Doing WPPI on a college kids budget

Everyone loves and partying in Vegas, but spending a week in Vegas can be expensive. One of my friends last year spent 1800 + for his trip to Vegas last year while I spent about 200+.  In this article I’ll go over what I did to save money.

  1. Don’t pay full price for a WPPI ticket. There are many ways to get a discounted ticket.  The best one I took advantage of is the student/educator discount.  This year it was only $20 for a full registration.  Its super easy to get the student/educator discount, you can be basically enrolled in any type of school studying anything, I am studying Outdoor Recreation.  To qualify for the educator discount it is basically the same.  If you have any questions about this discount ask the WPPI Registration folks. Another way to not pay full price is split the price with a friend.  Each regular full registration comes with one free guest, so get together with your friend and just split the cost in half.
  2. You don’t have to eat out at a four star restaurant every meal.  It may be super fun to go eat out for every meal but it is totally going to add up after the week you are there.  Last year while I was there, I ate off the dollar menu at McDonalds a lot haha, not very healthy but I was for sure able to sale money.  I also found this great mom and pop café in the MGM that charged a lot less then most of the other places.  Go to a grocery store and stock up on breakfast and snack foods.  I always ate breakfast in the hotel room, like poptarts or breakfast bars.  Also buy some of your favorite snack foods to eat through out the day.  I brought a bunch of granola bars and stuff.  There are many events going on the most likely that will have food at to check out.  Watch twitter for these events check out the hashtag #wppi2012.  What ever you do just pay attention to how much your are spending on food.
  3. Don’t stay alone in your own hotel room.  Staying in a room buy your self can be expensive for sure.  No one ever said you had to stay at the MGM, look at other hotels around.  My friend stayed at Hooters for like $30 a night.  You can always get a room at the MGM and then just find a bunch of people to split the cost with. I would also look at time-share options around this work best if you were going to drive though. Finding a nice timeshare to split with a bunch of peeps is great, because then you have a kitchen to cook at and such.  Also if you are super adventurous there is this site called http://www.couchsurfing.org/ were you can find random people to stay with, could be crazy but it’s free haha.  If you have a friend living in Vegas its always ok to ask them if you can stay with them.
  4. Take advantage of Vendors free giveaways.  Graphi Studio usually does a free sample pack for new customers.  Last year Kiss books gave away like a $300 Credit to like the first 300 peeps that got the code.  So look for these sick deals at the trade show.  Look at Facebook contest that vendors are doing during the show last year Smugmug gave away a bunch of free years.

Now I am going to give a bunch of tips to make your stay in Vegas more comfortable

  1. Wear really good shoes. You are going to be doing loads of walking while you are at the show.  Last year I brought some crappy shoes and my feet were exhausted after each day.  I would recommend bringing some nice walking shoes.
  2.  Bring a nice backpack to tote your stuff around while you are out and about.  I usually carry my laptop, my water bottle, snacks, and other materials I get from classes.  Make sure it is super comfortable.
  3. Check out the strip at least once while you there.  Vegas is a super fun place and not it all happens at MGM.  You can get some real fun pics on the strip at night. Last year a bunch of us went and checked out Freemont Street that was super cool. Go out there and discover Vegas.
  4. Don’t pack around your SLR with you all day long. I got a canon g10 that ill take along with me around the show.  Your camera is super heavy and what are you really going to take pics of?
  5. Follow the hashtag #wppi2012. You can find tweetups, tips and a bunch of other fun things happening during the show.  You can find out what sweet deals vendors are doing at the shows and just get in the know about the show.

Well that basically wraps it up.  If you have any tips of your own or any comments feel free to share.

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