Las Vegas 2021
The Planning stages....
COVID is still going strong and so are our land vacations!!!
After our last vacation 4 months ago in Aruba, if you read what happened there with Sakari (toward the end of the review) then you know how badly that freaked me out. I was having anxiety myself thinking about going to the beach again with everything going on with her. I kept reliving that day that could have turned fatal and as much as I searched for a place to go this time around, I had shivers down my spine thinking of going back to the beach again so soon. I finally decided we would do something completely out of the norm for us and stay in the good old US this time around.
As much as we like to travel, we sure haven't experienced much of anything here in the US. We always go out of the country and I figured why not give the west US some love? I have always wanted to go to Vegas and have even tried planning a trip there but backed out. Can you believe I've never been there? I know, hard to believe.
I started researching and believe it or not, I have a folder on my computer from years ago that I kept things in it about Vegas. Kendra went there a couple of years ago (without me...I know, how dare her! But to be fair, I believe I was probably out of the country on vacation without her myself). She loved it there but was only there a few days. My research brought me to all kinds of shows to see and things to do. I've heard people say you can only stay in Vegas for a few days and that's enough...but I just couldn't imagine not having enough to do there for at least a week. Well...according to everything I was interested in doing, I probably should have booked a few weeks!
I ran across a facebook Vegas site and found that if you play these online games (for free) you earn points (and there are 3 of them I used) and with these points, you get free things while in Vegas such as reduced costs to shows, free meals, comped rooms and all kinds of neat stuff. Earning points was really easy as well (and fun to watch). I was exercising my trigger finger for playing the slots for real when I went.
Booking the air flight was easy of course. We fly free with Southwest, so that's a no brainer. I just picked the cheapest days there and the cheapest day back...which happened to be Christmas day! YIKES!
Now booking a room became a task. I was going to use points to comp a few nights but by the time I had enough points, they were already booked. Another issue I ran into was there were a lot of black out dates (which happened to be the dates we were going because it was the week of Christmas).
I went back and forth on where to book and ended up booking the Luxor (the pyramid hotel with the huge Sphinx out front. Now I've heard some bad reviews of this place: dirty, rude staff and food is terrible. I mean it was the cheapest place there to book along the strip that was well known. Now here's where they get you...the room in like $35/night, cheap right? BUT, you have to add the resort fee and tax and that's where the price really goes up! You end up paying enough that it would be more like $134/night.
Well I did decide to go "top of the line" (or at least the best you could get in the pyramid...they have a tower as well) and get the 2 bed room (note: not a 2 bedroom) with a living room. So, there were 2 beds in one room and another room had a huge sectional couch, huge glass table, tv with dresser stand and a large desk in it. If we were going to be crammed into a small "hotel like" room, I was gonna make sure we had a little more room to spread out. Poor Sakari, she was going to be forced to spend ALL of her time with her parents. When we get a house for vacation, she spends a lot of time in her room drawing and talking to her friends on the phone so we don't see her as much. This was going to be a REAL family vacation. Hahaha! Teenagers! Gosh, did I just say that word? How is she a teenager already? Sniff sniff.
So I spent the month we had left to book 2 shows, make a list of "free" places to go and things to see and other things that we "might" do if we had time. I also researched the "cheap" places to eat by watching youtube videos as well.
Here are my notes I made prior to going. If you ever go to Vegas, this is a good starting point (note: it's 2 pages long.)
Click here for Luxor website
Of course since I'm such a planner, I also printed off maps to take with me to help us navigate a little better to places we wanted to go and see things.
How are we going to get around????
Well I sure wasn't about to attempt to drive in this crazy over crowded city so I read that you could buy bus passes for the Deuce bus. There are multiple stops up and down the main strip and it takes you from one end to the other (which I would have no idea just how far that really was). It was a hop-on hop-off type of bus. It also seemed like the cheapest way to get around as well. You would have to buy ticket from the kiosk, located at multiple stops, and you could buy a 2 hour pass for $6.00 or a 24 hour pass for $8 or go all out and get the 3 day pass for $20 each. Yep, that would be what we were doing since we were there for almost a week.
Now these buses ran around every 15-20 minutes and then another one would come along. Here was their map of the routes and stops.
Now we had to figure out how we would get from the airport to the hotel. I contemplated either taking an uber but then someone had mentioned you could also take a bus from the airport to the strip and the drop off location seemed pretty close to where we would be staying and then you'd just have to walk a few hotels over to get there. They mentioned most people do not realize that you can do this and it only cost $2/pp.
Of course I printed out the map as well so we would know when to get off.
NOW WE ARE SET TO GO TO VEGAS BABY!!!