In 2007, over 39 million people visited Las Vegas for conventions, gambling, shows - and yes, to get married - with many enjoying Las Vegas travel deals. Most arrived by plane and some by car. This is a city that survives largely by its tourist business and certainly knows how to provide appealing travel deals.
Start with a Package
Vacation packages are usually the best sources for Las Vegas travel deals. Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity regularly offer a wide variety of air plus hotel packages. The packages can be for the airfare plus two hotel nights or can include longer hotel stays. Specific hotels will often offer packages which include air, hotel, show tickets and tickets to their sumptuous luncheon and dinner buffets. Often they also include either rental cars or airport to hotel shuttle transportation.
If you can be super flexible, last minute packages can reward you with an extremely low price. In fact, some packages are priced below the regular round trip airfare rate - making the lodging part of the package basically free.
Shop Smart for Lodging Deals
You don't have to purchase a package deal to find excellent deals on lodging. Hotels and motels need to maintain occupancy in order to survive financially. Hotel managers are willing to offer deep hotel discounts on rooms that they are not able to book at full retail price. These special low rates may not be advertised; however, a little pre-planning and flexibility can result in deep discounts. For example:
Hotels with large convention facilities such as the MGM Grand, Harrah's and Tropicana may be fully booked when major conventions are in town, but they may offer hotel specials during slow seasons in order to fill up the thousands of rooms normally filled with conventioneers.
Las Vegas is best known for the massive hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard, commonly called the "Strip"; however, the city also has hundreds of discount hotels and motels as near as a block from the Strip. Occupancy rates in the motels are usually about 65 percent versus the 90 percent occupancy of the major hotels. The lower occupancy rate in motels means that motel managers are often willing to give great deals in order to book rooms in their motels.
Northern Las Vegas
Hotels on the far northern end of the Strip such as Circus Circus and the Venetian Resort Casino frequently offer the best Las Vegas travel deals. They are also featured in low cost packages through online travel agencies such as Expedia and Orbitz.
Rates drop dramatically in Las Vegas during the summer months. Las Vegas is basically an oasis in the desert, so afternoon temperatures can easily reach the 115 degree level. All Las Vegas lodging and restaurants are well air-conditioned, so a summer trip to Las Vegas can be one of the best ways to get a great travel deal.
DealBase.com has an exhaustive list of Las Vegas hotel deals that is a fantastic resource for deal-hunters.
Forget the Car Rental
Most travelers arrive in Las Vegas by air. Cabs and limos are readily-available; however, they are expensive. To accommodate the transportation needs of their visitors, Las Vegas has put together an excellent combination of low-cost transportation options:
Mini buses are constantly being dispatched right outside the baggage claim area to the various hotels and motels in the Las Vegas area. The cost is minimal - about $6.
The Citizens Area Transit (CAT) buses and the double decker Deuce system are frequently making the full circuit on the Strip, making it very easy (and cheap at $2 a ride!) to travel up the Strip to Fremont Street or down the strip past the Mandalay Bay and on to the great discount shopping at the Las Vegas Outlet Center.
The monorail makes five stops (including the convention center) between the MGM Grand in the south and the Sahara Station in the north. It is climate-controlled and travels the seven-station route in 15 minutes or less. Tickets are $5 per ride; the best deal is the $9 pass that let's you ride all day.
Clip Those Coupons
Las Vegas is loaded with coupon deals. Motels and hotels offer reduced room rates, luncheon and dinner buffets are discounted and you can enjoy free drinks, $.99 shrimp cocktails and bonus slot machine pulls -- just by showing a coupon. One of the best sources of Las Vegas coupons is through online coupon sites such as HotelCoupons.com. Coupon books can also be obtained in hotel and motel lobbies, in restaurants and from the coupon kiosks along the Strip.
Wait to Book a Show
Las Vegas shows can be very expensive, with some tickets going for over $200. Hotel guests usually receive a slightly-discounted price for shows in their hotel. Discounts are also available for active duty personnel and children. The really big savings on show ticket prices come when you purchase your ticket at the last minute from one of the kiosks on the Strip or from an online site such as halfpriceshows.com.
Book Last Minute
Airline seat and room availability can quickly reduce the price of a vacation package. If one of the major hotels drops the prices of a block of room, other hotels on the Strip may offer similar hotel deals. Travel guide sites like UpTake can help you research Las Vegas Hotels. These price reductions are reflected in special "Last Minute Deals" which are offered by many of the online travel agencies. Be sure to frequently check the online websites or sign up for an email alert for last minute travel deals in Las Vegas.
Read more Travel Deal Articles.