Better known as sin city, Las Vegas is the home of everything decadent and extravagant. From world class chefs to spectacular live shows, Las Vegas feels like a party oasis and it’s kind of hard to believe that people actually live their day to day lives there. While a Vegas getaway can seem like an overpriced adventure on a college student’s budget, it is absolutely affordable if you dip and dodge all of the tourist traps. You can party like celeb, gamble like a highroller, eat like royalty, and not have to worry about how you are going to afford your books next semester. Grab 3 of your besties and get ready for a Las Vegas spring break vacation of your dreams and all for $1000 or less.
The flight is typically the most pricey part of any trip, next to the hotel. The key to nabbing a flight that is not going to eat up your entire travel budget is to book them early. When you wait to book your flight, you are at the mercy of the airlines and whatever prices they may have available at the moment. The second way to cut down on pricey flights is to fly during non-peak seasons. Since you’d be flying during spring break, there is a small amount of wiggle room as far as time frame. For this trip, you’d be traveling between 3/22 and 3/25. The weather in Las Vegas is dry, mild, and enjoyable. You totally avoid the sweltering heat that makes having a good time nearly impossible. It’s just warm enough to enjoy your vacation without feeling like you’re a melting ice cream cone. A round trip flight taking off from New York’s JFK airport and landing in Las Vegas McCarren airport will run you about $320. Throw in an extra $50 split 4 ways for a ride from the airport to your hotel and you are looking at $332.50 for travel so far.
You already know that anyone trying to cut corners and take a vacation on the low is not staying in an overpriced hotel. High priced hotels is one of the top ways Las Vegas lures in tourists to drop big bucks the second they step on the strip. The truth is that you don’t have to stay in a hotel to get the full Vegas experience. You and your crew can sleep and hangout comfortably in an Airbnb that is only a short and inexpensive Uber ride from the strip. You will save a few dollars that can be used towards more useful activities like eating and two stepping with the locals. This Airbnb boasts that it is only a $10 Uber ride away from the strip and can sleep up to 6 guests at a time. Sitting in the heart of it all, you’ll be wondering why you’d even think about spending a chunk of your budget on a fancy hotel. This Airbnb will run you $88 a night which brings you to a total of $322 for a 3 night stay, with fees included, for your entire crew. When you split that 4 ways, your portion will be $80.
One of the most delightful things to do on vacation is to eat all of the foods you are too broke to eat when you’re home. Las Vegas is the mecca of world class chefs and every possible cuisine you can think up. Interested in some succulent, yet affordable spicy tuna rolls? Check out Daisho Sushi for $20 lunch specials and $25 dinner specials. Maybe you want to go super touristy and grab a photo op with a delicious all beef patty at In and Out Burger. There are endless food options at varying price points. If you want to keep your eating budget as low as possible while still getting a taste of what Vegas has to offer, check out the famous Las Vegas buffets. They are everywhere from hotels to casinos and offer the perfect chance to fill up on good food without shelling out a bunch of cash. Start the last day of your trip with affordable but totally delicious brunch at Simons Palms Place with their $40 all you can eat buffet and $21 all you can drink mimosas. Budgeting about $200 for food during your spring break trip should cover a healthy appetite.
Nightlife and Sightseeing
This is where you and your crew are going to have to pay attention to your budget. It can be easy to get sucked into all of the lights and glitz that is the Las Vegas strip and drop a couple hundred in one spot. Don’t do it to yourself. Partying in Las Vegas can be pricey as most clubs have a cover and long lines. If you want to party the night away in well known clubs like 1 Oak or the Palms Casino Resort, make sure you show up early, chat with promoters before you head out, and even make a few local friends that have the connections to the best spots to go to and how to get in. Hit up a few casinos and dabble in their free drinks, and a little gambling if you like, to avoid spending too much on overpriced club drinks. As far as your daytime activities, Vegas has much more to offer than bright lights and 9am hangovers. Hit up Groupon before you trip to see what’s going on in the area. If there’s nothing there that tickles your fancy, there are plenty of tourist friendly (and budget friendly) places to go like the Grand Canyon (there are shuttles available), the Fountain show at the Bellagio (can you say Insta photo), and the High Roller Ferris Wheel. If you do want to indulge in a bit of day drinking, the Encore Beachclub is the spot to be. A hefty $300 budget should cover your daytime and nighttime activities.
Let’s total the cost of your Las Vegas spring break budget vacation:
Flight: NYC to LAS VEGAS $320
Airport Transportation: $50 split between 4 people
Airbnb: As low as $80 for your portion ($322 in total)
Eating & Drinking: $200
Sightseeing & Nightlife: $300
General Transportation: About $20