Las Vegas is a popular vacation destination, but planning a trip can seem overwhelming if you're not familiar with the area. Tom Ludington, VP of Marketing for Liberty Travel (one of the nation's largest retail travel agents) has significant experience developing travel packages for west coast destinations, including Las Vegas. He shares his expertise on Las Vegas travel in this exclusive expert interview.
Choosing a Las Vegas Vacation
LoveToKnow (LTK): What makes Las Vegas a good vacation choice?
Tom Ludington (TL): Variety! The vacationer can craft any type of vacation they would like in Vegas. Las Vegas has:
- Over 60 golf courses
- Millions of square feet of retail shopping space
- High-end ultra lounges
- Broadway-caliber shows
- Comedy clubs
- World class spas
- Wave pools
- River pools
- European style bathing pools
- Night clubs
- More restaurants than you can imagine!
Add to that the sightseeing options, such as art and history museums, ATV tours, tours by helicopter, bus, boat or all three! Did I mention gambling? You can do that there too!
LTK: What is the best time of year to travel to Las Vegas?
TL: The weather during the spring and fall seasons is delightful. However, the demand on the hotels from the conventions is high during those times. The best deals and prices can be found in the summer and winter months. Try and schedule your vacation during the middle part of the week (Sunday through Thursday.) The rates are very different, and you won't miss a thing!
Vegas Activities and Attractions
LTK: Many Las Vegas vacationers never venture off the "Strip." What are a couple of attractions people visiting Vegas should see, but usually don't?
TL: The natural beauty of the surrounding areas can be seen from your hotel room and few people venture out to get a close up view.
- The Red Rock Canyon is just minutes from the Strip. It's a 13 mile loop that offers a spectacular close up of the red rock sandstone formations where Native Americans once thrived. You can drive your car there, or buy a tour.
- The Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon should be on any American's "must see in my lifetime" list. There are a variety of ways to see them including helicopter and raft rides through the canyon on the Colorado River.
- A Lake Mead cruise is a nice way to get a day away from the glitter and pace of Vegas.
- The Richard Petty Driving Experience offers several exciting hands on racing experiences at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LTK: What are some things for families to do while in Las Vegas?
TL: Vegas has focused much of their efforts on attracting adults to the city. The "What happens here, stays here" campaign says it all. If you are going to bring the family to Vegas, I suggest you concentrate on some of the natural attractions such as the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Lake Mead. You might want to consider staying out in the Henderson area at Lake Las Vegas. For example, Liberty Travel offers the Hyatt Lake Las Vegas and The Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas.
From there, you can launch your sightseeing tours and spend a day or evening on the Strip so everyone can see the "eye candy" as you tour the world to see Volcano at the Mirage, the Fountains of Bellagio, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, the Pyramid at Luxor, and the New York City skyline of New York, New York.
There are several thrill rides throughout the city including three hair-raising rides over 1,000 feet above the Las Vegas Strip! Keep in mind that most hotels will charge an additional person fee for kids, even infants.
Money Saving Tips
LTK: What are some ways vacationers can save money on a Las Vegas vacation?
TL: Vacationers buying land and air packages can usually save money because hotels provide these 'packagers' with preferred rates that are 'bundled' with airfare.
- There are often 'early booking' bonuses, so the hotels can fill as many rooms as possible further out. These bonuses include reduced rates, spa credits, food and beverage credits and more.
- Seasonality is important as well. Be flexible with your dates so you can avoid the high convention periods in the spring and fall, because Vegas is a supply and demand destination where rates change by the week, even by the day.
- If you can travel mid-week, you will save on both your air and your accommodations.
LTK: How is a large travel company, such as Liberty Travel, able to help vacationers save money on their Las Vegas travel plans?
Vacationers take advantage of Liberty Travel's preferred rates that large operators like us have earned by sending tens of thousands of people to the destination each year. The more people we send, the better our rates are. Additionally, the larger companies know where the deals are. Hoteliers will reach out to us for help to fill need periods at their properties by offering us reduced package rates as well as complimentary amenities, such as dining credits.
LTK: How can people planning a Las Vegas vacation contact Liberty Travel for help with their travel plans?
TL: Consumers can visit any one of the 204 Liberty Travel stores, or visit us on the web at www.libertytravel.com. Our toll free number will connect you to the nearest store and agent. That number is 1-800-862-1363.
Start Planning Your Vegas Trip
With so many expert travel tips from Tom Ludington, you are now prepared to start planning your Las Vegas vacation. Check your calendar, reserve a few vacation days at work and make plans to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.