A Look Back At Our Hotel Stays Of 2018

Here we are, at the end of 2018. When looking back at our hotel stays from the past year, I get a sense of how we traveled and how it compared to previous years. I make travel decisions based on how I think we travel but if those trends are changing, I’ll need to adapt the methods I use when looking at the best way to maximize our points usage and out of pocket spending. When I look back at 2018, I’m really happy how everything turned out. Going into the year, due to some work changes, I knew that saving cash on hotel stays would be a priority. I never really focused on earning hotel points before but I’m a quick study and I set a goal to not pay for a hotel room if I could help it.

I did really good in achieving my goal. We stayed in hotels for 37 nights and only paid $1000. When I paid cash for a room there was a specific reason I did so. The rest of our hotel stays were paid for by points or free nights earned by having certain hotel credit cards. Here’s a breakdown of our stays for the year:

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The Hotels Near WDW You Can Stay In With Your Marriott Credit Card Free Night

Several hotel credit cards give you a free night at one of their establishments every year when you pay the annual fee. The cool thing is this free night benefit is often is worth more than the cost of keeping the credit card, doesn’t require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card, and doesn’t require you to have any points in your account. It’s simply a totally a free night, including tax.

It makes sense to try to get the most value out of the free night and I’ve read articles listing the places around the world where you can get the most expensive room. I decided instead of that approach, I’d look at a place many people travel to each year. Walt Disney World (WDW). If you can stretch your vacation one more day by using a free night, that could be very valuable to you and your family.

Here are the Marriott hotels in the WDW area where you can use your free night:

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Hotel Review: Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville Airport – Alcoa, TN

Sharon and I have stayed at some really fancy hotels. A few of them even made my list of the most memorable places we’ve ever stayed. While all of these ritzy hotels looked really nice, sometimes the service wasn’t that great. The staff often seemed to be trying so hard that their actions bordered on being robotic. Other times the service we’ve gotten at expensive hotels is just mediocre and occasionally has been really poor. In comparison, we’ve often received outstanding service at hotels in the most unexpected locations. I’m sure that almost everyone has booked a hotel somewhere because that’s where you needed to be. We were recently in such a situation and were pleasantly surprised with the service at the hotel where we stayed.

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