Airline vacation packages offer good prices for a Las Vegas stay -- witihout… ( Bruce Bennet / Getty Images )
I'm not a high roller, so when I visit Las Vegas, it's usually with out-of-town guests on a limited budget. The upfront leg work of checking and rechecking travel websites in search of great prices can be a big time drag.
I realized I was running out of time to plan a my sister's two-night birthday trip next week, so I decided to change it up and try something different: a one-stop airline vacation package. It took just 15 minutes to select flights and hotel -- all at a price I liked.
The deal: Everyone has their own formula for doing Vegas on the cheap (without seeming cheap, of course). I won't drive because the price of gas is crazy and I hate being stuck in traffic, whether it's the 15 Freeway or the Strip. Those who have time for a five- to six-hour ride on Megabus, Greyhound or a charter coach really do save a bundle on round-trip transportation but that's a big chunk of time if you're going for two days.
That left me with flying. Because I preferred to fly from Long Beach, I went to JetBlue Vacations, which showed airfare-hotel packages starting at $115 per person.
I quickly selected round-trip flights and chose to stay at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, not the cheapest hotel offered. Total price for two: $375, including tax. What I liked was having options and being able to reserve quickly. Southwest Airlines showed equally good deals to Vegas, especially if you're looking for flights from Los Angeles.
When: Vacation packages are subject to change on airline websites, but they're worth a look to see what's being offered. Occasionally there are sales, too.
Tested: I saved $92 by booking the package, but the time savings was what really made this a sweet deal. (There's also a $25 per night resort fee at this hotel not covered in the prepaid price, but that was disclosed before I made the reservation.)
Contact: JetBlue Getaways, Southwest Vacations
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