4 Ways To Stretch Your Hotel Points For Family Travel
Many travelers have hotel points that they’ve earned from business trips, credit card purchases, leisure travel — or a combination of all three. Redeeming these points towards a family vacation can be one of the most rewarding ways to use them. Not only will you get to enjoy a getaway yourself, but you’ll also have the opportunity to create memories with the ones you love most — all without breaking the bank.
But if you’re not sure you have sufficient hotel points for that dream beach vacation or trip to your favorite theme park, consider these four ways to maximize your numbers:
1. Look for Reduced Point Awards
Shoppers know to always look for a sale to get the best deal. And just as your favorite stores will discount items from time to time, some hotel rewards programs will offer room specials for reduced points.
For example, IHG® Rewards Club offers PointBreaks®, which are hotels that are available for just 5,000 points per night. In contrast, reward nights normally start at 10,000 points per night. A new list of PointBreaks hotels and resorts are released every few months.
2. Combine Cash and Points
It can be quite a challenge to earn enough points for your entire family vacation, especially if you need more than one room. However, many hotel loyalty programs allow you to combine your points with cash to redeem for a variety of rewards, including stays at any property with no blackout dates. For example, with IHG® Rewards Points & Cash program you can save 5,000 points on a reward night by paying $40, or reduce the price by 10,000 points by paying $70. This means that you can still take advantage of your points and pay a minimum amount to stay at that dream location.
3. Mix Award and Paid Nights
When reward nights aren’t available for your entire stay, there’s another creative way for you to still use your hotel points. Simply use your points to book some of the nights in your stay, and pay for the remaining nights.
When you do this, it will cost less than paying out of pocket for your entire stay, and you’ll still earn points from the nights for which you paid cash. At check in, be sure to inform the reception desk that your entire stay is booked on two separate reservations.
4. Look for Family-Friendly Properties
When you are traveling with your family, you’ll certainly have different needs than you would on a business trip. To make the most of your hotel points on your next family vacation, look specifically for hotels with kid-friendly policies. At Holiday Inn, children age 19 and under always stay for free in their parent’s room, and up to four kids ages 12 and under eat free any time of the day in any Holiday Inn on-site restaurant.
Better yet, you can seek out properties that have children’s amenities or even dedicated suites for kids. For example, the Holiday Inn Resort at Panama City Beach, Florida, offers Kid’s Suites that have a separately partitioned room with two single beds, their own television and even an XBox 360, as well as a dedicated activities center with an outdoor pool, table tennis, billiards and a roster of kids’ activities.
When you are trying to find room in your budget for a family vacation, it’s great to be able to rely on your hotel rewards to help stretch your travel dollars. Be sure to sign up for any special loyalty offers to maximize earning points, so you can book that family vacation sooner.