Us with our BFFs in Mexico.....

Us with our BFFs in Mexico…..

As many of you know, I’m heading to Las Vegas with my husband and my best friends next month….and we’re stoked!

I know what you’re thinking.  Las Vegas is the epitome of consumerism and financial irresponsibility, and frugality writers who believe what they preach just don’t belong there.  But you’re wrong.  I do belong in Las Vegas.  Why?  Because I love people-watching.  I like having a gin-n-tonic or five and being able to carry them around in the street.  I also like gambling.  Sue me.

Before you call me a huge hypocrite, please hear me out.  We haven’t gambled since the last time we went to Las Vegas three years ago, and only do it on special occasions.  Plus, we always limit ourselves to $100 each and don’t ask for more once it’s gone.  It’s still fun though, even with such a small amount to play with.  Greg likes to play craps and will literally play for hours.  The last time we were in Vegas, he played with some random woman until the early morning.  And well, I left his ass there.  Craps may be fun to play, but it’s boring as hell to watch.

My Cheap Las Vegas Vacation

Anyway, the whole point of this trip was to get away with our friends for a weekend of frugal fun.  And it all starts with the free flights I earned from signing up for a few Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards and my shiny, new companion pass.  Here it is:

companion pass

I qualified for the Southwest Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points within one calendar year.  Now that I have it, all of my Southwest flights will be buy-one-get-one free this year and next, even if I pay with points.  I booked flights for four a few months ago for a total cost of 65,970 points and $20.  Obviously, $20 is a swank deal for round-trip flights for four.  Winning!

Finding a Cheap Las Vegas Hotel

I stayed in a really nice hotel the last time we went to Las Vegas, but that was only because the trip was paid for by my previous employer.  So, since we actually have to pay for the hotel on our own this time, I wanted to find something cheap.  I do have a lot of random hotel points that I technically could spend (Marriott, Hyatt, and Starwood Preferred Guest), but I don’t think Las Vegas is a good place to redeem them.  We really just need a place to sleep.  So, how about the Travelodge?

travelodge 2People have already started asking me where we’re staying, and they look at me in disbelief when I tell them.  But I’m not ashamed.  I think the Travelodge is the best deal on the strip!  First of all, it has a totally bangin’ location just north of the MGM Grand and New York, New York.  It obviously doesn’t have a casino, but it does have a pool.  I have a feeling that the Travelodge is where all the cool kids are staying.  It’s also right across the street from the Monte Carlo which is where my BFFs will reside.

Travelodge Las Vegas Center Strip Details

  • $87 per night
  • Free continental breakfast
  • Free wifi
  • No resort fees

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know how important the extra perks are.  Resort fees alone can run anywhere from $15-$45 per day in addition to your regular hotel rate, and wifi can run up to $15 per day or more.  A free breakfast will also be nice, even if it’s just cereal or bagels.  We usually don’t eat three large meals anyway.

The best part is that I paid for our two nights at the Travelodge with Expedia Rewards points and the very last of the travel credit from my Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard.  This meant that I only had to pay for the first night of our trip out-of-pocket.  (We’re spending the first night in old downtown Las Vegas at the Four Queens)

Total Cost for Our Trip:

  • Flights: $20
  • One Night at Four Queens: $72 (we’re sharing a room with our friends the first night)
  • Two nights at the Travelodge: $0

In addition to these expenses, we’ll have to spend money on food, drinks, and gambling.  Other than that, we’ll probably partake in all of the free things to do in Las Vegas, like people-watching and walking around aimlessly.  I’ve also been known to bring my own alcohol and make my own mixed drinks to save money.  Is that tacky?

Wait a minute.  I don’t care.

Want a free weekend in Las Vegas?  Sign up for the Barclay Arrival World MasterCard using this link and earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in three months.  The 40,000 miles can be redeemed for a $400 travel credit that can be used for hotel stays, flights, or more.  Winning!

Do you think it’s tacky to stay at the Travelodge?  Where have you stayed in Las Vegas?  Do you think that gambling is wrong?