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Las Vegas on a Budget - Getting Around Las Vegas on a Budget


Las Vegas, Nev.
Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com

That famous stretch of Las Vegas Blvd. known as The Strip is much longer than you might realize. Some people start walking and lose track of how far they've gone. It can be a long walk back in the sun if you don't plan accordingly. For the record, the length varies by how you define "Strip," but most agree it's at least four miles.

How do you travel this area efficiently?

One option is a free tram that runs between Mandalay Bay and Excalibur, two hotel properties with one owner. It operates 24 hours a day.

There are other free buses that operate between properties, but it is difficult to keep an updated list. It pays to ask at the front desk of your hotel if there is a shuttle service that stops at or near the front doors.

If you need transportation between The Strip and the Convention Center area, consider the Trolley Buses. These are buses that are decorated to look like street cars. The cost is $2.50 USD (all-day pass is $4.25) and they run between the Stratosphere, the Las Vegas Hilton and Fremont Street. Warning: they stop at many major hotels, so this is not a good idea if you're in a hurry.

Las Vegas also has a monorail system. It's fairly expensive on a per-ride basis: $5 USD, and a one-day pass is $12. The advantage here is time: it makes the full seven-stop trip along The Strip in about 15 minutes. If you've ever driven The Strip or tried to walk it in the heat of the day, this quick, air-conditioned option might be an easy sell.

The local mass transit operation is called CAT, short for Citizens Area Transit. More than 300 buses serve 48 routes and 150,000 people per day. Most routes operate 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. seven days a week. Some routes operate 24-hours a day.

If you drive to Las Vegas, there is both good news and bad news. First the good: many hotels and casinos provide excellent and free parking in their massive garages. The bad: traffic here can be frustrating, even late at night.

Car Rentals can be inexpensive here because of sheer volume.

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