I Am Leaving for Las Vegas Tomorrow: Pre-trip Report

Once again, I am spending Christmas in Las Vegas.   It is my favorite place to be on this holiday.  See how pretty it is?

Bellagio Christmas conservatory polar bears  Las Vegas Nevada

However, this trip is going to be slightly different.  Why, you ask?  Well let me tell you!

First off, this is going to be my last trip to Las Vegas indefinitely.  I want to see the rest of the world and the more I go about this, the more I do the math that my Las Vegas budget for two weeks is more than the cost of a month long trip to other places.

Second, I am going to put a lot more effort into doing this trip travel blogger style and do some actual sight seeing.   After having been to Las Vegas a bazillion times, you tend to not do any touristy things because you  have already done it all.  There are days I only make my way to Dunkin Donuts and video poker machines and nothing else.  This trip, I will be revisiting a bunch of attractions that I haven’t looked at in years.  Or at least, this is the plan.  I may forget about this once I see all the pretty lights.

Third, this will be my first trip with a decent camera.  This means I can retake all the same pictures I have 2389743892 versions of and have it be justified.  I am so completely HATE when I upload my older trip reports and see the picture quality.   This was all fine when my trip reports were just posted on message boards.  Vegas addicts have no problem with seeing a blurry Aces with a Kicker progressive picture.  But now I am stuck with those crappy pictures and I don’t like how they look on my blog.   I am constantly struggling with whether or not to post these crappy pictures.  Las Vegas addicts WANT to see them.   People who randomly stumble across my blog looking for information may think these pictures were taken by a blind person whizzing by on a tiny airplane with flood lights shining on the screen.

Fourth, this is a big one: I am paying for rooms.  Wait, what?  Yes.  I am paying for rooms.   I had choices to make and I did not like any of them.  I cannot justify paying a $25 resort fee on a comped Strip room, when for the same price, I could pay for a downtown hotel.  So that is what I did for four nights.  I am also forever miffed that after booking three of those nights on a non-refundable rate, I then got a mailer for cheaper rates.   I hate you Las Vegas.

Here is my hotel list:

Palace Station: One night free via MyVegas.  What is MyVegas?  Go here and find out!

MGM Grand: Three nights for just the resort fee, courtesy of MyVegas.  I had several choices here and ended up picking MGM Grand solely because I just had a feeling.   Gamblers know what I am talking about.   Bonus: I stayed here on my very first trip to Las Vegas so it is also fitting for me to stay here on my last trip to Las Vegas.

Main Street Station: I love Boyd properties.  I am paying for this night, it comes with two free buffets.  I am hoping they give me two separate vouchers as I am traveling solo.

Cosmopolitan:  Yes, Cosmopolitan began sending me offers earlier this year.  None I could use because I wasn’t scheduled to go.  I was so (opposite of) patient waiting for them to send me one I could actually use and there it was in my inbox one day!  I am so excited to stay here.  I do not deserve this offer and whoever wrote the algorithm to generate these offers is going to be fired when Cosmopolitan sees how tiny my gambling budget is.  Sorry (not sorry.)

Orleans: I just love this place.  I have two nights comped here.  I usually start my trips either here or the Gold Coast.  However, I had such a complicated time filling in nights so the puzzle pieces have me staying  here later in the trip.  I am pretty excited to wake up here on Christmas day.

Four Queens:  My last hotel of the trip, and another one I am paying for.  It frustrates me that I am a downtown low roller and most of my comps are for the Strip.  I don’t know how this keeps happening.  So I resigned to pay for the last three nights to be downtown.   I was able to book it as a mystery hotel on Priceline Express Deals.  Here is a hint:  It is easy to figure out the downtown hotels by the resort fee.  $5 fee is the Golden Nugget, $20 is the Plaza (seriously fuck you with your $20 resort fee I hate you) and zero resort fee is the Four Queens.  Easy peasy!

