The Big Heat (and How to Cope With It) during JCK Las Vegas

First glance at the weather forecast for Las Vegas Show Week doesn’t seem that hot. The Weather Channel predicts we’ll start with a high of 96 degrees and low of 73 for Thurs, May 28th with comparable temperatures through the weekend. Record temperatures have been as high as 108-114 degrees in the past. We’ll just have to see if the weatherman is right (unfortunately, they seldom are)!

Vegas weather during the show ranges from exquisitely comfortable to stiflingly hot. Because the desert climate is dry, heat is more tolerable than in humid climates, but no matter how you slice it, hot is hot! And, of course, inside the show halls, the casinos, and the restaurants, the air conditioning is going full-blast.

So the best answer to “what should I wear” is layers. We recommend lightweight fabrics, and always make sure to carry a sweater, jacket, or shawl that you can put on in those over-refrigerated areas and take off when the air conditioning isn’t quite up to snuff.

Naturally, and we know you’ve heard it before, wear comfortable shoes. Luckily, ladies, with some of the new summer shoe styles and more designer shoe companies making a comfort line, you don’t necessarily have to trade off chic to be able to walk all day. Realize, too, that if you’re on your feet all day, they’re likely to swell, so this isn’t the time to squeeze into gorgeous shoes that “just barely” fit. They make look great when you try them on at home, but they’re likely to become torture devices in short order—and how chic do you look when you’re limping?

If your feet do swell, drink lots of water, and put them up on a pillow when you go to sleep at night. Other suggested remedies include soaking in cold water, ice, or—counter intuitively—taking a hot bath before bed.

We also recommend bringing a few outfits that are a bit more forgiving. Veteran show-goers know the secret to looking good from start to finish is to plan to wear your close-fitting outfits at the beginning of the show, and save those with breathing room to wear after you’ve spent a few days going to all the exciting cocktail parties, dinners, and receptions you’ll be invited to.

Make sure the bag you’re carrying isn’t too heavy, either. It should be big enough to hold all the literature you might pick up during the day, but we don’t recommend a heavy leather bag as it weighs a few pounds empty and with literature and the requisite water bottle, it’s going to put quite a strain on your back. The best bet, especially for women, is to carry two separate bags and balance the load. Your purse goes on one side, and your tote on the other. Look for shopping-bag style handles (better on your back than a shoulder strap!) and if you need to carry a laptop around, consider a wheelie or a backpack that you wear fully on your back. 

One of the most important things you can wear (well, carry, anyway) is the ever-present water bottle. We know you’ve heard it before, but we can’t emphasize enough the importance of drinking a lot more water than you normally do. Between the dry desert heat and the air conditioning making it even drier, it’s easy to get dehydrated without even realizing it—by the time you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Proper hydration can help combat show bloat, headaches, sleeplessness, and a variety of other ailments—as well as help get rid of a hangover if you’ve spent a little too much time partying.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to wear your best smile. The show is admittedly grueling, but it’s also fun, and we wouldn’t miss it for the world!