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1 Trip, Many Purposes

September 8th, 2015 at 08:27 am

I still owe August recaps and September budgets, but for today, I thought I'd make myself feel better by taking note of all my efforts to make the upcoming trip as effective as possible while minimizing costs.

Accommodations: I wasn't planning on a vacation this year. The Vegas trip came up when my mom received an offer for gambling a lot last year. It was 5 comped nights, $150 in freeplay, and BOGO show tickets. She asked if she could contribute and we could go for her birthday again. I agreed and we decided it would just be a mother-daughter trip. My mom decided 5 days wasn't enough and wanted to stay a week. That wasn't a problem as we play rewards programs which offer complimentary nights. However, DF's parents belong to a timeshare and had points to use up, so they graciously covered our other nights. It ended up working out that we'll be there 8 nights as the timeshare requires a 3-night stay. In July, DF proposed and we decided on Sedona. Flights to Phoenix are crazy expensive (close to $400/person). I realized Vegas is only about 5 hrs. drive away, so we decided to combine our vendor trip with the Vegas trip. I used my CC rewards to cover our hotel for our one night in Sedona.

Flights: Frontier has non-stop flights from DC-Vegas which are very reasonable. I've kept my eye on them. We got DF's roundtrip for $124. However, the DC-Vegas route is seasonal and stops on October 24th (terrible timing!!). We got one way flights for $187 for the two of us which includes our one checked bag. I'm still monitoring return flights, but it looks like it'll be about $220. So all told, my mom and I's flight will be about $200 each.

Entertainment & Food: I've mentioned before about two rewards programs which help make our trips a little cheaper: MyVegas and Social Rewards. MyVegas allows you to play slots for gold coins called Loyalty Points. You can then redeem the points for real-life rewards. They have several partners including MLife casinos, Station casinos, Royal Caribbean cruises, and Allegiant Air. Since my mom sometimes buys coins to play with, she has 4 MLife rewards while I have 3. We each got tickets to the Beatles Love cirque show and the Thunder from Down Under show. My mom's remaining rewards are for 2 free buffets and a $50 freeplay. My last reward will either be for another set of buffets or Shark Reef passes. The program also has restaurant rewards for Wolfgang Puck which we will use as well. The other program (Social Rewards) allows you to share things on social media and watch videos for points. Once you hit 1000 points, you can transfer that for $10 to use at any Caesar's property. You can earn about $10/month. There's a great little sandwich deli in Planet Hollywood, so we will probably use the $60 or so I have from that to eat lunch there several times. One of the places I really wanted to see was Fremont Street. There's a bus that runs downtown that we will take the day we go there. I'm also considering a $37 membership to Las Vegas Advisor which gives you a ton of coupons (most of which are for downtown). There are several $5, $10, and $25 free/match plays as well as a $50 credit to any Palms restaurant. I will most likely get it as the food credit alone pays for the membership and my mom could then spend the day hopping the casinos and playing. The hotel we're staying at the last 3 days has a kitchen, so I will most likely just buy food to keep in the room to cut down on eating out.

As the trip gets closer, I will be scouring groupon and living social for additional food/attraction deals. I will hold off on getting them until they have their extra 15/20% deals, so we can save even more! It should be a fun trip.

3 Responses to “1 Trip, Many Purposes”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Sounds like a great time and great planning too!

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Jazzy when I get a moment I will post up the cost and breakdown of my destination wedding (I have a spreadsheet for it) so you can have a look and compare, who knows maybe you'll get some ideas, so just check my page when you can, I will title it Wedding Costs.

  3. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    Thanks VS!! I look forward to seeing it.

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