Last weeks winning tip goes to Arpita S!
“Always check out the credit score and inquiries on your credit report before applying for a new card. There are some free trials that rick features from time to time. However, one needs to cancel these trials in order to ensure that there is no charge.
So, it is better to enroll in two totally free services: 1) creditkarma.com shows your transunion credit report and FAKO score. 2) Quizzle shows your Experian credit report and FAKO score.
You can update your your creditkarma score as frequently as you wish. You can update your Quizzle score twice in a year. “- Arpita S
This week I had a second chance to do Vegas and I came out much better this time. As many of you already know, I went to Vegas last month as a Rookie traveler and it cost me big. I wasted a lot of money getting ripped off by cabbies, eating expensive food, and missing a 1 a.m. flight that cost me an extra $800. No frugality in that one.
I went back last week and vastly improved on my traveling skills thanks to a ton of great tips from you all. I flew in on an award ticket, made all my flights, checked in online, and I went 100 percent carry on.
For me going to Las Vegas carry-on was an accomplishment in itself. One thing I did learn from my last mishap was that if I checked bags and had a cancelled flight, or missed a flight, the airline would only rebook me to my original destination. In the past I have been able to be rebooked into a city close to my home town and had a friend pick me up. or taken the shuttle home. Living in the middle of South Carolina I have four airports from which to choose, all about an hour and a half drive from me. So that gives the airlines some options when I have to rebooking.
Also, going carry-on opens me up for bumps and the award vouchers that come with them. When I was waiting for my plane, the U.S. Airways flights were all overbooked due to earlier cancelations and they were offering a $500 voucher and ground transportation to CLT for anyone who would give up their CAE-CLT flight or take a later one. That day I wish I had flown U.S. Airways.
I arrived on time and used your tips about the website toandfromtheairport.com to choose the cheapest commute from LAS to my hotel. Toandfromtheairport.com is a great site for information on all different forms of ground transportation from hundreds of airports all over the world. My options were: taxi, limo, public bus, or shuttle bus/van. The site told me where each type of transportation could be found in relation to the airport and its terminals, the approximate cost, the time it would take, the different companies, their websites and/or phone numbers, and a bunch of additional insider tips.
LAS to the strip:
By taxi: $12-15 dollars and 10-15 minutes
By Limo: $ 40-70 dollars — not this time. But I do have a funny story regarding limo transportation: My husband’s flight from CLT to CAE was cancelled the last time he flew in late from Vegas so he and five other guys shared a limo ride to CAE and split the cost, which ended up being the most affordable choice for them. Also if you can get with a group of people going to the same place, the cost of a van or limo can be reduced to less than a taxi. But as a lone traveler, this was not the cheapest travel option for me.
City Buses: Route map included on the site. Cost $1.75 per adult. I didn’t feel comfortable taking the city bus and my husband said it was a no-go. But this would have been the cheapest option.
Shuttle: $6 and about an hour of your time. They service both terminals. I went right outside baggage claim and bought a token at the ticket booth. Note to all: They only accept cash. The driver loaded my stuff, it was comfortable, air conditioned, and full of tourists. Took about 45 minutes to an hour but I got to drive around and see the strip, which was a great orientation for me.
I subscribe to Livingsocial.com and groupon.com and while there I logged into the Las Vegas daily deals. They were not all applicable to me (dental cleaning, a dozen cupcakes). Although, had I opted for 12 gourmet cupcakes, a dentist would have been a good idea! Groupon ran a 50% off bus tour special to the Grand Canyon that would have worked out but I couldn’t be gone all day.
On about.com I searched cheap buffets in Vegas and found a great list of cheap eats:
Circus Circus Buffet: Breakfast, 7 AM to 11 AM: $8.99, Lunch, 11:30 AM to 2 PM: $9.99,
Dinner, 4:30 PM to 10 PM: $10.99 Phone: (702) 734-0410
Fantasy Market Buffet: Palms: Breakfast, 8 AM to 10:30 AM: $5.99, Lunch, 11 AM to 3 PM: $7.99,
Dinner, 4 PM to 10 PM: $11.99 Phone: (702) 942-7777
Ports O’ Call Buffet: Gold Coast: Breakfast, 7 AM to 10 AM: $5.95, Lunch, 11 AM to 3 PM: $6.95,
Dinner, 4:30 PM to 10 PM: $10.95 Phone: (702) 367-7111
Roundtable Buffet: Excalibur: Breakfast, 6:30 AM to 11 AM: $10.49, Lunch, 11 AM to 4 PM $11.49,
Dinner, 4 PM to 10 PM: $14.49 Phone: (702) 597-7777
Sahara Buffet: Sahara: Breakfast, 7 AM to 10:30 AM: $7.99, Lunch, 10:30 AM to 4 PM: $8.99,
Dinner, 4 PM to 10 PM: $10.99 Phone: (702) 737-2111
World’s Fare Buffet: Riviera: Breakfast, 6 AM to 11 AM: $9.99, Lunch, 11 AM to 2 PM: $9.99,
Dinner, 4 PM to 10 PM: $15.99 Phone: (702) 734-5110
On my second day I looked up all the free stuff to do there on Vegas.com. I took a cab up to MGM Grand and saw the free lion exhibit then walked the strip back, stopping in all the random stores. Along the way there was a booth selling half-off tickets to the shows and I managed to get our show tickets at about $30 off. On my walk back I saw a “hole in the wall” reflexology foot massage place and stopped in for a 20-minute massage. I ended up getting a full body, two-hour massage for a fraction of what the spa charges. It was worth every penny.
All in all, Vegas can easily be an expensive trip. But with a little research and a commitment to finding the deal, it can be done on a budget. This trip I made all my flights on time and left feeling like I had added another great experience to my book of travels. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Tips Tips please! Submit your experiences and tips under comments!
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