YOLO. It’s millennial-speak for “You Only Live Once”.
What does a YOLO experience mean to you?
Here’s what it means to us.
Even with a baby in tow, we are still “cool” (right??!!!) and can try to #YOLO it up (in moderation).
My husband is more frugal than I am. He is very frugal. He only has one pair of navy shorts (non-workout and non-swimshorts) from Club Monaco he’s had for the past 10 years. One pair of shorts. Just recently a hole ripped in the buttock area and I tried to stitch it up with my novice sewing skills. I was happy to have repaired it only to have him put them on at home and then another part ripped open (I resigned trying to repair it again because the fabric was actually wearing out and becoming too thin aka see-through).
He’s been a devout NHL Washington Capitals fan for the past 30 years. He has always said that IF the Washington Capitals go to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Finals he would go to Washington DC and watch them play. The last time the Washington Capitals made it to the Stanley Cup Finals was in 1998, or 20 years ago. It has been one of his Bucket List life goals.
When we were dating I wanted to surprise him with hockey tickets and a flight (using my Aeroplan points, of course, because his expired) to Washington DC to watch the Capitals. The timing was off and they never made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, anyway (Pittsburg Penguins have beat them at least two years in a row). Then we had a baby and I thought, okay we will probably never be able to watch them play.
Then, a great thing happened and the Washington Capitals beat Pittsburg Penguins (finally!) and then Tampa Bay and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with Las Vegas Golden Knights! My husband would not allow me to trip plan until they officially won the Tampa Bay series, he didn’t want to jinx it. This meant that we had to pay a premium for the flights- which was painful as the flight tickets got more and more expensive.
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Here’s the breakdown of our #YOLO trip to Las Vegas:
The #Yolo Trip Flights
Unfortunately, I used up most of my Aeroplan miles on our last trip to Hawaii. Also, booking such a last minute flight is close to impossible with points. We booked flights on FRIDAY to leave MONDAY.
I tried to research with Kayak and Flight Hub to find the lowest flight prices and continued to clear cookies (so that they don’t increase the price depending on how often you search for the flight tickets). We had to have nonstop flights because of the baby (the PTSD from our LAST fight, from Los Angeles back to Vancouver where he cried for 45 minutes not stop before takeoff was fresh in my mind) and pick a good time. We ended up finding some flights with Air Canada for $850 CAD a piece. For a flight that NORMALLY would cost anywhere from $200 to $350, this was PAINFUL. Especially for a travel hacker wannabe like me.
#YOLO Trip Flights: $1700 CAD
The Hockey Ticket
Note the singular form of the hockey ticket (not TICKETS) because you know, on a YOLO trip in moderation, we can only justify one ticket. Haha, that, and we thought it wouldn’t be a great idea if we brought baby GYM to the game. We don’t like to mess up his sleep schedule and the game would be really loud.
How much was the ticket to the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals? it was really expensive.
It was $1160 USD!! (THIS IS like TWO flights to Asia-if you can find a cheap flight- or a week in an all-inclusive resort!).
I asked Twitter how to save money on hockey tickets and Teacher on Fire @Teacherfire1 recommended Stubhub (through Ebates) or SeatGeek (through Swagbucks).
The ticket itself was around $900 and then there was another $200 service fee (Stubhub and SeatGeek must make a killing).
With buying the ticket through Stubhub and Ebates we saved a total of $55.58 CAD (the cheque will be mailed in a few months, they mail it quarterly). We saved up to 4.5%. This is really good because the largest ‘cash back’ I’ve gotten from Ebates was $0.49.
Unfortunately when you spend upwards of $1000 on a ticket, DO NOT check the prices again because you will feel crappy about your #YOLO purchase. We made the mistake of looking up the ticket prices on Stubhub the day OF the game and saw that the prices dropped by a few hundred dollars (oops #noregrets).
If you want to sign up for Ebates you can do so here and you will get $5 (if you are in Canada) and $10 (if you are in the US). In Canada, if you just refer two friends (e.g. your spouse and a friend) you can get $50 added to your account. You just need $5 in Ebates cashback to get paid out and they pay out quarterly. I am looking forward to that $55 cheque in August!
