Los Angeles to Las Vegas is roughly the same distance as it is from Sydney to Jindabyne. So it's pretty easy to assume that it's a cheap, straight forward trip. And it definitely is, if that's what you're after. You can hop on any number of economy class flights for about $100 and 45 minutes per direction or you can hire a Hyundai Getz or similar and drive the four odd hours through the desert. Just a heads up, Friday and Sunday afternoons take significantly longer due to the traffic.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with either of these options but there may well be occasions that warrant a grander entrance to Sin City. A bucks weekend, for example, springs to mind.
So what might be a little more fitting for this sort of occasion, when a bit of extra outlay is totally acceptable??
A business/first class flight perhaps? Well sure, a 45 minute hop in the front couple of rows on an American Airlines 737 or similar will get you domestic lounge access in LAX and a drink during the flight. That's a definite step up from the back of the plane but it doesn't exactly scream once-in-a-lifetime.
You could also pay a small premium on your car hire and get a Mustang or Camaro convertible instead of an economic class lead-in car. They're both great cars to drive, look awesome and have the key factor for this iconic drive, no roof. This is a fantastic option really. The only thing is, both these cars are everywhere in Southern California and if you're going for something really special, stopping at a set of lights and having four of the exact same car you're in around you might not be ideal.
So what about a private jet for the short trip? Now you're talking! JetSuite offer a private jet service from Los Angeles to Vegas in Embraer Phenom 100s for about US$4400 one way.
This covers 4 passengers so makes the cost per person about US$1100. Now, that's an expensive trip from LA to Vegas but you never know, maybe you can win it back once you arrive!
JetSuite also offer discounted rates called SuiteDeals. These are basically last minute re-positioning flights that JetSuite need to operate regardless, so they offer some dirt cheap prices. These can start from around US$1000 total for 4 passengers!
You'd have to really be a gambler to plan around being able to get a deal like this on the exact date and route that fits your schedule but you could always have a rental car booked and then if the stars align and there is a SuiteDeal available that fits your itinerary just cancel the car and fly in a private jet!
If you're actually seeing the drive through the desert as an integral part of the whole Vegas experience though, you might consider renting something a little fancier than a Ford.
If the US$1100 per person wasn't too hefty a price tag but you'd rather spend it on a car, you can totally max this thing out and hire a Rolls Royce Dawn convertible from www.exclusivecarrentals.com for the four hour blast through the desert. The dawn seats four people and would cost you a total of a little over US$4500.
Now, let's dial all this back a little and have a look at an option for getting to Vegas that sits somewhere in the middle. After all, it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce to make heads turn.
How does a classic 1965 Mustang GT289 sound? www.simplyrac.com rent them out for a daily starting rate of US$349!!! On top of that you would expect insurance and mileage surcharges but between a few of you it's going to be pretty affordable.
In a perfect world, my opinion is that you'd want to do the drive to Vegas in an awesome car and then land a SuiteDeal on the way back to LA. On the way over you're all excited and fresh and coming through the desert seeing the bright lights of Sin City appearing is an awesome start to the trip. Plus that way you get to pull up to your hotel like a rock star. Then, on the way back, when you're dusty from all the partying, having a nice quick hop in a private jet back to LA, toasting champagne to the awesome time you've just had would be a beautiful way to finish off the trip.