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May 20

Las Vegas: The country’s cheapest and most expensive vacation city

There’s no city in the country or, for that matter, the world, quite like Las Vegas. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but one does get the job done. And Las Vegas can be either a bargain or a nightmare.

I go there about once per year for vacation, and you won’t be surprised to find out that I prefer the bargain side of things.  I use miles to get there, but even if you pay, it tends to be a cheap fare. First, it’s a leisure destination, so the airlines don’t sell a lot of last-minute business class tickets.  he largest airline in the city is discount carrier Southwest Airlines, which has more capacity than American, United and Delta combined. Second, it has some of the world’s largest hotels, which it tries to fill with people who gamble (Hint: I’m not one of them.).  Thus, prices are low so that they fill the rooms.  As the saying goes, “ghosts don’t gamble.”  The weather is good, the pools are luxurious and the people-watching is fantastic.

If you’re not a gambler, don’t get caught up in all the bells and whistles (literally), but if you do decide to indulge, invest in a copy of The American Casino Guide, which has coupons galore.  There’s still plenty for you to do in the city.  It doesn’t stop at restaurants or shopping.  Personally, I’m a big fan of the Pinball Museum, which is less a museum and more a giant arcade.  Bring your quarters.  Or you can visit another offbeat museum such as Madame Tussaud’s or the Mob Museum.  Like Thai food?  Lotus of Siam is one few restaurants that lives up to the hype, although they no longer serve their lunch buffet, which beat any of the “quantity versus quality” buffets that you would find on the Las Vegas Strip.  Follow it up with dessert at Luv It Frozen Custard.

A couple of other notes:

Las Vegas is not viewed as a kids’ city, but if you go with yours, don’t miss the boardwalk at Circus Circus.  Here’s a few more ideas of what you can do there.  And as an added bonus, Yahoo gives you a list of the 30 worst decisions you can make in Sin City.  The first is the most important.


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