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Results: when are you visiting Las vegas

January / February

7.14% • 29 votes

March

6.90% • 28 votes

April

10.84% • 44 votes

May

11.82% • 48 votes

June

8.13% • 33 votes

July

6.40% • 26 votes

August

11.08% • 45 votes

September

18.72% • 76 votes

October

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November / December

15.02% • 61 votes

You may not vote on this poll

406 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • trets77
    • By trets77 31st Dec 10, 11:27 PM
    • 2,864Posts
    • 2,686Thanks
    trets77
    0 WOW
    Las Vegas guide and MSE thread 2011
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 10, 11:27 PM
    0 WOW
    Las Vegas guide and MSE thread 2011 31st Dec 10 at 11:27 PM
    Most commonly asked questions are covered on the following Guide ( first 4 posts) , Please read before posting
    LAS VEGAS

    .. is not like other places you might have been, where the Hotels are near to the attractions . in Vegas the Hotels are the attractions. most have a huge casino attached , but if you think thats all there is to the place , you are sorely mistaken



    in a Family Fortunes style question if you asked 100 people something they associate with Las Vegas , I'd bet you my house the top answer would be "gambling". yet there is so much more.
    This page cannot hope to cover everything , but hopefully should point you towards some good money saving tips
    How to get there



    Las Vegas is 5235 miles from London , with flight times in the region of 10 hours +

    you could book a package from pretty much any online or high street travel agent that would include flights and hotels. however this is a money saving site so we try to beat those prices by booking things separately .Thats not to say a package deal might not be a cheaper option . it's easy to work out if a deal you have been quoted is value for money . If the price of the package (X) is more than the price of the flight via the Airline (A) + the Price of the Resort ( or similar quality resort) listed in the deal links below (B) then why not save money and book things separately .

    so please before you post the question " is this a good deal ? " please work out the following is X>A+B ? . if you are booking in advance there might not be a deal for your hotel yet , but you should be able to get a reasonable idea of prices by looking at current deals, but be sure to factor in any holidays / sporting events / big conventions ect.

    only three airlines at the time of writing operate direct flights to Las Vegas . British Airways , Virgin and Thomas Cook


    Virgin fly everyday from Gatwick airport and twice weekly fromManchester from 2011 .however be warned this flight is poor quality IMO. the planes used (747's) are old , with cramped uncomfortable seats arranged in a bad configuration ,

    Virgin's new Airbus A340's planes and service are excellent but they are not on the Las Vegas route !!!

    Make sure you take the Quidco cashback available if you book with Virgin


    Thomas cook fly 2 times a week from Manchester. but only in the summer

    (a note about Thomas Cook flights , the baggage allowance is a very poor 15kg ( upgradeable to 20kg) , and some flights in June + July could see your flight stopping off at Belfast or Glasgow to pick passengers up , . prices for these flights used to get quite low when they used to fly before May , and you booked late .TIP: try searching for a holiday on the TC site , you get a option without hotel added on .

    Feedback regarding new British Airways direct flight .
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2174765&page=252


    should you consider flying indirect there are many choices available , and far too many to cover here, but please be sure you know what you are letting yourself in for . flying times direct are 10 hours plus . you can probably add a few hours on top of that flying indirect .

    Getting a good fare is not straightforward . Factors that can see you getting that good fare are
    Flexibility
    be prepared to travel mid week not at the weekends like everyone else.
    Preparation
    look into you flight upto 11 months before you fly if you can.
    Time of year
    most Brits like to take holidays June till September .
    Research
    asking advice to regular posters on this site .
    Airline Sales and Offers
    airlines know when people start thinking about booking trips , keeping very regular tabs on the airlines websites for sales and fare reductions is a good idea. also some airlines offer reduced fares for frequent flyer's and members of there flying clubs.MSE members have found good fares by booking before Xmas for the following year , when Xmas is over lots of people start planning their holidays.
    Risk
    great fares can be had if you a prepared to wait till very close to your chosen dates with My travel .

    before booking you should check that you qualify for entry to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . Also from January 2009 you will need to obtain a ESTA ( Electronic System for Travel Authorization ) to board a flight to the USA . you can find info on ESTA here . you can apply for one HERE
    TIP: Print off your ESTA approval and/or write your ESTA number in your Passport

    ]Don't forget you will need suitable travel insurance to go to the USA !
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/insurance/cheap-travel-insurance

    Where to stay

    The Strip is where most visitors tend to stay , a few casinos worth staying at are slightly off strip and usually have a free shuttle bus to and from the strip.the other main area is called Downtown, where the standard of accommodation is lower ( and cheaper ) than most of the strip.



    if your a first time visitor you really should try to stay on the strip if your budget allows . you can then check out the other areas to see if you would consider them on a return visit.




