Travel Blog (Vegas Adventure Part 7)

So there was a bizarre thing I did with my travel package. I did maybe 50 different variations of searches and combinations of dates to determine which was the best value. What I discovered was the weekends are expensive in Vegas, especially for the hotels I wanted to stay at. For the cost 9 days at the Palazzo plus airfare through Allegiant and a rental car, it was going to be $2900, not including hotel tax and resort fees plus rental car facility fees ($90).

When I searched again for Sunday through Friday for the last 5 days in a partial hotel search, the total cost was a little under $1100 with the same fees. Wow. The first 4 days were gonna cost me a ton. So like the adventurer and seasoned Vegas traveler I was, I took the cheaper option. My plan was simple; I would get to Vegas without a hotel room the first 4 days and Priceline the last minute deals. 

So I got to Vegas on Wednesday afternoon and played some poker and before I knew, it turned into a marathon session. My stuff was still packed in the rental car. So I simply used Priceline and scored a cheap place off the strip, Stay America for $45 (out the door with tax price) on that Thursday. 

Am I a cheapskate? Maybe.

But on the strip, you pay an average of $30 in resort fees plus $10 in hotel tax (plus $10 parking a fees at MGM properties) each day. Add that up and you are talking up to $450 in hidden fees. 

Yes, I did pay for a rental car, but I consider this a mandatory expense as taxis are a complete waste of money when seeing Vegas on the go. The math works out if you just use the rental once per day vs taking a taxi. (Other good option is to use “The Deuce” which pretty much runs 24/7 up and down the strip).

So I checked in and they welcomed me with the hospitality that you would expect for a $45 deal on Priceline.  The place comes with a kitchen and wifi (slower than 1994 dial up) but reminded me of those types of hotels that people pay by the week. I didn’t care much. I seriously took a shower and slept for 10 hours. 

Think about it. The only place cheaper than this with no resort fees are the hostels, which might only cost $15 but you are sharing the room with 7 people, sleeping in bunk beds.

So that was my room after waking up. Not very nice but not stank either. There was a certain aroma in the air that reminded me of the scent of what happens when people don’t exactly abide by the no smoking rule. 
Stay America did come with “breakfast.” There was coffee, some fruit, some muffins and some granola bars. After 10 hours of sleeping I needed something so I scarfed down on everything to get something in.


All in all, Stay America is a good cheap option to crash if you need to do something funky for a day or two to beat pricing anomalies. With friends, you save even more money. If this had resort fees of the strip (only a few blocks east) the place would have been equivalent of $5 at circus circus (plus all the crazy fees).

Travel Blog (Vegas Adventure Part 1)


I’m going to test out live blogging. My annual Las Vegas trip started a few hours ago, and I figured I would write about this key experience. A full disclaimer, I used to live in Las Vegas so I know the town pretty well. 

Why am I going in June? Well, the World Series of Poker is this month and many walks of life from around the world descend on Vegas which makes all the games and antics pretty entertaining. Simply put, for poker players this is their Super Bowl month. 

Will I only be playing poker? Nope. (Especially if I go on losing streak that makes Pauly Shore’s career collapse look pleasant) I do have other things planned that you’ll have to stay tuned to see.


How did I pack? Pretty light. I don’t know what I needed to bring,  so I packed a few of everything. I wanted to go light. I can always buy stuff here on Maryland Blvd behind the strip. I briefly lived in an interesting place there, right near UNLV. I could write 28 novels from the stuff I saw and heard in that area (where dreams go to die).

To start, I wanted to give a little travel hacking information. I booked last minute flight and searched all the airlines and Travel sites. I booked a $177 (with all taxes and fees) roundtrip flight from San Antonio to Las Vegas. This was 75% cheaper than the major carriers plus it was a direct flight with no layover (score). 


I might sound paranoid, but I questioned the rock bottom pricing of Allegiant. I was wondering if it had hamsters powering those engines, but nope, the flight was actually pretty good. The takeoff and landing were pretty smooth and I didn’t feel in danger at all, unlike the last time I flew on American Airlines. I swear, the pilot almost flipped our plane in “turbulence” on my flight in April to Mississippi.

The downside of Allegiant? They charge for everything. Do you want a carry on? Boom $50. Do you want them to print your boarding pass? Boom $5. Do you want a coke on the plane? Boom $2.

This resulted in the strangest thing I’ve seen this year on a plane. Only like 5 people chose not to be total cheapskates and paid to put their luggage in the overhead bins. Only maybe 5 people bought a drink on a 2.5 hour flight. 

So what is the plan? I rented a car and have no place to stay for the first 4 days. Yep. You heard that right. I’m a nomad for a while. There was a major pricing anomaly with one of the hotels which I’ll discuss next week when I check in. I got a hotel package with the airline deal the last 5 days. For now, I’m just a man and a luggage bag in the city of sin. 

Will I slum it at a stank place the first 4 days? (Circus Circus or Stratosphere I’m looking at you) Will Priceline give me a sweet deal when I search later? (Pleeeeeease) Will I win a million bucks on the Wheel of Fortune slot and get the penthouse? (Odds are 1/25,000,000) 

Check in and comment on what I should do the next 7-10 days. I’ll be live tweeting nothing but Vegas observations the next week.