Well it’s only been a few months since my trip, but I am now getting around to writing this blog! With Cody and I living in San Diego, a trip to Vegas is close enough for us to drive to but also far enough away to feel like we are stepping out of our norm. Now I know some things look different now due to the ‘rona, but we still had a great time there and were able to do so many things while we were there. So let’s take a look! (If you want to watch the total adventure of this trip on my Instagram Story instead, click here!)
We decided to drive there rather early in the morning, mostly because we both woke up around 3am and we couldn’t back to sleep so we just got up and left. Our first unofficial stop was the Seven Magic Mountains which is right outside of Vegas! Because this is such a tourist hotspot, I am glad we got there before the crowds. We arrived around 7am, took a few pictures, and then we kept on driving – there was one other group taking pictures at the same time as us.
We booked our stay with the Bellagio which is a MGM Grand Resort. Our room rate per night was around $140, but with each day we received a $75 food and beverage credit that we could use at any MGM Grand Resort on the Strip! I feel like I don’t have to tell you how insane of a deal that is. Online said check in wasn’t until 3pm, but we took a chance that it being kind of slow in Vegas with travel that we could check in early, and by 8:30am we were in our room!
Most of what we did during our stay was driven by the rewards we received by playing the various myVEGAS apps. If you want a full detailed blog about all of those apps and how it works, click here to read that blog! By playing the games on these apps, we were able to save a total of $200 on our trip!
That being said, once we got changed, we went out to redeem our first reward! To redeem your rewards from the app, you have to first stop by a M-Life Reward Desk (located in MOST MGM Grand Resorts) to pick up your membership card (don’t worry, it’s free) and then depending on the resort, you then have to redeem your rewards for that specific location at each desk in the resort. I think the only resort that didn’t have a desk was Vdara. So we stopped by the Aria to redeem our free cocktail from Aria and our free breakfast at Vdara! However, it being as early as it was, we did have to wait like 30 minutes before the bar opened, but in that time we were able to walk across the courtyard to Vdara and have our breakfast. It was a super easy process, we picked up our vouchers from the M-Like desk and took it to the little restaurant in Vdara and then back to the bar at Aria that we could redeem the reward from. The only downside, and it was kind of the running theme with redeeming all of our alcoholic rewards, was that you HAVE to buy some sort of food with it. But because a lot of places know that people just want alcohol, they have very small, cheap options to choose from – like fries, or a bag of nuts. So overall, that investment is like $3 but then you get your drink.
After that, we came back to the Bellagio to explore a little bit more! It was our first time at a fancy-schmancy hotel anyway. They have a beautiful indoor garden with some of the most incredible flower arrangements. It’s free to walk through, but it can get crowded from other visitors wanting to take a look. Most of our Day 1 was just walking around to the casinos closest to us like Caesar’s Palace, which neither of us was impressed with – they were kind of old style and dirty..
To begin our Day 2, we stopped by New York New York because, surprise surprise, we had a reward to redeem for a free beer. We bought a basket of fries for the both of us and then we were both able to grab a beer. Me being a responsible human being in Vegas, I realized that if I started my morning without food first then it wouldn’t be a pleasant day, so I decided to get a Starbucks breakfast sandwich beforehand. And because New York New York is a MGM Grand Resort, we were able to use part of our food and beverage credit at the Starbucks inside of the casino and they just charged it to our room at the Bellagio!
After downing our ginormous beers, we walked to Mandalay Bay, which I don’t recommend in the heat of Vegas. It looked closer than it was. But we were heading there to redeem our reward for the Shark Reef Aquarium they had! But unlucky for us, we didn’t know we had to make a reservation for a specific time slot. So we just made the reservation for the next day. Since we were already in that neck of the woods, we stopped by Luxor to redeem our free shot. I cannot take shots but hey it’s Vegas – so I sipped it out of a cocktail straw. On our walk back to the Bellagio, we just decided to casino hop our way there. I really recommend casino hopping just because it’s something to do and it’s fun to see the different themes of all of these hotels and casinos! Plus the rewards really helped motivate us to see them all.
