Help Assuage My Fear of Las Vegas
March 17, 2013 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I have never been to Las Vegas but will be going for the first time this summer as a bridesmaid for my friend's bachelorette party. I am not a Vegas person: I don't drink or club, I don't like being around lots of people all the time, my budget is extremely tight, and crashing at the yucky hotel we're staying at sets off all my buttons in every way. Am I going to be able to realistically make this happen, or do I need to figure out a way to bail now?

We are staying at the Quad over a big holiday weekend from Friday to Sunday. I thankfully get to fly in as my parents don't want me driving there and back, but I will be staying in a suite with 3-6 other girls. My friend the bride has also invited the vast majority of her sorority sisters, all of whom are intense partiers and not the nicest people on the planet when drunk. Many of the girls have already booked rooms at the Quad too, but based on prior experiences with these women during college I am fairly certain that there will be other people attempting to crash in our rooms at various times during the weekend.

I am not sure how I'm going to handle a) paying for my own food as well as special treats for the bride when my budget is stretched so thin to begin with (I have $200 to spend that weekend max), b) being the lone sober person the whole time, c) having to be around people all day every day the whole weekend, and d) the fact that everyone I've talked to thus far has warned me against the Quad because its rooms aren't clean/quiet/in good repair.

My questions are therefore these:

a) Is $200 enough to cover dinner Friday, 3 decent meals Saturday, and breakfast Sunday, along with going to shows and contributing to the pot that covers the bride's share of everything? If not, how much should I try to save up?
b) Is it going to be a big faux pas on my part if I don't drink and also attempt to steal away every now and then for an hour or two to recharge?
c) What if I can't afford a show and have to say that I can't join them? I plan to still attempt to help pay for the bride's ticket obviously.
d) Is the Quad as terrible as I'm being told and is there anything I can do about the bad stuff?
e) Will I look like a huge bitch if I attempt to insist that no other people crash in the room we've got?

My friend's happiness is important to me, and I want to do right by her, but I also can't afford to come back to work stressed and ill from a weekend in a place I don't feel like I'm compatible with. I absolutely cannot afford to go over whatever budget I set for this and I'm really worried that food, having to possibly get other hotel accommodations, and paying for my friend's good time will drain me before I know it. If I were to bail now (2-3 months before) and put the money I save toward a kickass bridal shower/wedding present, is that an option?
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (63 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoy Vegas, but I think you've got to bail. The trip sounds like a nightmare and $200 is not going to be enough for 5 restaurant/buffet meals plus a show plus pitching in for the bride plus random stuff you end up buying while traveling (I'm thinking closer to $400 is a safe bet).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:00 PM on March 17, 2013 [21 favorites]

Bail out. Vegas always costs more.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:00 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

$200 does not sound like anywhere near enough.

It sounds as if you are an introverted person (nothing wrong with that) who gets exhausted easily by large parties, loud people, etc. You're going to do yourself a huge disservice, and annoy everyone else, by being there.

I'd bail on the weekend. Just tell your friend that it's not for you, etc. and that you hope she has a great time.
posted by dfriedman at 7:01 PM on March 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

I would absolutely bail on this. Your budget isn't enough to handle it.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 7:02 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

Do you NOT DRINK, or are you just not a partier?

I'm not really a partier, and if this were me I'd probably try to buddy up with another girl in the bridal party who also seemed like maybe not a raging "woooooo!" sorority sister type. I'd have a few drinks to loosen up and be able to tolerate the sorority girls, but otherwise keep it pretty mellow. Some quiet and not too mean snarking would probably take the edge off, too. At the very least, I'd see the whole weekend with the biggest sense of humor I could muster.

If you straight up do not drink alcohol of any kind, ever, for any reason, yeah, this might be a rough weekend.

