Las Vegas? It’s where half-price flights are wide open and where reservations are easily booked on a moment’s notice. Tourism is down, so rooms are plentiful, as well as inexpensive. On any number of travel websites, you will be able to find three- to four-star hotels on the Las Vegas strip advertised for as low as $23.
Leaving Las Vegas: Many Vegas vacationers are eager to get there and slow to leave. So take the “red-eye” back home. Most red-eye flights depart around midnight, leaving you with an extra night of gaming, fun or frolicking without added expense of a higher hotel charge. You can sleep the whole way home.
During the day, escape the lively pace of the Strip by taking a leisurely gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel ( www.venetian.com). Gondoliers softly sing and effortlessly guide your gondola past the Grand Canal Shoppes and charming frescos of the luxury resort.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes: Casinos can appear very close together, but actually may not be. Know the tram systems that run up and down the Strip. Most tram lines are free.
No trip to Vegas with the offspring would be complete without seeing the Grand Canyon ( www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm).
On the way, stop at the Hoover Dam ( www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/index.html) for an informative tour of a design and engineering marvel.
When you return to the Strip, treat the kids to a hair-raising roller coaster ride at the New York New York casino ( www.newyorknewyork.com/attractions/the-roller-coaster.aspx).