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Las Vegas Trip-August 2020
Disclaimer: Traveling during 2020 has changed and each person must decide what is best for them and make their own personal decisions. Please consult with your Doctor, if needed, and make the decision that is best for you and your family. For me personally, I do check each area's latest health statistics prior to booking, as well as before I leave. I have also been selective in choosing locations to visit. I always mask up and sanitize at every chance possible along with washing hands frequently. Be safe!
The great thing about having points & miles is the ability to eliminate costs for a portion or all of the cost of a trip. Each person must decide on their own accord when to use points and when to use cash, but I usually mix and match when possible. I base this on the value of the points, the cost of the travel, and what my budget looks like.
Here is my breakdown on my points and cash spent as well as my take on travel for my trip to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Thoughts
Travel increased during the summer with people finally venturing out as safely as possible. I believe one of the hardest hit cities in America is Las Vegas. A city that relies on crowds of people, buffets, shows, and gambling. If you want to see videos of what Vegas looks like these days, give our friends at Miles to Memories a follow on their YouTube channel.
I am an avid Vegas fan and try and get at least a couple trips in a year, at a minimum. My Vegas trips peaked at six in 2018, but just one last year. I was eager to return this year. For me, it varies from good food to sports betting, to being able to just unwind in a city with much to offer. It seems as if you can always find something to do in Las Vegas, no matter the hour. In addition, as a sports fan, my favorite college basketball team plays there annually as well as multiple college teams host their tournaments in Las Vegas. The NFL is now in Las Vegas too, so it continues to be a great location for sports fans. Finally, Las Vegas is a place you can go and stick to cheap eats and drinks or go big and live it up. It truly has something for everyone. I was ready to give Las Vegas a visit to see what it is like during 2020 and Covid.
My two favorite follows for all things Las Vegas are TravelZork where Michael Trager does an amazing job combining gaming, points, comps, and more. Of course, if you want to add a little bougie to your Vegas trip then Bougie Miles and what Bethany brings forward must be a blog stop for you as well. Both are great resources.
I went much more last minute than normal, even for me. As I have disclosed previously, most of my bookings tend to fall within 14 days. This trip was all booked within 7 days of my departure, with some parts booked just a few days prior.
I booked two one-ways, as I usually do. This makes it easier for me to adjust one direction of itinerary, if needed. In addition, Delta is very flexible in their cancellation policy due to the pandemic, so any flights can be canceled that fall within their dates. In addition, with no change fees currently, it gives a traveler more options. I do tend to book most of my travel last minute compared to most which can lead to slightly higher pricing. Finally, I always book any airfare with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, due to the great trip delay and cancellation coverage.
SEA-LAS-SEA flights totaled only $256. My go-to booking strategy lately is to cash out Chase points via Pay Yourself Back to buy cash fares or to use up my Delta e-credits from prior cancellations. My other option on this kind of booking would be from my large stash of Delta SkyMiles. Unfortunately, sometimes the SkyMiles prices just don’t match the value so I went with the cash out option.
Points Spent: 17,067 via Pay Yourself Back
Upgraded both ways to comfort with Delta Silver
First off, I booked two nights at The Paris on comp nights. This has been easier recently as Vegas is trying to get visitors back to Sin City. As a Caesar's Diamond Member via my Founders card, I have found the comp calendar to be much more open lately. Here is video of my Paris room.
Savings= $275 based on non-member, non-status rate
Secondly, I had decided I wanted some great pool time and maybe a bit more luxury. I put one of my favorite booking methods to work for one of my nights with The Chase Luxury Hotel Resort Collection. A full breakdown of that program is coming soon. Las Vegas is a great sweet spot for it. I chose the Delano for $152 which was a king suite at over 700 sq. feet. Here is video of my suite as well.
The benefits included with my booking included:
- Early Check in (if available, by request)
- Late check out (if available by request)
- $100 in food and beverage credits
- $60 in breakfast credits ($30 per person. tip: just say you have two)
- Upgrade if available
Since Hyatt is an MGM partner, I was able to add my Hyatt number to my stay for earnings there also. Additionally, I took the opportunity to use my new Hyatt Explorist status to status match to MGM Gold. Although there are not a ton of perks or benefits with the status match, every little bit helps! I never turn down free status and love any status match opportunities. You never know when it will help you. The Hyatt site has full details of the partnership as well as the MGM website if you wish you bring MGM status and benefits to Hyatt.
For clarification, I only stayed two nights total but kept both nights at Paris even though I only used one. Errors can happen when canceling a comp offer and trying to re-book at times. Therefore, I tend to try and not mess with them after the fact. Since this was a last minute booking, I did not want to deal with the potential hassle with that.
Overall, this was a different kind of Las Vegas trip. With times different, I am looking for a property where I can relax and have a nice room. Additionally, I want a good location or good amenities or both, if possible. There are no shows, buffets, or entertainment options, but I still love Las Vegas.
Paris provided me a great location close to the center of the strip. Bellagio is right across the strip as well, so I could dine at Lago, which has a dinner view that is amazing. Bellagio Conservatory is always a must stop for me as well. Delano gave me access to a great choice of pools at Mandalay Bay which was a new location for me. I also was able to visit The Foundation room for the first time and enjoy the view and great meal.
Mask enforcement was very good at the properties I visited. Bellagio even went as far as getting upset if your mask wasn't on if you let any time lapse in between two drinks of your beverage!! The pools required masks if you were not in the water. The pool rules seemed odd since I can sit at a socially-distanced table, but not socially distanced lounge chairs, but I am guessing that is more of a government requirement.
I found drink service to be efficient at Paris, while not so much at the MGM-branded properties. Most of the gaming tables had Plexiglas, with Poker and Roulette the exceptions. They also had fewer players allowed at the table. Expect to see fewer dining options throughout the properties as well.
I love Las Vegas and I love my weekend getaways. Even during 2020, I found Las Vegas, while not the same, to be just what I needed. I got to experience some luxury, some pool time, and great food. On top of all that, I was able to fly there and get lodging that included food and beverage credits. I had a great time and already booked my next trip. Have you been to Las Vegas? Are you considering a trip? Come over to our Facebook group and let us know your thoughts.