I'm not familiar with the Quad, so I'm not sure about the "bad stuff" you're referring to. I've never been to Vegas, so maybe there's some implication I'm missing out on here, but every time I've stayed in a "bad" hotel it just means it's inconveniently located, doesn't have any useful amenities, and probably is sort of dirty or has malfunctioning stuff and bad service (e.g. there's mold in the bathtub, not enough towels, the TV remote is missing, stuff like that). You're probably not going to, like, DIE from a weekend in a crappy hotel. The worst of the Tripadvisor reviews talk about the fact that the hotel is in the process of being renovated, likely not a factor for you over a weekend.

Re people crashing in your (already shared) room. Again, I'm not sure what exactly you're concerned about here? Getting robbed or pickpocketed? One of the other girls hooking up with some sketchy dude who is now staying in your room?
posted by Sara C. at 7:03 PM on March 17, 2013

Just bail (very nicely and politely). Your friend should understand.
posted by jeather at 7:03 PM on March 17, 2013

This sounds miserable. Pull out citing lack of funds. Being a bridesmaid does not obligate you to go on expensive vacations you're not interested in.
posted by deadweightloss at 7:09 PM on March 17, 2013 [27 favorites]

nthing. You seem like you very much do not want to do this. Also: there are mainly 2 ways to deal with really drunk people - get as drunk as they are, or get completely away from them.
posted by thelonius at 7:09 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

You are not even close to being able to afford this. Not even close. I wouldn't try to do this on less than... $1k? Conservatively? There's always something! Those shows are expensive. Covers are expensive. Cabs are expensive - you think it's all there on the strip but actually the cab bills mount and mount. Bail now.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:12 PM on March 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

Don't go. There will be less ill-will from cancelling than from the other bridesmaids perceiving you as "dragging everyone down" and it sounds totally, TOTALLY awful, just horrendous, and I DO drink. Also, if you can keep the plane-ticket money, maybe you can take yourself somewhere nice OR tell the bride you can't come but offer to get her a manicure or something before so she looks extra-special before her bachelorette party. Good luck with whatever you choose but definitely choose NOT to go.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:15 PM on March 17, 2013 [9 favorites]

I could have written this. Think ahead 6 months to a year- will anyone remember the specifics of this event? Probably not. If they do, it will be through a drunken haze. Meanwhile you may suffer a significant financial setback.

Come up with something, a work obligation, needy family member- SOMETHING. Extract yourself now. You have nothing to gain by going.

I agree that the culture of drinking for getting drunk's sake and "something is wrong with you if you don't want to constantly be partying" is the antithesis of fun. Don't try to be something you are not, at personal sacrifice, just to placate some stupid bridal cliché.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:15 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

That weekend sounds like hell on earth: buy her a nice present and stay home.
posted by thylacinthine at 7:16 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Okay, there IS a way to do Vegas on a budget; my second time in Vegas, I ate cheap, drank little, and just wandered around by myself peoplewatching for entertainment. And as for not being into the whole Vegas "scene" - the FIRST time I went to Vegas was under duress, when I was dragged on a family vacation when I was a very Oh-So-Serious-Minded teenager. I still had a decent time, wandering myself up to the top floor of our hotel and peeping into the penthouse suites while the maids were cleaning them. I also took in some amazing views from the top floors of the hotels.

However - that is one HELL of a tiny budget. I would at the very least tell the bride of your financial constraints and say that you're REALLY going to have a hard time affording this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is going to be one of those situations where people will buy all sorts of drinks, appetizers, drinks, entrees, desserts, and more drinks, and then say "Let's just split the bill!" at the end of the night regardless of what people actually ate or drank. You will either blow your budget or you will have to be in the defensive position of only paying for your own + chipping in for the bride at every single meal and still blow your budget. If you don't even like most of the girls that are going this sounds like the most horrible Vegas experience imaginable.
posted by gatorae at 7:18 PM on March 17, 2013 [26 favorites]

Aaaah I keep thinking about this and I have to say again DO NOT GO DO NOT GO.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:18 PM on March 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

I would bail. Vegas is expensive; paying for meals for yourself at more budget places would be one thing but paying for nice meals + shows + bride treats = hella expensive. It also sounds like you're miserable just planning this out, so why deal with it? Take her out for a great meal and spa day and a nice gift!
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:18 PM on March 17, 2013

Bag. You would be miserable, you can't afford it, and the bride-to-be is going to be too drunk/hyped up/screaming "WOOO!" to miss you if you're not there.

