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Vegas 2012 – Day 1 – Flying, Car Rentals, Outlet Malls, and Roy’s

25 August 2013 No Comment

Vegas 2012 was my fifth trip to Vegas since 2008.  You would think it was starting to get old but we are still finding fun new things to do, and mixing it up with some old time favorites.

This year we were traveling to Las Vegas as part of a 12-day West Coast road trip.  We decided to fly into and depart from Las Vegas, rent a car and drive round trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Diego and back to Vegas.

Pre-trip planning

Since we had stayed on the strip previously, we decided to save some money this year and stay off-strip at the South Point Casino and Hotel.  The South Point is 4-star hotel at 3-star prices.  Total cost for two round trip flights from Ottawa-Las Vegas + 5 nights at South Point was $1,088.  The cost of the flights alone would have been around $900, so the hotel costs us about $200 for five nights from Wed-Sun.  South Point Casino is a few miles south of the Strip so it’s best to have a rental car if you are staying here.  To be honest if you’re in Vegas for more than 3 days it’s always best to get a rental car.  They’re so cheap and there is free parking everywhere in Las Vegas.

For the rental car I had spent several hours doing pre-trip research looking for the best value on a 12-day car rental.  Each year I’ve rented my car directly from Alamo and never had a bad experience.  By checking the Alamo site each day, and eventually signing up to the insiders club, I was able to book a convertible for $370 tax-in for 11 days.

Day 1 – October 16, 2012

Day one started bright and early 5:00am ET at the Ottawa airport.  We had a 6:00am flight to catch and a layover in Washington DC.   Check-in was easy, flights were on time and we arrived in Las Vegas by 10:30am PT.  As always, you get some great views when flying into Vegas.  Try and get seats on the right-hand side of the plane if you are flying in from the East.  Great views.

Great views flying to Las Vegas

Great Views

We got off the plane, grabbed our luggage, then headed to the rental car shuttles.  Hoping we would get a good choice of convertibles to choose from.  We get to the Alamo line, and there are 10 cars in line, every single one was a Chrysler convertible, bulky hunk of crap and then we reach the last one, a sexy white Ford Mustang convertible.  We throw our luggage in the trunk, and hop in the car.  No keys.. WTF.. all rental cars have the keys in them and you drive them to the counter and check-out.. So we look around and ask the attendant, then finally two kids come around and they have the keys.  They took the keys out and went over to customers service.. essentially blocking anyone from taking the last cool car.. so we loaded up one of the Chryslers, and took off.  A bit of a disappointment, but our luck would soon change.





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