And the best part is, I haven’t even showed up yet. Which should give you a pretty big hint about what I did.

Every year since 2010 I’ve made the trip down south to the glitz and glamour of Sin City. I like the food, the constant buzz of The Strip, the vast array of entertainment options, the chance to play live poker, and just being able to relax around the pool. It’s truly one of my favorite places on Earth, which probably makes me a pretty boring person. Assuming otherwise would be a pretty bad idea.

But because I am a frugal leader (could there be anything more douchey?) I don’t want to pay 1 million dollars to stay there. I’m already going to spend a bunch of money stuffing my face and losing at the poker/blackjack tables, so I want to keep my costs down. I also want to stay somewhere civilized, because what’s the point of going on vacation just to sleep somewhere crappier than I sleep now? I want to defile a new set of sheets with my nude body, dammit.

Luckily for me, I’ve mastered the wisdom of the Hotwire, a website that lets you save a bunch of money on hotels if you agree to one little condition, which is you won’t actually know which hotel it is until you’ve given Hotwire your cash. Fortunately, I’ve gotten to be pretty good at gaming Hotwire, and if you’re going to Vegas it’s actually really easy to figure out which hotel you’ll be staying at. Let’s take a look at what I did.

I ended up getting the Tropicana Hotel, on the south end of The Strip, for $28 USD a night. Yeah, there’s a $20 resort fee on top of that, but you’re going to be paying that no matter where you stay on The Strip, so let’s just pretend that doesn’t exist. I’ve stayed at the Trop before, during last year’s vacation, where I paid $59 per night. The same room currently goes on Expedia for $88 per night in Canadian dollars, which is where I got the amount I saved for the title of this post.

But I didn’t bother to take pictures of the exercise, so I’ll have to demonstrate a different hotel for the purpose of this post. Allow me to present Vanessa’s favorite hotel, The Luxor.

Notice these are screenshots off my phone. This will become important in a second.

Notice these are screenshots off my phone. This will become important in a second.

(Seriously, she won’t shut up about how awesome the Luxor is, even though she’s never stepped foot in the place.)

How do I know this is for the Luxor though? Amenities are pretty much identical as every other Vegas resort. It has a casino, pool, places to eat, fitness center, and internet access. So does every other hotel in the city. Oh, and free parking. Everyone likes to park for free. AND THEN NECK BECAUSE THEY’RE TEENAGERS FROM THE 1950s.

That’s when I start to read the reviews, which you can do on the Hotwire App by pressing on the “65% customer recommended” spot there. If there’s a way to read the reviews on Hotwire’s website, I’ve yet to find it. That’s reason number 1 why it’s important to use the app.

Here’s the review screen. I’m about 80 reviews deep here.

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The reviews usually cut off once people start putting in stuff that could give you a hint about which hotel they’re talking about, but useful stuff sneaks through. This is why it’s important to read all the reviews you can about a place. It becomes pretty easy to figure out, especially for Vegas hotels. When I was checking out reviews for the unnamed hotel that eventually became the Tropicana, a review snuck through where the person said “We really enjoyed out stay at the Tropicana.” COME ON HOTWIRE. AT LEAST MAKE IT A CHALLENGE FOR ME.

Notice what JLO (the real JLo? Probably.) said in her review up there? She talked about the smoke smell in the pyramid, and then was too lazy to spell out definitely. She all but told us that we’d be getting the Luxor. That’s how easy it is to figure out.

Or, for about a third of Vegas hotels, you can just go directly to the Hotwire website and it’ll just tell you which hotel you’ll get. I’m not sure if this is just a Vegas thing, but it kinda makes all my work for nothing and that makes me sadface 🙁

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 8.28.54 PMBut wait, there’s more.

If you book a Hotwire hotel using the iPhone app before the end of March, you’ll save $25 on your stay, providing you spend $100. My room at the Trop was $33 per night, which I shaved down to $28 per night by using the coupon code APP25. Booking it on my phone took barely longer than doing it online. They’ve done a nice job designing the app to make the process pretty easy.

(EDIT: THIS DEAL IS OVER. SORRY ABOUT YOUR LUCK.)

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 8.35.18 PM

These are American prices, all across the board. As you can see, my $33 hotel room became a $28 hotel room. And that’s how I scored a 4 star hotel for 5 nights for the price of a 4 star hotel for 1 night. Hotwire is the best. Paying retail is for chumps.

Looking to book your own smokin’ deal? Just click this very link here: 4-star hotels. 2-star prices. Save up to 50% with low Hotwire Hot-Rates!

Tell everyone, yo!