When planning Vegas trips on a budget, hopefully potential visitors have some options / flexibility as to when they can choose to travel . Some don't have those options due to pre-set vacation windows with their employment and/ or other constraints. If you have some flexibility , there are some basic supply and demand factors that significantly influence travel costs . For the most part, it's cheaper to hit Vegas when it's less crowded; this factor reduces the demand for airfare and rooms and generally leads to more cost-saving opportunities. Price swings are usually greater for rooms than for airfare and generally we suggest you reserve a place to stay before reserving a flight (exceptions might be one of those fantastic "package" deals involving both rooms and the flight.)
Room rates are routinely cheaper during weekdays (Sunday through Thursday) than on weekends; overall, the least
expensive days for airfare are Wednesdays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays (in order). Thus, midweek arrivals can result in significant
savings if your schedule permits. Seasonally, winter (November through February) is the least crowded with December being
the overall least crowded month according to the Las Vegas Convention Visitor Authority (LVCVA). Most of us are saving and preparing for Christmas and this reduces Vegas trips. There are some excellent room deals after the National Finals Rodeo in early December through Christmas day; room rates escalate during the week between Christmas and New Years. There's nothing economical about room rates on New Year's Eve..300,000 plus people force high demand and high prices. If you just have to go to Vegas then, book 6 months in advance if possible; you can possibly get the room you want but it'll still be pricey particularly at a strip property. The week after New Years day often offers some great room rates. Thereafter, some significant conventions begin to increase room occupancy and rates. We suggest you obtain a list of scheduled conventions( ie Consumer Electronics Show in January; National Association of Broadcasters in April) and special events (ie Nascar, National Finals Rodeo, Superbowl) and where these are specifically hosted or sponsored; again, demand for rooms and thus prices escalate when major events hit town, particularly on the strip. The downtown and off-strip casino-hotels have generally less convention traffic and they'd offer better rates at these times( and most other times,too) generally speaking. You can obtain a list of conventions/events from the LVCVA website @ "http://www.lvcva.com" ; if you can avoid the major convention crowds you'll be able to obtain generally lower rates. Weather-wise, spring and fall are optimal times to visit for comfort; average daily visitor counts historically are higher in spring than fall; overall lower room rates can be found in the fall and is a great time to be in Vegas. March is the busiest month in Sin City (110,000 per day in 2008). If you can stand the literal heat,
often it's possible to obtain great room rate deals in July and/or August; hell, just stay indoors and enjoy the AC. Other important holidays include Thanksgiving (not busy) ; Halloween,Labor Day, and Memorial Day are all huge visitor draws.
If you're a gambler ( you don't have to be a whale / high roller) and you've signed up at the casino-hotel websites and are a player's club member, you might possibly receive free or reduced - rate room offers. One could theoretically plan an entire
trip around such offers if they're representative of significant cost savings ; they often are. This is particularly true
presently due to the state of the economy as the casino properties are all scrambling for patrons. Many so-called
"low-rollers" are obtaining e-mail and mail offers with other incentives attached because of reduced occupancy and visitors in
Las Vegas. Of course, utilizing these offers assumes we can afford to go at all. Consider these if they apply to your situation.
If you have no such offers but are a member of player's clubs , attempt to book direct with a given property / property group
and mention that you're a player's club member; depending on the hotel, you might be pleasantly surprised at the rate quote.
Of course if you've accumulated a significant number of player's club points on your account, you can apply these to room bills
at most properties.
Regardless of when you choose to act a fool in Vegas, attempt to plan well in advance if at all possible. Generally, if you have a specific time window defined for a trip, room rates between now and then will usually increase. Research your options
well ahead of the intended itinerary and you can certainly save some travel costs; when and how matters !
As many of you are aware, there's a plethora of Vegas travel ,hotel, and airline websites. Most of the casinos these days
have their own "Best Rate Guarantee" on room rates and often can offer best rates when compared to the travel sites; you should consider booking direct as a part of your trip planning in our opinion. MGM Mirage and Harrah's properties will offer
a 10% bonus if you can find a better room rate quote than their own offers (some exceptions). We recommend the following airline / travel info or booking websites to obtain the best deal when considering Vegas trip timing:
1. http://www.kayak.com ; excellent info comparative site for flights/ hotels; routine alert service
2. http://www.southwest.com; routinely offers lower fares to Vegas; sign up for "Ding" service to your email
3. http://www.southwestvacations.com; package deals, reasonable rates
4. http://www.priceline.com ; bidding site; if your bid is accepted, you're joined at the hip with the deal; research!
5. http://www.hotwire.com' ; alert services for defined trip;
6. http://www.farecast.com ; airfare watchsite ; alerts you when flights expected to increase/ decrease
7. http://www.travelaxe.com ; hotel rate comparative site; excellent source
To summarize, key considerations for timing of Vegas trips for reduced costs are:
1. Flexibility of schedule
2. Be aware of the timing of lower historical visitor counts (supply and demand for flights/ rooms); winter low, spring high
3. Plan well in advance; research options; peruse hotel-casino websites as early and often as possible
4. Obtain convention and events schedule listings; avoid huge convention / event dates (if you prefer reduced costs)
5. Midweek arrivals are cheaper (rooms and flights)
6. Sign up on property/ property group (ie MGM Mirage, Harrah's, Stations casinos,etc.) websites and join player's clubs
(comped / reduced rate rooms and other incentives ; partially due to present economy)
7. Currently booking directly with property is advantageous vs travel websites; Use Kayak, Southwest,Priceline and Travelaxe as
outside starter sites; compare with hotel websites; they offer Best Rate Guarantees now in Vegas
8. Off-strip generally less expensive; if you can stand it
9. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are not busy ; New Years is personified insanity; Labor day, Memorial Day, and
Halloween are busy
10. Costs aside, go to Vegas when you damned well feel like it.
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