How to Travel From Chicago to Las Vegas by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

View of busy traffic and Chicago skyline
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There are many ways to travel from Chicago to Las Vegas. If you’ve ever wanted to take a cross-country road trip that slices through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada (covering 1,747 miles), then this might be the exact adventure you’ve been yearning for.

Flying from one city to another is the quickest route, undoubtedly, and you’ll find that airfare prices are quite affordable. Driving is a great way to see a lot of our country in one big trip, and you can stop at several points of interest along the way as you make your way through six states. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you’ll have to consider the extra cost of renting one as well as paying for gas, which can get relatively expensive. Trains and buses are also readily available; however, it will take much longer to get from point A to point B, it’s not very cost-effective, and you’ll likely be less comfortable than if you traveled via air or a personal vehicle. Another option is to take a train part way and then fly part way. This combination might be a good option for those that want to shake it up and try a different mode of transportation or spend more time in some states but not others. 

How to Get from Chicago to Las Vegas 

  Time Cost Best For
Train 77 hours, 25 minutes from $225 Mingling with companions
Flight 4 hours, 7 minutes from $45 Saving time and money
Bus 40 hours 40 minutes from $179 Avoiding driving and flying
Car 27 hours, 23 minutes 1,747.5 miles (2,813 km) Exploring on your own

By Train

Travelers can take the Amtrak, on a limited schedule, from Chicago Union Station to the Greyhound station in Las Vegas. You’ll have to be prepared for 77-hour travel time as it’s significantly more time consuming than other modes of transportation. Another option is to take the train to South Bend International Airport or Milwaukee Intermodal Station and then make arrangements to fly to Las Vegas from either location.

The biggest advantage of traveling via train is that you won’t have to worry about traffic or driving in inclement weather and if you’re traveling with a companion, you can mix and mingle instead of having to focus on the rules of the road.

By Bus

Taking the bus is an option for traveling from one city to the next but it is also one of the modes of transportation that will take the longest as there are no direct routes. Traffic and weather are also considerations to factor into the equation as well as the fact that you’ll have to transfer in St. Louis, a third of the way through the trip. The price point is less expensive than the train, however, it is more expensive than flying.

The Greyhound bus station is located at the Chicago Amtrak Bus Station at Chicago Union Station, located at 225 S. Canal Street. The Las Vegas bus station can be found at 200 S. Main Street. The biggest advantage of taking the bus is that you won’t have to drive or navigate across the country and, if you’re afraid of flying or you just try to avoid it altogether, then this might be an ideal option for your needs.

By Car

Traveling by car is perfect for folks that enjoy a road trip. You can travel at your own pace, see the sites and attractions in each state as you drive through, and experience a vacation on your own terms. As you travel west on I-88, I-80, I-76, I-70, and I-15, you’ll pass through Des Moines, Omaha, and Denver. Las Vegas is two hours behind Chicago, operating on the Pacific Standard time zone.

You can expect to pay between $170 and $260 in gas and tolls and you’ll have to consider overnight accommodations, food, and entertainment costs. Parking in Las Vegas is also quite expensive at the hotels and limited in and around the touristy areas like the strip. Traveling during the off-season or shoulder season, however, might curb some of these costs.

There are several advantages to traveling via car. You can see a lot of the country by visiting each state, making the road trip an adventure that includes much more than Las Vegas. Driving is cheaper and more comfortable than taking the bus or train, however, you’ll have to factor in hotel prices, gas, tolls, and the like when making your decision.

By Plane

Flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) or Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) leave for Las Vegas, Nevada throughout the day, every day, serviced by: Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. Allegiant Airlines also services Las Vegas, however, they only operate flights on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Southwest Airlines and Delta leave Chicago for Las Vegas hourly. Flights are just over four hours and range in price.

The biggest advantage of flying to Las Vegas from Chicago is that it’s the quickest, most affordable, and most comfortable mode of transportation between the cities. There are lots of options, frequent flight times, and, overall, it’s the easiest way to reach your destination.  

What to See in Las Vegas

Las Vegas offers around-the-clock entertainment and, in fact, it’s easy to lose track of time in this city, especially if you hit the table games or slots. From big magic shows, like Penn and Teller, to live musical acts, to Cirque du Soleil, to comedy shows, there’s no shortage of amusing things to do in Las Vegas, whether you’re traveling with friends or your significant other.

Stay in a classic hotel, like the Bellagio, The Mirage Hotel & Casino, or MGM Grand Hotel & Casino; or travel the world with accommodations at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, or the Venetian Resort Las Vegas. After a late night of gambling, partying, or seeing a show, you can sleep in, order room service, and take a midday swim in the pool to recharge your batteries.

Of course, there’s much to do off the famous strip as well. Make sure you visit old Vegas and spend time downtown on Fremont Street (you can even zip-line here). See the retired signs at the outdoor Neon Museum. Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are also nearby. 

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