Timing your vacation to Las Vegas correctly can be the easiest way to save money as prices tend to fluctuate wildly throughout the year. We took a look at visitor data provided by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to answer some pretty common questions travelers have such as “When are the best times to travel to Las Vegas?” and “What is the cheapest time to go to Las Vegas?”.
Later, we will dive into some specific weekends and events you should look to avoid if seeking a cheap, less crowded trip to Sin City, but first, let’s dive into some high-level data!
Best Times To Travel To Vegas
The chart below details 3 separate metrics for each month in 2017 which help us easily identify the cheapest times to go to Vegas. Occupancy rate simply refers to the percentage of room nights available that Las Vegas hotels filled. Average Daily Rate is the average amount of money travelers paid for those room nights and Total Visitor Volume simply states how many total people visited Vegas.
Not surprisingly, the colder months of November, December, January, and February were the least busy, and cheapest, times to visit Las Vegas. Those months had the lowest visitor count, occupancy, and average room rates (with the exception of Jan).
January is a bit of an anomaly. The month ranks as the 4th WORST month for Occupancy (just 85.7%) and overall visitor count (3,508,800 total visitors), yet has the HIGHEST average room rate at a whopping $149.13 per night. These astronomical hotel rates are likely being driven by the high demand on specific dates such as the NFL Playoffs and conventions like CES, SHOT Show, etc. From personal experience, you can find mid-week rates cheap in January. Shop around.
Don’t be discouraged if the month you wish to visit is defined as having high average rates. Deals can still commonly be found during non-peak times or mid week. Furthermore, monthly statistics like average rate and visitors are driven by specific conventions, sporting events, or holidays that are popular for travel to Las Vegas. Shop around to find the most advantageous dates for you and book on a site that allows free cancellation so you can check back for cheaper deals later!
Busiest Times in Las Vegas
These are some key events, holidays, and conventions that are popular for visitation which mean room rates are elevated. If you are looking for the cheapeset time to go to Vegas, we would recommend steering clear of these events.
Consumer Electronics Show (Early January): Over 180,000 conventioneers attended the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017 which takes place in Las Vegas annually in early January. That many people crowding the sidewalks, the monorail, and most importantly, the craps tables will make Vegas pretty hectic.
Conventions run in Las Vegas year-round, some larger than others. You can check here to see what conventions conflict with your travel dates.
Additionally, I like to pull up hotel rates for a specific property, Flamingo for instance, and view their nightly rates over the month you would like to visit. You’ll see the nightly price fluctuations and it will become very obvious what nights have major events and which nights are in lesser demand. Its foolproof.
March Madness (Mid-March): For the sports betting community, doing the opening weekend of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball tournament is the pinnacle of degenerative gaming. As thousands of gamblers flock in from around the country to their Mecca, it can be difficult to find an affordable hotel room. Don’t expect to find a seat in the sportsbook either.
Super Bowl (Early February): Another premier sporting event = one of the busiest times to visit Las Vegas. Attracting upwards of 250,000 travelers, early February is definately not one of the best times to visit Las Vegas if cost is a concern.
Halloween (October 31st): What’s more fun than dressing up and getting drunk? Dressing up, getting drunk and gambling! With that simple truth in mind, Halloween in Las Vegas is a popular time to visit. Pay up if you want to join the party, but pick another time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
New Years Eve: Haven’t you seen the movie Forrest Gump? Booze, New Year’s Eve, good friends, and prostitutes equate to a great time… unless she tastes like cigarettes. Vegas is generally a party, Vegas on New Years is a madhouse. Yes, we know prostitution is illegal in Vegas. We’re also not naive.
Memorial/Labor Day Weekend: A 3 day weekend is a popular time to book a trip to Las Vegas. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and expensive rooms, avoid ’em.
National Finals Rodeo (Early December): Held on the UNLV campus in early December, the National Finals Rodeo features the top 15 earners per Rodeo event as they compete for their respective championship belts. At least, I hope there are belts. They deserve them. Consequently, a lot of folks that like watching guys conquer bulls visit Las Vegas making it a pretty busy time to be in town.
Electric Daisy Carnival (Mid-May): EDC is a massive music festival that draws hundreds of thousands of concertgoers. While the event itself takes place away from the city at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, attendees eat up a large chunk of the city’s hotel inventory.
Using the visitation and rate chart we created above is an easy way to identify the best times to travel to Las Vegas. Scheduling a trip during the cheapest times to visit Vegas typically entails avoiding events and conventions. Use the convention calendar linked in this blog post or simply look at a single hotel’s room rates over a month to gauge what dates to avoid vs. when there is less travel demand. Lastly, ALWAYS book a refundable room so that you can take advantage of rate drops.
Feature Image: ©gioiak2/123RF.COM