Recently, I had to go to Las Vegas for the Affiliate Marketing Summit to help grow my business. I was lucky enough to win a ticket to go! I was both excited and a little apprehensive. Not so much for the actual summit, but more so about the cost of this trip.
At first, I was going to go to Las Vegas by myself. Las Vegas is about a 5 hour car ride from me, so flying would only take 45 minutes. That was my plan. I was going to fly out and attend the summit and meet some new friends and catch up with old ones.
But, my plan got hit with a little wrench….well a big wrench, haha.
Business during Christmas
The summit was going to be held on my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, January 6 and 7th. It made me totally rethink my plan. This business trip is going to take me away from my family on my Christmas. I as totally bummed out.
I spoke to my mom to make sure she would host dinner and my husband and the girls would go on Christmas Eve.
I still planned on going to Vegas, but now I was packing guilt with the rest of my things.
Until my mom had the idea of coming with me. This would of course, allow my girls to come along too.
Since my husband had to work and couldn’t take time off, this meant that a full fledged girls’ trip of 3 generations would be on their way to Las Vegas!
Driving instead of Flying
Driving there wasn’t a big deal to me, I’ve driven it several times before. But, now I had to have a plan for not only my schedule, but theirs as well.
The first thing I wanted to do, was keep the entire trip frugal…as much as possible. I mean, it IS Vegas after all. And if you’ve never been there, let me tell you, money seems to leak from everywhere when you’re there.
But, I was determined to make this a frugal vacation that didn’t break the bank.
Let me show you what I did to plan for Vegas.
1- I shopped hotels
Being that there was the Affiliate Summit West and just a couple of days later there was the CES conference, Vegas jacked up the hotel prices to over 3 times the normal rate (yeah, I know….my luck).
I initially wanted to stay where the summit was held, in Paris Las Vegas, but the room rate on Monday night alone was over $600! So that idea went out as fast as it came in.
In shopping for a hotel, I wanted to find something affordable, on the strip, with a decent arcade and affordable play options for the adults.
We ended up staying at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
They had a decent room, a good arcade, and little fast food eateries to choose from if we didn’t want to leave the hotel.
2- I planned out most of our meals
Vegas dining can be very expensive. I know this from past experience. And I’m on a keto diet, so buffets made no sense for us, plus, their buffet price was $30/person on Sunday night. Like…why?
Luckily, I planned ahead.
I brought snacks for the car ride and lots of snacks and food for the trip.
Here’s what we brought:
-Cup O’ Noodles
-Electric Tea pot
-Bread Rolls for Sandwiches
-Homemade egg salad
-Breakfast casserole (for me :))
-Hot cups, plates, forks, napkins, etc.
The kids could practically eat breakfast and lunch in the room, so we only needed to eat out for dinner.
During check in, I asked for a mini fridge to keep all of our perishable items. Easy peasy.
What we ate out
One night, we went out to In N Out, best dinner for a fraction of the cost of a dinner in Vegas. And it totally hit the spot. I even shared it on my Instagram story.
The second night (which was our Christmas Eve), we went to Golden Corral for the first time and it was okay for the price. The buffet was about $14 per person and I got steak and salad. Still better than the hotel buffet prices.
The third night, we went to Applebees and brought back dinner to the room to eat and watch TV together in our pj’s. Spent about $40 and got a good amount of food.
Best Breakfast in Las Vegas
There was one breakfast where we ate out, and that was on our Christmas day. We went to the Egg & I. Let me tell you, if you’re ever in Vegas, you HAVE to try this place out. It is one of the best breakfast spots in Vegas in my opinion. It has won several awards for its food and atmosphere. You get a ton of food and excellent service.
But, this breakfast costed about $60. However, we nearly took half of the food back to the hotel and it was eaten for lunch that day. So, if you think about $60 for 4 people for 2 meals comes out to $7.50 per person per meal. Not too shabby. And it was delicious both times.
On our way back home, most of the snack items were eaten, barely anything went to waste. It was awesome.
Around 2:30pm, we stopped to grab a bite to eat and went to Denny’s. It was about $50 for all 4 of us and we came back with a little bit of leftovers that the kids could eat in the car if they got hungry.
All in all, I spent less than $200 on food for 4 people for 4 days in Vegas! I think that’s pretty good considering we went to some restaurants. We could have spent much less if we ate at fast food everyday, but fast food gets old fast.
Plus, because it was our Christmas, we wanted to go to a sit down restaurant to make it just a little more special, even if they weren’t high end restaurants.
3- I prepared my car for the road trip
Before the trip, I got an oil change, rotated my tires and had some preventative maintenance service done on my car to make sure everything was running well. This helps with gas mileage and helps you stay safe during a long trip.
Gas didn’t cost much. Actually, it costed less than my airfare if I had flown by myself. I filled up the tank once each way (Vegas is about 280 miles away from me) and each fill up was around $40-$45 dollars. So, gas was less than $100.
I should also point out, that many of the expenses (minus the expenses for my mom and kids) will be going on the business account, so they are also deductible.
But, for the most part, the most I spent was for lodging, which was about $420, including resort fees, parking, and taxes. Not too bad.
Even though I’m frugal, I love to gamble. It’s my one guilty pleasure and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
However, I don’t gamble with a ton of money and I practice control. I have a daily limit of about $25 dollars and if I lose, I get up and try again the next day. $25 is super frugal for me, who used to gamble with $100 per day and sometimes more. I’ve come a very long way in my gambling spending.
My mom, who is more frugal in gambling than I am, only uses $5 per day and sticks to the penny slots. She has a lot of fun and doesn’t spend a lot of money.
I plan on sharing with you more frugal vacation tips as we go on more family vacations.