After getting back to the Bellagio, we lounged by the pool for a little bit but we got over it really quickly because we had to wear a masks even if we were sitting down in a lounge chair away from everyone else. We just didn’t understand why it was ok to not wear a mask sitting at a restaurant but not while sitting outside. But if we were in the pool with everyone else, then it was ok to not wear a mask. It just didn’t make sense to us, so we soaked in a few rays, got way too hot with dealing with that, and then left. Our rest of the day was spent trying to get lucky on some slots because again I had a reward for $150 in free play on slots, but also Cody wanted to teach me how to play Craps! Later that night we used another reward at the Bellagio restaurant, PRIME Steakhouse, for two free glasses of champagne with a purchase of an appetizer. So we dressed up all fancy to get our appetizer and left – we saw the other prices on the menu and that was way more than we wanted to spend. The two free glasses of champagne alone were regularly priced at $54!! We did however get McDonald’s afterwards.
Day 3 – boy oh boy did Cody have a struggle getting up. You remember how I got food the morning of Day 2 because the day would be spent drinking? Yea well Coy decided that his 28 year old body could still party-hardy. And he suffered the consequences. But moving right along, we used a reward to get a free room at the MGM Grand because I wanted to experience their epic lazy river! Pre-COVID, if you stayed at the Bellagio, you could have free access to the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay pools, and if you weren’t a guests at the Bellagio, you could still buy a guest day pass to use the pool. But since they wanted to limit the number of people entering and leaving their hotels and pools, it was only available to guests. So using that reward to get a free room allowed us to have a nice pool day and experience a new hotel! The other downside was that you couldn’t rent the inner-tubes they had – you had to buy them. So $20 later, I was living my best life and floating down the river. We stayed there for a few hours but we couldn’t stay long because I had purchased tickets for use to go the Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Venetian!
There are multiple locations in Vegas but I bought the tickets the week prior knowing that the Venetian was farther down the strip from what we would normally be doing and I wanted us to be able to see all the hotels. I did call in advance to make sure that they weren’t doing any maintenance for the day I purchased because the site made it clear that they would have days for sanitization and obviously I didn’t want to book for that day. So after the pool, we got dressed in our MGM Grand room and made our way over to the Venetian! Upon arriving, we found out that the Ice Bar was closed… You could say I was a little disappointed because I had called in advance for exactly this reason and the tickets said no refunds. But an hour later, I saw some employees in there setting up, told them the situation and how now we wouldn’t be able to go because we had our Mandalay Bay Shark Reef reservation that day and we were able to get a refund. If you decide to go, make sure you call.
By that time, we had to make our way to Mandalay Bay Shark Reef for our reservation! We were both really excited for the aquarium, but in full honesty, do not pay for this experience. Regularly, tickets would have been $29 a person, but we walked through the whole thing in 20 minutes. This place is TINY. Do not expect a lot. It was cool seeing the shark room, and really there was only one room with sharks, but other than that we got to the end and we both looked at each other like “that was it..?” Knowing that now, I probably won’t spend my reward points to go again either.
Later that day, we walked around the strip some more to do some more exploring, gambled a little bit here and there, but I told Cody that I really wanted to see the fountain show that takes place in front of the Bellagio. We saw it around dusk time and it would go off around every 15-30 minutes but there is a schedule online so you don’t have to guess when the next show is! After that we went and got dinner at the Tilted Kilt because they had a great happy hour deal, but as we were walking back, we saw the Paris Eiffel Tower all aglow so we decided to go check the casino out. Once we arrived, we saw that you could take an elevator up to the top of it and we were sold! I believe tickets were around $30 a person but the view from the top was gorgeous! My favorite part was that you can watch the fountain show from the top too! You can’t really hear the music but you can see the fountains from a different angle and you can see just how high the water gets!
Day 4 was our final day and they only thing we had planned was something that Cody found for us to do a few days before we left for the vacation – going to the Avengers STATION! Me being a Marvel nerd, I was all too quick to say yes to it! This amazing exhibit can be found at Treasure Island and honestly it was pretty freaking badass seeing all the props from the movie and getting to interact with the exhibit itself. We were one of three groups there but we never really saw the other two groups, I only heard them in the other rooms. The website that we bought the tickets from was holding a sale and we got a deal and we were both able to go for $60 (usually tickets are $41 per adult). Also we both got an exclusive pin from the exhibit for free when we checked in! I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this experience! It was a blast and my little Avengers heart was so full.
Overall, we got a lot done! Every group’s itinerary will be different, but we couldn’t have asked for a better schedule! If you plan on going to Vegas any time soon or even in the future, definitely check out my other blog to help you save some money and give you some motivation to try some new things! They are always adding new experiences and I can’t wait to rack up some more point and head back there ASAP!
Find me at:
Latest Insta Posts: