How to: Las Vegas alone on a budget.


Nothing good ever comes after a “…” in a text message.

That’s exactly what happened to me last month. My friend and I (not gonna name names for the sake of confidentiality), had a trip to Las Vegas planned for the weekend of 12/6-12/9, in the works since August. So the Monday before we left – giddy with excitement I texted my buddy “It’s the week!! You pumped?” In which the response I got was, “…”. 

I knew from that moment, I was going by myself. Long story short, a work emergency came up and my buddy was forced to opt out, no hard feelings that is what happens as they say. 

So I did what anyone would do, I texted/snapped/called/dm’d/emailed/skyped, and ultimately failed to convince someone to make an impromptu trip to Sin City. 

Luckily,  the room was comped so I didn’t have to worry about paying for it. 

So Thursday came and I hopped on a jet plane from Detroit to Las Vegas solodolo. I watched a couple of movies, (Tag – I’d recommend, and The Hangover of course, I know its cliche but I also don’t care, its a timeless classic and when on the way to Rome). 

Here are some tips/tricks on how to do Vegas on a budget

I’m not gonna front and pretend I’m some sort of travel guru, just here to share my story and some tips along the way. I’ve been to Vegas three times, pretty good for a 22 year old from Michigan. Once when I was 11 on a family trip, once when I was 21, and this story is the third time I was in Vegas.

First thing I did when I landed was walk right past the baggage claim; if you’re trying to save money, carry on is the only way to go. I walked to the shuttle that took me to the car rental plaza that is closer to the Strip than the airport is. This will shave 10 bucks off any Uber/Lyft to the Strip. It’s a free shuttle to the rental plaza, it’s a no-brainer. 

Important Note: Make sure you charge your phone. I may or may not have forgotten a phone charger for this trip. So when I got to the car rental plaza and I ordered my lyft with 1% battery, I got extremely lucky… then my phone died. So this could have gone very wrong. But again being the lucky guy I am, the lyft driver had to use the bathroom and when I finally found where I was supposed to go to meet this guy he was talking to a cop who had just written him a ticket. He got out of the ticket, I got a ride its a win, win. Also, when you get to the car rental plaza just get off the shuttle and follow the sidewalk down the hill, don’t go inside that is what I did.

Once I got checked in to my room, I went to the casino. 

If you don’t gamble too much, like myself, you might be a little wary of doing so. Understandable. With that being said, don’t be a pussy. You’re in Vegas. They give you free drinks when you’re playing so economically speaking it makes sense since you’ll spend an arm and a leg for a drink anyhow. 

Video Poker is the best way to milk those free drinks. You decide when you want to deal the next hand. So, I usually waited to play until the cocktail server came by and took my order and when they dropped the drink off. A lot of the time, the machines are built in the bar so you can literally drink for free and play like $20-$40 – if you lose it all it won’t matter because if you are smart you’ll milk that playing time for 4-5 drinks. Some of those bar machines make you play a certain amount of credits before your next comped drink, don’t play at those machines if you can help it. The MGM Grand casino had a bartender who did not give a fuck about that. I sat down for maybe a half hour drank about 5 drinks, spent 10 bucks.

The first morning, I went to walk the strip and see if I could find someplace cheap to get food. I stayed at the Park MGM next to the New York New York and T-Mobile Arena. I crossed the street and a little down the way there was a plaza on the strip and I found a beautiful sign that read “$4.99 all day breakfast”. BINGO. Eggs, toast, bacon and hashbrowns for $4.99 on the Strip is RIDICULOUS. On top of that $10.99 for 5 beers, also a steal. If you’re trying to save money while still enjoying yourself, you cannot be the foodie you want to be. You can’t go to Gordy Ramsey’s restaurant and save money. If you are on a budget, be on a budget.

Freemont Street also known as “Old Vegas” is the spot for some cheap gambling (minus the Golden Nugget they are expensive). $5 min on Black Jack or anything during the weekend is not happening on the Strip so if you wanna make your money go a little longer and have some fun, head there. 

Go to some shows. Vegas has some amazing shows. I was there during the NFR week so I went to a bull fighting show one day. Completely bad ass. These dudes are not like Spanish bull fighters, they literally just dodge the bulls running at them and try to jump over them. They get hit, its a good time.

I saw George Strait, I spent about $100 on a STANDING room only ticket. It was a 4 hour show, so $25 an hour. Not bad for Vegas. Luckily, when I got up there to the standing room only section, this security guard asked me “are you here alone?” to which I responded, “how did you know that” thinking he was talking about Vegas but he was talking about the concert. After that confusion (I was under the influence), he said someone wanted to give me a wristband, I said, “what?”. At that moment a lady came up to me and said, “do you want to go down to the lower level”. So long story short, I got very lucky and was able to sit down and watch King George from the lower level.

My time in Vegas, alone was fantastic. I met some people from South Carolina that sent me a Christmas card, 3 guys from Winnipeg, some bartenders. I ran into an old friend in town for the rodeo, met a mutual friend through S.Mojito. Highly recommend travelling alone. Highly recommend going to Vegas.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s