Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Happens in Vegas . . . I Tell to You

First, if you like my article, Digg it over there on the right.

So I promised yesterday that I'd tell you about the great deal I got to Vegas, and how I got it. (And no, it wasn't FREE like some people, so I guess my deal could be better. ha!)

The BF and I are going at the end of April (slightly after spring break, because mid-April was more expensive.) We will be there 5 nights, and will be staying at Mandalay Bay (which suprised me that it was lower than a lot of the other properties, but I'll take it.) The grand total, per person is $717. That averages out to $300 for airfare from the East Coast (the small Richmond airport, no less) and around $89 a night for hotel. I didn't get deals like that when I was flying out of Baltimore, a Southwest hub.

People ask me all the time how I find the deals I find. The answer? I look. A lot. Here's my strategy. First, I look at Expedia and Orbitz and the like. They're low, but they're not going to be the lowest most times (but I keep it written down, because sometimes they surprise me.) I use this to find out what airlines fly the route I'm looking for.

Next, I head to the airline sites. I'm partial to United, because I've got lots of miles on them, but I always look at all the flights. You're going to find your best airline deals on the airline Web sites. (Calling the 800 number will just add to the price.) Especially to Vegas, WATCH THE FLIGHT TIMES, because your best deals are often red-eye flights. I hate red-eye flights, so I'll pay a bit more to get a decent flight time.

Then I head directly to the hotel Web sites. In Vegas, often the hotels themselves will have pretty good combo deals, some including a gaming match-play card, discount show tix, spa coupons, dinner coupons, etc. And they work with the airlines, so full packages can be found, but usually out of the bigger cities. I see which airlines are participating, then . . .

I head to the airline vacation sites (like instead of That's where I found my deal this time, on My deal also included tax, tags and freight as I like to say. So that was the end deal that included departure taxes and such. I'm so proud of our deal. :) Honestly, the pet sitter might actually cost me more than the trip.

You may be wondering if I use travel agents? I use them for trips to destinations that are harder to access. I used an agent to get me to Australia and a group trip, also to Hawaii. But generally, I've found that I can do similar things, given enough time.

Tomorrow, I'll share some of our itenerary.


Hootin' Anni said...

Carmen!!!!!!!!! I was so shocked and surprised to see you in my comment section. I'm very pleased. I must find time to drop by and catch up one of these days....golly, it's good to see you.

Janet said...

when I went to Vegas last June for my birthday, the ONLY reason I choose it was to see Cirque du Soleil's Love...and man, was it ALL I hoped for and more! I'd go back again to see it :-)

Have fun on your trip!

Renee said...

That's about how we plan our vacation too...only I hadn't tried the vacation site. Will have to look into that, thanks for the tip!

I found out the hard way to not bother with the packages from Travelocity, etc cuz the hotels suck! Last time we ended up in a hotel that was supposed to be 3 star but were put in a room next to ongoing renovation and our room was probably next to be worked on!!! blech!

Melli said...

Well! It IS good to see you again! So a travel blog only, huh? Do we ever get caught up on the news with you and the BF? Progression? Pics perhaps? Well... travel tips are good... but I'm completely out of the travel circuit now!

Cheysuli and gemini said...

We haven't heard about the airline vacation sites either. That's a good one--and we're lucky we're by a big city airport!

Goofy Girl said...

Ooo those are some great tips, I'll try that next time I'm planning on going somewhere!

~Virginia~ said...

mandalay bay sounds great! last time we were out there we stayed at MGM. i'm sure you know this tip too, but downtown's cheaper than the strip. we usually stay at the golden nugget which is really really nice. thanks for the tips!