How to Plan a Surprise Trip to Vegas in 5 Easy Steps

For Max’s 26th birthday, I planned a surprise trip to Las Vegas to see The Chainsmokers. Here’s how I did it.

Step 1: Packing Instructions

On October 31st, I left a note on Max’s pillow with packing instructions and our flight information.

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I told him to meet me at the airport around 4:30pm.

Step 2: Fly to Las Vegas

I had planned this trip in September, so I was able to book airfare for a reasonable price. Initially, I bought two roundtrip tickets from SFO to LAS on Southwest for $207 total.

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A couple weeks before the trip, I found out I had to go to the LA office for work on Nov 3-4. So I called Southwest to cancel my return segment, received a travel credit for my account, and booked ticket for LAS-LAX-SFO.

When Max and I arrived at SFO, I gave him his boarding pass which revealed we were flying to Las Vegas.

This is the best and worst idea ever.

–Max

While we were in Vegas, Max decided his return was too early and was able to change his flight to the 8pm Southwest flight.

Step 3: Wynn Las Vegas

The last time we went to Vegas, we had an awful experience with cabs. Upon arriving at McCarran airport, we headed to the parking garage which is where Lyft picks up. Our Lyft dropped us off at the Wynn South Entrance rideshare pickup/dropoff stand, and our ride was $12.

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Wynn South Entrance

Upon entering the hotel, we turned left and found the Registration area. There was no line and we were assisted immediately.

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Wynn Reception

Using my American Express Platinum card, I booked one night at the Wynn Las Vegas with the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. The rate was $360 and included:

•Noon Check-in, When Available
•Room Upgrade upon Arrival, When Available*
•Daily Breakfast for Two People
•Guaranteed 4pm Late Check-out
•Complimentary Wi-Fi
•Unique Property Amenity** US$100 spa services credit to be used during your stay.

The woman at check in gave me a letter detailing the benefits, including a list of participating breakfast locations.

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We then headed to our Strip View King, Room 3535.

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Hallway

Our room was close to the elevator, which Max prefers (lazy). I prefer being away from the elevator (noise-sensitive).

The room had a large entryway, with double doors to the bathroom and closet on the left.

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After the entryway was the combined living / sleeping area, which had a dresser, TV, table + chairs, desk + office chair, couch, and king size bed which faced the windows.

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Wynn King

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Wynn King

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Wynn King

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Complimentary water + room controls

The room lighting and window shades were controlled by a tablet on the nightstand. The windows offered a view of the strip:

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Step 4: The Chainsmokers @ Omnia

This whole trip started because I saw The Chainsmokers had an 11/1 event on their tour. After we arrived at the hotel, I emailed Max his ticket for the night which revealed the concert we would attend.

Though I could have gone through a promoter, I ended up buying tickets on the OMNIA website. The tickets included a $100 bar card per person. We actually had trouble using all the credit and ended up leaving the club with four Fiji waters and gambled at Caesars until past 4am.

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I won back half the cost of the trip

Step 5: Recover at The Buffet and the spa

One of the primary reasons I booked an Amex FHR hotel was for the guaranteed 4pm late checkout. This gave us ample time to recover and relax after our late night out.

Though the buffet is open all day, the letter stated to enter the buffet before 11am to receive the breakfast benefit. We rolled out of bed at 10:40am to make it to The Buffet. I wondered to Max if I could wear leggings to brunch. “Uh yeah, it’s Vegas,” said Max, which settled the matter.

We headed down to the casino floor and easily found The Buffet.

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Not that strict of a dress code

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On a Wednesday at 10:50am, there was no line and we were checked in quickly.

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Like other Vegas buffets, there are stations with all kinds of food including pizza, sushi, omelette station, salad bar, carving station, pasta, etc.

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CHOCOLATE

The “unique property amenity” was a $100 spa credit. I rolled up the to the spa at noon and was told they had appointments available every hour starting at 1pm.

recovery 💆🏻#lasvegas #treatyoself #amexfhr #latergram

See this Instagram photo by @gelgels * 31 likes

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Robe, locker and slippers @ Wynn Spa

At around 5:30pm, we headed to the airport. My flight to LA was at 7pm and Max’s return flight to SF was at 8pm. We ate dinner at the Amex Centurion lounge before heading our separate ways.

All in all, it was a great trip. We both enjoyed ourselves and Max was extremely pleased and surprised.

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