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Las Vegas

Money & costs

Money

Every hotel-casino and bank and most convenience stores have an ATM.

American Express (702-739-8474; Fashion Show Mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S; 10am-9pm Mon-Fri, to 8pm Sat, noon-6pm Sun) Changes currencies at competitive rates.

Sin City is so seductive when it comes to extravagance. Once you’ve been in town for an hour or so, the actual value of money will seem hazy to your bedazzled brain, which has been hypnotized by neon lights and go-go dancers. It’s easy to get suckered into spending more money than you ever thought possible here. When you can buy a juicy steak for $5, drop a nickel in a slot machine and win over $100 bucks, and still fail to find a hotel room for under $200 on a weekend night, it’s hard to judge in advance just how much your trip will cost.

A typical visitor spends about $250 per day in Las Vegas, but there are many ways to save money. First, set a strict gambling budget and stick to it, whether that means $20 per day on video poker or a $100 buy-in for a poker tournament. A month or more before arriving in Las Vegas, scout out the best hotel deals online; don’t expect to pay less than $120 per night for a basic hotel room on weekends. You don’t need to rent a car, which costs at least $25 per day, except for jaunts outside the city. A combination of bus, monorail and taxi rides are often cheaper and less of a hassle, not to mention safer if you’ll be drinking.

Pick up everyday snacks and essentials at pharmacies rather than at hotel shops. When you’re hungry, skip room service and head down to the hotel’s 24-hour coffee shop instead. It's not hard to find freebies and discount coupons for casino hotels, restaurants, shows and attractions if you are prepared to look. If you’re down to your last dime, don’t fret: there’s plenty of free entertainment on the Strip and downtown.