On a whim, I decided that I’d fly out to beautiful Las Vegas and spend 3.5 days exploring the Strip upon my first visit to the city. Cool idea, since I had a pile of credit card points that were just itching to be used, and why not just go last minute to visit a city I had wanted to go to for a long time now? Well, there always comes the factor of what your travels will actually cost and in this post, I would like to share exactly what I spend during my stay at Caesar’s Palace earlier this month. This isn’t a ‘look how much I saved’ blog post, rather, it is more of an autopsy of stupid mistakes I made with my money and why you shouldn’t be like me…in terms of spending, I’m really cool to imitate otherwise.
List of Expenses
Flight and Hotel: $776.70
Shuttle from airport to Caesar’s Palace: $12.50
Tickets to Cirque du Soleil: $73.91
Food, Alcohol, and CVS Trips: $297.61
Random t-shirt purchase: $27.04
Checked bags: $75
Resort fee: $143.36 ($35.84 daily)
Mini bar: $15.14
Cab to Airport: $20 ($14 plus $6 tip)
Upgrade to First Class on Return Flight: $199.99
Airport Parking: $70.00
Total Spent Before Deductions: $1728.25
Purchase Eraser using Capital One Venture Points: $615.82
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Checked Bag Reimbursement: $75.00
Gambling Winnings: $4.00
Deductions total: $694.82
Net Total Spent on Trip: $1033.43
Dissecting Where it All Went Wrong
Well, on a 3.5 day trip I managed to spend over $1000 and probably closer to $1100, as there is undoubtedly something that I am forgetting to include. So, it wasn’t my finest nor my most frugal hour. The first part of this was really just me trying to ‘wing’ this trip. I booked it last minute and really planned nothing out. This proved an expensive mistake.
Had gone another time, I probably could have booked a room at Caesar’s Palace for cheaper and paid for the whole flight and room with points. Alternatively, I could’ve stayed somewhere else for cheaper and for smaller resort fees. Those fees are kind of a bitch…over 10% of the net cost. However, I think I was so enamored with the whole Roman theme, it lured me in haha. This is what happens when you read stuff like this: Augustus
- Alcohol– Probably cost me about $100 on this trip. One drink plus tip cost me $30 at the Spanish Steps bar outside of Caesar’s. Now, that was a lot for one damn drink but it was awesome, tasted great, had four shots of vodka in it, and got me in a fantastic zone. I’d say that’s a win…but the cash.
- Mini Bar– So, hotels.com told me I had a $10 food credit at the hotel. I had no idea how to use this and figured it would be cool to use with the mini bar. Turns out, still waiting on that $10 credit. I drank two 8 oz Rockstar Energy drinks. Yes, that’s $15.14 for 16oz of energy drink I could’ve gotten at the CVS for $1.99. Shit! I shouldn’t drink these at all and definitely shouldn’t pay this much for them either.
- Food– No planning equals no clue as to where to eat for really cheap. The food court type places in Caesar’s ran $18-27 a pop. Plus, most of those meals sucked. I didn’t eat any good food on this trip and paid out the ass for it. Yay me! When I’m hungry or tired, bad decisions will abound and I have little patience or self control to find a suitable alternative to eat at.
- Parking at the Departure Airport- Seriously, didn’t even consider this. Should’ve just used Uber or Lyft. I’m an idiot…$70.
- Show Tickets- I still haven’t seen Cirque du Soleil. I bought the tickets, got too much sun, felt awful, couldn’t get a refund, didn’t go to the show. Cab driver said it’s his favorite show. That’s all the endorsement I need.
- T-shirt purchase– Ran out of clean shirts, bought one from Caesar’s gift shop…it has a bottle opener on the shirt that I didn’t notice until I put it on. A fucking bottle opener?!
So, with a modicum of planning, I probably could’ve gotten this trip down to $300-400 and still had myself a decent time. I refuse to include the $199.99 first class seat upgrade as a mistake because it was the most comfortable flight of my life. This came on the heels of my flight out there being stuck in a window seat as a tall person (with not a great back) and in utter misery. Perhaps, I should taken this $1000+ and invested it in a dividend paying stock and received enough cash over the next year to buy 4-5 mini bar Rockstar Energy drinks in lieu of Las Vegas.
Yeah, I let this trip get away from me. I get impulsive and things spiral. I had fun though. Plus, the $4 I came out ahead on my two slot machine pulls…totally worth it! The house didn’t win this time!