Is a Casino charter worth it?

    Seniors on the Move…Laughlin Nevada

                                                   By Maryann Virack


       I love to travel alone and as a single senior female, I find it an adventure. Occasionally, I will embark on a different kind of excursion. I just returned from a casino charter to Laughlin, Nevada which was a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve come to realize that the “single” tag is very deliberate; surely, a divorce at 53 is evidence of that. Single affords me complete control – no discussion as to when or where to eat, sleep, swim, sunbathe, tour or explore. I figured that travelling alone – in a group- was acceptable. I was still in control of my itinerary.

           A casino charter is supposed to take the guess work out of the specific travel details, flight, hotel, and airport transfers. In the past these trips have been very easy and spot on. Not so with this last trip.

    Departure was on Allegiant Air from San Diego heading to Laughlin. Everyone onboard was a Harrah’s guest. For some reason, I was not listed on the flight roster, so I had to wait (one hour) for confirmation. My seat was “double-booked”, so I had to change seats when we stopped to pick up passengers in Long Beach, CA.

        Harrah’s Casino Hotel seemed to be the busiest of all the casinos on the Colorado River. It was nice; but old. Laughlin is interesting with its River Walk and Outlet stores; but there is not much to do unless you are a gambler or a boater. A lovely boat ride on the USS Riverside is a great side trip. Longer full day trips will take you to the Grand Canyon or the dam. Laughlin is much slower paced and less glitzy than Las Vegas. It seems to cater to families and seniors. I enjoy sitting by the pool and reading a good book and I am not afraid of the sun. Harrah’s has an adult pool as well as a family pool – much quieter! My days were spent soaking up my vitamin D (in 100+ degrees) and nights were in the casino or leisurely strolling the River Walk.

        On the return, after waiting an hour to be checked in, I was again omitted from the flight roster. Another hour wait for confirmation and then the attendant misspelled my name on the boarding pass and it did not match my ID…more delay. I was the last to board the plane – which by the way you must walk outside and up the roll-away stairs to do. To finish this travel fiasco the plane was grounded for maintenance and we sat onboard for another hour.  I will rethink another casino charter. Too much was out of my control.

         I am lucky to live in Southern California where in a matter of a few hours I can be in the desert, at the river, in the mountains or at the beach, all in the same day! I think next time I want to visit Laughlin, I might just drive.


You need to be a member of Tripatini to add comments!

Join Tripatini

Email me when people reply –


  • Hi Maryann .....

    I'm with you, and like to travel most of the time alone for just reasons you mention.  Having said that however, after a while out on the road alone it can get a little lonely, even though I do meet many people along the way.  So far I most enjoy the Latin culture and have been to Ecuador twice, and once into Columbia recently, while in the past I lived in Costa Rica for a year and a half with weekend trips to Panama for passport renewal purposes.

    I haven't taken any Spanish lessons as such in a classroom environment but have gotten along with what I have learned as I go.  I find most Latin people are more than eager to help, Si?  They want to learn English as much as I/we want to learn Spanish.  

    I haven't tried group travel thinking that I would lose much of the freedom to do it my way, although I can see that you would meet several other people who could become company for the trip duration.  I also do a lot of photography and like to be able to go where I think I can get some interesting, out of the normal, images.  I wouldn't have that flexibility on a group tour, I don't believe.

    Within the next two months I'm seriously thinking about SE Asia, and spending 6 months alone on the road while taking in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, The Phillipines, Indonesia, etc. wherever I decide to go at the time while there.

    It's absolutely necessary for me to get away from our northern winter even though Penticton probably has the best winter in Canada, if there is such a thing.  ;->

    Would love to keep up to date with you and your travels, and compare notes as we go, if you are interested.

    Happy travels, and bon voyage!


    • Hi Gary,
                 Thanks for your comment. I am a little jealous; I am still teaching
      full time and can't get away as freely as you seem to. Check out my blog on the
      the spanish language school on Tripatini - a good choice! Right now I need to
      stay somewhat local (Socal)and think I am going to focus on small independent and unique hotels and
      destinations within driving distance. Next summer I hope to visit Panama. Maybe
      you can give me some pointers.

This reply was deleted.