{Disclosure: We receive a commission from some of the links in this blog. We always write about the best deals, whether they pay a commission or not. If you decide to use our links we appreciate it, thank you!}

Monday, 30 December 2013

Holiday Report US West Coast: Part 1 - Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for last-minute deals! 

Bindi and I have been able to see lots of places that we could never have afforded to, if it were not for using points, or at least defraying the cost by searching out bargain fares on flights or hotels.  

We've been spending some time in Panama of late.  So we started our trip from there.

In September we converted Delta 35,000 points each, to travel up to visit my family in Ohio, and then from there to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary by driving and touring the US West Coast.  

My Cousin Who Lives in Africa, Was Also Visiting Ohio

Delta allows you to have a stopover at 1 location, and then another flight to an entirely different destination, when redeeming award tickets.  Effectively, you're getting 2 trips, for the price of 1 redemption. 

So we flew from Panama to Ohio, then later to California, and finally back to Panama at the end.  All for 35,000 points. 

We had decided to visit Las Vegas, the Napa Valley, and drive south along Highway 1, since these are places we've always wanted to see.

Holiday Report US West Coast: Index

Los Angeles to Las Vegas

We searched for low cost car hires, and by waiting until the last few days before we traveled, we got a bargain via Hotwire.  For US car hires, it is hard to beat their last-minute rates, since the car hire companies use sites like Hotwire to dump excess car stock.  Sometimes they offer cars for as low as $5/day!  I'll be posting about cheap car hires in future.  

We arrived on a late flight, and then we drove to our hotel in Hermosa Beach, where we stayed for one night before driving to Las Vegas.  We used a BRG for the one night there, so it was free!  The hotel usually costs USD +$150/night.  

Now admittedly, we've stayed in better hotels.  But this one wasn't bad, and it was comfortable and quiet.  In fact, it was more than adequate.  And free, is FREE.  And we only needed one night, so it was better to find a free night using a BRG.

Funnily enough, the girl at reception looked at our rate of $0, and said, "wow, I've never seen a rate that cheap!".  I explained how we had found a competitor rate for lower than the Choice rate, and that Choice then awarded us a free stay.  She said she didn't even know such a guarantee existed!  Needless to say, it goes to show how even hotel employees might not even understand what their own corporate hotel policies are!
Our Free Night at Choice Hotels, Hermosa Beach, CA
The Room Even Included a Sofa!
Driving to Vegas

After getting up, we began our 4 1/2 hour drive to Vegas.  It's been awhile since either of us have traveled through a desert, and we'd never been through this one.  It was gorgeous, and we enjoyed the scenery.  

We spent 3 days in Las Vegas, and got to see lots of famous places like the Bellagio, the Venetian, Caesar's Palace, and the Four Seasons.  

Bellagio Fountain Show - Unmissable
Since we couldn't get a great deal at any of the expensive hotels, I redeemed some Expedia vouchers that were good for $50 credit per night, and we stayed for 3 nights at a smaller casino and hotel.  With the credit, the total nightly stay came to $15/night.  

We aren't gamblers, so after 3 nights we'd seen enough and headed off north to the Napa Valley.  This was the highlight of the trip we'd really been looking forward to seeing, so we couldn't wait to go north!

No comments:

Post a Comment