Use some of the $$ you would have spen to upgrade your wedding present.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:19 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

$200 is nowhere near enough for an entire weekend, and spending money you don't have on a trip you're going to hate is just silly. Bail.
posted by jaguar at 7:19 PM on March 17, 2013

Bail! There are so many reasons not to go.
posted by quince at 7:20 PM on March 17, 2013

The Quad looks like a bit of a dump to be frank. 3 Star reviews everywhere. $200 will not be anything NEAR to what you need. So, you are going to a dump to overspend to hang out with people you do not want to be around doing things you do not want to do.

Connect the dots. Being a grownup means not putting yourself in these kinds of situations. You have nothing to prove to anyone.
posted by jcworth at 7:20 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

The problem with trying to do something like this on a tight budget is that OP is not the decision maker for the group; AND she will be expected to kick in when costs get divided up. And, when people are drinking, they throw financial caution to the wind (this is why they serve drinks in the casinos after all.) So there is really no way this is going to work; and that's putting aside her personal comfort and preferences. It sounds like a disaster all the way around.

OP, you gotta be strong, don't go to her like you're negotiating or suggesting someone else pay for you or anything, because that never really works and bad feelings will result. Just straight up "I can't come to Vegas - I can't wait to hear all about it and celebrate with you when you get back!"
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:22 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

I am a non-drinking, tightfisted, crowd-hater who freaking loves Vegas and I cannot emphasize enough that you should not go on this trip. I'd just cite budgetary concerns when you tell them the bride you cannot go and to have a great time without you. Because it's true: $200 is not going to be anywhere near enough money for just your OWN food, to say nothing of shows, transportation, cover charges, chipping in for the bride's share, and god knows what else.

I feel like back in the day you could do Vegas on the uber-cheap, but these days it is incredibly difficult, particularly given the company that you will be in. Every time my husband and I go, we come back shocked at just how much more expensive it's gotten.
posted by anderjen at 7:23 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

For those not familiar with The Quad, it's the new name for the (generally reviled) Imperial Palace, which is in the process of being renovated.

TBoaF, when I clicked on More Inside, I was planning on writing a "no, go, Vegas can be fun even for non-drinking introverts at cheap hotels without a whole lot of money" kind of message. Then I read the rest, and I have to say - you really should opt out.

A budget of $200 is going to buy you a single show, a single buffet meal and possibly cover transportation. At most. That's it. If you were spending one night there, you could get away with it. A whole weekend with a party? That's really, really not enough. And while there are fun, cheap hotels in Vegas, I don't think you'll find The Quad enjoyable at all. You should bail.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 7:24 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

Others have suggested you bail, but in case you don't, here are some answers to some of your other questions, asked and unasked.

The Quad was known as the Imperial Palace until a few months ago, and is in the midst of a remodel. I stayed there last weekend and here are my thoughts:

The checkin line is horrendous. From what I saw, it takes between 1 and 3 hours to check in. HOWEVER... they offer a rewards program called 'Total Rewards'. You can sign up for that at the desk upstairs before you get in line - the lowest tier of the program is 'Gold', and there's a separate line for gold TR members, which was more like 10 minutes long. Note that this is separate from the line for Diamond / platinum members. This might only work if the room is in your name. If it isn't, share this with the person who booked it. (Though FWIW, I was a gold TR member before we got there. I can't guarantee that a same-day signup will work. Worth trying though.)

