Details About Our Vegas Trip (Including where we stayed)

by - 5:30 AM

We spent Monday through Thursday in Las Vegas the week of July 4th holiday. I think we were lucky to enjoy Vegas right before the holiday vacationers bustled in. My first time in Vegas was amazing, crazy hot, and fun. Everything in Vegas is located on the main strip, aka Las Vegas Blvd, and all within short taxi rides or shuttle access so getting around couldn't be easier. Nearly every single place in and around the strip was open 24/7. I definitely plan on returning so we could get to do everything we didn't have time to do on this trip.

Getting Around the City:
This family vacation was especially challenging because we all opted NOT to rent a car. This meant that we had to be reliant on shuttles and taxis. Not a problem! A taxi from the airport to the hotel near the strip was about $15! The only problem that came up was when I began planning our Vegas itinerary, including where we would eat. My mom didn't want us eating out every day, as that can get expensive considering there's breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snacking in between for a total of 9 people. So the cheapest way to go was to cook meals in the hotel. Each of our rooms were equipped with a full kitchen.

But with no car how were we supposed to grocery shop when we landed? Sure, we could walk about a mile or so to the nearest CVS or Walmart but we'd have no way of bringing the groceries back.

The final solution: Two Checked Suitcases with all of our food.

I felt like I was on Robert Irving's show, Dinner Impossible. 4 Days, 3 meals per day, 2 suitcases, 1 family. It seemed really overwhelming at first. My mom even thought I was crazy and figured we might as well rent a car, but once the idea had been planted I wanted to give it a shot. I also only had a budget of $100 as well. Which made the idea even MORE crazy. The entire meal plan, grocery list, and preparations are detailed in our Vegas itinerary. Our Vegas itinerary can be downloaded here. Long story short, I froze all of the perishable items, then packed it all into one suitcase. Then all of the non-perishables (pasta, sauces, seasonings, etc.) were packed into another suitcase. Our items stayed very cold all the way from Milwaukee, WI to the hotel in Vegas. Fresh items like milk, eggs, and bread were all bought in our hotels gift shop.

Where We Stayed:
We got TWO 2-Bedroom Deluxe Suites at the Wyndham Grand Desert. Our family owns a timeshare with Wyndham so this was the best choice for us. No worries, surprisingly, there are many affordable hotels that are directly on the strip.

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Living room with modern furnishings and large flat screen. 8th floor view of the pools.

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Lovely sofa bed.

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Looking out of the living room window.

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Main bathroom off of the dining area and 2nd bedroom.

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Dining area viewed from the island bar.

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The family enjoying a light lunch when we first arrived!

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Check out our master suite! :D
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Adult pool at the Wyndham Grand Desert
(Loved relaxing at the adult pool without any splashy, screaming children)
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Separate family pool :)

They also had a third pool in a separate building which is open 24/7, but was closed for renovations during our stay. Would have been amazing to swim at night!

What to Be Careful Of:

Practice common sense just like with any other unfamiliar city you would travel to. Do not keep money, cards, or wallets in your pockets as these can be easily pick-pocketed in the crowds you'll be walking in. I carried a purse that was slung over my shoulders and around my waist so my purse was always in front of me. Chhally kept his wallet in my purse and we made sure to always stick together in groups.

Other Tips:
  • Carrying CASH is always very convenient in Vegas, as you will be tipping EVERYWHERE you go. Bellhops, taxi drivers, drink waitresses, bar tenders, characters on the street ask for tips if you take photos with them. 
  • Extra moisturizers are necessary for Las Vegas. Keep in mind it's in the middle of the desert, there is not much humidity. Everyone's skin became very dry!

Total Cost of Trip:
Here's a budget breakdown of the entire trip per two persons, not including airfare. Note that the budget from the itinerary is completely different from the one posted here. This is the actual cost of our trip versus the estimated cost of things we wanted to do on the itinerary.
$20 - Everyone chips in $10 each to pay for groceries (See Meal Plan on 2nd page of Itinerary)
$15 - First Cab Ride (Assuming the rest of the group will split or pay for future cab rides/return trip)
$30 - First Day's Lunch
$0   - The Forums at Caesar's Palace
$16 - Shopping at H&M inside the Forums
$65 - Dinner at Max Brenner's
$40 - Gambling at the Bellagio
$0  - Fountains at the Bellagio
$40 - Alcoholic Drinks and Tips
$30 - Third Day's Dinner
$30 - Souvenirs (Bought from Fremont Shops)
Total: $286.00

The fact that you could experience most of what Vegas has to offer for less than $300 per TWO people is neat. Possibilities are endless if you have a larger budget! We really wanted to eat at the Bellagio Buffet, visit the Venetian shops, and ride the rides at the top of the Stratosphere but we just didn't have time. 

I hope my guide will help you in planning your trip to Las Vegas. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment or e-mail me. If you have already been to Vegas and would like to add your own word of advice, feel free to do the same!

-Happy Travels!

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