Since the last Vegas trip, tons of my friends have been asking me how much a trip to Vegas costs.

Well, first of all, IT DEPENDS.  It can cost a lot less than what we paid and it can cost a lot, LOT more.  It all depends on the kind of trip you want to have.

Here is what my friends and I pay.  I’m purposely not adding it up because it will freak me out if I do.

Hotel and Flights

In June, we paid $609 each for air from Boston (connecting flights) and four nights at TI (Treasure Island) with two people to a room.  In January, we paid $542 each for direct flights on US Airways and four nights at TI, this time with three people to a room.

TI is a fantastic hotel.  It’s one of the cheaper ones, but it’s really, really nice, with gorgeous rooms and comfy beds.  It’s also in the perfect location, right across from the Venetian and the Palazzo.  Also within a few minutes’ walk are the Wynn and Encore, the Mirage (next door!) and Caesars Palace.

I wouldn’t stay anywhere more low-end than TI, but some cheaper places include the Monte Carlo, New York-New York and the famous IP.  If I had unlimited funds, I’d be living it up at the Wynn!

Also — tipping the desk clerk $20 has gotten us a room with a great view of the Strip both times.  They usually charge $20 or more per night for that when you book online.  Great investment.

Food

We usually ate two meals a day.  We would always hit up a buffet for brunch, which costs around $20.

At night, it’s whatever you’d like.  I spent $80 on my meal at Bouchon (I had veal with freaking sweetbreads!).  I spent $8 at In-n-Out Burger.  We also like the Grand Lux, which is similar to the Cheesecake Factory and open 24 hours.  It’s at the Venetian and the Palazzo.

Gambling

Whatever you’d like.  I barely gambled this time around.

There are $5 blackjack tables in TI at 5:00 AM and in some of the more ghetto casinos throughout the day.  And penny slots are always open!

Shows

Tix 4 Tonight is a great place for buying day-of tickets, which you can get for 50% off.  There are stands at the Fashion Show Mall, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and the Hawaiian Marketplace, all on the Strip.  Keep in mind that popular shows sell out immediately, which is how we missed Wayne Brady.

What we’ve paid for shows:

Chippendales: $25 at Tix 4 Tonight

Hypnotist: $35 at Tix 4 Tonight

Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE: $130ish, I think?  (You won’t find Cirque for less than $50, and you usually won’t find these at Tix 4 Tonight.  Cirque is a splurge, but well worth it.)

Madame Tussaud’s: $15 at Tix 4 Tonight

Clubs

This is where it gets really subjective.

If you’re a group of girls, you shouldn’t have to pay cover, ever.  Call the club for guest list in advance.  There are cards in resort gift shops that give free or reduced admission on certain nights — look for some of those.  Beyond that, I have no idea how people get by in Vegas if they don’t know people.

Drinks like vodka tonics or rum and cokes cost around $12Vodka Red Bulls are more like $14.  Martinis soar into the atmosphere.  Shots were usually bought for us by guys.  Don’t ask me about beer — I have no idea.

(Drinks at casino bars and other bars are much less expensive.)

Also, if you’re an all-girl group, Tryst is a great place to go.  Both times that we’ve been there, my friends and I have been pulled into SO many VIP booths!!  And those guys are just begging to pour you drinks.

(I’ll be blogging more on Vegas nightlife later.)

Cabs

It depends on where you stay and the time of year when you go.  Lisa and I walked all the way back from Drai’s to TI in June because it was warm out, but it was so cold at night in January that I couldn’t do the walk back from Caesars to TI!

Most trips along the Strip cost us $8-15, including tip.  Keep in mind that the Palms, Hard Rock and Rio are off the Strip and will cost more.

Extras

Again, it depends, and it’s up to you.  You’ve got plenty of options — spa treatments, fabulous shopping.  Last time, I got a massage and bought some Michael Kors sunglasses.

We always get a limo from the airport — it’s a great way to celebrate the trip!  Presidential Limo does it for about $60 and it’s worth it for the champagne and bottled water they give you alone.

Bottled water is expensive at the casinos.  Make a trip to Walgreen’s by the Hawaiian Marketplace to stock up on water and other assorted hangover food — Saltines, Goldfish, Vitamin Water, etc.

Free Things

There are actually things to do in Vegas that are free!

First of all, check out the casinos.  The interiors alone are spectacular.  Walk along the canals at the Venetian and see the lions at the MGM Grand.  Take pictures of yourselves everywhere.

See the Bellagio fountains.  I still haven’t seen these up close.  Go check out the pirate show at TI (it’s awesomely bad and unintentionally hilarious).

And don’t forget the one thing that’s always free in Vegas: sleep.

In Conclusion

Vegas is awesome, but you probably already knew that.  And it costs a lot of money.  But if I have any advice to give, it’s not to do it if you’re going to do it dirt-cheap the entire way.  Keeping to a meager budget might end up stressing you out more.

But every dollar you spend in Vegas is WELL WORTH IT.  Vegas is like nowhere else in the world.

Advertisements