By , June 14, 2011 5:00 pm
This is the third and final post we're going to make about our four day trip to Las Vegas. I know, I know, 3 posts for a four night trip to Las Vegas is a bit excessive. Please bear with me, this will be the last one... I think. Anyways, I wanted to sum up our trip to Las Vegas by comparing some of the goals we set for ourselves to what we actually accomplished on our trip. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Las Vegas Strip as seen from the wedding suite

Budget:

I was surprised with how well we did sticking to a budget in Las Vegas. We used a website called BudgetYourTrip.com to track our expenses. For those that haven't heard of BudgetYourTrip before, it's more than just a website that allows you to track your travel expenses. It also allows you to estimate your future expenses based on the average expenditures of other people. By using it, your results are added to the mix making future estimates more accurate. I think it's a neat idea. As you can see from the above badge we averaged $92.41 per day excluding airfare. If you want to see what we spent our money on, click "Scott and Tamara's Wedding". Our RTW budget is $100 per day including airfare. Obviously, we didn't expect to hit that budget when our flights alone were more than double that. We also expected that Las Vegas would be considerably more expensive than many of the other places we intend to travel to. To make things easy we thought we'd shoot for the $100 a day mark excluding airfare on this trip. We kept on budget! But, we could have done better if we:
  • Shopped at a grocery store instead of eating out each meal
  • Split up from the group to avoid cab fare and utilized our bus passes
  • Stayed off-strip in budget hotels or couchsurfed
Seeing the results, we both agree that a budget of $100 a day is completely reasonable for our RTW.

Use Local Transportation:

Though we had our troubles, we managed to figure it out and in the end got by just fine with the local bus system. There's no doubt that taking the bus can save a lot of money in Las Vegas, unless you have the time to walk everywhere.

Meet New People:

Both Ashley and I are very shy people, especially in crowds. It took some work to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to meet new people, but we very much enjoyed it. We talked at length with a local cartoonist and met a couple of freight train hoppers. Most of the wedding party were also new acquaintances for us.

Poste Restante:

We were able to try out Poste Restante (general delivery) while we were in Las Vegas. Sort of. We ordered a few items that are not readily available in Canada for our RTW and had them shipped to the Excalibur Hotel for pickup. We simply had the shipper put our date of arrival on our packages and mail them to the Excalibur Hotel directly. When we arrived we were asked to show ID, and were promptly handed our package. They were even so kind as to waive the $7 fee as we hadn't checked in yet, so they couldn't bill the room.

Exercise:

We did a lot of walking, and some swimming. Otherwise our workout program was non-existent. We had planned on working in some jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups, and maybe some jogging. None of that stuff happened, so we've got room for improvement.

Keep a Journal:

Yep. If Mike had better handwriting we might even have been able to read it one day.

Reading:

Aside from the airport and flights, we didn't really spend any time reading. We did discover that one Kindle isn't enough (we don't share well) and are on the lookout for a second.

Blogging:

I think we did good here. We had our first post up on the website the very night we arrived. Turns out that writing while on the road is fun. I don't think we'll have any problem keeping up our erratic posting schedule once we start travelling.

Photos:

One thing I found interesting was our complete lack of photos. We managed a total of 5 photos on our own before hooking up with the wedding party. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or not. Given the amount of photo gear we are planning to carry around the world, I thought we'd be taking a few more pictures. Then again, both Ashley and I have been to Las Vegas before, so the need for us to photograph every casino was at a minimum. Things changed on the photo front after we met up with the wedding party. I had agreed to be the official unofficial photographer for the wedding so I took plenty of photos. Some of them turned out rather well. So well that I'm starting to think I should try to turn my photography into a business while on the road. I'll leave you with some of my favourite photos from the wedding. If you want to see more, check out our photo gallery.  

4 Responses to “Las Vegas Roundup”

  1. Kris Koeller says:

    We just got back from a Vegas trip after not visiting for years, and we’re quite impressed! Looks like you had a great time!

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Sure did. I used to think 4 nights in Vegas was more than enough, but it’s not. If I ever go back, I’ll defiantly take a look at some of the hiking trails in the area and maybe take a tour out to the Grand Canyon. And another hotdog at Hooters would be in order. What impressed you the most about Vegas?

      • Kris Koeller says:

        Honestly, the food. The dining options there are world class. I would go back just to eat (and play some more on the Star Wars slot machine).

        • Mike Lenzen says:

          I can get behind that. Before our crazy frugal RTW budget days, we once ate at Joel Robuchon’s at the MGM Grand. I’ve never had food near as good anywhere else before or after.

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