I also have both the American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor coupons to get me lots of free play and other assorted goodies.  I am a degenerate gambler who accidentally bought enough chips on MyVegas to net me five rewards at MGM properties.  Those combined with the other partners outside of the MGM five reward limit got me the following:

  • One night at Palace Station
  • Three nights at MGM Grand = $83-ish for the resort fee on three nights
  • $50 free play at MGM
  • One Bellagio dinner buffet
  • Palace Station breakfast buffet
  • Green Valley Ranch breakfast buffet
  • Red Rock breakfast buffet and a second one for Friday night dinner
  • Sunset Station breakfast buffet
  • Aria slot tournament
  • Four single ride Monorail passes*
  • Two round trip Monorail passes*
  •  A tin of mints from Sugar Factory**

*I don’t think I need this many Monorail passes but the round trip passes went away as it became time to book so I got paranoid

**I definitely do not need this but this is what happens when you start out with over a million loyalty points and want to book anything just to get to use them.

I also have three spa treatments booked.  This may seem excessive, but if you will forgive me, I just started using Groupon and I could not stop myself once I saw the prices.

I normally do a free play day every trip, this year I am doing two different ones just because it makes sense to use the South Strip free play all at one time rather than commuting back down there later in the trip.

Things I am  not doing, that I am kind of bummed about:

Staying at SLS.  I had every intention of staying at the newly opened property, but rates were just insane.  Of course they had a Black Friday sale after I was all booked.  I guess this is okay as the last time I stayed here, it was still the Sahara and there was a ball gag left behind in my room from the previous guests.

I will be posting my daily itinerary with each day’s report so you can see (a) how insane my planning is and (b) how I don’t follow any of it once I get to Vegas and sit down at a video poker machine.

Wish me luck!

22 thoughts on “I Am Leaving for Las Vegas Tomorrow: Pre-trip Report

  1. Nancy

    From reading all of your old t.r. I seriously can’t wait to see if you follow any of your site seeing plans.. almost betting you won’t.. I can’t wait to read your day to day reports. Have fun and since this is the “last” trip I hope you finally hit the BIG jackpot. Merry Christmas

    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      I would say that’s a pretty good bet! I hope I at least do one Strip walk with my fancy new camera but I can’t trust me to say I will.

      Thanks for the BIG jackpot wishes! Have a great holiday.

  2. Mike

    Oh man, I remember the ball gag story from when it happened, way long ago on the LVA.

    I think you could have found worse things, honestly. I have a friend who worked the front desk at a somewhat crappy hotel here by the Jersey shore, if you want to compare stories. :)

      1. Mike

        And good luck in Vegas! I really feel like playing some video poker. I started trying to learn DDB, but I’ve been a JoB player for sooooo long. It’s not been easy.

        1. jenniferjennifer Post author

          Thanks! I am fiending to play some DDB right now. Preferably Ultimate X so that it is even more volatile. Ahhhhhh degenerate gambling mmmmm.

          1. Mike

            While I enjoy reading about your other trips…I’ll miss new Vegas reports.

            I should start my own travel blog.

            Out of curiosity, have you ever played bingo whilst in Vegas?

          2. jenniferjennifer Post author

            I did once. My mother and I tried it and for some reason, we could not figure it out and it was moving so fast and we felt like such idiots like this is Bingo? And we cannot figure it out? Are we really this stupid?

          3. Mike

            My wife and I (and we’re 35) play regularly. If you have any interest in it, it’s a good idea to go somewhere locally and play in a slower environment. It moves really fast in Vegas. We have also played at Foxwoods, which isn’t bad either. We won $1199 last time there!

          4. Mike

            Also, if you ever find yourself on a Friday night with nothing to do and a way to get to Old Bridge, NJ, we’d be happy to show you the bingo ropes.

          5. jenniferjennifer Post author

            Thanks! I would absolutely love to win $1199! Maybe this could be a solution to my “I am a degenerate gambler who is not going to Las Vegas in 2015” solution.

          6. Mike

            The church where we play runs a progressive game. This coming Friday, the progressive will be over $3k. By far the highest I’ve ever seen there.

            We are the kind of people who have a Buddy Christ as our good luck charm. At bingo. In a church.

  3. Lorraine

    Jennifer — excited for another Jennifer report!!! If you can fit it in go for a Neon Boneyard Tour at dusk…..also highly recommend the Mob Museum — did both in November — both really great.

    1. jenniferjennifer Post author

      Thanks Lorraine! I definitely want to do the Neon Boneyard Tour. I just need to pull myself away from video poker.

        1. jenniferjennifer Post author

          It has not. I know nothing about hockey and I bet I could not possibly lose less betting on it, than I am on DDB. Sigh.


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