Known for casinos, swanky hotels, big shows, and bachelor/bachelorette parties, Las Vegas is a city that is on many people’s must-see list. Whether you come for the gambling, the parties, or even the nearby natural attractions, Las Vegas is a pretty cool place to visit. But, just how much does it cost to go to Las Vegas? Read on to find out.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest spending 3 nights in Las Vegas. Enough for a fun, long weekend away but not enough time to get bored. Here’s what the budget for a trip to Las Vegas looks like.
Las Vegas Trip Cost
Local transportation $35
Food and drink $250
Random Spending $200
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $600 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
If you are flying to Las Vegas from North America, especially the west coast, you’ll find some pretty cheap flights. On average, you can expect to pay about $340 per person roundtrip from within North America. Flights from American cities will be much cheaper than from Canadian cities. I’ve seen prices from within the U.S. for under $250, often less if you’re flying with a budget airline.
For those flying from Canada, you can find some pretty great deals as Las Vegas is a common seat sale destination. It’s also worth mentioning that many airlines offer vacation packages to Las Vegas where your hotel and flight are priced together. This can often give you a big discount.
Las Vegas has no shortage of hotels but chances are, if you want the true Las Vegas experience, you want to stay on or near the Strip. This will mean higher costs, but there are still deals to be found, especially if you book early.
If you stay off strip, on the northern part of the strip, or downtown, the price of accommodations can drop quite a bit. It really just depends on what you’re looking for as some of the big hotels are quite extravagant and have different themes.
I recommend budgeting $200 per night for hotels, but that’s an average price. There are often discounts and sales so your average nightly can go down. Of course, if you’re trying to look like a superstar and want to get a room with a view or a suite, prices can go up significantly.
Looking for some recommendations? Take a look at:
Airbnb / vacation homes
From mansions to condos, there are a lot of Airbnb and vacation homes available for rent. The prices are similar to hotels, so you wouldn’t be saving a huge amount. That said, you do get access to a kitchen and if you’re travelling in a big group, renting a house could be a better value.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus (must apply by May 15, 2021).
Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $700.
If your Las Vegas plans are centred primarily on staying on or by The Strip, then you can easily get by with the local transit. Either the monorail or the bus which is known as The Deuce. The Deuce is the most budget-friendly option and 3-day tickets are $20. Unfortunately, it does not stop at the airport, however, there are airport shuttles that leave from the airport to hotels on The Strip and cost just under $10 each way.
The monorail may sound appealing, but when you look at a map, you’ll quickly realize that it’s not that convenient at all.
Alternatively, you can use taxis and ride-share type programs. However, these are much more expensive and if you plan to be out really late, may cancel on you.
Some people will walk up and down the strip, but Las Vegas is HOT! Plus, the distance between some hotels is a lot longer than it may first appear.
If you plan on doing a lot of things outside of the city, you’ll either want to rely on day trips with pick-up/drop-off services or rent a car.
Budgeting for attractions in Las Vegas can be a bit tricky. You could easily spend a couple thousand on shows, clubs, bars, gambling, and day trips. It depends on your plans for your Las Vegas weekend. I would say if, if you don’t plan on going crazy, you can get away with $500 for attractions in Las Vegas and still have a great time.
Some things to consider doing (other than gambling and partying):
- Las Vegas Helicopter Ride
- Antelope Canyon Day Tour
- Luxury car racetrack driving experience
- Grand Canyon Bus Tour
If you want to catch one of the famous shows you need to book directly with them. Keep in mind that many of these performances sell out months in advance, so you should plan ahead if you have something specific in mind.
Don’t forget, gambling is considered an attraction too. How much you spend there is up to you, but you could come out ahead or you could lose everything.
It’s also possible to see Las Vegas without spending any money on attractions. Some free things to do include: The Freemont Street Experience, Bellagio gardens, Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, Streetmosphere at the Venetian, Mirage Volcano, and various hotel themes.
Food and drink
Las Vegas has every food for every budget. You can eat really cheap, really expensive, or somewhere in-between. To give you an idea, an all-you-can-eat buffet at the nicer hotels will cost about $30-40 per person while a nice meal out will be about $50 per person. Of course, there are also all the typical American fast food spots as well where you can grab a slice of pizza or a sub for about $5.
Chances are you will do a bit of mix of this, so I’d say $250 for food and drink is a pretty generous budget for 3 days in Las Vegas. That said, Las Vegas has a lot of celebrity and international restaurants. If you like to eat, you could easily spend a lot more. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it to cheap out on food. Eating is part of the travel experience.
Random spending is usually a category I suggest adding a bit of money to in case you want souvenirs or a couple of extra drinks. However, when it comes to Las Vegas, you may want to be a little more generous with your random spending money. Especially since everyone in Las Vegas expects a tip.
There are plenty of luxury stores in Las Vegas and there’s outlet shopping available too. You may even want to catch a show at the last minute that you had not originally planned for. I’d say bring a minimum $200 extra just to be safe.
So, how much does it cost to go to Las Vegas? Based on my estimate you can expect to spend about $1,925 for 3 nights. Las Vegas is not cheap, but if you use some of the tips above you can find places to save some money. Or, if you prefer to treat yourself, you can do that too. Las Vegas is definitely a good place to splurge.