If you’re a budget traveler, accustomed to taking advantage of deals and discounts for your vacations, one of the first things you’ll notice when you research your trip to Las Vegas is that there are a lot of discounts to be had. . .if you know where to look. The second thing you’ll notice is that most of those discounts are 2-for-1s, which is kind of a bummer when there’s only one of you. Unless you’re willing to stand in line and offer the other half of your discount to a total stranger, you need to dig a little deeper to save money as a solo traveler. In this post, I will talk a bit about where to look for Las Vegas discounts and what to look for.
The first thing to know is that you might not find coupons or deep discounts for anything on the “A” list in Vegas–whether it’s hotels, restaurants, clubs, or shows. It happens, but it’s not a common occurrence. If you’re on a budget, reel in your expectations. That said, you can have as much fun in Las Vegas on a budget as someone else can who is spending a small fortune, and coupons can help you stretch your dollar further. The following are my tried and true regular stops on the web for coupons and discounts as I plan my budget Las Vegas trips.
Let’s start with this website, mentioned by reader Reese in the comments section of my post on 10 Money-Saving Meal Strategies for Vegas. Restaurant.com offers $10 gift certificates for $4, $25 gift certificates for $10, $50 gift certificates for $20, and so on. If you can find a discount code on the already deeply-discounted gift certificates (which you almost always can), you can get a $25 gift certificate for as low as $2-3. I’m definitely a fan of Restaurant.com gift certificates. What I’m not a big fan of is the minimum requirements that often accompany them that make them very difficult to use if you’re a solo diner.
For instance, many restaurants require you to purchase 2 entrees in order to use a coupon. Or they require you to purchase a minimum amount of food (anywhere between $35 and $50, not including the cost of alcohol). I’m a pretty light eater. It’s difficult for me to eat $35-50 worth of food in one sitting. I’m also somewhat limited in my restaurant choices, since I don’t usually rent a car in Las Vegas. If I’ve got to pay cab or bus fare to get to and from the restaurant, it’s not such a deal any more. So far, I have not found a restaurant in Las Vegas where I (dining alone) could actually get my money’s worth without wasting more food than I eat, but I check before every trip anyway. You never know. As Reese said, sometimes the lower amounts can be worth it.
I can’t remember who turned me onto this site, but thank you. Groupon offers one deal per day per city/region. You can sign up specifically for Las Vegas coupons, even if you don’t live there. The key with Groupon is that in order to take advantage of a “deal”, there have to be a certain number of people who want the deal. I’m not sure what the “magic number” is, or if it’s different for every deal, but say you want to buy a coupon, and they say they need 300 people to be interested before they will activate the deal. It’s in your interest to advertise that deal to everyone you know so that you and everyone else who wants it can take advantage of it. I finally did take advantage of it on Tuesday of this week, when Groupon was offering a $30 gift certificate for $15 at Isla Mexican Restaurant at Treasure Island. I’ve eaten at Isla before and know I love the food there, so this was a no-brainer for me. The best part of this coupon, as opposed to the ones I’ve purchased from Restaurant.com, is that I can apply it toward alcohol, not just food, which makes it really easy to hit the $30 minimum requirement.
This coupon book is put out by the Las Vegas Advisor; a one-year online membership costs $37. It offers over 130 coupons and even though it’s heavy on the 2-for-1s, there are a lot of good coupons here that the solo traveler can take advantage of. In the past, a lot of its coupons looked similar to the American Casino Guide’s, but they’ve really stepped up their game lately. One coupon alone will more than pay the cost of the membership–an all-purpose $50 comp at the Palms (meaning you can use it for meals, room, spa, etc.). It also has 2-for-1 nights at some nice hotels, like Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch (just be aware you would need a rental car if you were staying at either of these places, as they’re both off-Strip). What I really appreciate about the Las Vegas Advisors’ coupons is that:
- They’re organized by category, so you can quickly scan what’s important to you; and
- The website spells out the terms and conditions of each coupon–including when a 2-for-1 can be used for 50% off for one person. Nice.
I like knowing exactly what I’m getting before I buy.
Okay, so this technically isn’t a coupon, but it is a way to get show tickets a lot cheaper than the box office. There are 10 locations for this discounter on the Strip and Downtown. Here, you can buy same day show (and sometimes attraction) tickets for a discounted price. Tix 4 Tonight also runs Tix 4 Dinner, where you can buy a discount at a restaurant or buffet. (If you don’t want to “wing” it at the last minute, you can also buy discounted show tickets online before you go to Las Vegas at Goldstar Events.)
Other sites to check for coupons:
Vegas4Locals.com – Despite the name, you don’t usually have to be a resident of Nevada to use these coupons.
SmarterVegas.com – They often have some very good discounts on hotel rooms and shows.
The best way to know if these coupons are right for you is to do your research ahead of time. Know where restaurants, shows, casinos, and hotels are located in relation to where you want to stay. Know whether or not you’ll have a rental car to get to remote locations. Read reviews online to determine if the show, restaurant or hotel is something you would be interested in spending money on in the first place. By investing some time upfront in online research and obtaining discount coupons you can keep your Las Vegas vacation within a reasonable budget for you.