How to spend 5 days in Las Vegas without Breaking the Bank
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Plan your next trip to the city of lights with this travel itinerary for Las Vegas! From opulent hotels, delicious restaurants, and world-class shows, you'll have plenty to do on your next vacation.
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We traveled to Vegas in July 2021 to celebrate my 29th birthday. These travel dates were during the COVID-19 pandemic, so a lot of the operations in Vegas were still ramping back up towards normal. Follow along our couple's itinerary of LV! Remember that we are still in the pandemic, so take necessary precautions such as mask wearing indoors and social distancing.
If you're interested in other posts about Las Vegas, check these out:
Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas; Mandalay Bay
We arrived into McCarran International airport in the early evening. From there, we took an Uber to get to our hotel for the first night, Mandalay Bay.
Las Vegas is the land of comps! Complimentary hotels, shows, you name it. One of the ways that we were able to score a bunch of comps on this vacation was through MyVegas and MLife Rewards (more on MyVegas in a later post). MyVegas is an MGM loyalty points program where you can obtain FREE...that's right...FREE comps, such as free night stays, free attraction tickets and free drinks by playing free slot games through their MyVegas App. By playing these free games, we were able to score a free night at Mandalay Bay, one of the southernmost hotels on the Las Vegas strip. Of all of the MGM properties, Mandalay Bay is one of my favorites. It has great amenities, including one of the largest pool complexes in Las Vegas, modern rooms, and it boasts as the home of the Michael Jackson One experience.
Upon checking in to our comped room, we informed the staff at check-in that I was celebrating a birthday. We also used the $20.00 trick (more on this in another post) and were able to get upgraded from the 8th to the 52nd floor of the hotel. They also gave us a $75.00 Food and Beverage credit to splurge as we liked. Talk about birthday treatment!
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Drai's Night Club
After settling into Mandalay Bay and ordering room service, we decided to head to one of the most popular night clubs in Vegas, Drai's Night Club. Drai's Night Club at the Cromwell is arguably THEE best night club in LV for hip-hop. A multitude of hip-hop artists are featured on a weekly basis. Nelly happened to be performing during our trip there, so for $80.00, we were able to score two tickets. There is a dress code, so be sure to pack heels for women and slacks for gentlemen.
At Drai's, be prepared for a very late night/early morning, as performers often don't start until ~2-3 am. LOL I was not prepared for this. So be sure to get plenty of rest the night before!
Day 2: Buffets, Spa Day, and the Delano
During our travel dates, several hotel amenities were simply not offered due to COVID. But one of the few amenities that was making a strong comeback....Buffets! Vegas is known for its variety of buffets offered through several resorts and hotels on the strip. Through the MyVegas App, we were able to grab a BOGO lunch buffet at the MGM Grand. Navigating from Mandalay Bay to MGM Grand was actually quite simple. I always like to save money, so we used the free tram system from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur. From Excalibur, we used the sky walkways to get to MGM Grand. MGM Grand itself is quite massive, but there are plenty of signs to direct you to the Buffet.
After stuffing ourselves with a nice Vegas brunch, we headed to the spa for a relaxing massage and spa day. We chose the Nurture Spa at the Luxor, which is right next to Mandalay Bay. We also had the fortune of getting $50.00 off our massages with...you guessed it...the MyVegas App. The massages themselves were relaxing with a nice variety of body oils and temperature. The massage therapists were also fantastic and provided a very custom experience. With any spa service that you purchase, you also get free day passes to all of the spa facilities, including hot tubs, pools, sauna, etc.
After spoiling ourselves at the spa, we checked into our next hotel for the remainder of the trip, the Delano. The Delano is a boutique hotel experience and is located on the Mandalay Bay property. It has its own pool and separate tower which is comprised of ALL SUITES. We were easily able to obtain a 725 sqft suite at the Delano on Expedia for about $87.00 per night. Talk about value for your money! Did I mention the rooms were fantastic?
After all of the day's activities, we made a visit to Diablo's Cantina for tasty Mexican cuisine at the Luxor Hotel.
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Day 3: The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
At the start of Day 3, we checked out the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay for breakfast. The House of Blues has a $12.99 breakfast special that includes 2 eggs, sausage or bacon, and hash browns. Being on the south side of the Strip, this is one of the most economical breakfast deals you will find!
After breakfast, we caught our tour bus to the Hoover Dam. We toured the Hoover Dam through Gray Line Tours. Again, through My Vegas, we were able to snag a BOGO Hoover Dam Tour for a total of about $70.00 for 2 people. We learned the history of the Hoover Dam, learned about the workers and the families that sacrificed for its construction, and had a chance to take stunning pictures on the grounds of the Dam. We also had a chance to visit Lake Mead towards the end of the tour. A must for any first-time visitor to Las Vegas! In terms of time, the tour shuttle picked us up from the Excalibur at 9:30 am and had us back by 3-4pm.
Day 4: Dinner and a Show: Lupo and Cirque du Soleil
After breakfast at House of Blues (it has become our go-to breakfast spot at this point), we headed to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Although this was not at the top of our To-Do list for Vegas, we were able to get free tickets through M Life Rewards. Even if you don't get free tickets, it's roughly $20.00 per person and very affordable. I would recommend this activity for families with small children. Never the less, we had a nice time viewing the variety of fish and sharks at the Reefs. Definitely check it out if you have a large block of free time.
For dinner, we decided to stop by Lupo, one of Wolfgang Puck's signature restaurants in the Mandalay Bay complex. This was likely the best meals of our entire trip. We made a reservation for two and enjoyed tasty bolognese and sea bass entrees. Also be sure to enjoy the Tasting of the Signature Desserts! Magnifique!
Cirque du Soleil
To conclude the evening, we headed to the Bellagio Hotel to see "O", one of the most popular Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. We booked tickets about a month and a half in advance and paid close to $100 per ticket. The show was well worth the price, with exciting acrobatics and incredible visuals featuring the stage-sized aquatic pool. Truly a spectacular show!
Day 5: Lunch at Benihana and Departure
On our final day in Las Vegas, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Benihana. Always searching for deals, I found out about Benihana's Chef's Table Program prior to going to Vegas. As a member of the Chef's Table, Benihana offers a $30.00 certificate for you to use once at dinner during your birthday month.
After lunch, we headed to the airport to depart home!
Want to explore more activities in Las Vegas? Click HERE.
You don't have to spend a fortune in Las Vegas. There are a multitude of deals, opportunities through reward programs, and comps where you can enjoy an amazing vacation without breaking the bank. Where are your favorite Las Vegas destinations? Let me know in the comments!
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