As I mentioned, it's in the midst of being remodeled. The new parts are very nice, and then you walk around a corner and you're in this dingy, 40-year old dive. My room was half-remodeled, with a new headboard on a serviceable bed, but an ancient TV stand and TV. The shower / tub was new, and the toilet was so new it still had the sticker on it, but the tile and carpet in the bathroom / main room were probably 10+ years old.

As others mentioned, you'll probably want more like $400 for the trip. Though you can eat pretty cheap there if you want to - there's a McDonald's, Panda Express, Denny's, and more close by.

You can also get a 24-hour unlimited buffet pass for under $50 - time that right and it'll cover Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast.

A show will typically be $50 - $100. A cab ride is typically around $15, though you can put up to five people in one. (More than that requires a limo, which I understand can be very cost-effective for groups of 6+ people.)

I don't think anyone would look down on you for stealing away. It's Vegas, there's a million things to do and everyone will be stealing away to do different things at different times.
posted by Hatashran at 7:26 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Could you bail and still contribute to the weekend? Maybe pay for the bride to see a show or have a nice meal out?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:31 PM on March 17, 2013

You can do Vegas on the cheap but it will be impossible to do that in a group when others have a wholly different agenda. I say this as someone who enjoys Vegas in small doses: Bail on the trip.
posted by mmascolino at 7:33 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would normally say, "Mega-bail."

But in my experience, bachelorette parties basically serve as the first chance disparate groups of the bride's friends to meet each other and bond. I am both shy and an introvert, and I didn't go to a bachelorette party last year that I was invited to and I sort of regretted not going when I got to the wedding because all these people already knew each other and I didn't.

If you already know a bunch of the other people at the bachelorette party, or you decide it's not worth the money, then totally bail.
posted by muddgirl at 7:33 PM on March 17, 2013

Response by poster: Oh my god. Okay. The flight my parents paid for already and booked isn't refundable. I've already explained to my parents that I will reimburse them for the flight since we booked it thinking that this wasn't going to be such a big deal and because there was a 24hr flight deadline to get the price that we did, but they're sort of miffed and feel like I am not doing right by my friend and that I should talk to the bridal party first before I bail. (My mother sort of understood but also pulled the, "Don't be a quitter" routine on me which is just super messed up on her part)

The food issue is the issue that it is because my dietary needs are such that I can't eat at places like Denny's, In and Out, McDonalds, etc, otherwise I would totally try to save $$ that way.

Does anyone have any experience talking Southwest airlines into refunding nonrefundable tickets?

Should I talk to the bridal party about my situation or should I just get in touch with the bride and let her know that this just isn't working out the way I'd hoped?

Would it be tacky of me to send the bride with some kind of giftcard or something to pay for at least SOME portion of the experience? (ie 100 bucks or whatever)
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:33 PM on March 17, 2013

Southwest is the best airline for cancelling tickets. You can't get a refund, but you can get a credit good for any other flight within a year of the initial booking. And a full credit too, no fees attached.
posted by Hatashran at 7:36 PM on March 17, 2013 [19 favorites]

Your parents don't want you to bail, and they bought your ticket?

Ask your parents for $500 to make the trip worth taking. If they say no, bail and don't look back.

You are pretty much not getting your money back on the tickets, but you may be able to change them to a different destination for a fee. That's probably what I'd do if I had booked a trip and then decided it sounded awful and I didn't want to go after all. Find somewhere else Southwest flies for about the same amount of money (or less if possible) and plan a weekend trip that you'd actually want to take.
posted by Sara C. at 7:37 PM on March 17, 2013 [7 favorites]

If your parents booked within the last 24 hours, they can still get a full refund, even on a non-refundable ticket.

