Orracle and Family

Orracle and Family

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Art of Vacationing

Vacation time. It is negotiated in employment, it is advertised on billboards and is the fodder for many conversations.

I excel in vacationing. I received the highest marks in this class right behind Mechanics of the Keg which was a natural course for me in college.

I think the highlight of a vacation to me is the planning. Sure, getting on the plane, embarking on a cruise, visiting a port of call, seeing Mickey Mouse is the completion of the objective.

There are three types of vacations imacting different classes of people.
  1. People that have cabins nearby or even reachable by airplane plus lots of vacation need less planning since the objective is just to get there and sit. Nice but in order to have this and option 3, resource$ are a must!
  2. Some people have lots of vacation and no means to get there or do anythig, so they burn their time by sitting at home. I have done this once and it is for sure one of the most underrated types of vacation.
  3. Option 3 is most of us. This is the group that is fortunate enough to have enough vacation time and the means to take a trip or two every year. BUT, we MUST make the most of this time. No relaxing - get the worth out of every last dinero.

This planning, is an art form. Some people just might take it to extremes with spreadsheets, research and analysis. Theme parks require sheets that tell you when things are happening. Road trips require mapping, gas planning, food planning and sight planning since you are the El Capitan of the ship.

Even a short trip to Vegas of 3 days requires immense planning.

Gambling - what is so hard to figure out? You have come to the right place to ask that question!! Considerations include but are not limited to: Who has the best comps for low rollers? Who has the best video poker pay tables? Who gives out the most free stuff for the least amount of play? An idea of the places we'll hit would be Terrible's, The Cannery, El Cortez, Ellis Island and The Silverton.

Eating - Who has the best buffet? Who do I have a coupon for in the list of top buffets? Where can I get a free hot dog and Heineken with a coupon? Who has the best, cheapest, steak or shrimp? We can be found at The Rio (2-1 buffet), Slots-O-Fun (hot dog and beer free), Ellis Island for steak and The Golden Gate for shrimp.

Sleeping - Who sleeps in Vegas? Seriously, you need a place to rinse off and breathe for a few hours to prevent emphysema. Requirements are cheap and clean and preferably with a casino that fits a gambling situation (see above). Coupons play into this decision as well. We like to nap at Terrible's. We always find a free night coupon, the rooms are great, they are close to the action, the comp well and the free drinks come quickly (handy to do most drinking where you will be sleeping!)

Shows - Now, shows seems easy - just find the one you want and go. I prefer afternoon shows and cheap shows and you guessed it, shows with coupons. I have been to many $100 shows and have enjoyes $7.95 shows much more. Dollar for dollar, acts like Mac King www.mackingshow.com/, Ronn Lucas www.ronnlucas.com/ (both afternoons and cheap), The Rat Pack (usually 2-1 coupons) www.ratpackvegas.com/, Forbidden Vegas (closed but one of the best ever for me) and Larry G Jones, The Man of 1,002 Voices www.lasvegasacts.com/ all exceed shows like "O", "Mystere" and "Celine Dion". Finding these gems requires deep digging. Their advertising budgets is small so their presence on the web and papers is small. Lots of PLANNING!

So you see, the shorter the trip, the more planning is required to hit all the places, see the shows, eat the food and drink the drinks plus sleep occasionally. I spend hours planning. It is worth every minute and more fun than the trip sometimes. On family trips, seeing everyone have a great time and getting the most of the trip is the biggest bonus yet.

So I am off to Vegas 11/14. A short trip with very short notice. Still, the job will be done.

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The ORRacle!

The ORRacle!