Viva Las Vegas - Advice for First Timers! VLV16

This year will be my third visit to Viva Las Vegas, the world's largest rockabilly convention. I attended for VLV13, VLV15 and this year is of course VLV16.

I was asked whether I had any advice for anyone attending this year as Viva virgins, so I thought I'd do a quick summary of some of my advice for getting the best out of your Viva Las Vegas trip!

1. Don't buy too much before you go.

It is Vegas, and you can buy pretty much anything you need. It's more exciting to buy things over there, and you'll kick yourself for carrying it all over when you come face to face with what is available out there. This is particularly true for clothes, as the States has so much more alternative and rockabilly fashion than we do. Their thrift stores are also pretty incredible. Save up, and allow yourself to treat yourself to some new things over there. You have the shops that 'regular' Vegas has to offer, but you also have the amazing market stalls within VLV itself! 

2. You will walk miles.

Vegas is huge. HUGE. Walking around all of the hotels will mean that you walk more than you ever thought possible on a holiday. Have comfortable shoes, or plan to buy some here. I don't think I know a single person who didn't need toget plasters (band aids) for their feet at some point. Save your higher shoes for times where you are staying in one place!

3. Decide what things you don't want to miss out at the start of each day

Some attractions only happen at certain times of the day or week, so if you know you really want to catch something, try and structure your day around it. The Vegas Strip is much bigger than you realise, and you may end up half an hour away from where you need to be! For example, the amazing Neon Museum is pre-bought tickets only, and is only open on certain days. You don't want to miss out on that awesome tour of the history of Vegas, so book your tickets before you go!

5.  The Charles Phoenix Slideshow

Do not miss this.


6. Viva Las Vegas is your time to flutter your feathers

People up their game for Viva, and you'll usually have at least two outfits for each day. Have fun with it, and use it as a chance to style yourself in ways that you may be a little shy to do at home. Go bigger - it's Vegas baby.

7. The Car Show

My favourite day, without question, is the vintage car show. It is worth the whole flight over. So, my tip is to not get too drunk the night before! It's the day when the most photos are taken, and you'll be out in the hot Vegas sun all day long. Most girls get a parasol, and its not just to look cute. 

8. Some things don't stay in Vegas

Tattoos are everywhere at VLV, and of course it can make you want to get a permanent souvenir to take home. At VLV13 I did the tourist thing of using one of the big hotel based tattoo shops. The result wasn't great. For VLV15 I used one of my more 'off track' shops, who are affiliated with VLV itself, and I took this duck home, who is much better quality! Stay away from the tourist shops. They will always get traffic, and therefore don't have to earn loyal trade. The off-road ones need to rely on locals returning, and in my experience tend to be of a higher quality. Check their portfolios out first!

9. Alcohol

Vegas is full of novelty cups to get your cocktails in. My salon doorstep is currently a bowling pin novelty cup from VLV15. So, you get to carry your drink around, and into shops etc. This also means you can put your own drinks into them. The hotels have liquor stores. That's all I'm saying ;-)

10. Enjoy it!

It's a holiday, so make sure you take the time to sit back and enjoy it. If like me, you've travelled across the ocean, it wasn't cheap either, so make sure you do relax a bit too! It's awesome, so make sure you're not too busy to have fun!