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updated 11/17/2009 4:13:34 PM ET 2009-11-17T21:13:34

HOTELS

What worked
A last-minute bid on Priceline delivered the best rate. Asking for the "walk-up" rate came in second.

What didn't
Calling—even locally. We were quoted a different price every time.

Good to know
To book in person, arrive at 8 p.m., when pit bosses release rooms they didn't dole out to high rollers.

AIRFARE

What worked
Sign up for e-newsletters from booking sites like Orbitz, which alert you to sales. Round-trip flights to Vegas from all over the U.S. hovered around $200 this spring.

What didn't
Booking too far in advance. These days, it's all about the last-minute gamble.

Good to know
Southwest has 227 daily nonstop flights to Vegas from 55 cities.

GETTING AROUND

What worked
Walking (the Strip's only about four miles long) or taking the city's monorail. Some hotels offer free vouchers; otherwise the ride's $5.

Slideshow: Viva Las Vegas! What didn't
Hailing cabs. We racked up $222 in fares while deal hunting.

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Good to know
Car rentals start at $18/day—not too bad, but traffic can be heinous.

SHOWS

What worked
Tix4Tonight sells half-price day-of-show tickets. Booths open at 10 a.m., but lines start forming at 9:30, when what's for sale is posted.

What didn't
Hitting up the concierges—they get good seats, but at full price.

Good to know
Tix4Tonight's booth at Hawaiian Marketplace has the shortest line.

SPAS

What worked
If your hotel has a spa, ask if you can get a free pass.

What didn't
Bargaining. The price of a massage is what it is.

Good to know
Some spas run online specials, so check Web sites for deals.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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