How to plan your summer Vegas trip

Heading to the desert this summer? Planning a Vegas trip will help you make the most out of your getaway.

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When I think of summer vacation, I picture sunning on gorgeous beaches, kayaking or rafting in oceans and lakes, and cabins in the woods, with decks leading to the water. In other words, I don’t often think of escaping to the desert.

But according to Kayak.com, Las Vegas is one of the top destinations for summer vacations. The glistening pools plus endless entertainment options for kids and adults make it not only a great place for singles, but also for family travel. So before you book that last-minute flight, you might want to consider putting a little effort into planning, to make sure you’re not sharing a pool with two hundred of your closest friends.

Here’s what you need to know:

Package deals are good options. If you’re booking flights through Expedia, Travelocity, or Kayak (or any of the online booking sites), be sure to check out their package deals. Many times they offer hotel and rental cars along with discounted flights. If you want to book directly with your airline or credit card company and use miles, some airlines also offer travel packages. Southwest offers discounted hotel and car rentals along with purchasing your fare online. There’s no need to make extra work for yourself when you could get a great deal by purchasing a package.

Be flexible with dates. Airlines are putting more and more restrictions on booking flights with miles. Look for those flights during the week (and not around 4th of July or Labor Day weekend). Later in the summer (think August) the airfares tend to go down. In addition to flights, there are better rates at hotels during the week than on the weekends. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the huge pool crowds or being unable to buy tickets for one of the Cirque du Soleil shows if you opt for weeknight stays. Sometimes taking a few vacation days off from work can pay off in the long run with how much you’ll save on your vacation.

Decide how you want to spend your time. Las Vegas isn’t all about the casinos, but of course, if that’s your thing, you want to take advantage while you’re there. But if you know you’d rather spend time at the pool, or shopping, or watching shows, or hopping in the car and driving out to see the sights like Hoover Dam or The Grand Canyon, it’s good to decide beforehand. Often during the summer places are crowded and seats sell out. If you know you want to spend a lot of time at the pool, check into offerings at your hotel. They might provide private pool access for an extra fee, or rent you a cabana for the afternoon (so figure that cost into your budget). If you’re planning a road trip, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to stay at places along the strip. Opt for downtown Vegas and drive over to the strip if you want to check it out one night. And if you don’t want the expense of renting a car, Las Vegas has an excellent public transit system between The Deuce (bus system) and the monorail. If you’re just trying to get around town, I’d recommend these.

Have a good trip!

 

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