Most years, I tend to get out to Las Vegas once a year. The cross-country travel, the expense of such a trip vs. a visit to my local casino, and the additional planning required tends to keep my trip frequency pretty low.
I also have come to appreciate and expect having at least a week out there. I see people posting all the time about how they couldn’t survive in Vegas for more than a few days, and I’m now exactly the opposite, having done two multi-week trips, and I’ve never gone for less than a week.
My reasons for this are simple – I don’t need to cram all I can Vegas into a few days if I just give myself more time. And when planned correctly, I can do so for a similar or lower cost to a shorter trip overall. Here’s how I accomplish such a thing.
1. Organize Offer Redemptions
The first step is simply working through my various offers at the casinos to see what’s available. For my upcoming trip, my bookings all come with throw-ins, such as free play or food credit, many times both. (I can and often do stack my offers when my play level will allow for it, and this trip is an example of this.)
This trip I won’t be working at all during the trip, so I don’t need to look for places that offer strong working conditions like a good desk/chair set and strong Wi-Fi, although I certainly will have what I need should that come to pass. So I anchored my trip with my strongest offer, which is from MGM Rewards, and book-ended my stay with two nights at two different properties, one of which (Mirage) will be my first stay.
One of the offers I got was a “we miss you” offer from Tropicana, which I’ve never stayed at but had offers in the past because of regional play at Plainridge Park. Since the offer was expiring before I could get out there again, I decided to use it so I could put some play on record and hopefully maintain that in the future, even after the Bally’s sale (either with Bally’s offers at Tropicana, or M Resort offers).
2. Protect or Build Offers
Part of this trip, being a bonus one where my budget has been padding by online casino success, will allow me to get some time in at casinos I normally can’t play at, since I have key offers to maintain.
So I have allocated some budget to getting on the radar at a couple of properties that could be helpful offer-wise as the ownership landscape changes on the strip and beyond.
In the process, I’m making sure my play won’t be spread too thinly, risking the offers I already have at places like MGM. They’ll still see me play at my normal level, if not higher.
3. Maximize External Options
For this trip, like previous trips, I will have the Las Vegas Advisor on hand to help with some additional gambling opportunities and food discounts. Unfortunately, the American Casino Guide has stopped printing its book, but they do have a handful of coupons on their website, which could come in handy too.
I also have additional free play queued up from the MyVEGAS apps, which combined with the LVA coupons will give me additional opportunities to pad my bankroll and make my budget last even longer.
4. Plan Non-Gambling Stuff
While I don’t tend to be a massive foodie, I need to be able to eat, and my last couple of Vegas trips have seen the need for reservations for many places to avoid long waits. Plus, since I have food credits at certain places, I also need to make sure that I am set up to eat where those credits are to make the most of them.
So as I get closer, I begin to map out options for eating, and in the process I’ll make reservations when available and as needed.
Outside of that, I attempt to do non-gambling things each trip so I’m not just on the casino floor all day, and will look for non-gambling things to do. I also aim to do at least one new thing each visit, whether it be check out something I’ve never seen there before, or just enjoy an activity that I haven’t before.
I’ve ziplined, drove to places like Hoover Dam, and driven through the Red Rock drive as among the activities I’ve done over the years.
5. Sync Up With Friends
Finally, I do take some time to figure out if people I know will be there (many times at least one person I know is there), and work to figure out when we can meet up. One of my east coast friends is scheduled to be there for most of the time I’m there, for instance, so I’m sure we’ll meet up and hang out for a portion of it.
How do you prepare for a trip to Las Vegas? Share in the comments!