    A common posted question on the old Las Vegas thread was "where is nice but reasonably priced ". It is a hard question to answer. none of the main strip hotels are likely to make it on to a " Hotels from Hell" show on ITV, but you do get what you pay for. a good starting place is to look at the following link

    http://www.vegas.com/resorts/

    anything with a Four star rating is unlikely to displease the Vast majority of people . but a fair few people will probably be happy with something in the Three star bracket and consider the hotel to be nice.



    A word of warning about using Tripadvisor to pick your hotel. there are nearly 300 hotels reviewed on the site meaning good hotels can end up way down the list in the 30's 40's and below . Also the site lists hotels that are in the Las Vegas area , but no where near the strip. South point for example is listed as 8th best reviewed hotel , and is on Las Vegas Boulevard but it is about a 15 min car ride to the heart of strip and is not walkable in any circumstances .

    The Hotels on the strip to be most wary about are unsurprisingly the cheapest. They are Circus Circus , The Stratosphere , The Rivera , Sahara , The IP , Excalibur ,Hooters and The Tropicanna . post for some advice before booking

    There is no set price for the majority of hotel rooms . it's a myth that rooms are given away for next to nothing. rooms are priced on a supply and demand basis . if the hotel is selling rooms at a high price why discount? but if they are not then there is no money to be made from empty rooms.



    prices for your hotel room can vary day to day , let alone week to week. Normal Friday and Saturday night prices are always more expensive than normal weekday prices ( upto 3 times as expensive is not unusual) . other things that can have a big impact on the price you pay to stay at your preferred location are.

    Big sporting events
    Super bowl weekend in January for example or the Rodeo finals at the start of December, March Madness basketball which starts on the 15th in 2011.. also Big Boxing matches (beware the fight set for May 1st 13th 2010)

    Large Conventions
    Events like the The Consumer electronics show , can have 150,000 attending . here is a calendar to try to avoid large convention dates http://www.lasvegastourism.com/conventions_jan.htm

    USA public holidays 2010
    18 Jan Martin Luther King Day.

    USA public holidays 2011
    17 Jan Martin Luther King Day.
    21 Feb Presidents' Day.
    30 May Memorial Day.
    4 Jul Independence Day. ( also the 5th this year)
    5 Sep Labor Day.
    10 Oct Columbus Day.
    11 Nov Veterans' Day.
    24 Nov Thanksgiving Day



    also special events like Halloween etc can push prices up.



    Popular times
    a lot of this has to do with the weather . July and August are often disliked because of the intense heat. January and December are also quite months ( pools often close down in October till March ) . That said Las Vegas is a year round destination. Many consider the best months to visit as April, May , Sept , and October . Prices for UK flights in traditional UK holiday months of June to Early Sept always seem to much more expensive than April or May ( excluding bank holidays and Easter of course) , yet April and May are better times to visit . By not going in the Traditional UK holiday season , you could save a considerable amount of money on your flight, meaning more money to spend on your hotel.


    finding a good deal on a room usually only requires a small amount of searching. Booking through the Hotels direct has BIG advantages . first you are cutting out the middleman . second all of the hotels operate the same booking policy, that you only need to pay your first nights rate as a deposit and the deposit is 100% refundable if you cancel upto 72 hours before you stay. this is generally the rule with all hotel offers but there are exceptions . Some offers have recently have been NO REFUND offers and The Rivera charges a small cancellation fee at the time of writing. Be sure to check all terms and Conditions before you book to be sure .Offers can become available any time , but generally start appearing 12 weeks before your dates


    There are several websites that list offers and discounts for hotels. remember these sites simply list the deals that Casinos release so there is no need for a flashy website.Unless stated the offers usually take you to a direct booking with the Casino

    http://www.vegas-promotions.com/
    http://www.vegashotelhunt.com/
    http://casinotripreports.com/smf/index.php?topic=57.0
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/for...splay.php?f=13
    http://www.openvegas.com/vegas/forum...splay.php?f=17
    http://www.vegashotelspecial.com/
    http://www.harrahs.com/hot-deals/
    http://www.vegas-hotels-online.com/
    http://casinotripreports.com/smf/ind...3e&topic=57.90
    http://www.smartervegas.com/
    http://www.earlyvegas.com/promo_codes.html
    http://www.vegasuncovered.com/pages/special_offers.htm
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/trav...6400/?start=40
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel...promos-35.html


    Also some hotels now have Facebook pages , that sometimes have deals on . see post 4

    please be careful about posting on these boards though as some are for the posting of deals only , not for questions on deals etc.

    also give the 3rd party sites a try , people sometimes get good prices .

