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Frequent visitors, help me out!

Illinois
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Frequent visitors, help me out!

Hi-my husband and I went to Vegas for the first time 3 years ago for our anniversary the end of September. I think we got there on a Friday and came home on a Monday. Besides the gambling allowance, it was really a pretty cheap trip-about $450 each. We are looking to go back and it seems to be much more expensive. We'd like to go in the spring this time, April or May, rather than waiting for September.

We've been looking thru Expedia, Orbitz, Funjet etc but can anyone advise the best (aka cheapest) days of the weeks to go and if there are major convention times which I assume drive prices up. Also, which travel search engines have people had the most luck with or are we better off booking air and hotel independently? We are not too picky about what hotel we stay at but would like to be on the Strip, preferably somewhere in the middle. We stayed at the Trop 3 years ago and thought it was great except being too far at one end.

Thanks!

Fort Lauderdale...
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1. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

You should never go to las vegas from Friday -Monday- that is the most expensive time and hotel rates are generally twice what they would be Sunday- Thursday. The California crowd arrives every weekend not only pushing up rates , but causing crowds at restaurants, clubs and casinos. The casinos jack up table minimums on weekends as well.

As far as when to go to avoid conventions, pick out a few hotels you are interested in and go to their websites- they generally will have a "rate calendar" somewhere on the site where you can see when rates are highest and lowest on any given month. When I'm done posting I'll see if I can print a link to one for you.

My strategy is to find dates with an attractive rate and then reserve directly with the hotel ( forget EXpedia, Travelocity and the like) Once you have made your reservation directly with the hotel the rate will never be higher than what you reserved- but keep checking that and other hotel websites and if you see the rate go down you can call and ask the hotel to adjust your rate lower and they will- ( we have done this two or three times sometimes). That is how the hotel game is played in Vegas- those who book on booking sites like Expedia never can do this and are charged a hefty cancellation fee if they change hotels. We keep looking at other hotels for as long as possible. Just be sure to check to be sure your otel has a generous cancellation policy- most in Vegas allow you to cancel 48 hrs in advance with no charge- if they don't don't book with them. We usually have two hotels we're watching, one we've already booked at a rate that we can afford and one that is nicer and higher pried to see if their rates come down. If they do- we cancel one and book the other. There are lots of Conventions and events that cause hotels to be full, but only a few that affect every hotel ( March NCAA Finals, Rodeo, some computer conventions etc). Last time we were in Vegas, there was a giant retailing conventon out on the Strip, but we picked a hotel Downtown and it wasn't affected at all- they were offering free meals and buy one night, get one free where we were staying. If rates seem high inmone part of town , try looking further up or down the Strip and you might do better.

If I could stress one thing over all it would be not to book through a booking site- look for airline and hotel separately- you almost always do better that way!

Sorry, didn't mean to make this so wordy, but hopefully it helps!

Fort Lauderdale...
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2. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

Here's an example of an availability calendar from the Paris Hotel's site-it gives you a good idea when their busy dates are and how expensive weekends generally are:

https:/…

DC/NOVA
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for Las Vegas
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3. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

The only thing I would add is to sign up on the hotel websites for email discounts. If you get a notice of a cheaper rate, you can change the one you have.

And once again, don't book with an online site. I don't know anyone who did better that way.

Minnesota City...
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4. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

Great advice from Lulu. I heartily agree that the absolute best days to stay are typically Sunday through Thursday.

I would add . . . sign up for email specials at the Web sites of hotel/casinos that interest you. Since you're looking to go in April or May, I'm guessing their specials will start coming out in about February.

Here's a Web site that shows upcoming conventions: http://off2vegas.com/convention.html . The smaller ones will only affect the properties they're located at, but the larger ones will affect nearby properties as well.

Tavares, Florida
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5. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

Great advice from everyone. I will just add we went last May. We arrived on Monday, Memorial Day left on Friday. The rates were low, and less crowded than when we go in Dec.

London, United...
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6. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

teachrsue, that was good thinking on your part, end of a holiday weekend when everyone was leaving plus the few days after, most summer holiday times haven't yet started then. Another cheap time is arrival on Labor Day itself and staying until Friday after that plus anytime from Dec 10 til New Years weekend is cheap. I think the week of Thanksgiving is cheap too, at least until Friday when the weekend crowds come. The problem with that particular time is flights, they are expensive then due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Alberta, Canada
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7. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

Easter weekend is also a cheaper time to go. I believe it is towards the beginning of April next year.

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

Great advice from everyone, just thought I'd add my two cents. We normally stay Wednesday - Saturday. This way, we have 2 weekday nights that are cheaper then just have to pay for one weekend night. It seems that flights sometimes are less expensive if you fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

Since you'd like to be mid-strip, you can go to Harrah's website and find rates for Bally's, Paris, Flamingo and Caesars, all are mid-strip. In the top left corner of the homepage, choose Las Vegas, all Las Vegas hotels and the rates of each property will come up. Bally's and Flamingo are usually pretty close to the same price. Paris and Caesars are more (of course). I've only stayed at Bally's and I have never had a problem. Can't comment on the others. If you find a property you are really interested in, you can use the calendar that someone else mentioned (I think it was Paris rate calendar).

I always book my hotel seperate from my flight. I agree with the suggestion to sign up for email promotions for any casino you might be interested in. Good luck!

Tavares, Florida
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9. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

thanks Gabby, I know we got really good rates for the 21st-28th this December and that includes the weekend. Probably because Christmas is on a Monday. I wish we could leave a few days earlier because rates are even lower. Like the rate you got at Mirage, that is awesome! But we are fine with what we got and our airfare from Indy was good too. AA beat out Southwest by a couple of hundred $$, go figure! Not a NS stop, but will get in Vegas at a good time, and leave at at decent time too! Now I just hope it doesn't snow on the 20th when we journey to Indy to catch our flight!

Virginia Beach
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10. Re: Frequent visitors, help me out!

I get the best rates when I book air/hotel through southwestvacations.com. Booking through expedia, orbitz, etc. would cost me at least $400 to $500 more. If you can fly southwest, the savings are incredible.