Las Vegas was not all it was cracked up to be for me at least. On day one I was searching for plane tickets back home. We walked the strip and let me warn you, if cigarette smoke bothers you, you won't make it. I had to wear a face mask EVERY day that we were in Vegas or face being tortured with a migraine from the moment I woke up in our smokey hotel (The Stratosphere - sorry but don't stay there.. ick!).
Anyway, I'm supposed to be giving you "travel finance tips" - so here they are:
- Know the costs - We always create a budget when we decide we want to go somewhere. We use a few apps to keep an eye on flight prices (Hopper, Kayak, Kiwi, and Skiplagged are our favorites). We decide on dates for our trip based on flight prices and when they will be the best price. If you're driving - keep an eye on hotel prices. We LOVE Groupon. We take short weekend trips all the time because of Groupon and now because of Airbnb. These outlets are incredible, and we have never paid full price for a hotel. Lastly, save BEFORE your trip. I have a checking account and a savings account (as well as a second saving account for actual savings). My 1st savings account is for trips. When we budget what a trip will cost, I make sure that I have that money set aside and in my savings account before we leave for the voyage, that way you aren't worried about anything while you're away!
- Plan - Ricky & I are ridiculous planners. Before every trip, we research and determine what it is that we want to see. When we travel with friends, we ask them what their most important destinations are (always include everyone traveling, otherwise don't invite them!) After getting a list together; we print out a giant map and use numbered stickers to coordinate with our numbered list. We use this map to group everything together and see what we can fit in on the same day. (We now use Google Maps which we'll show you in our Iceland blog post!) Once we've got a plan on what we can fit in on each day, we determine what is most important and what are the items we'll only do if we have time. Remember that your itinerary is a working document, keep updating it until you leave on your trip and keep everyone involved!
- Once you've got your itinerary, figure out how much everything costs and write it down. Gather this information will help you determine what is most important on your to do list and what you can take off the itinerary.
- Car Rentals - If you like to keep things moving and see as much as possible just rent a car. We found this out the hard way. In Vegas, we chose not to rent a car and then we ended up hating the strip (we don't smoke, drink, or gamble). We had thought about renting a car for the trip but decided against it, and in the end, we spent triple what we would have on car rentals if we had just booked ahead.
Below are pics from our trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. We ended up spending a lot of time exploring Nevada (and the Grand Canyon & Desert Valley in CA), and we LOVED IT, even more than the Vegas Strip. Our must sees are the following: Valley of Fire State Park & Red Rock Canyon. If you would like our Vegas agenda, send us a request below!
Good luck in Vegas!