How to Be a Baller in Vegas (on a Budget)
Go big or go home -- it's part of the Las Vegas mystique. But how can you go all-in on a trip here without cashing in all your chips?
There's one trick that lets anyone be a baller in Vegas: Go midweek. Actually, the magic window extends from Sunday to Thursday, casting your Wednesday in a whole new light.
Think about it: Your regular Hump Day probably starts with a series of snooze button assaults, followed by a rush to work. Then come the PowerPoints and pivot tables, the check-ins and conference calls, lunch at your desk and Chinese takeout dinner.
By contrast, next Wednesday could look like this:
- Wake up in a 5-star Vegas hotel room that you got for less than $200 per night.
- Eat the sage chicken and waffles at The LINQ's Hash House a Go Go
- Walk off breakfast on the 30 miles of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area trails
- Thank your muscles with a massage at The Spa at Encore, a Forbes 5-star spa (pictured below)
- Peruse the luxury stores, gallery row and gardens at The Shops at Crystals
- Have a late lunch at The Cromwell Hotel's Giada with a view of The Fountains at Bellagio
- Cab over to the Fremont Street Experience for some downtown entertainment (pictured below)
- Hit the Dorsey at the Venetian for cocktail hour (the signature Penicillin will indeed cure what ails you)
- Catch one of the seven Cirque du Soleil performances you can see only in Vegas
- Have dinner at Nobu in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (pictured below)
- Dance the night away at ARIA Resort & Casino's JEWEL Nightclub
- Score late night eats at The Henry in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
So, what's the secret to this Wonder Wednesday in Vegas? Actually, there are several.
Hotel rooms cost less
Rarely are all 150,000-plus hotel rooms in Las Vegas full midweek, so you'll generally pay two to three times less on a Wednesday than you would for the same room on a weekend. And hey, with that savings, you could extend the trip. Plus, upgrades are more common midweek -- especially if you join the loyalty program before booking MGM, Caesars, Boyd, Wynn or other hotel groups.
Flights are cheaper, too
Flight prices into Las Vegas from across the country peak on Fridays. And the flights out of Vegas are most expensive on Sundays. But if you fly into town on Tuesday or Wednesday, and leave just when the weekend warriors are arriving, you'll almost certainly pay less than they did for airfare.
It's easier to get good seats for the best shows
In addition to some discounts, the biggest perk of taking in a show midweek is the ability to score better seats. (You're competing with fewer high rollers to see the likes of "BAZ, a Musical Mashup" at The Palazzo; "Le Rêve, The Dream" at Wynn Las Vegas; "Circus 1903" at Paris Las Vegas; and the Backstreet Boys at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino's AXIS.
You don't have to give up your firstborn for a dining reservation
Just about every celebrity chef worth his or her toque has an outpost or two in Las Vegas. We're talking Michael Mina, Lorena Garcia, Joël Robuchon, Giada de Laurentiis, Saipin Chutima, José Andrés — the list goes on. For the best shot at sampling their masterwork, nothing beats midweek, when you'll be fighting far fewer foodies for a rezzy than on weekends, and even the most renowned restaurants may have walk-ins available.
It's easier to get out and about
Las Vegas is more than the Strip, and midweek savings extend to popular day trip spots, too. Take a morning trip to the Hoover Dam, for example, and you'll wind up with far fewer tourists in your photos.
The big-ticket activities are less booked up as well. So for the ultimate baller move, book a Grand Canyon helicopter tour. You'll fly out in the morning, land in the Grand Canyon for lunch and bubbly, then head home as you hover over Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and the lights of the Strip. Hey, if you're going to commute, this is how to do it.
Fewer people = you have your pick of Vegas
One of our favorite aspects of a midweek escape to Vegas -- you have more room to breathe. There's peace and quiet at the pool, massage appointments at the spa, shorter lines at your favorite club ... you get the picture. You're there to take full advantage, and this is when you can do it.
A Wednesday night in Las Vegas > a weekend just about anywhere else
Even midweek in Las Vegas, the question isn't "what are we going to do tonight?" but "how are we going to do it all tonight?" From headliner shows to swanky cocktail lounges to Michelin-starred chefs' creations to thumping nightclubs, a baller's dream binge lies in wait for the brave.
Keep in mind that some shows are closed on Monday and Tuesday nights, so use that time to have cocktails at the Delano's soaring Skyfall Lounge, or to tour the 200 neon signs the Neon Museum's Boneyard (Instagram gold!).
You're getting away with it.
Be honest: It's just a little bit awesome to spend your Wednesday chilling poolside at Caesars Palace or Vegas-gazing from the Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris Las Vegas while your coworkers are busy doing the day-to-day.
Just prepare for the pileup of envious emojis when you post to Facebook or Instagram.