After getting unreasonably depressed and paranoid reading the Burnout vs Longevity thread the other day, I need to rebuild the excitement for our upcoming trip. So I figured what better way than a rundown of the plan so far? REASON My wife and I got married last September at Red Rock Canyon with about 15 friends and family in attendance. We had our reception in a private room at Mon Ami Gabi, followed by a week-long honeymoon to ourselves at Caesars. The entire trip was unbelievable. Now for our one year anniversary, we were going to stay local until some good flight deals and hotel offers came along, so we jumped on em. It's still going to be a budget-oriented trip, but we'll both take a budget trip to Las Vegas over a local trip any time. FLIGHTS Flights on Southwest are both direct out of Austin. We depart on Wednesday night August 28th and come back late Tuesday night September 3rd. Flights from Wednesday night to Tuesday night were cheaper than leaving Thursday morning, plus we'll still be able to work full days Wednesday since we live 30 minutes from the airport, so we went with it to get that extra morning of rest in after traveling. RENTAL CAR We booked a rental car for the whole trip through Fox who was perfectly acceptable last time and more than $100 cheaper overall than the major companies. We pick the car up and drop it off at the "airport" location. We debated getting a car for the full trip or only a couple days on the weekend since we wanna get out to Red Rock (both the Canyon and Casino), but it was almost as cheap to get a Fox car for the whole trip as it was to get a couple day rental from a company on the Strip. So in the end, we decided the convinence of not having to set which days we do off-Strip activities is worth the modest price difference, plus we always find a lot to do off-Strip when we have a car anyways. HOTELS For the first time in our two previous trips together and my four before that, we will be hotel-swapping. Actually, we'll be changing twice to get the most bang for our buck. Between our Total Rewards offers, MyVegas offers, and an MLife offer, we were able to get six of the seven nights we booked for free (plus resort fees). And the only reason we couldn't get Saturday night free is because it's considered a holiday weekend night. We'll be staying at Flamingo Wednesday and Thursday nights (both comped), swapping to Excalibur for Friday (comped), Saturday (paid), and Sunday (comped), then back to Flamingo for Monday and Tuesday nights (both comped). We're leaving Tuesday night but the room was comped that night so I took it since I don't wanna have to worry about checking out early with an evening flight. RESTAURANTS We're keeping an eye out for deals and of course our plans always go out the window when we arrive, but we do have a few places we wanna try. Gordon Ramsay's Pub at Caesars along with the new buffet there (it opened the day after we left last year). Our staples are breakfast one day at Payard since we both love the eggs benedict and also probably breakfast at Hash House (likely off-Strip on the way out to Red Rock). Sushi rolls at Japonais lounge one afternoon/night to satisfy our Japonais craving without going all out on a meal, and one late night McDonald's raid since it's cheap and we don't really allow ourselves fast food when we're not on vacation. We'll probably also do Mon Ami Gabi for memories' sake one meal. Other than this, we're pretty open. We'll probably do some less expensive lunch/dinner buffets and see what we can get from our MyVegas points as the trip gets closer. I still wanna try Earl of Sandwich (surprisingly never had a late night snack here), another Wolfgang Puck restaurant if budget allows (we loved Spago last trip), and a few other small places if convenient. Open to suggestions for low to mid level restaurants for all meals. GAMBLING We are true low rollers and both in love with $0.25 DDB VP. We play 10/6 at Red Rock Casino or downtown, 9/6 at Casino Royale and wherever we can find it, and occasionally 8/6 if we can't find anything else on the Strip when we feel the urge (though I do cringe a little). Unfortunately, they got rid of the 9/6 at Excalibur or else I'd probably have great comp offers after last trip. I'm also a big fan of Texas Hold Em Deluxe at the tables and will jump from table to table on a few other low limit games (learning Craps, trying to get basic strategy BJ under my belt, random bets on roulette, double my money or nothing nonsense at Casino War, etc). I've been wanting to play poker live in a poker room but I don't think this is the trip to make that happen because of our budget and time, so perhaps next time. We also both love throwing $20-$40 in those "PUSH THE BUTTON!" Craps machines, so that will definitely happen frequently. We just like to have fun jumping around with our daily budgets and that's exactly what we do. OTHER ACTIVITIES As mentioned, we'll be visiting Red Rock Canyon for some hiking and to relive our wedding adventure. This is really one of my favorite places in Las Vegas. I've been there every trip and will likely continue this tradition. I just never get sick of it and the location is so convenient if you have a car (especially compared to the other national parks in the area). There will be much pool time in the mid morning through early afternoons. We like to relax and some time in the sun and dry desert heat most days is a highlight for us. It's one of the reasons we wanted to check out Flamingo since we hear so much about the pool. Being in our late 20's, we still enjoy the party vibe a bit so this sounded like a good option considering the comp offers. I just hope we can find a chair or two without too much of an issue. DRINKING One of the big draws of Vegas for me is the fact that I feel no hesitation, regret, or remorse about drinking pretty much 24/7. I'm no alcoholic and rarely get wasted, but I do love the fact that I can effortlessly and cheaply keep a nice buzz going most of the day most days (except when I'm gonna be driving, obviously). No other vacation destination I've found offers me this option in such a guilt-free and convenient manner. Walking the Strip and casinos with a healthy buzz, playing here and there, and lounging by the pool with a captain and coke in hand the entire time is heaven. And I rarely get hungover if I maintain a decent water intake, so I can really take full advantage of the situation on these trips. CONCLUSION Well, that's about all I can think of right now. Typing this up has really helped bring back some of the excitement, so feel free to comment, make suggestions, post links, or whatever else you'd like. Nothing gets that excitement going like some good Vegas-related conversation!