If it's past 24 hours, the worst case scenario with cancelling a Southwest non-refundable ticket is that the funds used to purchase the ticket can be applied to a future flight on Southwest within a set time frame (usually one year).
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 7:41 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

I did the Vegas bachelorette party over Labor Day weekend last year. We stayed in the bride's parents condo timeshare (so I didn't have to pay hotel), we barely drank at bars or gambled (since her sister was under 21), and her parents paid for a show as a present. All I had to pay for was food, some drinks, and other incidentals (like a spa day) and I still spent over $200. More like $300. Don't underestimate cab fare and the prices of the touristy restaurants there. I think you should bail now.
posted by topophilia at 7:43 PM on March 17, 2013

As for contributing, I'd call or email the hotel and see if you can have a bottle of wine (or beer or liquor) waiting in her room with a "Have Fun!" sort of note. You'll probably be the hero of the weekend.
posted by jaguar at 7:44 PM on March 17, 2013 [9 favorites]

I'm with the majority here -- this weekend sounds like torture for you, and you should bail. As has already been noted, nonrefundable on Southwest just means you can't get cash back; you can still get the full amount credited to a future flight.

If it makes you feel better, I totally bailed on a similar weekend last time I was a bridesmaid. Bride was totally understanding. After all, we're friends and she knew that really wasn't my scene. You absolutely do not need to discuss your plans with the entire bridal party -- just let the bride know you can't make it, and perhaps chat with the MOH if she is coordinating logistics and your skipping out would affect room sharing or something like that.
posted by ktkt at 7:55 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Flight was purchased a week ago, so that's not going to happen, but thank you so much for that link, I EAT TAPAS.

I've gotten in touch with one of the bridesmaids that can't go either because she'll be on a family vacation she can't bail on, and I've put the issue to the other bridesmaids at large just so they know I'm not going to leave them hanging if I do have to bail. Hopefully there won't be bad blood and between me and the other bridesmaid we should be able to come up with enough $$ to make a decent dent in the weekend's festivities.

I feel really guilty about this but I just can't foresee being able to afford that weekend, the present for her bridal shower, the present to her and the groom, AND the trip to another part of the state for the actual wedding. I don't know where the other bridesmaids are getting the money to do all of this but I envy them and hope that the weekend is as wonderful and awesome as possible.

The MOH is 21 and hasn't taken responsibility for any portion of the party so I don't feel comfortable talking to her. The bride has coordinated everything.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:01 PM on March 17, 2013

Just so you know, even the McD's and Denny's in Vegas are much more expensive than other places. You can't get 99 cent hamburgers even if you did want them. The whole place is a monstrous gouge.

Your parents will get over themselves; they love you. Don't worry about it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:02 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wait, you're thinking about sending them money to defray the costs of the trip so they can go party without you?

I'd think it enormously tacky of the bride to accept it, myself. Interested to hear what other people think though.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:04 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think giving some $$$ to one of the bridesmaids who is going with the idea that everyone will have some drinks "on you" is a nice idea and not tacky at all.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:08 PM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I wouldn't pay for a trip you're not going on. Send a bottle of wine, wish them well, and leave it at that. (I might feel I needed to pay for my portion of the hotel room if the cancellation was so last minute that no one else can use it, but that doesn't really seem like an issue here.)
posted by jaguar at 8:09 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

When was the last time your parents were in Vegas? =)

SaraC has the right idea about asking for money to cover the rest of the trip if your parents insist on paying, but they really need a reality check. The $0.99 buffet days of Las Vegas are long, long gone.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:12 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

My mother sort of understood but also pulled the, "Don't be a quitter" routine on me which is just super messed up on her part)

Yeah I'm an introvert and my dad used to try this shit on with me, "it'll be good for you," he'd say, as if socialising in dreadful situations with people I didn't know or like was some kind of vitamin protecting me from social scurvy. NOT TRUE.

I'm 32 now, and much more comfortable saying, "eff that", secure in the knowledge that I am not a selfish person and perfectly able to socialise when so inclined. You are 100% within your rights.

Should I talk to the bridal party about my situation or should I just get in touch with the bride and let her know that this just isn't working out the way I'd hoped?

