Tomorrow I will be heading on a plane to Vegas. I seriously love the Vegas (I also love calling it “The Vegas”). This will be my seventh trip there and each time the experience is completely different.

I’m not exactly a high roller in Las Vegas but I like to get the best experience I can on the least amount of money. Over my multiple trips there I’ve picked up some tips to experience Las Vegas on a budget.

Cheap Tickets

Las Vegas is known for their shows and you have so many options to choose from. But in my opinion, nothing tops Cirque du Soleil shows. I usually see a different one every time I go and I’m almost never disappointed.

ka ciruqe du soleil

So far I’ve seen:

Mystere – This was the first Cirque show I ever saw and if you’ve never seen one before it’s definitely the one I recommend. This show is the most classic cirque show with tons of acrobatics.

Ka– I saw this show on my last trip to Vegas and it’s the only one that’s disappointed me. The stage is really unique but I thought it missed a lot of acrobatics and was honestly boring at times. But that is only my opinion. Tom absolutely loved it. So, it’s a matter of opinion.

Love– This show is so much fun. Between all the dancing and Beatles music, it keeps you entertained the entire time. There isn’t a lot of acrobatics but it’s a fantastic show overall.

“O” – A completely unique Cirque du Soleil show that combines acrobatics with diving and synchronized swimming. The stage is absolutely incredible. The show is mesmerizing and is something that can only be seen in Vegas.

Zumanity– The rated R Cirque du Soleil show. This show is funny and uncomfortable all at the same time. I wouldn’t recommend seeing it with family because you might be blushing a whole lot!

Except for “O” you can score cheap tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows by going to the Tix 4 Tonight booths on the strips and you guessed it, get tickets for that night’s show. When it comes to choosing a seat, all the theatres are small so I always pick the cheapest seats and have never once had a bad view.

One thing to be mindful of are dark days, where the show isn’t on. Usually, shows are dark on Sunday & Monday. But check schedules ahead of time so you can plan your tickets and avoid disappointment.

Free Entertainment

Ever wondered how they decide which TV shows get put on air and which ones don’t? You can be a part of that process by screening pilot episodes of TV shows and ranking them at the CBS Television City Research Center. It’s completely free to do and is a unique experience.

The CBC center is located in the MGM. You don’t need to sign up in advance just head there and you will be given a time for the next screening.

Make Gambling Last

While it may seem counter-intuitive to gamble on a budget, it doesn’t have to be that way. The first thing to do is set your limit of how much you are willing to lose. Set a daily gambling budget so that you don’t blow your entire budget in the first day and feel tempted to spend more on subsequent days.

Then, it’s time to choose your game. This is where the budgeting comes into play. If you have limited money to spend, putting it all down on black at the roulette table or spinning it away in 5 minutes on a slot machine is not a very good bang for your buck. Instead, choose games that require a little skill or strategy and keep you playing for a long time. My favourites are blackjack and craps. You can play these games for hours going up and down little bits of money. The other great thing is when you’re playing a game, you get free alcohol. Servers are much more likely to serve table games than slot machines. Many times you can walk away after hours of playing craps breaking even with your money but many beers down!

Budget Shopping

If you want to shop on a budget in Vegas, hop on the Deuce express bus and head to the Premium Outlet Mall. Even things that are not on sale are priced cheaper than the exact same store that you find on the strip.

Also, before you go sign up to become a VIP member. You will get a voucher which you exchange for a coupon book when you arrive at the mall. This can increase your savings so you can shop more!

vegas shopping

Live Cheap on Freemont street

Freemont street offers a whole new perspective to Las Vegas. It’s a great place to visit on a budget, for a number of reasons.

The light show that goes off ever hour is spectacular to see and completely free. There are also three stages along the street offering up free live entertainment. The atmosphere on Freemont street is completely different than the strip and so are the people. You can spend hours people watching on Freemont as you see people in the most outrageous outfits and costumes.

Old Vegas also still retains that sense of cheapness Vegas used to be associated with. You can find a deal on food and drinks almost everywhere you look so it’s easy to stay on budget.

Bellagio Conservatory & Fountains

There are a lot of great free attractions in Vegas but the Bellagio fountains and conservatory top my list. They change seasonally and so I make a point to visit them every single time I go. I can never tire of watching the incredible fountains.

bellagio fountains

Get cheap upgraded room

Like I said, I’m not a high roller but that doesn’t mean I haven’t stayed in a high roller suite. In Vegas, a $20 bill will get you a long way.

Discreetly slip the front desk a bill when giving your ID and ask for a room upgrade. You might just end up with a suite that has a bathroom the size of your house and a view of the Bellagio fountains.

Las Vegas strip view

Now I’m counting down the hours until I’m back in Las Vegas and running down the strip!

Do you have tips for budget travel in Las Vegas? What’s your favourite thing to do in Las Vegas?

This is an excerpt from the article How to Travel Las Vegas on a Budget which originally appeared on