We spent Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas. Before I go any further, I want to say from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am for the sacrifices so many have made for our great nation and for our freedom. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for me to live the life I live today!
Now frugal and Las Vegas seems to be an oxymoron, right? However, this could be titled Our Frugal Weekend to Florida or San Diego or wherever USA. Because our family lives in Las Vegas, we were able to save lots of cash! The reason for our trip was my nephew’s high school graduation party. This was a last minute trip and made possible only because of some dirt cheap airfare.
I shopped around on various discount airlines on a Tuesday, about 12 days before we left. I had been shopping for airfare for months, but it was way too expensive. On this particular day, however, the cheap airline travel stars aligned and I found a one way ticket for $27! Hurray! It was a bargain airline that upcharges for every. little. thing. Are you familiar with those? Fortunately, we have been on this airline before and know their sneaky tricks! I did pay for a carry on bag, which was a mistake for such a short trip (Saturday to Monday), and won’t do that again.
Our return flight on Monday was a bit more expensive, however. I did discover a trick though. I was initially shopping for one ticket and then two tickets, and these were each $100. When I plugged in four tickets, however, the price jumped to $136! Therefore I purchased two tickets for $100 and two tickets for $136. I was feeling like a really savvy shopper at that point!
Travel tip: I was told by a wise traveler once that airfares are cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! 🙂 Not sure why this is, but it usually works for me.
On Saturday morning of our trip we ate breakfast at home and packed a lunch and some snacks. I honestly think we were the only people eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the Denver airport! You know what though? I didn’t care! I was so grateful to be going to see my family and to celebrate with my nephew that other people’s opinions didn’t really matter. So much about our personal finance success is about being grateful and content!
I also packed enough snacks to get us there and back. We bring empty water bottles and fill them in the airport. As long as there is no liquid in them, they pass through security, no problemo. The Denver airport has these cool water bottle fillers by the drinking fountains and we think the water tastes just fine. We used the regular water fountain in the Las Vegas airport which definitely did not taste as good as home, but I’m not too picky about that because I know there are people in the world without any clean drinking water and that makes me grateful for what I have.
Dreamer Boy 16 and Dreamer Girl 12 wanted to buy some fancy coffee drinks while waiting in the airport. They had their own money and made the choice to spend it. That’s great! There is no better lesson than working hard and deciding whether or not you want to spend $6.95 on a small coffee. Me? I just drank my free water.
Eating out can be so costly when you’re traveling, or anytime for that matter. Feeding my family in a restaurant can easily run $100! When we visit our family, we definitely try to get everyone together for a BBQ or dinner of some sort. This really helps keeps our cost down, and I think it’s more fun. We do have a couple of restaurants we love in Las Vegas and in order to save money we try to eat breakfast or lunch there. One of the places I miss most about Las Vegas is Roberto’s Taco Shop. They have THE BEST breakfast burritos! We have not found anything close to them here in CO (I’ve tried to replicate them, but they are never the same!). That was our splurge meal for the weekend and it was so worth it! I think we spent $25 on our burritos. If you’re ever in Vegas you need to find Roberto’s!
So you’re probably wondering about our fancy hotel and gambling stories and such, right? Well, we don’t gamble and we stayed with the in-laws! We enjoyed an awesome party with my nephew and saw lots of family and friends. However, in the spirit of Las Vegas we did have a couple of very late nights and didn’t get very much sleep! It was a great weekend and I don’t regret spending a dime!
Do you have any frugal travel tips to share? I’d love to hear them!
photo credit: Douglas Carter Cole <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22535843@N05/2172501132″>Welcome To Las Vegas Nevada Sign</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>