How to get cheap deals for that Las Vegas trip

Depending on which part of the U.S. you live, Las Vegas can be a very cheap vacation. As a person who would not put Las Vegas on my top 10 list, I’ve been here five times, partly because it has been an inexpensive get-a-away with careful planning.

These days, with careful planning, Las Vegas can still be an affordable, doable trip, but the planning takes a bit more work because of the number of flights being cut from airlines’ schedules. In an article in the Dallas Morning News, Tom Parsons compares travel packages from Southwest Airlines, US Airways, and American Airlines and showed the price difference between them, as well as what the trips would cost if the plane tickets and hotel had been booked separately. The price difference was substantial, although in a few cases, booking separately snagged him a better deal.

The cheapest deal was on US Airways, but Parsons said to register for e-mail programs from the hotels where you would like to stay in order to receive e-mails about an upcoming deal. (He said the timing is usually two months in advance.)

Be persistent is the motto of Parson’s missive. He was able to get a cheaper room deal at the Mirage by calling the hotel directly after he found out that the room rates had dropped from the time he originally booked a reservation. He actually did this twice. The result was a $344 savings.

Here are other tips:

  • Plan your stay for days between Sunday and Thursday
  • Avoid the second week of January when conventions are plentiful and prices go up
  • He also says to be aware of cancellation policies so you don’t get stuck having to pay a higher price if the price drops later.

My advice to cut costs is to stay at a cheaper hotel, eat at cheaper places most of the time based on which casinos are giving out meal deals, and then use the extra money to take in a show, but only consider the ones that are offering discounts. Make snagging the best deals part of the fun.

As Grant’s recent post on his first hand experience in Las Vegas indicates, the number of folks in Las Vegas has gone way down so hotels will be looking for you. Their need could be your gain financially. Keep an eye out.