Those two words can’t go in the same sentence right? Think again.
As many of you know, we now don’t have a steady income and thus are living from savings. Budgeting is something that we have become experts at whilst saving for this trip.
The USA was the most expensive part of our trip and we’re heading to Asia straight afterwards where the exchange rate is considerably better. That said, just because it’s the ‘expensive’ part, didn’t mean we were going to go wild on the spending!
We spent a Saturday night in Vegas. If we’d really thought about it before we left, we could have maybe tried to time it so that we went on a weekday and we could have maybe had some nicer accommodation for our money but that’s when we were due to arrive so we were just going to have to work with it.
We stayed in Circus Circus Hotel and Resort and having spoken to other travellers, it seems like many of them had too! The rooms are nothing special. That said, we did have two king sized beds in our room which was pretty nice considering we were going to be spending the next 5 nights sleeping in our car within very close proximity of each other!
Also, the important part, the room was cheap. It cost $60 plus a resort fee of $30. Probably the priciest place we stayed in the USA but the cheapest place you can stay on the Las Vegas strip on a Saturday night! There may of course be airbnbs or hotels away from the trip but then you need to factor transport into your costs and you’d have to be a millionaire to pay for an uber in Vegas!
We arrived around 2pm, after making a detour to Hoover Dam. Super hungry, we wanted to find something to eat and what easier than the convenient fast food, Subway. After this, we couldn’t decide what to do in the afternoon but didn’t want to walk in the heat or do too much.
We headed for the liquor store, picked up a couple of tins and headed for the pool. Now Circus Circus is not somewhere that you’re going to get that #beachclub shot. There aren’t any fancy four poster beds to sunbathe on whilst drinking prosecco. There aren’t super styled cocktails to Instagram.
What there is however is 2 swimming pools, 2 Jacuzzis, three water slides and a great water park that’s definitely meant for children but was my favourite part. Standing under a bucket that’s about to tip a tonne of water over your head is great fun! It’s not classy or cool but I loved it. Maybe it was just the beer talking… I’m joking, it probably really wasn’t, I’m just a big kid!
After our swim, we showered and I styled my hair… one of only two times it’s been styled in the past 6 weeks! As Vegas is in the desert, 0% humidity = hair on fleek. Looking slightly classier than usual, we headed further down into the heart of the strip.
We planned to look for somewhere to eat but it’s actually more difficult than it looks. If you want a nice meal, research before hand! Many of the restaurants are inside the Casino’s and thus from the outside you wouldn’t necessarily know that they were there. We had found somewhere that we thought we wanted to go online before hand but it was actually a fair distance from the strip and the walk was just too far. Queue the ever trusty, Maccie D’s saving our hungry butts again.
After this, we decided to head to the casinos. Pretending that we were far classier than the hotel we were staying in, we headed to Wynn Hotel and Resort. Here’s the thing, the good hotels and casino’s will offer you complementary drinks if you’re gambling, no matter whether you are a resident or not. Wynn has an excellent reputation so we hoped that this was a good place to go and we weren’t mistaken. It’s in the interest of the casino’s to provide free alcohol to their clients as the more alcohol is consumed, the worse the players judgement is.
If, like us, you’re gambling novices and are on a budget, stay away from the tables. I repeat, STAY AWAY FROM THE TABLES. Instead, say hello to the slots and arcade games. There’s no real skill involved and it’s just luck but it’s a lot of fun. We were also offered, and gladly accepted, 5 frozen margaritas and zombies in the space of a few hours whilst we were playing.
The next day, we decided we really would like a good breakfast after our double dose of fast food the previous day. We opted for Egg and I. It’s on the outskirts of town and you need to drive there but this doesn’t stop it being really busy. Expect to wait around 30 minutes for a table. The food is just delicious. Everything comes with one of their speciality banana muffins which are so tasty. Despite it’s reputation, it’s menu isn’t overpriced either.
Naturally, we also needed to see the ‘Welcome to Wonderful Las Vegas’ sign so we headed there too.
All in all then, here’s the breakdown of our spending in Las Vegas:
Hotel room and resort fee @ Circus Circus : $90
Footlong @ Subway: $10
6 tins of Dale’s Pale Ale (classy, I know): $15
Food @ Mc Donalds: $10
5 margaritas and 5 zombies: $10 (in tips for the waitresses)
Money lost whilst gambling: $15. (We spent more than this but had a few nice little wins, yay!)
Brunch @ Egg and I, including a tip: $35
Often, I hear people worry that they can’t visit places because they’re too expensive or that they can’t afford to travel but I hate the thought that money can stop you from visiting places. We’ve visited some of the most expensive countries in the world (Iceland and Switzerland) and some of the cheapest (India and Thailand). We have enjoyed the former as much as the latter by finding ways to make it more budget friendly so we didn’t have to worry about not being able to afford it.
If we were visiting Vegas alone for a holiday, maybe we would have done things differently. We could have stayed in a nicer hotel but in all honestly, one night was enough for me! Drinking fancy cocktails and gambling is fun for one night but I’ll take beers and nights spent in hoodies under the stars every night.
I’ll be writing a guide to saving and budgeting for a road trip across the USA soon. If there’s anything that you think I should include, please let me know!