Thursday, April 16, 2015

Las Vegas Guide: Splurge Versus Save

splurge versus save in las vegas

Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough every summer to take a quick weekend getaway to Las Vegas. In my opinion, Las Vegas is a great destination to visit any time of the year, but especially in the summer. Today, I’ll take you on a quick little tour of some of the best things to do while visiting Vegas. Of course, Vegas can get a little pricey- there are so many terrific things to do! Fortunately, today I’m going to provide you with a few things you can do to splurge in Las Vegas, and a few alternatives to save a few bucks!

Splurge: Helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon
save in las vegas
enjoying our helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon!
On my first ever trip to Vegas, my husband and I went on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. The entire tour lasted 3-4 hours, with a solid 1.5-2 hours spent cruising above the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. Helicopter tours can get a little pricey, but if there is one thing you splurge on in Vegas this is the one I would definitely recommend! Read all about my helicopter tour here. In addition to the great views of the Grand Canyon, you will also get to see the city of Las Vegas from above, which is a pretty cool thing all on it’s own. This tour was definitely an unforgettable memory for me, and something that I have continued to recommend to every friend or family member I know that is visiting Vegas! While it is a splurge, it is so worth it!

Save: Visit Mix at Mandalay Bay
gorgeous views of the strip without the hefty price tag!
If you want to see Las Vegas from above without the hefty price tag, head towards Mandalay Bay at the end of the strip and go to Mix. Mix is located on the 64th floor at Mandalay Bay, and offers stunning views of the strip and reasonably priced cocktails and bottles of wine. 

Splurge: Night out at the club
Enjoying the rooftop club at Caesar's Palace, Pure
Las Vegas is known for it’s night life. Chances are, you’ve heard the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”...and this is largely because of the club and party scene. Head to any one of the many clubs for a great night on the town you won’t forget (or, after several cocktails, you might). Clubs in Vegas tend to be 40,000 to 80,000 square feet entities sprawled out over several levels and dance floors. Between the DJs blasting music, dance floors, go-go dancers, and various bars, a night out at the club is going to be an event you don’t want to miss in Vegas. Make table reservations or wait in line to get in, but be prepared to shell out cash for your drinks, reservations, entrance fees, and other various things. When in Vegas, you can even choose to do clubs on the cheap- skip the drinks and table reservations- or go all out and splurge, reserving tables and doing bottle service.

Save: Cocktails on the casino floor
save in vegas

If clubbing isn’t your scene, head to the casino floor. While this may seem contradictory, on the casino floors (even at the slot machines!) you will receive complimentary cocktails and beers. To save a penny, head to the penny slots with some friends, tip your waitress, and the cocktails will be flowing. From this vantage point, you will be able to enjoy some light gambling, complimentary drinks, and take in the view of all the nightlife in Las Vegas while not going all-out on spending. 

Splurge: Cirque du Soleil Show

In addition to being famous for it’s nightlight, Las Vegas is also well-known around the world for the standing Cirque du Soleil shows and other shows ranging from concerts to burlesque. Grab a couple tickets to any of these shows, and be prepared for an evening of awesome stunts and tricks! My personal favorite show has always been The Beatles LOVE, but there are so many other shows to view as well. A bit of advice for Cirque shows: get the cheap seats in the back- you will have a better view of all of the action. Sitting up close only means you are constantly craning your neck to take in everything! Seats in the back are a great way to save a bit of money while still splurging for a great night out.

Save: Casino floor dancers & Bellagio Fountains
Bellagio Fountains
If a show isn’t quite in your budget, first head to Bellagio to take in the complimentary fountain show. During the days, the fountains erupt every 30 minutes while at night the show runs every 15 minutes. Once you’ve seen enough of the fountains, head inside one of the casinos to watch the talented dancers and performers on the casino floors. Even beyond that, the people watching while on the casino floors is second to none. You will see a little bit of everything while in Vegas!

Splurge: Shopping on the Strip
The Forum Shops at Caesars
Las Vegas will offer tons of shopping opportunities, especially for luxury brands. The Forum Shops at Caesars will have all of the luxury brands you are looking for, and the top-notch customer service and experience paired with it.

Save: Shopping at Fashion Outlets Las Vegas

Wanting to shop, but still leave with some money in your wallet? Check out the Fashion Outlets Las Vegas- there are still tons of luxury brands offering their goods here, and at a fraction of the cost. With up to 75% off, it might just be worth your while to leave the strip and check out these shops!

Splurge: Personal limo from the airport

My very first trip to Las Vegas, Nick surprised me by having a personal driver and limo waiting to pick us up at the airport and drive us to the Mirage. Besides having the experience of being chauffeured around, it was an amazing added bonus to skip the 2+ hour taxi line and get right to our hotel! If you are pressed for time, or hate standing in line in the heat, definitely splurge and have a limo waiting for you!

Save: Taxi from the airport

This will save you some (not a ton!) of money. It may take some time to get a taxi, but hey, you are in Vegas and almost ready to have a good time!

Overall Las Vegas advice: Whether it is your first trip to Las Vegas, your 10th, or your 1000th, sign up for M Life. M Life is a free program to sign up for where you earn credits for gambling, hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment, and spa. Truthfully, most of the resorts are a part of M Life- members include Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and The Mirage, among others. Once you are signed up for M Life, your credits can earn you anything from discounted rooms and show tickets to complimentary rooms and event tickets, VIP passes and more. 

For those of you who have been to Las Vegas before, what are your favorite ways to treat yourself a little bit and splurge, or your favorite ways to save some cash while still having a great time?


  1. These are some really solid tips! I've been to Vegas several times for work, but never for fun and still need to see it through a real tourist's eyes. Pinning this!

    1. Hopefully you make it soon for fun- I love going! Not sure if I will end up there this year or not, but writing about it definitely makes me want to plan a trip!

  2. I'm hoping to hit up Vegas this summer and am in beginning stages of researching it so this came in handy! We're trying to get a basic itinerary and looking for things we can swap for cheaper and whats worth the big costs. I'm also totally signing up for M Life right now! Thanks for that rec!

    1. Oh, you will have so much fun! Definitely let me know if you have questions about Vegas at all- it is always a great city to enjoy!

  3. This is a great list. I have always done Vegas on the very cheap and feel that is not something I want to do again. Might have to add some of these splurges next time I go. The other thing I want to splurge on the next time I visit is food! There are so many great restaurants that I can't wait to explore!

    1. Megan, you are so right about the food- there are so many great restaurants! You'll definitely have to check one (or more!) out on your next trip.

  4. Money can go very quickly in Las Vegas, so this post is very helpful in helping visitors decide what to save and splurge on! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Lauren! Money can definitely go quickly there- and really anywhere. Vegas can be so expensive, you definitely have to pick and choose what you want to spend on!

  5. I read this article, it is really informative one. Your way of writing and making things clear is very impressive. Thanking you for such an informative article. MyVEGAS app tips


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