Girls on the loose…and on a budget

My group of girlfriends are looking to go to Vegas soon to celebrate all of us turning 21. I'm the ringleader on the whole thing, so I've started to look into things and get tips and see what we might be expecting to spend. Do you have any words of advice on how to save ourselves some money?

Thanks so much!
(Baltimore, Maryland)

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Ah, Las Vegas for the young. No matter what your group ends up doing you'll have fun, but one thing you must always remember about Las Vegas is that it is not a place that lends itself to saving money. It's about spending, baby, spending. The whole city revolves around getting visitors to willingly and happily part with their money, usually in sums larger than they originally anticipated.

With that disclaimer, there are a few things you can do minimize what you spend. Start by bunking four to a room. You may be tempted to save money by staying Downtown instead of on the Strip, but, while Downtown is a great place, it's not the first choice for a bunch of college girls celebrating their 21st -- any hotel savings would quickly be offset by cab fare back and forth to the clubs of the Strip. Instead, look for good rates on a mid-tier hotel with a good location in the middle of the Strip. Ballys, Harrahs, the Flamingo and Planet Hollywood would all be good choices. None of these are the crown jewels of the Strip, but they're less pricey and would put you in easy walking distance of the hot nightspots. Keep an eye on FTLV's page of bargains and discounts for any special rates that may come available.

Other than gambling (a topic to be considered by itself), your big expenses are probably going to come in the clubs. Be warned: They're not cheap. The hot nightclubs change just as quickly as showgirl costumes, so it's harder to gauge so far ahead of time what the happening place will be at the end of the year. Right now some of the most popular are Tao (in the Venetian), Lavo (the Palazzo), Tryst, Blush (both in the Wynn), XS (the Encore) and Pure (Caesars Palace). Drai's After Hours (Bills Gambling Hall) and the nightclubs at the Hard Rock Casino never seem to go out of vogue. Do be aware that cover charges almost always apply and can approach the $50 mark in some cases.

Girls have one big advantage, though: We're cute... and some of us know how to flirt. Use this gift, girl. Flirt. Flirt, flirt, flirt. You never know what may come of it.

I attended a dear friend's Las Vegas bachelorette party not long ago, and on our first night out, one of the more outgoing members of our party chatted up a limo driver waiting on his client (these guys do a lot of waiting -- take advantage). Before long we were on the guest list for a private party at one of the Hard Rock's clubs.

Not only that, but we were given a free ride back to our hotel. Since we didn't have to pay a fee or tip, another friend decided the least she could do was to treat the driver to a PG-13 pole dance inside the limo. Yes, there was a stripper pole inside the stretch Hummer limo.

Shopping can also be a big expense. If that's your idea of a good time, take advantage of the outlet stores in town. One of our articles, "Shopping on the cheap," has details.

You mentioned hanging out by the pool. I hate to tell you, but not even Las Vegas is warm enough in winter for poolside lounging. You would need to plan your trip for one of the other three seasons to have a shot at that.

7 responses to “Girls on the loose…and on a budget”

  1. Steve the Texan said:


    Clubs in Las Vegas often have a little broader range of ages than is seen in many cities, but they do still skew pretty heavily to the 20-something crowd. Mix and Eyecandy, both at Mandalay Bay, are good choices for visitors a little more mature. Of those two, Eyecandy is usually the more relaxing hangout, in my opinion.

    For just a plain ol' good bar, try Nine Fine Irishmen inside New York New York. It's an Irish pub, not a club, an a very good place to enjoy a few pints.

  2. kenny said:

    Going to Las Vegas in Oct (first time) wee bit to old for the clubs, any nice bars apart from the one's in the hotel's that cater for the older age group.

  3. Diane said:

    Get online and search trip advisor and keep searching the internet for free or buy one get one from coupon. Don't rent a car take the decuse bus it goes up and down the strip and even down town.It is a little slow but you can stop at any casino and get back on. Not a bad deal.

  4. lyn halifax w.yorks said:

    Watch the taxi drivers they rip you off tell them you come every year they are thiefing robbers really piss me off .
    drink in casinos put a dollar in bandits and get free drinks yes free drinks brill. hotel called terribles just off strip cheap meals 2 for 1 deals last week when i was over there but you need to get vouchers . enjoy you will love it i go every year.

  5. goingtovegasin4days said:

    It is WAY cheaper to get 2 rooms than to put 4 people in one room - check it out!!!!

  6. dil said:

    have a fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. grace said:

    How much are the clubs and pool parties at rehab and tao?

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