Travelling on a budget: Sin City Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to explore the alive city of Las Vegas. It is just as you would imagine— exceptionally vibrant, bright (literally! Please do not leave this please without seeing the lightshows on the Freemont street) and you will find yourself carelessly watching a dancer who is probably more careless than you are. Mind you, you need to visit this place with an open mind. What you will see may shock you. In contrast, I was more calm than I have ever been in this city and that’s been given to me by the attitudes of the people. Sin city, free city, crazy town… Whatever you want to call it.

Here are some tips to survive if you are on a budget and planning to travel (applicable to most of the urban attractions):

  1. Flight Tickets

This will specifically focus on the Vancouver people. Remember that you live so close to the US border! US flight tickets are almost always cheaper. If you evaluate how much you’d spend on gas and come up with a good price, you are on the right track to save yourself some $$

Your second option is to watch out for the nearest cities that has an airport. Smaller airports (sometimes) have better deals!

Another tip that I have heard works – book your flight 6-8 weeks before your flight and book it to take off on a Tuesday. The weekend flights usually tend to have a higher price change (up to 400$ more!) You might also want to consider flying late at night or very early in the morning if that brings any price benefits for you.

  1. Where to stay

I highly recommend renting a house via Airbnb however, this can get as costy as staying at a hotel unless you remember a few things. Look for an Airbnb not in downtown but perhaps a 15-30 mins walking distance away from downtown. This will instantly lower the price and it may give you a chance to breathe if you are visiting a very vibrant and loud city—like Vegas!

Bonus: Most Airbnb’s give you the option of cooking (kitchenware provided).

Another option is to consider staying at a hostel. It works if you are travelling for a short time and just need a last minute place to crash or you are planning to stay more than two weeks and tight on your budget. Do keep in mind though that the hostels have shared bedrooms and – roommates! In my experiences, I have always had enjoyable stays at hostels and it might give you a chance to meet some new people as well!

  1. Uber

Do not use taxis!—unless you know where you are going. Uber was the best thing that has ever happened to me (which I found out about a few weeks ago). Local drivers from the city take you to your destination for a relatively cheaper price. (Bonus: They arrive in 2 mins max!) Also, if you are willing to share the car with a few people, you can lower your cost down to 3-6$ depending on your destination. It is great!!! So use it!

My Uber code for a discounted drive: hazals31ue

OR click: https://www.uber.com/invite/hazals31ue

  1. Rent a car

Tourist attractions are almost always close together if you are visiting a popular area and as I mentioned, you can get away with using uber or public transit (if applicable) to these areas or walk your way if you fancy. However, if you are staying longer than a week, your best bet is to rent a car. If you rent your car online ahead of time, they might cost you as cheap as 3$ a day (which makes 21$ a week).

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  1. Alcohol

Go to a liquor store and buy your own booze! If you like to drink day time, you will thank me for it. Otherwise, you will still need to do this for pre-drinks. Because guess what? No one wants to pay 10$ for beer… mind you, domestic beer. The price drastically goes up for spirits and cocktails.

Note: Watchout for the drinking laws! Check with the locals about drinking on the streets. In Vegas, it is very common for people to drink as they are walking along the Strip. However, you can get legally charged for doing that with a glass bottle! You want to drink? Take a plastic bottle or a cup.

  1. Tours/Events

Do not sign up for any tours right away before throughly searching for a variety of options. I hesitated using groupon for a long time but the discounts you might be able to catch there is worth checking the website out. I assure you—buy your concert/show tickets on groupon. I never ever had a bad seat after purchasing from them (hopefully, you won’t either!)

Secondly, touristy-tours are overpriced and do not reflect the worth of the tour you will receive whatsoever… If you know local people, ask them! Your airbnb hosts or hotel front desk can give great advice, talk to them!

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