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 Shower In Our Hotel Room Was Broken; Here’s What We Got For It

I’ve recently written about how we used points to book a Marriott Residence Inn in Manhattan along the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route. While I have a full review of the hotel coming up soon, I’d like to share a quick story about the shower in the room.

After waking up at 5AM to get dressed in as many layers of clothes as we could, we headed out into the 22 degree weather to wait for the parade. While we were cold, it was totally worth it. Immediately after the parade we headed to our room to take a well deserved nap.

Several hours later, we started to warm up and wake up to face the rest of the day. That meant nice warm showers (and a much needed shave for me, as I let my beard grow out for the previous week, hoping it would keep my face warm. It didn’t).

When I went to take my shower, this was not what I wanted to see.

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How We Went To The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade With Miles & Points (and $22.40)

Last December, when we were putting up Christmas decorations at the house, Sharon and I were talking about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Despite living in the area for most of our lives, I had never been to see the parade and Sharon last went to see it when she was three. We had a crazy idea that this would be the year we’d head to New York in November.

The first thing I needed to check was if I could get the time off of work over the holiday. Amazingly, space was there so I put in for the time off and it was quickly approved. Then it hit me. I’d need to make hotel and flight reservations during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The one thing working for me was that I had plenty of notice and I smartly took the Monday after the holiday off so we didn’t need to fly home on Sunday.

I’m always up for a challenge, so I started looking to see what was available (and for how much).

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