experience, try Nobu at the Hard Rock. It will run you about $100–150 per person because everything is a la carte. But it’s amazing Asian cuisine, and you cannot miss the Kobe beef tenderloin!! Another more pricey meal not to miss, is the Gourmet Buffet at the Bellagio. It will run you about $35, but rest assured that this is the best buffet on the Strip.


Entertainment: If you have money to spend, I highly recommend any of the Cirque Du Soleil shows. I have seen KA and O, and both worth the $100 p/p. Still want to see a show, but not rolling in the dough? Go see the Follies Bergere at the Tropicana. It’s the longest-running showgirl act in Vegas, and you can usually find a deal to pick up tickets for about $30 p/p. You can also try the last-minute-tickets booth on the Strip for day of the show specials. Still don’t have enough money for a show? Head over to the Rio All-Suites Food Court, where they do a Mardi Gras performance right there for free. See the acrobat performance at the Tropicana, watch the fountain show at the Bellagio, see the Pirates show at TI, the Lions Exhibit at the MGM, the Tigers at the Mirage, the light show at the Freemont Street Experience. Simply walking through each hotel gives you something interesting to do, and you will not have time to see it all. There are roller coasters and rides at New York New York, Circus Circus, and the Stratosphere. Whatever your budget is, there is plenty to keep you busy.


Nightlife: This is where it will be a bargain for you to go VIP. Make arrangements before you travel with a VIP host, either one you find online or through the hotel. NEVER PAY A FEE FOR THE SERVICE! Tipping once you get there is up to you. Decide beforehand where you want to go, and reserve a table. You will be required to purchase a bottle of liquor. Prices run about $300 per bottle. But if you have four friends per bottle, then it brings down your cut to about $120, including the gratuity. You are going to pay $10–14 per drink in Vegas and there is nowhere to sit for free. You might as well have your own cushy couch, table, all your mixers are included and you make your own drinks right there at your table. Plus, you have security to watch your purse while you dance and your booze. Definitely worth every penny. And who doesn’t want to party like a rock star when they’re in Vegas???

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