Our Vegas-on-a-budget trip

Bellagio fountain about to explode!  One of a zillion free things to do in Vegas!

This trip almost didn’t happen for us.  We had some dooooozy car repair bills and actually looked into cancelling, but it was non-refundable– and we already had our flight tickets to Dallas for my school program, so we needed somewhere to stay anyway.  We figured there was plenty of free stuff to see, even the hotels themselves are attractions.  So if all we could afford to do was walk around, and sit in our hotel and stare at each other (lol), we’d still be on VACATION! 

We booked a cheap on Expedia at Excalibur, which included a flight on Spirit Air.  At the time, we didn’t know about Spirit Air and their trick, tricky ways.   They even charge you for your carry on bags! So, sometimes Spirit LOOKS cheaper, but once you factor in bag costs, it’s possibly way more! In this case it was still way less as long as we kept it to one carry-on and a ‘personal item’ for each of us.
Loooooooong travel days are killer
Where we always fail:  Getting there– we spent around $200 on our first loooong day traveling. With flight delays and shenanigans we were in airports, cars, and shuttles from 8am to 2am the following day!  When you are stressed, stranded, and annoyed, it’s easy to just say, “fuck it!” and eat and drink whatever you want.    It’s the waters…. the iced coffees, and the ”I’m starving and I just want to sit down somewhere and relax and eat real actual food” that get us on days like that. I have to be really careful about what I eat on travel days too because of my propensity for motion sickness and restless legs. 
From now on we will be traveling with water bottles to refill!  And healthy snacks.   And a more realistic budget of dinner in an airport restaurant instead of delusions that we won’t eat at one 😉
For the Eating–Before we left,  we had decided to avoid the buffets due to the high cost. BUT, after our first day in Vegas, we learned how quickly snacks, meals, and iced coffees add up and ended up saving money the next 2 days by getting the all-day buffet wristbands that were good at Excalibur and Luxor. Both are mediocre, typical buffets,  but Luxor felt less like a cafeteria, so we mostly ate there.  Pretty sure I ate my weight in watermelon this week. 
For the drinking– we bought a bottle of Kraken to save on expensive drinks.  But that ended up being a fail because our room was so far away from everything.  It was also a fail because we learned that we actually LOVE video poker, and all you have to do is play $20 for all the drinks you want as long as you are playing.  They say this is true of slots too, but we played in a few different casinos and the servers around the slots are not in the least bit attentive.  SO, Good Samaritan’s that we are, we gave away our almost full bottle to some guy in the lobby when we left.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed BEFORE time-share hell
EPIC FAILURE–When we arrived at Excalibur,  we were immediately pounced on by timeshare reps offering free tickets to shows and a free 2 night Vegas getaway.  We figured, why Not? We had no plans and hadn’t planned on any shows because of brokeness.  (We HAD planned on long days lounging by the pool with a bottle of rum, BUT, 110 degrees and being on the surface of the sun, and staying at a cheap hotel that didn’t put a lot of effort into shade making landscaping cancelled those plans.  If you want shade at Excalibur  you have to pay 50 bucks for the “premium” lounge chairs with umbrellas or under the few trees.)  So, we signed up with the promise of a 2-3 hour presentation that included lunch and snacks.   Holy crap what a mistake! We were there from 1030 to around 4 being emotionally blackmailed with dying mother stories, ‘you will be divorced if you don’t do this,’ we paid 800 to get you here so the least you can do is listen,’ and my favorite—a long drawn out game of good cop/bad cop between our “personal tour guide” and his manager.  ….and that’s not even ¼ of the “techniques” used on us.  I just don’t have the personality for that shit and left there angry and on the verge of tears. All for some tickets to Zumanity, and a trip that I am not even sure is real.  ZUMANITY, btw… WAS AWESOME!  ….but in hindsight I would have just ripped out the plastic and worried about money later 😉
Zumanity!  Next time, we’ll just pay for a show 😉
ONE LAST TIP!!  My BFF got me this gorgeous scarf in Thailand, so I wanted to bring it with me to dress things up a bit.  I used it in Vegas to cover up from the scorching sun, and then to wrap myself in the freezing AC in the hotels.  I used it in the airport to look nice and not like a slob (Don’t even get me started on people traveling in PJs and ripped up, dirty clothes…..).  I used in on the plane as a light blanket. I alternated it with another scarf I brought to make it look like I had more outfits than I really did (we packed SUPER LIGHT– see Spirit Air discussion above…lol)!  Total WIN!  Scarves are my new travel essential!

I FREAKING LOVE VEGAS!!  And I REALLY didn’t think I was going to enjoy it at all. CAN’T WAIT to go back!!!
 

Dear Lady Who Screamed, What the heck did you think was going to happen??  Are you new?

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