Who to fly?
Is there any question? Southwest is obviously my go to when flying SNA to LAS, especially because my boyfriend and I still have a valid companion pass. We ended up flying out on a Saturday and back on a Sunday and let me just say, those Saturday flights are VERY cheap! Jet Blue out of long beach and occasionally Delta or Alaska out of SNA offer significantly discounted fares to Vegas as well.
What to do?
31 hours is really not a lot of time in Vegas. You’ll have to take your pick between a dinner and show type trip or choose to go the pool party, night party, Secret Pizza Place type trip. This time around was our first experience doing dinner and a show and we LOVED it! We flew in Saturday mid-day. By the time we got to The Cosmopolitan, it was almost check-in time. Fortunately, our room was ready within 15 minutes of our arrival. We ended up staying in their Studio Suite which had a balcony looking over the strip. It was beautiful!
After a quick shower and a couple of drinks in the room, we headed out to our early dinner reservations at Hell’s Kitchen. It’s currently one of the hottest restaurants in Vegas. I booked reservations in January for a March trip and was still only able to get a 5:15 PM seating. You can forget it if you plan on walking in, even for lunch. Be sure to request to sit close to the kitchen if you like all the action, and the Beef Wellington is an absolute must. Beware, their cocktails are pricey but strong! One cocktail down and my boyfriend and I were feeling veryyyy good!
We were done with dinner around 7 PM which gave us ample time to walk through Caesar’s, have a drink, then catch a cab over to Treasure Island where our show was. I was a bit skeptical about seeing Mystere at Treasure Island because it’s not one of the top hotels, but we found tickets for so cheap, we couldn’t pass it up! The show ended up blowing our expectations out of the water! I would 100% pay to watch it again.
After the show, we were both a little tired so we ended up going back to the room and enjoying the suite. If you’re feeling like a party animal, a 9:30 PM show is still early enough to go to a club after or grab drinks somewhere along the strip.
The next morning, we got up and ate at Hattie B’s in The Cosmopolitan. I ordered the Hot Chicken Tenders and they were very spicy. My boyfriend got the Damn Hot!! Chicken Sandwich and he was sweating the entire time he was eating it. After, we walked The Strip, got a Fat Tuesday type drink, gambled, and played vegas tourists for the first time. If you enjoy art, don’t forget to check out the James Turrell installation “Akhob” on the fourth floor of the Louis Vuitton store. Viewings are free but limited to four people at a time so be sure to book at least 8 weeks out!
Where to stay?
There are so many phenomenal hotels on The Strip. But, one of my favorites will always be The Cosmopolitan. While I love the Wynn/Encore, it’s way too far at the end of The Strip and it always feels a little stuffy. The Cosmo is just as luxurious with a little more youthful edge. It’s also conveniently located right in the middle of The Strip. I’ve stayed in quite a few rooms at The Cosmo. However, my favorites are probably the Terrace Studio and the Wraparound Terrace Suite.
We love The Cosmo because it’s one of the only hotels in Vegas that offers rooms with balconies at a decent price. To be honest, there is really no need to even leave the hotel if you didn’t want to. You have a beautiful room with a balcony for some fresh air, cheaper yet tasty dining options like Eggslut and Hattie B’s, STK for a nice dining option, Marquee Dayclub and Nightclub, and a variety of shows and concerts. If you’re looking for a young and trendy vibe, look no further than The Cosmopolitan.
When to go?
Vegas is one of those places that you can go every day of the week, any time of year. We flew out on a Saturday in March and came back on a Sunday. This made our outbound flight prices extremely cheap, even though it was St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. I prefer the Sat-Sun as opposed to the Fri-Sat. Work usually leaves me pretty drained on Fridays. By the time we fly into Vegas, it’s already late and I’d rather relax in the hotel room than go out on the town. This usually leaves me feeling like the day is a waste.
When you leave on a Saturday AM, you can still arrive in time for a pool party, dinner and nightclub/show. Leaving late Sunday allows you time to recover during the day and get in any last stops you hope to make. Keep in mind Vegas does get very cold. So make sure you go during a time where the weather is going to be nice!
Why so short?
I’ve done everything from the week long Vegas trips to the one night Vegas trips. They all have their place whether that be work trips, a true vacation, or a party trip. However, this time around, we opted for a short trip because we’ve been so busy with work, weddings, and life, yet still wanted a little taste of Vegas.
One day was the perfect amount of time to leisurely fly in, get dinner and see a show, and wander around The Strip. It was the first time I’ve ever come back from Vegas not feeling completely blown out. And given the chance at cheap tickets, I’d love to do it again! Vegas is close enough to Orange County that the 1 hour flight feels like nothing and it provides a great change of scenery when we’re ready to mix up our weekend with a trip.
How to pack?
It’s all about the basics here. I travel with only a carry-on as much as humanly possible. Vegas is always hard because I never know what I’ll be in the mood to wear. My advice, choose one (ok maybe two) staple shoes and build your outfits around those. Fortunately, this wasn’t a trip where I needed tons of outfit changes. I stuck to a dress and block heels for nighttime and jeans with a cute shirt for the next day. And as always, I’m over the top comfy on the plane (think sweatpants, body suit, and sweatshirt). I’m notorious for overpacking and over preparing in general. But, I love these short trips because it makes it easy to fit everything I need in a carry-on.
“Las Vegas is a city built on hopes, dreams, and a little bit of crazy.” -Michael McDonald