Would it be tacky of me to send the bride with some kind of giftcard or something to pay for at least SOME portion of the experience? (ie 100 bucks or whatever)

I would have just talked to the bride, but no bigge; you're not doing anything wrong.

RE: gift. A nice thing might be to contact hotel on day they check in, and order a bottle of champagne up to their room with a note saying "have fun! Love, me" on it. Don't pay for any portion of the experience; not necessary.

I feel really guilty about this

Don't feel guilty, at all. As you get older, any reasonably diverse social circle will have a combination of income levels and discretionary spending. An understanding that events must be selected for inclusiveness, or forbearance and understanding when people drop out is absolutely vital. Some people - most people - understand this (just wait till everyone starts having kids...), but some people won't either through ignorance or, meanness. The ignorant ones will get it soon, I promise, and your group will be none the worse for it. It's you this time, next it will be someone else for a different reason, then someone else etc etc. It is an inevitable process of groups getting older, lives getting more complicated etc. :)
posted by smoke at 8:25 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

that weekend, the present for her bridal shower, the present to her and the groom, AND the trip to another part of the state for the actual wedding.

This is a different answer to a different question, but you absolutely shouldn't feel obligated to do all these things.
posted by Sara C. at 9:02 PM on March 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

Oh goodness, don't feel guilty! They're going to have a great time and while I am sure you will be missed, this is REALLY not that big a deal, especially if you're going to so many other wedding events. When a bride has a bachelorette EVENT requiring that much cash and time, she needs to understand that not everyone is going to be able to make it. And you legit can't afford it. Like LEGIT CAN NOT. $200 ain't enough for that weekend. If the bride is a good friend, she would not want you to bankrupt yourself on her bachelorette party.

And as someone who likes Vegas AND drinking, I think this sounds no bueno as an event. You are right to bail!
posted by Countess Sandwich at 9:34 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

please chill out about this...
you are taking the right steps...believe me the others would rather that you send your regrets than go on a trip you aren't interested in and activities you won't participate in.
I hope you can get a plane ticket refund but really a credit for a later flight won't be such a bad deal either.
just wish them a good time, contribute some funds if you feel you must [I don't feel you should], and hook up with them at a lunch or something after the party to hear about their good time.

no harm, no foul! Just give them as much notice so they aren't counting on your attendance.
posted by calgirl at 10:07 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, my friend's husband went to Vegas for work purposes and he called her saying that uh....he needs about $2000 more to cover his weekend, because he's being reimbursed and the hotel turned out to be a lot more expensive than he thought ("resort fee"). So yeah, unless your parents are paying for the entire weekend...and if it's that important to them that you go, they need to pay up, because otherwise you can't.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:19 PM on March 17, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you all so much for your input. I am very embarassed by my financial situation right now and it's especially upsetting because my newness to setting and sticking to a budget is why I can't afford to really do this trip properly. The other girl that isn't going suggested we save our pennies to get everyone that bottle of nice champagne, so once I've talked to the bride, I'll start focusing on that. I usually am the one with the budget sense -- now I'm the one struggling to make ends meet. Not what I want. I feel so much less anxious now that I know I have a real out, and reimbursing my parents for the flight is just the cost of this expensive lesson.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:54 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Look, lots of unexpected expenses and expenditure you cannot control if you're part of a large group of partying girls. So you're doing the right thing. Everybody will calm down. Don't feel obliged to pay any share of the bride's expenses on this trip either. That's entirely not your problem. I like the idea to send a bottle of wine.

