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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My Current Pet Peeve With Hotels

If you travel enough, there will always be something that bothers you. Sharon’s written about the behavior of people at airports. Personally, I’m always aggravated when hotels don’t put enough power outlets in a room but I can forgive hotels for that (well, to an extent) because maybe when the room was designed, people didn’t plug in as many things. My current pet peeve is different and something is so simple for a hotel to fix that I can’t stand when I have to deal with it.

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Hotel Review – Can A Circa 1970 “Holiday Inn-Turned-Crowne Plaza” In Seattle Make The Grade?

For the first time in a while, I was traveling solo. Sharon and I just spent five days in New York City and now there was a Frequent Traveler University happening the following weekend in Seattle. Sharon and I just attended the FTU in Chicago a few months ago so we decided it would be best for her to head home from New York and for me to head to Seattle by myself.

We were offered a great price for rooms at the hotel where the event was happening, so I booked three nights for myself at the conference rate. The first day I had some time to do some sightseeing so I was hoping public transport would be sufficient to get me to downtown Seattle and back.

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IHG’s Rewards Club Devaluation Hits Too Close To Home

Last Tuesday, IHG released a web page that showed changes for 2018 regarding the number of points needed to redeem a free night. As a reminder, IHG is the parent company of Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental and many others. We like to stay at their hotels and I’ve written about how I find their hotel points to be some of the most valuable for our travels.

IHG hotels

IHG has over 5,100 hotel properties worldwide, so it’s understandable they’d need to make adjustments to the point chart. IHG tends to release the changes to the chart for the upcoming year right after Jan 1st, with the new rates taking effect shortly thereafter. Getting a look at this year’s changes, the number of hotels going up in price and the rate of how fast the prices are rising is worrying. IHG is raising the prices at over 500 of their hotels – that’s almost 10% of their properties. Of those, 325 hotels are going up 5,000 points a night and 184 hotels are going up a cringe-worthy 10,000 points a night. They’re also reducing prices at almost 200 hotels, but all of those hotels are going down just 5,000 points and most are located outside of the U.S.  Ouch.

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Sign Up Now For The New IHG Accelerate Promotion

NOTE: This Accelerate promotion ends on April 30, 2018. To see the current promotion, CLICK HERE!

IHG, the hotel group that includes Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental, has just launched the newest version of their Accelerate promotion for hotel stays between January 1 and April 30, 2018. That’s almost a month away but you can sign in to register and see your offer right now at this link.

I’ve written before about the Accelerate offers in posts here and here. I find them to be the most “fun” of any hotel promotion, because you can try and work out the best way for you to achieve the tasks provided. It’s easy for a hotel chain to launch a promotion that will give you double points, or triple points if you stay over a weekend but that doesn’t really get me to reconsider the plans I’ve already made. However, the IHG Accelerate offer is different and I’m hooked.

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