    http://www.atlaschoice.com/new/
    http://www.netflights.com/
    http://www.cityandshow.com/
    http://www.travelrepublic.co.uk/
    http://www.hotels.com/

    don't forget Quidco if you use these


    some deals say they require you to be a member of the Players club to book. usually if you can book it without a players club ID, then they won't generally ask for it at check in.
    FAQ number 4 on the Fatwallet page (http://www.fatwallet.com/t/63/704925/10193203#m10193203) covers this subject well. but the important thing is NOT to bombard the hotel with phone calls and e mails about honoring the booking without a players club card. otherwise they might pull the offer ect ( or tip them off to very thing you are concerned about) . people on this thread have done these type of bookings without being signed up members .. no problem .you can of course join the club before checking in if you want . personally i would not worry , but don't be tempted to call the hotel if you book it and you are worried

    when you have found and booked a hotel , it's a good idea to keep checking the new offers as they come in on the various threads, as you might find a better deal for the same dates . If the better offer is for the same hotel , you can probably get the hotel to match the better price under your existing booking by calling them up ( don't forget to use the MSE International call checker !!) . Really good offers may not hang around if there is a lot of interest , so get in early if you see a new one thats a great deal .

    Moving hotels is also a good idea if you find great deals for different blocks of nights , and is not as much hassle as you might think.

    A recent and unwelcome addition to the cost of some hotels is the Resort Fee . a mandatory amount per room per night that covers the cost of things like Wi-fi or Gym access . full list of which hotels charge what and what for here . be sure too factor in this cost if applicable .
    Tip: Casino Gym's are something that are generally not free , so if you plan on making use of the Gym most days the resort fee might work out better value .


    Some people ask if it is better to find a hotel when you arrive , this is most defiantly not a good idea. besides the fact that you need to have your 1st nights stay booked up , to enter the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) , simply showing up at a casino without a booking will almost certainly mean you being charged "Rack Rate " for a room , which is pretty much the most you can end up paying.



    Arrival


    McCarren Airport is right next to the strip . Shuttle Buses operate to all the main casinos . A Taxi is by far the most popular way to get to your hotel though. you can find a good estimate of the fare to your Hotel here http://www.taxi.state.nv.us/FaresFees.htm
    TIP: instruct the Airport taxi driver to NOT take the tunnel


    Check in
    you can check in from the airport at some Casinos.
    when you check in the clerk will will assign you a room . some rooms of the same class are more desirable than others. Strip Views are always more sought after , as are corner rooms or rooms overlooking a casino attraction ( the Bellagio fountains for example) . also try to get a room that is not situated directly next to a elevator.you should try to do as much research on the rooms within your casino as possible to find out what to ask for
    Cash is King is Las Vegas.. the following sites give advice on how to try and obtain a upgrade or a better positioned room by tipping the check in clerk using The $20 Trick.This works more often than not , but you may find it harder to get a upgrade by doing this if you have a long stay, or if the hotel is fully booked .Also don't expect to get a Penthouse suite from a standard room booking , you will probably only get one or two steps up the luxury ladder

    http://www.frontdesktip.com/

    http://www.thetwentydollartrick.com/

    http://vegasuncovered.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/las-vegas-20-free-room-upgrade-trick/
    note: The MGM Grand is known to be a difficult place to use the $20 trick

    regardless of if you tip of not , if your not happy with the room , complain and get one you are happy with.



    Getting around
    If hiring a car you will have the choice of parking it yourself at the hotel( usually free) or using the Valet service ( a tip is usually given for Valet). The strip is very busy at most times traffic wise .Hiring a car gives you the freedom to explore the many great places to visit around Las Vegas , Like Lake Mead and The Hoover Dam for example , while being able to hop around the strip easily and cheaply


    Taxis are good option for speed and convenience , but cost more than the other methods of getting around the strip. also you cannot flag them down either , you have to get them called for you from the Casino or designated pick up areas . fare guide here http://vegas.taxiwiz.com/

    The Deuce is the local 24 hour bus service and is pretty reasonable.


    $7 is all it costs for a 24 hour pass up and down the strip. be warned though the buses fill up at popular mid strip locations and make it hard to get on at busy times.


    The Monorail runs from MGM Grand to The Sahara .


    full list of prices can be found here http://www.lvmonorail.com/ride/ticket_info/. while it is certainly fast, clean and comfortable ,the downside is that you have to walk through which ever casino you get off at. Casinos are designed to be difficult places to escape , so it can be a trek to get back to the strip. if your going less than a mile your probably better off walking.

    Strip Trolleys are cheap at $2.50 a ride or $4.50 for a all day pass. however they don't run 24 hours , are not the most comfy ride , and tend to drop you at the back and sides of casinos http://www.striptrolley.com

    There are also 2 free to ride Monorails . One connects The Mirage with Treasure Island. The Other one connects The Excalibur , Luxor and Mandalay Bay. This one has a interesting set up . If you catch it at The Excalibur it does not stop at the Luxor heading south. The Casino owners don't want you skipping Mandalay Bay , so it only stops at the Luxor on the return North journey .