But do visit Vegas at some point, when you can control the trip more. I did not think I'd enjoy Vegas when I found it on a travel itinerary and to my great surprise there is plenty there that I enjoyed. Including free stuff. But you cannot really identify and do these things as part of the trip you've been asked to go on.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:55 PM on March 17, 2013

I'm sure it feels like you will be missing out, but if you assume that the best case scenario just doesn't seem very likely (you go, everything is well within your budget, you suddenly enjoy a lot of things you never liked before), it seems like the next best alternative. It's just too easy for groupthink to take over, particularly when people are drinking. If you are the only one turning down drinks, missing shows, not wanting to split the bill, and trying to get away for a while, attending the trip will probably lead to at least some of them having a far more negative view of you than if you simply bow out. Putting myself in one of the other attendees shoes, I would feel bad and maybe even resent a person (wrongly or not) who was clearly not enjoying him or herself throughout the entire weekend. On the other hand, I could't help but think anything but highly of a person who was thoughtful enough to send a bottle of champagne (or other alcohol) with a quick note wishing us a good time.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 11:01 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Being a grownup means not putting yourself in these kinds of situations. You have nothing to prove to anyone.


Do not attend this horror-show. You will hate it. You do not owe it to anybody to blow your budget on having a shit time. Life is too short, be kind to yourself.
posted by Salamander at 11:41 PM on March 17, 2013 [7 favorites]

Again, it doesn't sound like you have to reimburse your parents for the flight as you can use it at a later date. You don't need to throw money at anyone. Just say sorry I can't make it and that's that. Worst case scenario is that you get invited to less expensive weddings in the future!
posted by bquarters at 12:03 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Unless you can swing a hotel room all to yourself, BAIL. A non-drinking, non-partying introvert who gets stressed out by crowds or constantly being surrounded by people isn't going to have a good time on a bachelorlette trip like this in a place like Las Vegas. And it's good that you're recognizing now how that might affect your friend's enjoyment.

There WILL be other people crashing in your suite, especially if you've got the *only* suite and/or if one of the girls sharing it is the bride herself...... all of which means, you're going to need a some time to yourself even more than usual (because of the crowded hotel plus the overwhelming pressure of the bridal party themselves) but you're going to be even LESS able than usual to find a quiet place to chill. The hotel and the suite WILL be full, day and night, of people and noise: unless you can rent a room just for you, you will NOT be able to find any private place all weekend.

Somebody upthread asked if you're worried one of the other members of the party might be a thief: no, the problem for an introvert in a situation like this is the total inability to GET AWAY from EVERYBODY.

Bail. Don't go just because your parents prepaid for a plane ticket; unless that ticket can be transferred, they're out that money whether you use the ticket or not, so bullying you into going anyway won't save them a single penny. Don't go just because a ton of other people are going.
posted by easily confused at 3:32 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Southwest will give you equivalent credit for another flight, to any destination, no questions asked. Just call them. Are you really not going to fly anywhere in the next year?
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 4:33 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Re: food -- if you do end up going, note that you can get a refrigerator in your room. If you can find your way to a grocery store, get a block of cheese, some carrots, lettuce, some crackers/bread, some olives, maybe some high-protein granola bars (or whatever you're eating that doesn't require much prep). You can sustain yourself French country style and just eat appetizers or something if you _must_ go out. I mainly do this since I'm vegetarian and don't want to subsist on restaurant pasta, but it's really cost-effective too.

If you have a microwave, so much the better.

If there's a coffee maker (and there always is), and you don't drink coffee, treat yourself by buying some tea now and packing it -- it's very light and small and will delight you every morning and/or evening. You can pack granola bars, too, and then you'll never have to worry about being completely unable to get healthy food. Actually, cheese can travel well too.

I just mention bringing food because it can be challenging to find a decent grocery store in a tourist town (do your research on this first), and it can be challenging to get to said grocery store if you don't have your own car.
posted by amtho at 5:07 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bail now. I wouldn't go on that trip without 800$ (money to take care of myself plus money for lets all split and pay for bride, plus oh shit Sue got arrested for public drunkeness and tehy set her bail at 1k lets all chip in to save her).

