Las Vegas is a strange town. Its rich, its poor, its clean, its disgusting, but its never boring. Marci and I realized recently that we hadn't seen each other in over six months and before marathon training got too intense we decided to get away for a girl's weekend to Las Vegas! And here's how we spent that 40 hours on a budget.
Stay Off The Strip
Marci and I arrived into Vegas after 8:30pm on a Friday night and met up in the Southwest terminal at the airport. Flying into Vegas can be pricey and can be cheap - the point is to look in advance for flight times and if you can, fly in on a Thursday - weekend flights are always the most expensive.
We grabbed a cab and hightailed it to the Four Points Sheraton about one mile off the strip. Since we both are part of the Starwood Preferred Guest program we snagged two nights using our points - score! I know a lot of people like to stay on the strip, but staying off the strip gives you a little breather from the madness of the area. You can save more money staying ON the strip by not using taxis, or you can save more money staying OFF the strip due to lower priced hotels. Once we checked in and dropped off our luggage in the room, we called an Uber to come pick us up and take us to New York, New York.
It was my first time using Uber on this trip and I'm now a HUGE fan! Uber had JUST started driving in Las Vegas, about two weeks before we arrived, so again, we got lucky. Marci set me up on my phone and I was amazed at how easy it was (I'm a little late to the game). All our drivers were incredibly friendly, efficient, and their cars were clean and well maintained. The best part about Uber is paying - you link your credit card to the app and the cost of the ride is automatically charged after you arrive at your destination. There's no tipping of your driving, no credit card swiping in the car, or fumbling with cash. Your driver also rates you as a rider (one to five stars - so don't be an obnoxious drunk on your rides) and you rate your driver keeping the experience going for good, courteous drivers and riders.
Buffets: Bang For Your Budget
Marci and I aren't clubbers. We really just wanted to meet in Las Vegas and eat, enjoy a few cocktails, and catch up on life. So our priorities were finding long buffets we could slowly make our way through while we chatted.
I think almost all the casinos have buffets, so Saturday we decided to go to The Bellagio Brunch Buffet. It was $29.99 and well worth it! The great things about being a plant based eater at a buffet is knowing there is always SOMETHING you can eat, and usually a good selection. The Bellagio Brunch Buffet had lots for plant eaters: loads of fresh fruit, salads, asian noodles and rice, vegan sushi, potatoes, mixed vegetables and more. I had no problem filling up more than I probably should have!
Here we are SO excited to eat:
Not being the faint of heart that evening we went to the Aria's Dinner Buffet. Yep, two buffets in one day - that is why we are friends.
$5 Blackjack Tables
Besides eating our way through Las Vegas we decided to hit up the $5 Blackjack tables. Neither of us like to just throw our money away (ahhh, gambling), but we looked at it as paid entertainment (and free drinks!). We spent some time at The Tropicana's tables pathetically trying to count the numbers on our cards and being made fun of by the dealers as we struggled to do math. Always a blast, never dull!
40 Hours in Vegas is Enough
Winding down Sunday afternoon we were getting ready to get the hell out of town. Vegas is blast, but only in small increments. It was a great treat in between half and full marathon training and we plan to do the same thing next year! Our goal is to eat at all the buffets, so I think we'll be training for more marathons in the future!