Las Vegas, known for its extravagant entertainment, is often perceived as an expensive destination. However, with careful planning and budgeting, having a memorable and enjoyable weekend in Sin City is possible without breaking the bank. In this guide, I’ll explore seven ideas on how to spend a Vegas weekend for just $100. From exploring free attractions to taking advantage of affordable dining options, these tips will help you make the most of your budget while still experiencing the excitement of Las Vegas.

Why Do I Qualify?

As an adventurer on a mission to travel the world for free (Germany to Antarctica across eleven countries), my journey took me to Las Vegas after traveling the world for free. Embracing the idea of unusual performances and creative bartering, I was there on a three-day stay that allowed me to experience Las Vegas without my wallet.

Let’s just cruise right into it.

1. Use the Strip as a Free Resource

Arriving in Las Vegas, I couldn’t help but notice the desert heat taking its toll on me and on tourists’ energy levels. Inspired by the resourceful ideas in my travel guide, I decided to offer a unique service to weary visitors – the ‘human sofa.’ I positioned myself along the bustling Strip, inviting passersby to rest on my back for a nominal fee of $1. To my surprise, many people gladly chipped in, appreciating the rest and sharing laughter with friends and family as they captured photos of this quirky experience.

Even if you may not want to try the ‘human sofa’, the Las Vegas Strip is the heart of the city’s entertainment and is renowned for its impressive hotels and casinos. One of the best things about the Strip is that you can enjoy it without spending a dime. Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic boulevard and check out the incredible architecture, light shows, and street performers. Each hotel has its unique theme and attractions, making it a free and exciting experience just to walk through them.

Some of the must-see attractions along the Strip include the Bellagio Fountains, an enchanting water and light show that happens every 30 minutes during the evenings, and the Mirage Volcano, which erupts with a display of fire and sound nightly. Additionally, the LINQ Promenade is a bustling area with shops, restaurants, and the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, where you can take in stunning views of the city without breaking your budget.

2. Enjoy Free Shows and Entertainment

I decided to explore iconic hotels I had only seen in major movies. Checking out the Excalibur Hotel, Caesars Palace, and the Luxor Hotel, I really enjoyed their architecture and the vibrant atmosphere that defines Las Vegas. Surprisingly, they let me join some of their extravagant live performances. I didn’t need to pay top dollar to enjoy great entertainment!

Many hotels offer free shows, such as the Fall of Atlantis show at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace or the Sirens of TI show outside Treasure Island. Be sure to check the schedules beforehand to catch these complimentary performances.

Moreover, some bars and lounges have live music and acts at no cost. Fremont Street Experience, in downtown Las Vegas, is a pedestrian mall that regularly hosts free concerts and light shows. It’s an excellent place to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and experience the essence of Las Vegas without spending a fortune.

3. Try Your Luck with Gambling on a Budget

After earning money as a ‘human sofa’ along the Strip, I decided to try my luck at a casino. However, the excitement of gambling led me to take risks, and I ended up losing a part of my hard-earned ‘human sofa’ cash. It was a reminder to myself of setting healthy limits.

But feel free to give it a better try. Just keep in mind to set a strict gambling budget. Decide on a specific amount of money that you are willing to spend on gambling, and once it’s gone, resist the temptation to dip into your other funds.

Opt for low-stakes games like penny slots or table games with lower minimum bets to make your money last longer. Casinos often offer free drinks to gamblers, so take advantage of this perk and enjoy some complimentary refreshments while playing responsibly.

4. Dine on a Budget

With a determination to survive in Las Vegas without spending money, I set out to secure my meals through bartering. At a local coffee shop, I proposed a mutually beneficial deal – if I can perform a handstand for at least three seconds in front of all the customers, they had to offer me a delicious muffin, a banana, and a piping hot coffee. The simple exchange satisfied both parties It was a great way to experience the city’s culinary delights when the handstand (and other deals) really worked out (after 30 minutes of practicing).

Bartering for food is always an option, but plenty of affordable dining options are available too. Look for food courts or fast-food outlets in hotels and shopping centers, where you can find reasonably priced meals. Many places offer happy hour specials, which can be an excellent opportunity to try out high-quality restaurants at a fraction of the regular cost.

Another cost-effective option is to purchase a buffet pass, which allows you to enjoy multiple meals at various buffets for a fixed price. Be sure to research and compare buffet pass options to find the best deal for your budget.

5. Explore Nature and Surrounding Attractions

I didn’t really make it out of town but I know that beyond the glitz and glamour of the Strip, Las Vegas and its surroundings offer several natural and scenic attractions. Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle and head to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It’s only a short drive from the Strip, and you can explore the stunning landscapes, hike the trails, or have a picnic amidst the picturesque beauty of the desert.

Additionally, if you have access to a car, consider visiting the Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation featuring seven colorful, towering rock formations set against the desert backdrop. Both of these attractions offer an excellent opportunity for beautiful photographs and outdoor experiences at little to no cost.

6. Free Transportation Options

Throughout my stay in Las Vegas, I relied on a mountain bike that I had received from an Amish farmer family two weeks earlier in Ohio. This amazing present allowed me to move around the city efficiently.

But there are more options: Las Vegas offers several free or low-cost transportation options. Many hotels provide shuttle services to and from the airport, saving you the expense of a taxi or ride-sharing service (will anyone ever ask you if you’re really their hotel guest?). Some hotels also have free trams or monorails connecting various properties along the Strip.

If you plan to explore beyond the Strip, the Deuce and SDX buses offer affordable fares and operate along the Strip and downtown Las Vegas. Alternatively, consider walking when possible, as many attractions are within walking distance of each other, and you’ll have a chance to soak in the lively atmosphere along the way.

7. Find Budget Accommodations

Armed with my skills as a filmmaker, I approached various motels in the city and offered to take professional marketing photos for them, which they could use for online promotions. One motel, rather impressed with my travel for free than with my photo portfolio, agreed to provide me with three complimentary nights in exchange for my photographic expertise.

While hotel prices on the Strip can be extravagant, there are ways to secure budget-friendly accommodations in Las Vegas. Look for deals and discounts on hotel booking websites, and consider staying at off-Strip hotels or motels. These options often offer lower rates while still providing comfortable and convenient lodging. A free option for accommodation could also be the website where local offer you a night for free.

Another option is to consider Airbnb or vacation rentals, especially if you are traveling with a group. Splitting the cost of a rental property can significantly reduce the overall accommodation expenses and provide more amenities than a standard hotel room.

A weekend in Las Vegas doesn’t have to drain your wallet. By carefully planning your activities, exploring free attractions, and being willing to leave your comfort zone and possibly do something like a ‘human sofa’ or a handstand, you can have an unforgettable Vegas experience on a budget!

When You Go:

1. Free Shows in Las Vegas Hotels

2. Low Budget Food Options on the Las Vegas Strip

3. Best Nature Options Close to Las Vegas

Written by: Michael Wigge

 Michael picture
An award-winning motivational speaker and adventurer, Michael specializes in documenting incredible stories about achieving victory over challenges. ‘How to Travel the World for Free’, ‘How to Barter for Paradise’ (where he turned an apple into a Hawaiian dream home through his skills in bartering for bigger, better things), and ‘How to Travel Europe Blindfolded’ are just three of his seven travel shows. He shared his amazing success stories on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (alongside co-guest Katy Perry) and the Today Show. His TV programs and books have been broadcast and published internationally.

Based on his incredible experiences overcoming challenges, Michael began performing motivational speaking in Germany and started keynote speaking in Denver after moving to Colorado.

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