Travel Anyway: Vegas, Baby…Again

travel-anywayI’m going back to Vegas. Who’s shocked? I know. No one. And maybe everyone.

I do a spectacular job of hating on my mortgage. I post about it. I tweet about it. I stress myself out about it with side hustling. I think about it constantly when paying for grad classes to boost my income and my husband’s. So why in the world would I go back to Las Vegas again especially when we were just there this summer? The short answer is, Why wouldn’t I?

When it is all said and done, the entire vacation — from tips and drinks to slot machines and wishes in the only Trevi Fountain I’ve seen — will set us back less than a thousand dollars. One mortgage payment. If I play my cards right (ba dum tss!), it’ll clock in at far less than that. With so many options for free Cirque shows and other free entertainment, plus free buffets and other food comps, the only expenses we have to tackle are getting there and sleeping somewhere.

And this time, we’re using our Southwest miles to fly us there and back. And we didn’t even travel hack for these miles. Instead, we’re each using 11,000 points that we had accumulated from prior vacations. 

As for when we get there, we’re still deciding on a hotel. Maybe I’ll stop going to Vegas when I’ve stayed at them all. But probably not. There are always deals to be had when it comes to bunking on the Strip. In fact, if I book straight from MLife right now, we’d spend about $300 for three nights, which pretty well matches what we have socked away in credit card rewards.

Now that you’ve indulged my justification, let’s dive into my original response of Why wouldn’t I? We’re both off work during the holidays. We’ve got all of our bills paid. Our Roth IRAs will be funded for the year. We’re doing justfinethanks when it comes to our money. Could we do better? Of course. But should we sacrifice this opportunity to travel to shave off a single mortgage payment? Nope, at least not in my mind.

I may not have it all figured out, but I do know that traveling matters to me. Vegas, in all of its wacky kitsch and over-the-top indulgences, matters to me. Spending time with my husband matters to me. Escaping a Chicago winter ever so briefly matters to me. And as much as I love planning for the future and fantasizing about a nice, cushy retirement, now matters to me.

I could put off this trip. I could put the extra money towards our mortgage or our taxable investment account. I could do other things with that money. But I don’t have to, and I don’t want to.

So, Vegas, baby, see you in January.

So Tell Me…What travel plans do you have coming up? 

Travel Anyway: Vegas, Baby…Again

22 thoughts on “Travel Anyway: Vegas, Baby…Again

    1. I’m so glad you commented, Mike! It made my morning. Guess who has enough money in her tip jar to cover the difference in credit card rewards?! Tip Yourself is the best!

  1. Vegas is one of those places that seems like it should be expensive, but hardly ever is, all said and done. They want you to go, so you can gamble! They’ll make as much as cheap as possible, hoping you’ll realize what a great deal you’ve gotten…to realize you have extra money to play in the casinos. If you can avoid them, it’s a heck of a steal of a trip!
    And with all the talk of saving for the future and planning ahead and being on top of your finances…if everything is taken care of, you’re well prepared, why not go on a trip? Sure, you could pay that somewhere and have a lower balance on something. Sure. But there’s something to be said for actually taking some funds (that aren’t earmarked for anything!) and having a good time every once in a while!

    1. You’re so right, Jessica. They want you to get there with money in your pockets! As far as well prepared, we probably could do a lot more with investing. But it’s so overly complicated with our terrible 403(b) options. Roths are good and bills are paid. So Vegas it is.

  2. TJ says:

    What travel plans do I have coming up? This is the most fun comment ever!

    In January, I’m going to Camp Mustache in Florida.

    In October, I’m going to FinCon in Dallas.

    In between March and October, I have not a clue where I’ll be at this moment, but it won’t be here in California. 🙂

  3. Sometimes you just need to escape the cold! I actually love winter, because I feel so rushed in the other seasons trying to fit every awesome activity in. But winter comes, and I look outside at the snow, then feel great about reading a book and drinking coco. But come Feb-March, even I am DONE. Like SO over it. I wouldn’t mind doing a warm weather trip every February. But with 4 kids in school, it might not be in the cards.

    1. My problem is sometimes it’s still snowing in April here. It drags on forever. I just need a little sunshine in my life. Last year, I was half joking about buying one of those lights that mimics daylight. Maybe I can convince Santa to buy me one!

  4. Other than work trips, which take me all over Florida ok any given week, I try to escape to the Midwest whenever I can, which is maybe 2 weeks a year? I don’t have any vacation time in this job, so it becomes a working vacation, but it’s nice to be able to be with family at the holidays.

  5. I may have some work travel before the year ends, but the big one I’m looking forward to is a ski trip in Colorado with some friends at the end of the year. Can’t wait for that one! Enjoy Vegas!

  6. Sometimes you just need to get away 🙂 At some point you need to be able to spend your money on things that you value. Las Vegas during this time of the year sounds amazing.

    I wish I had vacation plans coming up, fortunately we just got back from a New England/Canada cruise which was a blast.

    We have started to explore vacation plans for next year but with a now one year old we are trying to decide what the three of us will all enjoy.

    1. Oh, wow. I have never done a cruise, nor had I considered one in that direction. That sounds lovely! And what a lovely “problem” to have – have fun traveling with your peanut!

  7. Travel is one area where I thoroughly enjoy spending money! My partner and I are spending the November long weekend (Remembrance Day here in Canada) in a cabin in the woods, and then we’re going to Amsterdam in the spring for a conference (tax deductible vacation!).

  8. We just enjoyed our yearly respite with the family road trip to Maine. We have the added issue of towing along a bunch of kids or finding someone who would agree to watch them for a few days (LOL at that).

    I hope you have a great time in Vegas. We could have used the Maine road trip money to pay off more debt, but there is plenty of research on how vacations are really good for you. Besides, you could do a lot worse by racking up debt on a more-exotic location with all sorts of amenities.

    1. Harmony, that’s a powerful way to look at it. It’s true I could save more, but I could also spend a lot more. A little time away for forced regrouping is helpful.

  9. It’s awesome you put travel so high on your list! We definitely have Vegas in our future travel plans – but I have no idea what MLife is?? We only have one trip on the books right now – to Sarasota for Thanksgiving week. We’re flying SW with our companion pass – so the only cost is the car for the week and 17,000 points. We’ll stay in our condo and enjoy the beach 🙂

  10. Today is also a good day to take care of yourself and build memories. I don’t have any travel plans, but my niece is coming out here for Thanksgiving and I’m really excited about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *