Friday, 14 October 2016

Vegas Travel Diary!

You probably all know by now, I was in Las Vegas just over 2 weeks ago. The main reason being for our Best Friend's Wedding. So many of you have been asking me questions on our trip so I thought I would compile it all into one blogpost! It is going to be a lengthy one, so pour yourself a cuppa!


We booked it with Falcon, in the Savoy in Cork City Centre. The bride and groom had all the hard work done for us. They had been there before and knew who they wanted to fly with, where they wanted to stay etc. So all we had to do was pay for it!

We had the option to pay for it over a number of months so we went with that option. I think it cost us in and around €1200 each for flights and accommodation.
Our first flight was Dublin to London Gatwick, and it was an early morning flight from Dublin so we decided to get the Air Coach from Cork to Dublin. Our flight was at half 7 on Saturday Morning and we were told to be there for half 4, so our only option was to get the 11pm bus on Friday night as there was no 12pm bus, and it takes 3.5 hours, it actually only took 3. So we wanted to ensure we had enough time. This bus is between €28 and €30,return,  depending on your time of travel I think.


Personally I wouldn't go by bus again, ahead of a long flight, for the simple reason, your in confined space for 3+ hours and then you've a long flight, but I wouldn't drive either as you have to bear in mind on your return trip you are going to be exhausted. So next time I will probably get someone to drop us up or else opt for a flight from Shannon or Cork, seeing as we flew to London  first.

So we had a few hour wait in the airport which added to the tiredness but we were so excited it didn't bother us. We checked in about half 4, and made our way through security. We didn't have to do US clearance here in Ireland as we were flying to London first so we did this in Las Vegas Airport.

Here's the part that I wont be doing again. FLYING INTO GATWICK with very little time to your next flight, as part of a connecting flight.
What a nightmare! I've done connecting flights before and its so straight forward, you just go to your next departure gate, there's signs directing you! But in Gatwick, you have to go out to the arrivals lounge and go back In through security. I had bought water in Dublin, in Duty Free and they took it off me! I am so glad I had not bought any perfume or anything. But that wasn't the worst part, we had to empty our hand luggage again, Anthony had his laptop, I had my iPad. All these electrical things have to be taken out of your bag and put through separately. Now Bare in mind we only had 1 hour between the time we landed and before our flight to Vegas took off. Gatwick airport seem to have this thing for doing SO many "random" checks. Not just 1 every so often but almost every 2nd bag. And then theres a queue before you because there doing so many random checks! Just our luck, Anthony's laptop got caught for random check, we were waiting 10-15 minutes before she picked us his crate!
We had lost everyone else in our group, so we had no idea were they gone ahead or not, so we powered through. We made boarding by about 5 minutes! And guess what? It was the exact same on the way back, only we had 4 hours of a wait before our flight back to Dublin, but everyone else in our group didn't and they missed their flight, so luckily they got on our flight. So this is not a connection I wouold be doing again as it was a lot of added stress that we didn't need!

So that being done, we hopped on our Virgin Atlantic flight to Vegas! We were greeted by fabulous staff, and then guided to our seats which had a pillow, a blanket and headphones, proper ones, on each of our seats! So we settled into our seats ready for take off. There was absolutely no delay. We were no sooner off the ground when they brought around menus. Lads, the food was amazing. It was actually so tasty and filling. I must say, they did nothing but feed us throughout the whole flight, Ice Creams, drinks, Pretzels. All free! It was a really lovely flight! And I couldn't recommend them enough! You can put movies onto a memory stick and play them on your own TV throughout the whole flight. But there is a wide selection of movies, TV shows etc. for you to enjoy!

We landed in Vegas about 10 hours later, we were tired but we were so excited for the week ahead. We went through US clearance which was straight forward enough, Just be sure to fill in the form they give you on the plane. It saves time when you get to Clearance!

Off we popped to collect our bags and we were greeted with a gust of 39degree heat! It was Heaven! We got an airport Shuttle to our hotel which cost $8 each. We were on it for about a half hour as there were other hotel drops as well.

I was in Awe as we were going along the strip. I'd done so much research and saw so many photos but nothing actually showed how unreal it actually was!
We arrived to our hotel, Flamingo, which is a sister to Ceaser's Palace, and is right across from it. The check-in queue was so long but again we didn't care as we just so excited to be there.
Just a note, that all hotels in Vegas( as far as i know) charge resort fees, and these are roughly $30 a night, so ensure you have extra money for that. And also a credit card for a security deposit. It wont be charged but they have it on hand, were you to cause any damage in the room!

We got upgraded to a Strip View, Go Room. We had a Go room but with a High roller View.

If you check out my Youtube Channel you will see our view and our room in video format!

After getting settled and freshened up we all met up again and headed to FatBurger for something to eat. Be prepared to eat a lot of Fast Food as the queues for restaurants are long and quite expensive. But I must say their Fast Food is nowhere near ours here in Ireland.
 I'm not going into every detail of every day as you would be here all day so here's a low down of my reccomdations:

Food and Drinks:
  • FatBurger, located on the strip past Planet Hollywood
  • Fat Tuesdays - alcoholic Slush Puppies
  • White Castle - teeny tiny burgers called Sliders, located on the strip
  • Flippin' Good Burgers and Shakes located in Old Vegas. We went here twice it was so yummy.
  • Ri Ra - Irish Restaurnt based in Mandalay Bay, we had the wedding dinner here and breakfast 2 mornings.
  • The Buffet in the Flamingo Hotel, we had breakfast here 4 mornings!
  • Carlos Bake shop at the Venetian! AMAZING!

Things to do:
  • Visit the Las Vegas Sign
  • Shop at The Fashion Mall - not the cheapest for certain brands, but they have Kiko, the Make-up Brand and Victoria Secrets.
  • Visit the North and South Premium Outlet centres- register on their website before you go to get a discount booklet.
  • Visit the Venetian - the indoor/outdoor shopping area, the ceilings. This was my favourite part of the city. So I think I need to visit Italy!

  • M&M store.
  • Hershley's Store.
  • Coca Cola Store.
  • Madam Tuassouds
  • Go to the top of the Stratosphere.
  • Fremont Street- this is where you'll get all your souvenirs for so much cheaper than on the strip, but do be wary of your bag in this area and keep it close and have your wits about you!

  • Volcano on the strip outside The Mirage Hotel.
  • Bellagio Fountain

I have probably left some stuff out but honestly, we didn't get to do a lot so we are going back again next year!
We fell in love with the place so much  but next year, we are going to travel a little and see more of Nevada!


If you have any questions, please get in contact, because I more than likely have not included everything!

Have you been to Las Vegas? What would you recommend to do that's not on the list above?

Happy travels!

Orla
xx


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