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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Discounts on Disney Cruises, Kimpton’s “Secret Password,” Something Curious About Uber Eats & More…

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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The Hotel Toiletries That You Could Use As Part Of Thanksgiving Dinner

Whereas Joe collects and uses just about every bar of soap he can get from a hotel, I’m not one to use the hotel’s toiletries a whole lot. I have no huge reason to not use them, other than the fact that I really like the soap and shampoo/conditioner that I bring with me. But I’ll always check them out, because sometimes I’ll find one that I really like for occasional home use – the lemon & sage Bliss collection that they have at the W, for example, smells really nice.

bliss

Anyway, we stayed at the Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago not long ago, and in checking out their toiletries, I swear, I think you could use some of them as part of a Thanksgiving meal. No, really! Take a look…

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Hotel Review: Kimpton Gray – Chicago, IL

It’s not often that you get to stay overnight in a life insurance building that opened back in 1894, but Kimpton isn’t your everyday hotel chain. Now part of the IHG family of brands, Kimpton has a flair for taking extraordinary spaces and turning them into phenomenal hotels. The Kimpton Gray in Chicago is a perfect example.

I’ve already written about how I used my IHG Select Credit Card free night certificate to pay for the room instead of paying the $400+ a night that rooms were going for at the time. The Gray fit our needs for a quick weekend in Chicago, it was located in the Loop and right off the CTA from O’Hare and the United Center. While rooms at this hotel can be expensive, they’re really nice.

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I’m Gonna Miss The Unlimited Free Night From The IHG Credit Card

My favorite perk of the no longer available IHG Select credit card was the free night you could use at any IHG hotel worldwide. When Chase revamped the cards this year, one of the changes with the free night benefit of the new IHG Premier card was that redemptions became limited to rooms costing 40,000 points or less.

Since current cardholders were given one more year to take advantage of the unlimited night, I had to make it count.

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