If you’re like me, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Because of that, I tend to put things on the back burner if they’re not due right away. So I haven’t even noticed that the hotel chains have all started their newest round of promotions. As it turns out, not all is lost as many offers are very “procrastinator friendly” this time around. Instead of waiting until the last minute, take a few minutes right now to sign up. That’s what I’m going to do. That way you won’t forget and end up missing out on free points.
Hi y’all! Here are some travel articles we’ve read this week that we thought you might find interesting!
- “It’s 5 O’Clock at a Margaritaville hotel somewhere” should be the new slogan for the hotels bearing the same name as the iconic Jimmy Buffett song. The brand is expanding rapidly from their original focus on beachfront resorts and is now opening locations in major cities. They’ve just announced a hotel in Times Square set to open in 2020.
- Nick from Frequent Miler walks us through a dilemma that all collectors of miles and points eventually has to deal with; should you use your rewards points or should you pay cash? The answer is different for everyone but it depends on what value you give to your points.
- Tourism to Las Vegas is going down and one expert is suggesting the dip is due to hotel fees and parking charges making trips there more expensive.
- Last week, Southwest announced the cities they’ll fly to in Hawaii. This week, they revealed the what airports they’ll fly to Hawaii from. Maybe next week we’ll find out the exact routes.
- Here’s how you can earn an easy 250 Starpoints on each Starwood stay just by using mobile check in with the SPG app.
- Ed from Pizza In Motion tells us which six airlines were added to the list of those that participate with TSA Precheck.
- Theme Park University has a good history of explaining new rides and attraction before they’re done and Hagrid’s Roller Coaster, currently under construction in Hogsmeade in the Wonderful World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure is no exception. Here’s what they write from what they know, what they can gather from the construction so far, and a smidge of whisperings from within the theme park industry.
- Lucky from One Mile at a Time writes about changes that reportedly are coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai shared the news that IHG has changed their minds (again) about the Anniversary Free Night from the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. This time the change is for the better and IMHO it’s what they should have done in the first place.
- Walt Disney World has held Night of Joy, an annual Christian rock themed event, for over 30 years. Until now. This week they announced they are shelving the popular event.
- When booking a trip for his parents, James from One Mile at a Time learned the lesson that not everyone has the same preferences when they travel. What may seem like a perfectly normal plan to a miles and points junkie doesn’t appeal to the rest of the world. Heed his warning, as these words of wisdom are usually only learned from personal experience.
Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group, where we talk about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel-related articles you may not see otherwise, etc. We’d love to see you there!
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Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product
That’s the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of loyal. I think it’s important to remember this when we talk about loyalty programs. Whether it’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, restaurants, gas stations or Amazon.com, the goal of these programs is to make you loyal to their product. Even more, they’re designed to increase how loyal you are and they’re really good at it.
It used to be that you were loyal to a company because of the product they offered. That might be due to any of these reasons:
Companies decided that instead of competing only on those areas, they wanted to add another variable and the loyalty programs were created. Over the years, the programs have added many reasons for you to be “loyal” to them. Some can be viewed as rewards but others can often look more like punishments for not being loyal.
- Discounts for members of programs
- Special treatment on the phone and in person with dedicated staff for members
- Upgrades to the product received
- Free perks for members (when buying directly from the company)
- Rewards (when buying directly from the company)
I can see the last two as being extras for members but they can also be seen as punishments for those who look for a lower price elsewhere. You might pay more by booking directly but that’s what you need to do to prove loyalty. But wait, I thought I was getting rewarded for loyalty, not having to prove that I’m loyal by paying extra. That’s not how it’s supposed to work?!?!?!
As we wrote a while back, modern hotel thermostats are, in a word, a pain. Well over a decade ago, we noticed the kind of thermostat where you were supposed to put your room key into a slot to keep the air conditioning (and sometimes the electricity!) running, which meant when you were out of the room, your A/C wouldn’t run and when you got back, the room would be uncomfortable. That one was easy to override because just about ANY card worked in the slot ;).
As modern technology got more advanced, they started building motion sensors into hotel thermostats, which meant that not only did you have to be in the room for the A/C to work, you had to be moving around…so if you were sleeping and woke up in the middle of the night, the room could be uncomfortable because unless they were sleepwalking, no one had moved around in several hours.
And then there are the thermostats that have upper or lower limits that you can’t bypass so the room won’t get warmer or colder than the hotel wants. Oh great, that way we can be uncomfortable in our room while we’re wide awake, too!
Fortunately, electronic-savvy travelers have made it their business to figure out how to override these nuisance thermostats so we can be in our hotel rooms more comfortably. Here are some hacks for some of the most popular brands at some of the more popular hotels:
Have you ever wondered what happens to the bars of soap that get left behind after you leave your hotel room? I always figured the open bars went to the garbage dump and the wrapped bars were left for the next guest. Well, that’s not necessarily the case, and in this society of trying to replace waste with recycling, that’s a great thing! It turns out there’s a company IN MY OWN FLIPPIN’ BACKYARD that’s collecting bunches of those soaps, melting them, and turning them into new bars of soap to give to people and countries in need.
As you may have read, we had a blowout trip through the American Southwest this fall. For us, a fifteen night trip is an amazingly long time to be away from home. We could have stayed at the same hotel chain’s properties and worked our way towards some low level of status. However, it was much better for us to pick the best hotel for us in each location and use the most sensible form of payment, be it paying cash or using points. The same thing went for the flights which were booked with a combination of cash and airline miles.
This was possible because I had a stash of points in several hotel programs as well as having transferrable credit card points. Some of the rooms I paid for because the hotels either weren’t part of any point program or there was a promotion that made paying a much better value than using points.
From getting the OK to steal something from the plane, to how Uber & Lyft are cutting into airport profits, to some of the coolest lazy rivers anywhere, here are some stories we saw this week that we thought were interesting. We hope you will, too:
- If you want to “steal” the salt and pepper shakers from Virgin Atlantic, The Points Guy is reporting that this week they say it’s OK. Happy holiday season!
- View From The Wing wrote that if your name is Sydney or Houston, United may fly you to Australia for free.
- Protect your valuables when traveling, especially in South America, because Loyalty Lobby reports that your phone could be stolen from right out of your hand.
- Sharon and I love lazy river rides. Here’s a list of Hyatt resorts, compiled by Mommy Points, that have some great ones (and some even have Flowriders!).
- The New York Times is reporting that ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are cutting into airport profits by reducing the number of people parking at the airport (apparently they haven’t checked out the parking situation at MCO recently).
- Some details of the Starwood promotion for 2018 “leaked” this week, as per One Mile At A Time.
- Pizza In Motion wrote about a new Google Maps enhancement that will be awesome for travelers. Problem for me is I might be a little too OCD to trust it. 😉
- I know of friends who have MoviePass and love it. Frequent Miler wrote about a great deal on a MoviePass membership from Costco.
- I never got into collecting Plenti points but as per Travel Codex, it looks as if the program’s days are numbered.
- Traveling the world sounds exciting, but remember that you may be caught on a remote tropical island when the once-a-week plane is cancelled. It happened to Rapid Travel Chai.
Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!