As a first-time visitor to Las Vegas, I’ve been told by some people that I can expect to spend $200 or more per day on food and beverage. As someone who enjoys travel but tends to be more conservative with spending, that made me nervous! When it came time to take my own trip to Vegas recently, I wanted to see just how much a person might expect to spend on food and drinks each day. Here’s a breakdown of my costs with some insights into whether I splurged or conserved to help you plan for your own Vegas getaway.
AVERAGE COST OF A VACATION
According to Bankrate, the average price tag on a week-long vacation in the United States for one person is $1,558. The average price of a double hotel room is $204 while the average price of food for one person each day is $45.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority states the average per day price for rooms on the Strip is $173.63, which is up about 53% from a year ago. Average total spend on food on a Vegas trip varies widely, but as of 2021, could be roughly $460.
These rates vary, of course, based on a person’s spending style and where they’re vacationing. But it helps to have some average numbers in mind when budgeting for a vacation.
LAS VEGAS GETAWAY DETAILS
I flew into Las Vegas on a Thursday evening and left on Monday morning. I stayed at The Venetian, located right on the Strip. Since I went with a friend, we split the cost of our room.
The Venetian has a staggering number of restaurants and bars within the resort complex. In fact, there are more than 60 restaurants. The resort also features multiple pools and an impressive lineup of shopping options. Other than stepping out onto Las Vegas Boulevard just to say I could, we were able to stay right within the resort complex for the four nights we were there.
As you review the per-day spend and details, keep in mind that I only dined out for two meals per day while in Vegas. I brought breakfast bars from home and ate breakfast in the hotel room. This had more to do with my food sensitivities than anything, but it did save me some money.
THURSDAY EVENING ARRIVAL: SPLURGE
We arrived in the evening, so we ate a later dinner with cocktails. We each had a nightcap before heading back up to our room for the evening. In addition, the amazing staff members at The Venetian comped us a bottle of champagne and chocolates on our arrival. What a way to make guests feel welcome!
All said and done, I spent about $96 on Thursday evening. Had I purchased the champagne and chocolates, my total would have come out to roughly $186.
FRIDAY: SPLURGE DAY
Friday began with an Americano from a coffee bar in the hotel. We brunched before enjoying a big spa day, complete with mimosas (of course!). Afterward, we headed back to the Grand Canal Shoppes for dinner, which consisted of an amazing salad and a glass of wine for me. I stayed out and about a bit later Friday night, enjoying a couple more cocktails before calling it a night. Before turning in, I purchased a small case of water from the on-site Walgreen’s.
Friday’s food and beverage total worked out to about $230.
SATURDAY: CONSERVE DAY
In contrast, my spending dropped a bit for Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday started out with another coffee, then a small snack before heading out to enjoy one of the many pools at The Venetian. I ate a late lunch poolside, then went back up to our room for a bit. Dinner time arrived and we decided we wanted something casual, so I ordered a burger and a soda. Once again, the fabulous hotel staff spoiled us, this time with two cocktails per person at Electra Cocktail Club. (Their fantastic DJ managed to mash together John Denver and Salt-N-Pepa—and actually make it sound quite good!)
All told, Saturday’s food and beverage total was just under $170. Had I spent money out of pocket for my drinks at Electra, that total would have been closer to $220.
SUNDAY: CONSERVE DAY
Sunday was another low-key day. After grabbing coffee, I enjoyed gluten-free fried chicken and brussels sprouts for lunch. This was a slight splurge as the restaurant we dined at had an a la carte menu, with entrées purchased separately from sides. However, I had water with lunch, so I didn’t have the expense of cocktails. The same was true for dinner; I enjoyed a simple gluten-free pasta with a glass of water.
Sunday’s food expenses totaled just over $105.
AVERAGE SPEND PER DAY ON FOOD & DRINKS
Over the course of four days, my average spend on food and drinks with tips (without including the comped goodies) was just over $150 per day. While definitely cheaper than the $200 daily average I heard thrown around, it’s quite a bit more than Bankrate’s average numbers.
TIPS ON FOOD AND DRINKS IN VEGAS
After visiting Las Vegas, I noticed that some restaurants included an automatic gratuity of about 18%. Most waiters and waitresses pointed it out when they brought the bill, but one time I missed it and tipped my usual 20% on top of the automatic gratuity.
While I chose not to dine out for breakfast, The Venetian does have a variety of tempting breakfast options throughout the resort complex. They also have grab-and-go style stores for those who’d prefer a simpler, less expensive meal to go rather than dining in a restaurant.
The Walgreen’s on site was quite convenient for my stay, but there are 6 other stores located on the Strip. While the prices may be higher than what you might pay at home, you can still find cheaper bottled water here along with snacks and assorted other supplies. Keep this in mind if you’d rather not splurge on dining out quite so often.
SPENDING MONEY IN LAS VEGAS
The Venetian isn’t the only hotel on The Strip, obviously. Yet the convenience of staying within the resort complex was worth the average food and beverage cost of $150 per day for me. Plus, I was a bit relieved to learn that I didn’t quite reach that $200 per day average I’d heard so much about from friends. Your experience may differ, but this can help you set some expectations about your own food and beverage spending before your venture into Vegas.
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