When traveling, every party must evaluate priorities. After all, you only have a limited amount of two resources: time and money.
Typically, my family has preferred to spend more of both on seeing sights and less on our nightly accommodations. We weren’t planning to spend the bulk of our time in our hotel when the landmarks we had traveled so far to see were ready for us to explore.
However, vacationing with my extended family proved quite different. Their approach to a recent excursion in Las Vegas was focused less on ticking checks off of a to-do list and more on taking a breather in between their long drives and hectic days in Disneyland. Vegas for them was a pit stop.
When I was packing to meet up with them for this leg of the trip, I kept texting my aunt, asking her what we would do at what time, how I should dress, and what I needed to bring. But every time I pried, she always told me that we would just be relaxing and shopping predominantly to spend time with each other, and I was absolutely perplexed. No walking down the strip? No bouncing between hotels?
When I arrived, I had anticipated spending time with the diverse age group, which spanned from toddlers to grandpas, and I knew that I would be stuck somewhere in between babysitting both. What I didn’t expect was the luxurious surrounding. We stayed at a resort that featured one of the most luxuriously designed, minimalist rooms I’d seen (yes, I know it seems impossible), and every little amenity brought out my inner child. Remote-controlled drapes? Electronic light switches? A TV with a personalized greeting?
And that was only check-in. The next morning, we headed down to breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, and while the food was incredible, the service was even more stellar. Everyone doted hand and foot to meet my every need and wish, and I began to notice a pattern. The masterminds behind this place wanted to spoil the living daylight out of you. At the gym, they wiped down every machine for you, offering fruits and towels and bottles and spa water. At the gambling floor, they offered complimentary drinks to all players. At the pool, they continuously checked in on every body occupying a lounge chair.
Before we had even finalized our trip, I knew that a desert-turned-oasis was a strange impossibility made real only by human hands, but I realized just how true that was. Staying in a resort for the first time in quite a long time and basking in the lavish lap of luxury was truly a blessing, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to get away somewhere that made me feel important. I think that’s the appeal of Vegas. In a big city where it’s easy to get swallowed whole in the crowds, the tourism industry focuses on their most important target: you.
I’d been to Las Vegas before, but my previous experience was comprised of walking down the strips and seeing how many hotels we could check off of our list of sights to see. That’s how it’s always been, after all. And while I still believe that traveling is an opportunity to open more opportunities (for taking in a local culture, visiting different vista points, taking typical tourist pictures), I do believe that I had been missing the golden opportunity of celebrating myself. I know that I’m not alone in airing my grievances about the stresses of travel. However, reminding yourself of your motivation is always integral to the enjoyment of your trip. We can’t forget that in the end, a vacation is essentially a treat.