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How Much You Should Budget for a Trip to Vegas – By Category!

Key Points:

  • According to survey data, the average visitor spent $1,461 per 4.6-day long trip, which breaks down to about $318 per day.
  • The average visitor budgeted $500 per trip specifically for gambling, which amounts to about $109 per day.

When it comes to budgeting spending money for Vegas, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. Variations in preferences from person to person need to be taken into account before determining how much cash you’ll need.

With that being said, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) conducts an annual visitor survey to gauge how much, on average, people spent during their trip on things like entertainment, food, drink, and gambling.

Below, I’ll dig into those average spend figures which can help you create your own spending plan.

Note that for each category below, visitors shared how much they spent per category per trip to Vegas. The same survey noted that the average trip length was 4.6 days in 2021. With that information, I’m able to get a feel for what the “average person” should budget to spend per day while in Vegas.

Entertainment Budget

Determining how much money you should bring to Vegas for shows and other activities is dependent on your tastes. What do you plan to do while in town? Popular shows like “Absinthe” at Caesars, or “O” at Bellagio can cost upwards of $100 per seat while entry to comedy clubs or activities like Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is significantly cheaper.

I recommend pricing out your preferred activities on sites like where you can see the full allotment of entertainment options available to you along with their associated price. With that information, you can put together an accurate spending plan.

The average visitor in 2021 spent $83.83 on shows, entertainment, and sightseeing per trip, or about $18 per day.

If you’re looking to do a LOT, the Las Vegas Go City All-Inclusive Pass could help you conserve your spending money.

Food & Drink Budget

Again, your specific tastes will dictate how much money you should take to Vegas for restaurants and drinking. Are you eating at Hell’s Kitchen and Giada’s, or at less expensive fast food options?

Rest assured, if you are looking to eat cheap in Vegas, there are plenty of value buffet and restaurant options to stretch your dollar. If you plan to indulge in a couple of higher-end meals though, check out that restaurant’s menu online in advance so you can budget appropriately.

When it comes to drinking, do you prefer $1 Michelobs at a dive bar like Stage Door Casino, or $20 craft cocktails like those found at the Ghost Donkey speakeasy at Cosmopolitan? Create a game plan based on what type of bar you want to belly up to. Remember, drinks are free while gambling, but bring plenty of singles to tip!

For those looking to stretch your Vegas budget, check out our guides to eating cheap on the Strip and cheap eats on Fremont Street.

Additionally, I keep an up-to-date rundown of happy hour deals on the Strip in addition to Drink deals on Fremont Street.

The average visitor in 2021 spent $462.37 on food and drink per trip, or about $101 per day.

Shopping Budget

You either do it, or you don’t. Me? You’ll find me at the craps table but I understand that some like perusing the various shopping malls in Las Vegas that range from outlet malls to high-end luxury.

The average visitor in 2021 spent $284.55 on shopping per trip, or about $62 per day.

Transportation Budget

Options for transportation in Vegas exist for all budgets and range from public transportation to limousines. Options include:

  • City Bus (The Deuce) ($6 for a 2 hr. pass)
  • Uber/Lyft ($10-$20 per trip)
  • Cabs ($15-$25 per trip)
  • Limos ($60/hr)

The average visitor in 2021 spent $130.02 on local transportation per trip, or about $28 per day.

Related: See all transportation options in Las Vegas, here.

Gambling Budget

The average amount of money visitors budgeted for gambling in 2021 according to the LVCVA is wide-ranging, with 7% budgeting $99 or less, 23% budgeting $100-$300, 30% budgeting $300-$600, and 39% budgeting over $600.

My suggestion is to establish a daily plan, or limit. Split the cash up into envelopes labeled by day to keep you on budget.

Of course, you can also stretch your gambling budget by escaping the Strip and visiting locals casinos where minimums are often cheaper. I suggest walking to Ellis Island, a small locals casino just behind Horseshoe off the Strip where $5 blackjack and craps can still be found.

The median amount budgeted for gambling in 2021 was $500, or about $109 per day.

So, How Much Money Should I Bring to Vegas?

The average visitor spent $1,461 per trip when you add up each category above from the 2021 LVCVA profile survey. That total breaks down to about $318 per day, based on the average 4.6-day trip.

Obviously, the amount of money you should bring to Vegas will likely differ, but this should give you a good baseline idea of how much money to bring.

Miscellaneous Items To Consider

Tipping: I typically arrive in Vegas prior to hotel check-in and check my bags with the bellman so that I can roam the city free of encumbrances. The problem? I never seem to plan adequately for tipping which has me scrambling. Part of your spending money plan should include a stack of $1 or even $2 bills for tipping. More on tipping in Vegas here.

Resort Fees: Although your hotel will be paid for upfront, resort fees will be due at the hotel property upon check-out for the vast majority of travelers. Resort fees differ by resort, but high-end properties typically charge $45, while lower-tier strip properties have a nightly fee that lands in the $30 range. It is possible to avoid the fees if you are a big-time gambler, otherwise, you’ll want to book at one of these Las Vegas hotels without resort fees.

Understandably, your answer to “How much to budget for Vegas?” will be different depending on your tastes and preferences.

I recommend going category by category, thinking ahead about what you intend to do, and planning for what you plan to spend for each. Putting thought into your budget will help ensure you have enough spending money for Vegas to be the time of your life!

See Also: Ways to Save Money in Vegas and Free things to do in Vegas – A complete list.

Feature Image: ©andreypopov/123RF.COM

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