Three years ago I took my first vacation to Las Vegas. As I prepare to go back at the end of this month, I take a look back at what made the first trip so much fun!

The trip was a long weekend, and the boyfriend and I decided to stay at Treasure Island. While he enjoys gambling, he spent a lot of the trip walking with me up and down the strip so that I could venture in and out of each of the extravagant hotels and casinos.

Each morning we would walk across the street to the Venetian and eat breakfast in a cafe that serves amazing lox and bagels before wandering into a different casino to try our luck and people watch.

Though it was my first trip to Vegas, I had gambled many times before at the 'boats' in Shreveport and Bossier City, so I had a plan of attack. When I gamble, I always set aside an amount of cash that I'm willing to lose and not get back. I understand that the odds must be in the favor of the house, or the house wouldn't still be standing ... know what I mean?

I take my cash and wander through the slots. I have particular machines that I like. The strategy here is that it takes me longer to find the machine, and therefor longer to lose my hard earned money. I like quarter slots, and specifically ones that have an extra tick to them. They are not very common, but I can usually find one or two in a casino.

Typically I like the Double Diamond Deluxe, but sometimes I'll play the Red, White, and Blue style.

The trip was fun. I ended up coming out even. Yes, I keep track in the notes section on my phone of how much money I win or lose at each casino each day. It may sound a little OCD, but it allows me to play longer because I stop when I get uncomfortably low early.

Later in the trip, we even ventured downtown to the Freemont Experience. Some of the casinos downtown still have slots that return money, and the big plastic cups to tote your change in. We took in a couple of shows and ate an outstanding restaurant. All in all, it was amazing and I look forward to returning in a few weeks!