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Las Vegas. The very name evokes fun in the sun. It also makes people think of a cheap getaway. However, while Vegas is still a major vacation destination, prices have gone up in recent years. Fortunately, for the savvy traveler, deals can still be had. If you know where to look, you can have the trip of your dreams without the feeling that you might be busting your budget. A few tricks of the trade can really made a difference and let you save lots of money. Even the mega resorts can be yours if you know where to look and when to go looking.

Driving to Vegas

A brief glance at the map may tempt you into thinking Las Vegas is a short trip from lots of locations. This is not true. Like many western states, Nevada is a very big place. With a landmass that easily places it in the top ten, it’s a long way from most major cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego. Unless you’re on a road trip, you’re better off flying here. You’ll save money on a hotel and get there faster.

Flying There

Many airlines offer flights to Vegas. This is a good thing as it means there’s a lot of competition for your travel buck. Keep a few things in mind before you book. One of the most important is timing. While you may think leaving last minute leads to big savings, that’s not often true. Instead, you’re better off booking your flight at least a month in advance.

Fly Smaller Airports

One of the best ways to save money on a flight is to fly smaller airports if you can. For example, fares are often much higher when you fly out of Los Angeles International Airport. On the other hand, if you can fly out of nearby airports instead, you can save lots of money. Lots of smaller airports also have less congestion.

Fly on a Sunday

Many people head for Vegas on weekend. This means flights are more expensive on Friday or Saturday. Beat the rush and book your flight on a Sunday if you can. If you are determined to head out for a weekend, look for package deals that include airfare. You’ll get a lower price that way.

Booking a Hotel

Hotels are the heart of Las Vegas. This is where all the action happens. The right hotel can really make or break your vacation. If you want to save money on your hotel, the best bet is to book during the middle of the week. The difference between a hotel’s rate on a Saturday and the same room on a Tues can be as much as thirty percent.

Keep Location in Mind

Location is very important for your trip. Ideally, you want to be as close to the strip as possible. Your best hotel should allow you to walk to other hotels or take a local bus and get there quickly. A hotel in the center of town can cut down on your transportation costs and help you have more fun. Some hotels that are here and not expensive include Harrahs, Bally’s and the Flamingo.

Membership Has Advantages

Many hotels offer special discounts for their members. You can join a hotel’s special program like The Total Rewards Club at Harrahs. For a small fee, you’ll get lots of discounts on many things including the price of your hotel room. You should also think about booking a hotel directly rather than heading to a web travel sight. Many available discounts are not posted on those sites.

Beverage Service

Drinking with others is a major part of the Vegas experience. The city is home to many great bars. To avoid spending too much money on alcoholic drinks consider a few tips. First, never drink while eating. That’s where the hotels make their money. If you’re headed out for the evening, look for the bars that get a lot of visitors. They typically have drink specials. You can drink for free when you’re gambling. Just watch your alcohol intake when you’re gambling so you don’t go above your planned spending limit.

Eating Out

Las Vegas is famous for its many fantastic restaurants. You could easily spend days here just heading from one great buffet to a sit down dinner to an intimate hole in the wall. Keep in mind that prices have risen in recent years. The era of the cheap buffet is not quite over but it’s headed that way. Some of your best bets are hotel food courts. You’ll find huge diversity often at discounted prices. Another way to save money on food when here is to look for deli sandwiches. The quality is just as good as anywhere else and the prices are often much lower.

Shows

Entertainment is everywhere in Vegas. Some of the biggest names in show biz head here. Look for a company called Tix4tonight. They offer low cost tickets for some of the best shows. Many hotels have free shows. You don’t need to be a guest to head for the lounge and enjoy the dancing or singing. Many other attractions also offer cheap shows during the week when there are fewer people in town. You can score tickets to some of the best shows in the area if you go there on a weekday rather than a Friday or Saturday.