One Night in Vegas at the Venetian

It’s a common joke in our family that it’s more expensive to get to Montana than it is to get to Europe.Consequently (especially in light of my new freelancer lifestyle) I’ve gotten creative about getting to and from Missoula. Because Allegiant has a (relatively) cheap direct flight from Missoula to Vegas, and we can use our JetBlue miles to fly directly from Vegas to NYC, we end up frequently bookending our Montana vacation with a lightning fast pit stop in Vegas.

A last minute Hotwire deal at the Venetian

Due to unpredictable weather, it’s advisable to avoid booking a hotel until you know you’ll be staying the night. For us, that meant waiting until our plane touched down in Vegas. To get the best deal, I always cross reference my findings on Hotwire with Hotel Deals Revealed, which is an excellent help to decoding the hotel choices. Thanks to our sleuthing, we ended up with a suite at the Venetian for only $160. (Note that if you opt for a 5-star on the North Strip, the cheapest option will always be the Trump which is nice but a bit of a walk from the action. However, you can ID it immediately from its lack of casino in the listing.)

Las Vegas Lobby

Dinner at Buddy V’s

Having decided on Italian food to match our hotel choice, after some comprehensive Yelping, we settled on Buddy V’s Ristorante as the best Italian option in Vegas, and weren’t disappointed. We settled on the Aunt Nina’s Mozzarella en Carozza as an appetizer, and I got the Chicken Rigatoni Alla Vodka while B enjoyed his trusty Chicken Parm. Although we couldn’t finish our entrees (portion sizes are generous), everything was delicious.

Las Vegas Buddy Vs RestaurantLas Vegas Buddy Vs

An afternoon on the slots

Las Vegas Sex and the City Slots Big Win CarrieLas Vegas SATC Slot Machines

My slot choice is always the same: Sex and the City for the win. I don’t know if they’ve calibrated the winning cycle differently because they guess their target customer won’t like losing as much, but it really feels like you win more on these guys (provided you put $100 into the machine to kick things off).

Las Vegas Sex and the City Slot Machines

Check this one out. See all those pink “Sex and the City”s lined up? That’s a $134.15 spin, my friend.

Mexican Lunch at Canonita

Las Vegas The Venetian Canal Las Vegas Canonita Las Vegas Mexican Food

I can’t remember a time in Vegas when I haven’t eaten at the Mexican restaurant Canonita on the canal in the Venetian. Disclosure: It feels a little odd to be ‘enjoying the canal’ when you know you’re actually inside a big, man-made casino. But then I remind myself everything in Vegas is fake (and I do mean everything) and suddenly it doesn’t seem so weird. At least the chips and Modelo Especial are real.

Credit Cards, Accounts, and Other Tips

As a personal finance nerd who is always in search of a bargain and spends her free time reading NerdWallet and PointsGuy (and who may or may not have shed a few tears when Suze Orman went off the air), I’m happy to share some of my findings. Add your own tips and thoughts in the comments …

France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, WHEW!

Brian and I seem to have a real thing for the jam-packed itinerary … join us on a recounting of our trek through Europe in June. (Full photos here.)