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Ballin’ on a Budget in Vegas: How to Find the Best Online Discounts

December 13, 2011 by

Las Vegas Helicopter TourVegas may be epitomized by luxury, indulgence, and trying your luck, but you don’t have to be a high roller to treat yourself in Sin City.

Vegas’ incredible capacity to host hundreds of thousands of visitors at any given time makes vendors eager to get your business. By doing your research and booking in advance, you don’t need to stay at the slots for cheap fun – you could save up to 50 percent off retail or door price on Vegas’ top attractions and lodging. And the holidays are actually a great time to visit Vegas since hotels, eager to keep casinos full, lure customers with cut rate deals to make hiding out for the holiday worth it.

There’s no reason to spend hours Googling discounts at any time of year, though. Web sites such as SmarterVegas.com, BestofVegas.com, LasVegas.com, and Vegas.com aggregate travel promotions and bargains on shows, tours, restaurants, and hotel rooms.

I recently visited Vegas with an itinerary booked on SmarterVegas.com. Unlike online travel agents such as Expedia or Travelocity, this website negotiates with vendors to offer promo codes so the consumer can book directly with the vendor. That means you can speak directly with the vendor for problems, changes, or upgrades. In turn, the vendor gets direct contact with its customer.

Here’s what I scored and the savings off retail price for a few Vegas vacation highlights:

Activity (taxes not included) Retail Price Web Deal Price Savings
Three-night stay at ARIA $537 $327 $210
Two tickets to KA by Cirque du Soleil $228 $182.40 $45.60
Two tickets to Believe by Criss Angel $240 $156 $84
Helicopter tour to Grand Canyon for 2 $818 $578 $240
Total $1,823 $1,243.40 $579.60


With the savings, you can afford a nice wine dinner for two at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at the MGM Grand, and the Luxor‘s Tender Steak and Seafood restaurant before the shows. You’ll also have some cash left over for a clay aromatherapy wrap at the luxe Aria Spa, which gains you free access to its salt meditation room, hot stone beds, eucalyptus steam room, and whirlpools. What’s a better holiday gift than that?

For general trip-planning information, see our Las Vegas Travel Guide.

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