Why Las Vegas is a Great Vacation Destination When You’re on a Budget

*Disclaimer – This post does not take into account any money spent on gambling and researches the basics of activities, shelter, and transportation.

Jake and I travelled to Las Vegas, NV last week. One of my friends from college was getting married so we decided to make it a vacation and extend our stay out west.

We were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked Las Vegas and considered it very underrated and not sinful despite it’s nickname. The first day we were there, we hardly spent any money because we were just sightseeing and walking around. There’s a lot to see and do that didn’t involve gambling both during the day and evening. We were in awe of how beautiful the hotels were when they were lit up at night and loved just looking at all of the wonderful attractions.

Some Photos from our Trip!

What Made it so Affordable?

Another great financial incentive about Vegas is that parking is cheap. We only spent a total of $7 to park in a garage for a couple of hours. We also went to 2 other places where it was totally free to park! Coming from Philly where parking can be $20 for just two hours in a garage or lot, we were amazed that we didn’t have to pay as much.

We stayed at two very nice hotels (Tuscany Casino and Hotel & Red Rock Casino and Hotel) for a total of 4 nights while we were there for a total of 4 nights. The average cost per night for us was $87. According to Statista, the average price of a hotel room in Vegas was $116.73 in 2015. Here’s what I found when I looked at other major cities for the same year.

  • Manhattan – $329
  • Chicago – $210
  • Los Angeles – $210
  • Miami – $315

We ended up renting a car for the duration of our trip. For 6 days, we ended up paying $277 (excluding taxes and fees) to Enterprise for renting an “Intermediate” vehicle class. In other cities, this is what you would pay for the same vehicle class and time frame.

  • Manhattan – $271
  • Chicago – $330
  • Los Angeles – $233
  • Miami – $152

While Las Vegas isn’t necessarily the cheapest in terms of car rental, it definitely isn’t the most expensive either. We thought it was worth it to invest in a rental car as it allowed us to explore the area and see other sites. If you’re just going to gamble in Las Vegas, then renting a car isn’t necessary.

All in all, it was a great trip to a new city. We feel like we got much more value out of this trip than the amount it cost. If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, then we highly recommend planning a visit.

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