He had absolute nosebleed seats but was sitting beside some Capitals fans so he didn’t get pummelled by Knights fans when the Capitals won that game.
Here’s a snapshot he took from his nosebleed seat that cost $1160 USD.
#YOLO Trip Hockey Ticket: $1160 USD (will save $56 CAD)
We aren’t big fancy hotel type people (maybe I could be one day), so we stayed at the Tropicana. It isn’t like the Aria or the Cosmopolitan, or even Caesar’s Palace. It’s the Tropicana haha. The Tropicana has actually cleaned up A LOT (from when I was last there) and it is owned by Doubletree Hilton now. We used our Scotiabank American Express Gold points to save $160 for three nights of accommodation. We still had to pay the resort fee which was about $35 a day.
One day the Internet cut out for a few hours and they omitted one day of the resort fee (the resort fee included the high-speed Internet). Goes to show that it never hurts to ask!
#YOLO Accommodation: $72 USD (saved $160 CAD and $35 USD)
For breakfast, we brought this oatmeal in a bowl from Quaker and just added cold water (yeah, it was pretty sad. Not even hot water or a coffee maker in the room!) and had a banana. Baby GYM had a banana (each banana was $0.99, ouch!) and his oat cereal for breakfast. Bananas ($5).
On the first day, for lunch, we had fried chicken and popcorn shrimp at Popeye’s ($21.00) then for dinner we grabbed some salad at ABC Stores (they have ABC Stores just like Hawaii! It was like we were back in Honolulu again) and some beer ($18).
Related: PC Travel Review
On the second day, we went all out and walked to Bellagio for The Buffet. I wanted to go to this Buffett called “AYCE” (it had good Yelp reviews and was under $20 for lunch) but it was too far of a walk. It was $28 per adult. I ate so much that I was on the verge of feeling nauseated (when I go to a buffet I like to hit the sweet spot before feeling nauseated) and baby GYM ate his money’s worth too (he was free)- he had a few shrimp, cantaloupe, watermelon, some beef, rice, and banana. We were so full that we didn’t even eat dinner that night and just had some fruit. Baby GYM had his blended food pouch.
On the third day, we went to downtown Vegas for lunch and had White Castle ($19) and baby GYM had another food pouch from home. Ever since watching Harold and Kumar I have always wanted to try it to see what the hype was about. On the first impression, I was surprised that the buns were so small. I was also thinking that’s a lot of packaging for each burger. The fries were really good and the burgers tasted good (the bun is so soft!) but I think In N Out is better (and fresher). The burger patty looked a bit sad, greyish, and ‘spam-like’ but it tasted pretty good.
Apparently, when the White Castle Vegas restaurant opened in 2015, the sales on opening day were so off the chart that they had to close for 2 hours to restock!
For dinner, my husband went to the game and had a hot dog, fries, and an ice tea ($15) and refused to pay $15 for beer. I had chicken pita from the ABC Store and got more beer for us ($12).
As you can see our #YOLO food spending was pretty low. I would say this is many thanks to baby GYM. No high-class dining for us when bedtime is 7pm!
#YOLO Food: $146 USD
Related: PC Travel Review
I blew $20 on $5 blackjack within the timeframe of 4 minutes. My husband wasn’t even there to witness it as he had to stroll baby GYM around since he wasn’t allowed near the blackjack tables.
My first thought after I blew $20 was- if I regularly spend $20 in 4 minutes I would have to make $300 after tax to keep up with this!
#YOLO Gambling: $20 USD
The Total #Yolo Trip Damage
Approximately $3020 USD (give or take for currency exchange).
For 3 Days. That’s $1000 a day.
To put it in perspective, that’s about how much we paid for 5 weeks in Hawaii.
I got nothing to say, but #YOLO trip. You Only Live One.
It was a lot of money, but as an inherently frugal person, I would say it was worth it (and my husband would say it was worth it even more).
This #YOLO trip is truly once in a lifetime event.
Tune in next week to read how we traversed Las Vegas with a baby!
Readers, have you spent an unreasonable amount of money on a bucket list experience that you really wanted?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.