Last month -- at the end of a Vegas weekend filled with posh meals, several cab rides and some shows -- I realized that I far exceeded my self-imposed budget for this mini-vacation.
So after my friends left Sunday morning, I started to dread that I had planned one more night in Sin City. That meant paying for one more lunch, one more dinner, another breakfast and the cab ride to the airport. But then I remembered that my hotel stay Sunday night -- $79 for a 4-Diamond resort off the Strip -- came with a $25 credit for food and drinks to use among six restaurants.
In prime tourist cities, hotels fiercely compete on prices and perks to get people in the door. And recently in Vegas, more and more hotels have been throwing in credits for food, drinks and even pool cabanas to stand out from their neighbors. What that means for us travelers: We basically score a "free" meal or cocktails during our stay -- something we'd probably pay for anyway. Right now, several deals in Travelzoo's Vegas hotels section include these goodies.
My credit got good use: It covered delicious Chinese food and a drink in one of the casino restaurants, while I watched my hometown team -- the Miami Heat -- on the bar's TV. When the bill came, I felt a little less bruised about my budget.