Planning a trip to Vegas

How I planned my trip to Las VegasEarlier this spring, I got an email from the Rock N Roll Marathon Series about their Las Vegas races opening up soon.  I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas, because it just looks like a really cool city to explore even though I’m not a huge drinker or gambler.  Within a couple of days I had talked myself into signing up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, which is on November 15 (30 more days!).  After I decided I was definitely going, I tried talking some of my friends into going with me.  Most of them said how they couldn’t afford it, but my best guy friend, Brian, told me to shoot him some numbers on how much it would cost and then he’d let me know.

So I started looking into round trip flights and how much hotels along the strip would cost.  I wanted to get a hotel that was close to the finish line, which is at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.  I didn’t want to spend too much money on a hotel, since I’d really only be in the hotel room to sleep, but also didn’t want to stay in a dingy hotel off of the strip, so I tried to find a room that cost around $100 a night that was on strip.  I found the LINQ’s Hotel & Casino online, and had also heard they just did renovations on it, and was able to find a deluxe room with 2 double beds for about $90 a night.  In total, with taxes and fees, the price for the room for 4 nights came out to $414.12.  And I found round trip flights from Boston to Vegas for $350, so I told all this to Brian and he just went “Ok I’m in.”

Effiel Tower in Las Vegas
The cost for the room and the flight for me together ended up being $557.  I could have saved about $50 if I had waited a couple more months to book a flight, but I have the habit of wanting to book stuff right away rather than waiting, which I am trying to get better at.  What I have heard however, is usually the cost of the trip to fly and stay in Vegas is cheap, it’s everything else that gets you – gambling, drinking, food, shows, etc.  So what I started doing was anytime I had cash on me, if I held onto the cash for a couple of days and didn’t spend it, I threw it into a box to save it for my trip to Vegas.  Basically my plan is whatever cash I have saved up by the time I leave for Vegas, is the only money I’m allowed to use on gambling/drinks over there.  Last I checked, I had over $600 in the box, and chances are I will not blow all of that on gambling and drinks because 1. I don’t drink much, 2. I’m a huge light weight, which means I really won’t need all that many drinks to be drunk/stay drunk and 3. I can’t sit still long enough to stay gambling for hours on end.  Because of all of those reasons, chances are I’ll probably come back home with most of that money still intact.
New York New York on the Las Vegas Strip
Since I will be running Sunday night in the Half Marathon, if I do end up drinking it will probably only be on Friday night, because I’ll want to hydrate on Saturday so I’m super hydrated on Sunday.  My parents also plan to go out to Vegas at the same time as me so they can watch me run in the race, so I’ll probably meet up with them a few times while out there and don’t really feel like being a drunken fool in front of them.  Right now I feel like I’m just trying to talk myself out of drinking, but I know there are ways to save money on drinking in Vegas.  If you’re actively gambling in the Casinos, you typically get served drinks for free, which is basically going to be my plan for drinking so I don’t spend a lot.
View of the Grand Canyon from above on Las Vegas tour
I don’t think I will really watch any of the shows in Vegas, unless I see one that looks really interesting.  The only thing I might spend money on is to do one of the helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon that are out of Vegas, because it seems like it would a really cool experience, and I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon.  My parents did this a few years ago, and said it was amazing.

Vegas at Night

The Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Vegas will be awesome because it starts around 5pm, so you run the Las Vegas Strip at night.  Rock N Roll races are so much fun too because there are a bunch of different bands set up along the course, and it’s SO COOL.  I did a Rock N Roll race last year in San Antonio, Texas, and it was one of the coolest races I’ve ran in.  I’m seriously hoping that the one in Vegas is even better!  Also, if you’re interested in how I have been training for this race check out my post Training for 13.1.

Alas, regardless of whether or not I use all the money I bring to Vegas or how I spend it, at least one thing is for sure, whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

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