A wise first step in planning to visit Las Vegas on a budget is to find hotel rooms that will enhance your trip.
In this capital of glitz and glamour, hotels are adorned with features designed to attract high rollers with luxury expectations. It's an environment that would not seem to be a good place for budget travelers to snag bargain rates.
Indeed, there are troublesome times for bargain hunters: Las Vegas' busiest times of year include New Year's Eve, March Madness (the weeks of the NCAA College Basketball Championships), and key holidays. Special events such as prize fights can change the hotel availability landscape quickly.
The crowds can be large, but so is the room inventory.
The Las Vegas Strip alone boasts 62,000 hotel rooms, and 15 of the world's largest hotels are located here. In greater Las Vegas (pop. 2.2 million), nearly 125,000 rooms are ready for your arrival.
Many of these hotels will make deals to get you in their rooms and, by extension, into their casinos. This is a place where extraordinary efforts are made to populate the gaming floors. Free parking, free meals, and other considerations that would be out of the question in any other city are not all that unusual in Las Vegas.
Start the hotel search with some personal soul-searching. For many people, this is one of those places where you'll spend very little time in your room. Don't sacrifice safety or cleanliness, but consider the importance and expense of a grand view of The Strip or a prestige address. Staying in an overpriced hotel room is not an essential Vegas experience.
Once you're willing to stay somewhere other than The Strip, you can shop for hotel rooms with the kind of detachment that allows you to quickly dismiss anything that isn't a top-notch deal.
Therefore, it's best to start with a baseline search for hotel deals. The Strip is where most people prefer to stay, but cheaper rooms can be found minutes away and in downtown Las Vegas a few miles away. See what's on sale for a given time frame. Last-minute deals are a more likely option than getting a cheap Vegas room on Priceline, especially when a big convention is in town.
For some rock-bottom savings tips, visit Sleep Cheap Las Vegas
Outside of what is called downtown (Fremont and Main streets), another corridor worth exploring for value-priced rooms is Paradise Road, which runs parallel to The Strip from E. St. Louis Ave. on the north to McCarren International Airport on the south. This is a preferred off-strip location that generally is safe and within walking distance of quite a few restaurants. The campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is nearby, and some of the businesses here actually cater to students as much as tourists.
Since students don't often have piles of money to spend, this can work to your advantage.
If your heart is set on a room along The Strip, there are some places where cheaper rooms are more likely to be found. Notice the phrase "more likely." Prices vary a great deal by time of week, month and year. And the deal you found last year at this time might not exist now.
Circus Circus offers a less-than-strategic location at the far north end of The Strip. But rooms here are often cheaper than at other major hotels in the area.
Another relatively low-priced Strip hotel is Excalibur. Located just across the street from New York New York, it offers 4,000 rooms at prices that frequently fall below what is found at its neighbors.
Need some more recommendations? Check out Cheap, Free And Affordable in Las Vegas Hotels.
Remember that Las Vegas is like no other city on earth. For its size, it probably offers the world's largest inventory of rooms in a relatively small area.
If at first you don't find a hotel bargain, refuse to be discouraged. In a city with more than 125,000 hotel rooms, chances are good some innkeeper will need to fill a few empty spots on a given night. Keep looking for something on sale.