Las Vegas on a Payment Plan
April 9, 2012
Las Vegas can be an expensive place to visit, especially when you go for a big event like a bachelor party. I was there with a bunch of good friends last weekend and although bringing together a big group like that can be a big and expensive task you can make it a success with the right amount of planning. I want to share some tips that the organizer of our trip used to pull it off so someday you can plan your own group Vegas getaway.
1) Get Everyone to Buy Their Plane Ticket Early
A verbal commitment doesn’t do you much good when you’re trying to plan a group trip. Once people spend money to buy a plane ticket they’re probably going to show up, so remind them early and often to get their airline booked. Here’s me earning my Southwest rapid rewards!
2) Negotiate a Group Hotel Rate
Once enough people have bought their airline ticket you know the minimum number of rooms you’ll need and you can start calling hotels and asking for their group rates. Of course some people will want to choose their own place and use their hotel credit card to earn rewards points but its more fun if you all stay in the same place and you can get group rates.
The days we were in Vegas were over a busy weekend so not many hotels would cut us a deal but he kept trying and finally got a group rate at the Cosmopolitan. (Check out the cool lobby below)
3) Checkout Daily Deals Sites
We did get a group rate but some of us flew in early the night before to get a head start on the trip. With fewer people we didn’t qualify for the group rate on the first night but the organizer found a great package deal through Groupon that got us low rates, unlimited drinks, and an afternoon at the spa at the Hard Rock.
4) Offer Scholarships
Not everyone will be able to afford the trip and if there’s a person (or people) you really want to come along you might be able to work some money into the trip budget for a “scholarship”. If everyone who’s going chips in a little bit extra you might be able to bring along your buddy you’ve all known since fifth grade who always seems to be down on their luck.
5) Budget in Bulk Buys
The organizer also built money into the trip budget so we could hit the grocery store once we landed and stock up on food and drinks. Obviously the benefit of this is that you’re all paying grocery store prices instead of each paying tourist gouging prices. Don’t forget your Costo membership card!
6) Setup a Payment Plan
Once you know the # of ticketed people who are going and the total cost of the hotel and other costs from above, you can figure out how much it will cost per person. Then you break that amount down into 3–4 payments and put each person on a monthly payment plan.
There are two good reasons for doing this. First, you know if you wait until you’re on the trip to try and collect you’ll get stuck eating a lot of the cost. Second, people are much more likely to be able to afford the trip if you ask for some money each month in advance, rather than asking for it all at once.
The payment plan can simply be an e-mail you send out every few weeks reminding everybody of what they owe and how much of the total is left. It’s best to give multiple payment options, like mailing in a check or paying with PayPal.
If you’re worried about the emails getting annoying, just include some details or comments about the upcoming trip to get people excited.
7) Check Your Bill
Since all the rooms are in your name you want to be sure to review the bill when it comes time to check out. In our case we were missing legitimate discounts and had extra charges on the room.
So before you check out, make sure you look through the charges and make sure you are not missing any discounts that you were supposed to get and there were no extra charges on the room.
Is it Worth It?
Although the whole thing is a lot of work for the person that does the arrangements, the Las Vegas payment plan does make for a pretty good experience.
If you told everyone to make their own arrangements and meet you in Vegas you might get a few people to show up. But if you coordinate the trip, get some discounts, and get people on a payment plan you can get a great turn out and put together a pretty memorable trip.
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All posts by Ben Edwards