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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Why Do Loyalty Programs Act Like The Grinch?

You know the Dr. Seuss story about The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? He was the grouchy grump who lived up on a mountain and was so mad about the people below having a good time that he devised a way to take away the thing he thought was making them so happy. I think that some loyalty programs should adopt The Grinch as their unofficial mascot, cause I’m sure they’re too cheap to pay for the official rights to the character.

So what do the programs do to keep us from redeeming our points for what we really want to use them for? Here are the four things loyalty programs do that make me think the people who run them have hearts that are two sizes too small.

Grinch heart size

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What’s That Hotel Being Built At The Edge of Walt Disney World Property?

When we drive to Disney World from our house, once I set in my brain where we’re going, I’m usually on autopilot. I’m looking out for drivers who don’t know where they’re going and staying alert for new road patterns because of the seemingly endless construction going on with Disney’s roadways. On my most recent drive, I couldn’t help but notice the massive building that, to me, seemingly just sprung out of nowhere.

Entering Disney World property on Epcot Center Drive, when you cross I-4, there is now a large building on the left side. I was trying to place where exactly this was on my mental map but I just couldn’t figure it out. What is this building going to be and how would you get there?

JW Marriott Disney Google Map

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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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What’s The Big Deal About Getting A Free Breakfast?

For as long as I’ve been reading travel websites, one of the biggest advantages of having status with a hotel chain was getting free breakfast. At first, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean, I’d received free breakfast at hotels before. They consisted of some stale bagels, bread and pastries, powered eggs, flimsy bacon, one flavor of yogurt, a vat of oatmeal and maybe some unripe bananas. Oh, don’t forget the really bad coffee.

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The breakfast rooms were usually packed at the normal eating times and the food wasn’t refreshed nearly enough. Why were people so excited with this benefit? Continue reading “What’s The Big Deal About Getting A Free Breakfast?”