Can you look into the ability to transfer tickets with SW (maybe you could basically pay for the bride's flight)? OR if youll use it just keep the ticket-within-1-year for yourself.
posted by WeekendJen at 5:40 AM on March 18, 2013

First of all, the reason you should bail is because you wouldn't have any fun. In fact, going forward, make all of your decisions based on whether or not you actually want to do it. If you don't, then don't. Trust me, my life got so much better when I stopped doing things to please other people.

I love the idea of using the ticket to pay for the bride's flight. See if that works for her. Then you've done your contribution and your folks won't view the thing as a loss.

I'm also baffled by the choice of the Quad. There are 125,000 hotel room in the city, they are hurting for business, so why pick a dump of a joint when at the very least they could be at Sam's Town for $40 per night? (Sam's Town is actually really nice!)

If there's a coffee maker (and there always is)

Actually, this isn't true in Vegas. They want to get you OUT of that room and into the casino. TRY finding the Starbucks in any casino hotel. You have to wander around quite a bit.

At any rate, DON'T GO! You don't have anywhere near enough money and you won't have any fun at all!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:25 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Unfortunately neither my parents nor I travel EVER so the flight is ultimately a loss unless I can put the flight toward the bride, but I don't really want to do that because that's $250 and I will not be spending close to that on her wedding presents if I can help it. I like my friend, but I don't love her and am not willing to go overboard for this anymore.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:32 AM on March 18, 2013

Maybe one of the bridesmaids hasn't booked her flight to Vegas yet, and you could transfer your reservation and just have her pay half the cost or something, so you don't lose everything? Might be worth trying!
posted by misha at 10:55 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Make sure you cancel the ticket even if you won't use the travel credit. Southwest is supposed to start charging for "no-shows" on restricted (non-refundable) tickets, and you don't want to lose any more money than you have to. You can only use Southwest travel credits due to an unused ticket for travel for the individual the ticket was originally bought for. I think the unused ticket might expire in a year, but you can ask Southwest to convert it to a voucher which doesn't expire so soon. You never know when you will travel next -- at least make the best out of a bad situation.
posted by bluefly at 11:33 AM on March 18, 2013

Do not go. It is a guaranteed losing proposition for you. Spend some money in these ways: Call the hotel and see if you can have a bottle of champagne waiting in the bride's room for when she arrives. Add a note "Just wanted to make sure you kicked off the party right!, Love These Birds". And then spend another $X on a spa certificate for the bride she can use between now and the wedding for a nice massage to assuage the stress every bride is feeling (or, her post-Vegas hangover).
posted by marylynn at 11:50 AM on March 18, 2013

Re: the ticket: If you are an introvert, there are a lot of less expensive and more interesting and useful -- educational, even -- places to go than Las Vegas; the ticket, if you can use it sometime in the next year, doesn't have to be a total loss. Maybe for a job interview, maybe for inspiration, maybe special shopping for Christmas, something. This might be a hard sell if your parents are involved, I know, but maybe you'll think of something.
posted by amtho at 11:55 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am very embarassed by my financial situation right now ... I usually am the one with the budget sense -- now I'm the one struggling to make ends meet

Don't sweat it, These Birds. This shit happens, and it happens to everyone, and it will likely happen again throughout your lifetime. It is the nature of money to ebb and flow pretty much constantly, and if I were the bride, the last thing I would want is for my friends to put themselves in a precarious financial situation because of an event I was planning. You're doing the mature, adult thing here, and you should feel proud of yourself.
posted by anderjen at 3:29 PM on March 18, 2013

Response by poster: Told the bride and she took it well. I'm so relieved... and my parents have decided to comp me the flight so I can go somewhere by myself at some point this year just to relax. Thank you for validating my concerns and for giving me a push to advocate for my needs.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Another update, post wedding: the hotel was, as I expected, beyond the pale. It was so filthy and so loud that the other women had to move rooms. It was also ridiculously expensive. I am so glad I didn't go.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:33 PM on August 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

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