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It’s now as cheap to go to Las Vegas as it is to stay home

mgmgrandfrontLately we’ve been discussing various side trips that people often make in conjunction with a trip to Los Angeles, and things over in Las Vegas continue to get weirder so now it’s even harder to pass up. The first 3 weeks in Sin City are always the least crowded of the whole year and of course this year will be no different. Cheap flights are easy to find and hotel rooms are practically free.

The thing about travel to Las Vegas is that if you play your cards right, pun intended, you can often get drinks for free or almost free, and nearly everything else is available at great discounts if you know where to look. This isn’t to say that these super-cheap alternatives are always the best choice, but more that they are there if you look, especially during this time of year.

Getting there for a song

The fact that it’s nearly empty doesn’t mean that flights are at their lowest rates of the year, but it’s pretty close. Cheap flights to Las Vegas are just a few clicks away no matter where you are, it seems. In early December you can get a roundtrip from LAX to Vegas for around $125, and you can fly from Long Beach or Burbank or Orange County for just a bit more. These flights have been around $99 in the past, but that was years ago and this is pretty much rock-bottom these days unless you run into a great promotion on Southwest Airlines.

Where to stay

This is where things really get good. Cheap hotels in Las Vegas get even cheaper in early December, and right now several of them are advertising rooms under $20 per night. You can actually book yourself into the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in the Downtown area for $11 per night including all taxes. It’s obviously not one of the more luxurious hotels in the city, but the location is pretty decent and the rooms are clean. This city’s loss is your gain and it’s a buyer’s market.

If you prefer to be on the Strip you can book the Riviera or the Imperial Palace for only $25 per night. Those are both nice places with great locations, and you could pay for the whole night by just getting a bit lucky with a $10 roll of quarters, or at least that was true back when the machines actually accepted coins.

What to do

The list of things to do in Las Vegas is a long one, but most people are interested in gambling, eating, drinking, and maybe a bit of shopping. There are great opportunities for all of those things pretty much everywhere you turn, but there is also the Red Rock Canyon just a few miles east of the city if you want to see one of the most scenic drives in the US.

There’s also golf and tennis and other outdoor activities, though it’s worth noting that in early December it’s actually colder in Vegas than it is in Los Angeles, so it’s best to plan one of the many indoor activities.