8 Cheap Things to do in Vegas

This post is originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog by Todd Herschberg on March 29, 2017.

1. Get a Cheap Hotel Room

Sure, you can live like a king and spend your life’s savings on a deluxe high-roller suite–but you don’t have to. Depending on when you go and where you stay, you can usually get a cheap hotel room in Las Vegas. After all, it’s Sin City. How much time do you actually plan on spending in the room?

2. Have a Low-priced Drink (or 12)

If you hang out at the slots and/or gaming tables long enough (and gamble), eventually they’ll bring you free drinks. You’ll still want to tip at least a buck or two per drink, though (Pro advice: If you tip more, you’ll find that your drinks come a bit more often). Not a gambler? Check out some of the Downtown bars near the Golden Gate Hotel–you’ll find they’re a bit cheaper.

3. Check Out Some Free Circus Acts

Gotten your drink on and feel like being a kid again? Head on over to Circus Circus for their free show every half hour from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.  The show only runs about 10 minutes, but hey, it’s free!

4. Shape the Future of Television

Seriously, though: wander over to the MGM Grand and check out the CBS Television Research Center. You’ll get the opportunity to be part of a focus group for new TV shows. What’s really cool? Being part of the focus group and then seeing the same episode on TV a few months later–but with changes based on the feedback that you provided.

5. Fill Up at a Budget Buffet

Gone are the days when you could gorge yourself on all-you-can-eat shrimp for under a buck; however, there are still a few buffets around for less than $10. Check out the Feast Buffet over at Palace Station–it’s only $8.99 for an all-you-can-eat meal of a fairly decent quality.

6. Get a Massage for $20

Las Vegas is more than just the Strip. Head over to Chinatown (on and around Spring Mountain Road) and you’ll find a huge number of foot massage places where you can get a reflexology massage for about $20 an hour. After spending a day walking all over Vegas, you’ll be glad you did!

7. Check Out the Free, Secret Light Show

OK, so it won’t be a secret much longer. Inside City Center, there is a shopping center. Inside that shopping center, there is a Louis Vuitton store. Inside the Louis Vuitton store, there is a fourth floor. On the fourth floor, there is a back room. In the back room, there is a permanent art installation by James Turrell called “Akhob”–an amazing light show. Absolutely free-of-charge, it’s effectively a private show: they only allow four people at a time. The tricky part? They require reservations about a month in advance and are only open 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Call Louis Vuitton for a reservation.

8. People-watch

One great spot to people-watch is the EastSide Lounge at the Encore at Wynn. If you stick around late enough, you’ll get to see all of the young, amazingly-drunk folks spilling out of the nightclub at closing–always good for an entertaining hour or so. Otherwise, plunk yourself down just about anywhere in Vegas on any given night, sit back, and watch the show.

Budget Hacks: Traveling in the Deep South for Cheap

Since my travel bug is well, bugging me, I need a vacation. I have had the privilege of traveling the world, expensed to others, but since I am on my own, I need to figure out how to feed this need on a budget. Since I live in Texas, I think a road trip in the Deep South is the answer.

Birmingham, Alabama

Strolling through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama gives me the feeling of walking through history. The city has joined modern conveniences — Thank God for Starbucks — while embracing the history of the region. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute chronicles the civil rights movement in Alabama. An all-day pass cost $12 and offers a poignant and emotional journal of a time in our history that shaped this nation.

Columbia, South Carolina

I am not an animal person, but love flowers. Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden is the number one must see in Columbia, South Carolina. The museum offers activities for adventurous types, as well. Get up close and personal with a giraffe or pet a kangaroo. There is a rock-climbing wall and a Sky High Safari rope course. Tickets for a day pass to the zoo are $13.95, but some of the other activities are extra.fixedw_large_4x

Photo by Noble Nolen via Trover.com

Marietta, Georgia

The southern charm of Marietta, Georgia oozes out of its pores. It’s the home of the museum that celebrates the movie that personified the south, “Gone With the Wind.” The Gone with the Wind Museum features exhibits and collectibles from the movie set: Scarlett’s clothing, personal journals from the author, Margaret Mitchell, and props from the movie set. Admission to the museum is reasonable, but be careful you don’t blow your budget in the gift shop.

Bossier City, Louisiana

When you think of budget traveling, casinos might not come to mind, but the casinos in Bossier City, Louisiana will fit anyone’s budget. Casinos aren’t just for gambling. Bossier City is like a smaller, cheaper version of Las Vegas, with fewer showgirls. Margaritaville Resort Casino, owned by island crooner, Jimmy Buffett, is a tropical oasis in northern Louisiana. Stick with the breakfast and lunch buffet at the World Tour Buffet for the best prices. If you can’t resist the allure of the casino, play the penny slots. There is less pay out, but the same thrill and a penny goes a long way.

Robinsonville, Mississippi

Robinsonville, Mississippi is a small hamlet in northern Mississippi with nine casinos, but schedule your visit in October to attend the Mid-South Fair. This fair started in 1856. It includes activities and events for all ages: musical performances, livestock shows, talent shows, and rodeo. The fair also features some unique food choices. I love the idea of being at such a historically significance event. The entire region of Southern Tennessee and Northern Mississippi come out to the fair. Admission to the fair costs $25, but you are able to take in the sights and sounds of a tradition that has been around for over one hundred years.

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