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A Quick Getaway Las Vegas Visit on a Budget

Catherine is an avid traveler and applies her experience in the environmental sciences to give a global view of travel domestic and abroad.

Bellagio Fountains of Las Vegas

Bellagio Fountains of Las Vegas

There is more to do in Las Vegas in a single day than you can ever do in a lifetime. From the 5 star hotels including Harrah’s, Bally’s, Paris, Flamingo, The LINQ, Rio, Planet Hollywood and more, to the huge stage shows that change with the season. You can see outstanding performances throughout Las Vegas from Cirque du Soleil to world famous magicians to huge pop stars performing nightly. How can you enjoy all of this on a budget? It's possible and with these tips enjoy all the all-you-can-eat buffets and showgirl shows that your heart desires.

As soon as you arrive in Las Vegas, head straight to the concierge desk, where you will be on line with others who have just landed, to get that all enticing Total Rewards Card. This card can be used to gamble in the machines to collect your comps but it can also be used for major discounts around Las Vegas without ever spending a dime (or penny) at the slots. Also, be sure to ask the concierge for any coupon books, even those that may require to be purchased, because the savings can far outweigh the cost in the end with so many things to do.

Everyone wants to stay at that hotel with the grand pool that has a lagoon setting and waterfalls cascading over the pool slides and swim-up bars. However, not everyone may be able to afford this kind of hotel stay. Well, that's fine! You can still enjoy these grand pools even if you're staying at one of the off-strip or less popular hotels along or around the famous strip of Vegas. The Venus Pool at Caeser's Palace has two main pools with VIP areas, bungalows and cabanas. Cost for entry ranges from $20 to $30 for a day visit. GO Pool at the Flamingo has that tropical feel with a huge cascading waterfall to boot. You can pay only $15 if you're staying at a sister Ceaser's hotel or $25 for anyone else for a day pass.

Lights of Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas

Lights of Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sign is Free to Visit

Las Vegas Sign is Free to Visit

The Fountains of Bellagio are an attraction in itself and the best part is that each show is every 30 minutes during the day and 15 minutes in the evening... And it is completely free. The soundtrack ranges from sweet slow classics to raging rockin' tunes that play along with the dancing water patterns that are changing all the time. The Mirage has another similar show for free, with the fire of the Volcano eruptions outside the hotel.

Located just a short drive from the strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, is free to visit anytime and makes for some amazing dessert shots for that Instagram. Don't forget this is the dessert so be sure to bring a bottle of water, good pair of sneakers and a sweatshirt because it gets mighty cold at night in the dessert.

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And you can leave without going to Freemont Street. I can't believe how many travel guides I've read about visiting Las Vegas and guides actually suggesting that it may not be worth it with limited time. Freemont street is the downtown Las Vegas that actually used to be the main strip back in the day. It's full of colorful characters now, as well as some sketchy ones. As long as you stay on the main street, you'll be fine as far as safety is concerned. There's a free show every hour above your head that's a combination of a light laser show and a rock concert. It's pretty spectacular and each showing is unique throughout the night. In this area, the drinks are cheap, cheap, cheap. On any day of the week you'll likely get a free concert of live music where people are dancing in the streets. This street is also the location of the famous neon cowgirl sign that represents all that Las Vegas stands for. It's an area that can't be missed. Oh, and did I mention you can zip-line across the entire street? Yup, because you can.

Another great program that doesn't get much attention is called Social Rewards. You sign up online and can watch videos, share links and like restaurants in Vegas on social networking sites to gain points that can actually be used to redeem real things. The Total Rewards program can also be used on Facebook where you play fun Las Vegas type slot games online for points that can be redeemed for a discounted or free buffets, show tickets or even free night stays at a top hotel.

Flights to Las Vegas are also notoriously known for being very affordable. This is because they assume you'll spend more on games when you get there so they keep these flights cheap. Lucky for you you'll be smarter than to throw all your cash away gambling because you'll be enjoying all the other things there are to do for free in fabulous Las Vegas!

Walking around and seeing the characters of Las Vegas are enough to have a fun, free good time. It can make your Vegas trip an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank. The Las Vegas sign is located at the beginning of the strip and is free to visit so head there, do your best Elvis lip curl and snap away. What happens in Vegas, ends up on Instagram!

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