Now that my Vegas hangover has subsided, I’m finally ready to reminisce about my #5thAnnualDestinationBirthdayPartyInLasVegas! It’s impossible to describe everything transpired from January 11, 2019 – January 16, 2019, but in the coming posts, I’ll try to give you a glimpse into some of the highlights.

Follow along to live vicariously through my blur of skydiving, fancy meals, degenerate gambling, a late night/early morning at a gay club (complete with a ride in the back of a van on a mattress), my fresh ink, tons of comped drinks, and even a missed flight.

But, before we can dive into all of that fun, we’ve gotta at least pretend that I’m a responsible adult, and lay the groundwork for the trip.

The Week Before

I’m always unproductive at work the week before a Las Vegas trip. I’m unproductive most weeks, but I’m unproductive the week before a trip, too.

Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for my poor RAs, I’ve got a staff of 14, so there’s always a captive audience for me to continually rehash my Vegas excitement to in the days leading up to a trip.

This planning period was extra special, since it was my first with Viva Las Value! So, naturally, I ordered some swag for shameless self-promotion.

The arrival of my 500 spiffy business cards provided a nice distraction:

You don’t want to know how long I spent meticulously arranging these.

Next up was my koozies, a tradition I started last year for my #24st birthday. I decided to go green this year as a subtle nod to the $25 green chip, and my 25th birthday.

Due to production costs, it ended up only costing $5 more to go from 12 to 24, and only $10 more to go from 24 to 50. So, next thing I knew, I had 50 koozies on the way from Totally Promotional

Comment below if you’d like your own limited-edition Viva Las Value/5th Annual Destination Birthday koozie!

T-24 Hours

Since I’m slated to escape from Nebraska on the 11th via Southwest 1645 at 3:10pm, I set an alarm for 3:00 and clear my schedule to make sure I’m ready to check into my flight the split second that the atomic clock strikes 3:10pm. Not as if it matters, since I can barely focus at work the day before a trip anyways.

My efforts are worth it, as I’m rewarded with boarding position A56, all but ensuring me an aisle seat towards the front of the plane. This is my favorite seat for Vegas flights, since drinking usually necessitates a bathroom stop before landing, and once we touch down in the desert, I want to get off the plane and start wasting money in airport slot machines without having to wait for drunk people to gather their bags.

Yet again, my obsessive over-preparation is rewarded.


As with all of my trips, the packing doesn’t begin until the night before.

Living in rural Nebraska, I’ve got packing down to a science; I can throw everything together for a long weekend in under 30 minutes.

But packing for Las Vegas is an art.

I begin by cramming 8 pairs of underwear into the front of my suitcase, since you can never be too prepared. Now that the necessities are covered, I can start looking for my boldest and craziest outfits. I lay them out on my bed.

Packing: a work in progress.

Where else but Las Vegas can you bust out those great floral prints in January? Now that I’ve got enough clothes to last me two weeks, I’m finally ready to throw them in a bag and call it good for a 4 day trip!

The most put together me, or any of my belongings will be, for the next week.

Setting the Bankroll

After over-packing my suitcase full of extra clothes and shoes (and two times more underwear than I could possibly wear in a 4 day trip), the real fun begins: setting my bankroll and loading my gambling wallet.

My trusty gambling wallet: locked, loaded, and ready to go!

I decide on a $900 bankroll (because I’m a degenerate gambler) with an additional $100 reserved for tips, snacks, and other miscellaneous expenses. As I discuss in my guide to setting your bankroll, this is money I’m fully prepared to lose and considering as spent before I leave.

I normally try and budget about $150 +/- $50 a day, but you only turn 25 once, so I decide to go all out, ignoring the fact that that rationale could be applied to literally any day. Isn’t it amazing how degenerates can always find a justification and delude themselves?

Sharing the Joy

A gift for the flight attendants.

With my wallet ready to go, I complete the last part of my packing ritual: a token of appreciation for the flight attendants. I wrangle up some candy bars that I got for free through my meal plan, write a kind note, and throw in a Viva Las Vegas business card for that sweet self-promotion.

I’m a big fan of spreading positivity and good vibes, so I always make a point to show my appreciation when I fly. The crew is so genuinely appreciative of this small gesture that it’s more than worth the effort to plan ahead. If good karma isn’t enough of a motivator for you, it also often results in free drinks; in this case, it scores me three free drinks (as well as three margaritas for the lady next to me).

One More Sleep

All that stands between me and Las Vegas is one night of sleep.

With my A56 boarding position secure, bags packed and ready to go, and gift for the flight attendants prepared, the reality that I’m going to Vegas in less than 24 hours finally hits me. Right as I’m falling asleep.

Which may be the most cruel joke, since the sleep that will be so valuable (and lacking) over the course of my 4 day birthday bender is almost impossible to get amidst the excitement.

Click here for Day 1 of my 5th Annual Birthday Trip!

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