So, Laura Byrnes suggested I make this into a blogpost, so here it goes...
I have learned alot about what to do and what NOT to do, at Viva Las Vegas. My first year was definitely about trial and error. So here are my tips and tricks to getting the most out of the experience:
1) Pack 2 outfits for everyday. Pack one outfit for the day and one for the night. Us ladies tend to get into something fancier at night. I usually go for something a little more comfy during the day (capris, shorts, a circle skirt, etc.), as you're in it for a long time, and it gets a little hot in Vegas. Also, pack a sweater for going out at night. The temperature drops pretty drastically. I remember being at Frankie's Tiki Room this past year and it was FREEZING.
2) DON'T OVER PACK! Leave room in your suitcase for all the goodies you will end up buying. I know you might imagine changing 4 times a day, but you're so busy that you won't have time. 2 outfits per day is probably more than enough.
3)Bring comfy shoes. I usually pack about 5 pairs, and I ALWAYS bring flats. You end up doing alot of walking, and heels aren't always comfy in 90 degree weather. Plan your shoes so that you can reuse them for different outfits.
4)Plan your hair! Sounds crazy, but if you're anything like me (VERY particular about your hair), you want to plan what you will need. If you curl your hair, plan a curling method and bring what you need. My girlfriends and I usually all bring one thing each. One brings a flat iron, one brings a curling iron, etc. This way we don't all pack the same stuff, yet we have everything we need. Also, I don't like to spend hours fixing my hair, so I plan a daytime style that turns into a nighttime style very easily. Save me time and products! Same goes for makeup.
5)Bring CASH for the vendors. Some vendors will give you a discount if you're paying cash. Also, bring a tape measure. There really aren't dressing rooms (besides, I don't want to mess up the hair by trying stuff on lol). I look crazy measuring things, but vintage sizes were different and most items don't have tags. If you know your measurments, you'll be able to see if the item will fit.
6)Snag what you see! Trust me, if you find something you like, it will NOT be there the next time you go back. I lost a few items my first year that I still kick myself about. Vintage is rare and things here go fast!
7)Viva shirts sell out fast. I'm talking first day kinda fast (for certain styles). If you see one you like, snag it! It could, and most likely will, sell out.
8)Sunblock!!! The car show is HOT. I bring a parasol too. You're in the desert. (keep hydrated! The heat will end up giving you a headache if you're not careful)
9)Bring a swimsuit! For the Tiki Pool Party! Try to get there around the time it starts. This past year, a lot of people came late and couldn't get in.
10)Get the brochure and plan ahead! The schedule is great, but a lot of stuff overlaps. See what you would like to attend, and plan for it. This way you don't miss anything you really wanted to do. And if something starts early, you can make sure youre not sleeping in or hungover.
11) Things to bring: lots of sunblock, advil or tylenol, safety pins, tape measure, camera, blister bandaids, extra hairspray, and cash for cabs (if you plan on leaving the hotel). oh! and I bring a nail polish...for quick touchups.
12)Keep in mind, some events are first come, first serve. And you may need tickets for it. Try to get this stuff early.
And for saving a little bit of cash:
-Try to get your ticket in advance, Youre wristband gets you into everything (unless you need a ticket, which is free when you show your wristband). They get more and more expensive the closer it comes to Viva.
-Request a fridge for your room. My girlfriends and I never had time to get breakfast (we needed to look our best!), so we stocked our room with Starbucks pre-bottled coffee, breakfast bars, and little snacks. Also, try getting beer or drinks for your room. They add up at the casino bars.
-If staying in another hotel (not the Orleans), cabs add up, so try to car pool.
-Shop around for flights, usually taking two different airlines (to and from) is cheaper. I'm flying from NYC, so its always pricey for me.
-Bring everything you need. Buying your sunblock or advil in the hotel gets costly. If I already have it, I bring it. I bring my parasol from home, rather than buying it there. I'd rather spend the money on something I don't own already.
-Split the hotel room. This past year for 3 girls, our room was around $100 each. Not bad for 4 nights.
Hope this helps anyone new to Viva! Have fun and see you there!!