    Eating
    There are hundreds upon hundreds of places to eat in Las Vegas. It would be impossible to scratch the surface in terms of recommendations on this Post. however we have started to put together a list of threads in which we give opinions on MSE members fav places to eat ..please see post 4

    Las Vegas provides pretty much every price range of food , from practically every type of world cuisine. from headline super pricey Celebrity chefs to cheap pile em high buffets ( and everything in between ) , you will find it in Vegas. so where do you choose to eat ??
    Your casino will almost certainly have more than a few places to eat at. But bare in mind the casino has a captive market so in house restaurants are often more expensive than independent/ off site restaurants . a good resource for dining options is a well researched guide book . i recommend "The Unofficial Guide To Las Vegas " it gives great tips on dining. or you can also find info and deals on this site www.restaurant.com.
    Tip: to register for this site and it's coupons just use your own address, Nevada for the state and 89109 for the zip code. It doesn't have to match your credit card.

    There are still great deals to be had on food if your prepared to search them out. although some deals come and go , a few have been running for many years and should be around when you visit.

    $6.95 steak dinner at Ellis Island
    It's long been a table topper in Las Vegas Advisor's top 10 Vegas Values. a 10 oz Steak with salad , beans and choice of Potato . it's isn't actually on the menu though , you have to ask for it.available 24/7 . Ellis Island also does a highly rated BBQ for a mere $8.99. and thats not all, you can get a voucher for 2 for 1 meals @ Ellis island from either of the coupon books listed in the coupon section below.

    Shrimp Cocktail 99c at Golden Gate
    served from 11am till 2am

    Pasta at California Casino
    at the Pasta Pirate Restaurant

    Breakfast Specials $1.49
    served at Wild Wild West , Wildfire , Gold rush and Magic star. 12 am till 11 am

    Steak and Eggs $3.29
    at Arizona Charlie's Decatur . 24/7

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers


    Last edited by trets77; 01-05-2011 at 12:07 PM.
    Better in my pocket than theirs
Page 392
    • My Fathers Daughter
    • By My Fathers Daughter 30th Dec 11, 11:55 PM
    • 8,668 Posts
    • 40,369 Thanks
    My Fathers Daughter
    Thanks Ferf....guess what I found, credit goes to a poster on Tripadvisor, but this site has all the Vegas favourites


    http://www.jackpotparty.com/default.aspx


    Da daaahhhhh Wizard Of OZ, Goldfish, HotHot Penny, Super Jackpot Party, Invaders from the Planet Moolah, and tons more.


    Play for free.

    First you have to register your details, name, address, mobile D.O.B.....DO NOT put your credit/debit card details in....no need and less temptation to gamble real money which I'd personally wouldn't do.


    Then log out, then log back in and select FUN MONEY rather than REAL MONEY ....then select which games you wish to play.....enjoy.


    Lets just say, Glinda has been to visit, I've been moo'ed at and them fishes have been smiling at me.
    Originally posted by Triker

    Thank you SO much, have spent a lovely evening playing and reminscing. Can't wait to go now!!
    please listen to MFD - she is a wise woman
    Originally posted by r.mac
    Proud Mummy to the gorgeous Benjamin John born 14 March 2009, 8lbs 14oz
    A new little seedling on the way, due 30 September 2012
    • photome
    • By photome 31st Dec 11, 9:26 AM
    • 14,310 Posts
    • 9,802 Thanks
    photome
    I have just started the 2012 Vegas thread so hope to get this one locked shortly


    Happy New Year to you all.
    • luci
    • By luci 31st Dec 11, 9:39 AM
    • 5,893 Posts
    • 4,647 Thanks
    luci
    Thanks for taking it on photome. I'm sure we all appreciate it.

    See you over on the 2012 thread.
    • pebblesmax
    • By pebblesmax 31st Dec 11, 12:12 PM
    • 2,226 Posts
    • 1,963 Thanks
    pebblesmax
    Glad to see it's in safe hands.
    • ferf1223
    • By ferf1223 31st Dec 11, 1:56 PM
    • 8,919 Posts
    • 7,642 Thanks
    ferf1223
    thanks Trets for all you've done as keeper of the thread over the last few years (and for setting it up originally) and thanks photome for taking over the reigns for 2012.

    Hope that everyone has a very happy new year!
    Does remembering a time that a certain degree of personal responsibility was more or less standard means that I am officially old?
    • nvh
    • By nvh 31st Dec 11, 3:08 PM
    • 1,579 Posts
    • 1,931 Thanks
    nvh
    Yeah, cheers dude!

    New thread is here:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3701431

    happy new year y'all!
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