This is the part where I tell you about my trip. Las Vegas is my favorite US city to travel to for a number of reasons: It is easy to get there, it is relatively cheap, and there is a lot to do, especially if you are travelling without kids.

First, when we go we usually fly there on a nonstop flight, even if we did drive once. It’s a six hour flight going west and a three hour flight coming back. We usually leave Orlando at around 5 and arrive in Vegas some time around 8 o’clock. Coming back, we leave at the same 5 o’clock and get to Orlando around midnight. Two round trip tickets usually cost around $600.

We stay in MGM owned resorts on the strip. Our favorite is NY-NY. The reason we stay with MGM is that our four days of our stay is usually comped, and we only pay taxes. They usually also give us a $150 room credit, so by the time you count taxes, they actually pay us to stay there.

This time, we stayed at the Bellagio for the first three days. The total cost was $153 for the three nights, but they gave us a $100 credit that we applied to meals, so the final cost was actually $53. For the next three nights, we stayed at the NY-NY. That one was entirely free, plus they gave us a $150 room credit. In all, the total for both hotels was a $97 credit.

Meals we ate out, and most of them were fairly cheap. We ate Christmas dinner at an upscale Italian place, and we had the Bellagio buffet one night. The total cost for two of us to eat both of those meals was about $200. Other nights, we ate cheaper meals. Our total meal bill for the entire week was about $800.

We rented a car on Christmas day and drove half an hour to the top of Mt Charleston so we could play in the falling snow. We walked the strip. We did some gambling, and we also caught a couple of shows. We also rode the “High Roller.”

The gambling was great fun, and as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I love to play CRAPS. I had lost a total of about $600 up until Saturday, bu I had a big night at the table on Sunday, winning about $1600 when one of the shooters at the table went on a roll. My wife also wound up winning a couple of hundred. (Sometimes, we come home winners, sometimes not.) So we came back to Vegas with about $1200 in cash more than we left with.

What all of this means is that our week-long Christmas trip to Las Vegas (air fare, meals, gambling, plus all entertainment) wound up costing us less than $700.

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