DC Trip Final Plans

We are in the final planning stretch for our DC trip.  Trying to keep it was low cost as possible!

Fairfield Inn DTW $119 + tax including 8 nights parking

Frontier Flights $85 each

Radisson Reagan Hotel 38,000 points total for 2 nights

Country Inn and Suites Dulles (booked on the app for an extra 3,000 points) $75 AAA rate.

Groupon for lunch at white apron $15.

Restaurant.com certificate for $15 off $30 at a pizza shop.

Capital City Bike tour with a AAA discount.

Uber and Lyft $25 new user credits with each company.

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The Hard Decision

I had a hard decision the other day regarding our upcoming DC trip.  I am still not sure IF this was the best choice but what to do?

For kicks I checked Hotwire for my dates that I need an airport hotel in Detroit.  We are meeting my sister the night before our flight and driving to DTW airport.  The Westin (only hotel with 4 stars and all the requirements) was on Hotwire for $103 a night.  My brain is screaming Westin $103 instead of their hotel rate of $279.  Really nice hotel for $103!!!!!  Book it!!!!

I had booked the Fairfield Inn with parking for 8 nights at $119 a few weeks earlier.  Honestly I wanted to dump my Fairfield reservation.  I could still park at the Qwik park for $37 for our trip and the total difference with parking was around $25.  I really, really wanted to book it!!!!! I avoid Priceline when I need two beds just in case the hotel is unable to grant that request.

But the practical side of me took over.  We will not arrive at the hotel until around 9pm.  We need to leave out of a different terminal than the hotel is in around 6:30 am.  Not a huge deal but something we need to leave time for.  I would have to pay for breakfast either at the airport or at the Westin so that was an added cost.  Really in the room for less than 9 hours…

It did not make sense to book the Westin even thought I really, really wanted to.  And i will earn Marriott rewards on the Fairfield even though I am splitting the cost with my sister.   Sometime I am going to stay at the Westin before a trip and hope I get a room that faces the planes.


Photo from Tripadvisor

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Do NOT pay for magazines!

Here is a picture of the magazines I received in the mail last week.


I do not purchase magazines by mail.  (Bored in the airport because I read everything I took is another sad story.)  These magazines subscriptions I received by either Mercury Magazines, Freebiz magazines or recycle bank.

A little time online and a fake email address will save you money and get you free reading material.




Categories: Discounts, How I Save on Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Wyndham Rewards Late Fall 2014 Promo 2015 Bonus Points

Wyndham Rewards is out with a late fall promotion.  Good on stays from October 15, 2014 – January 30, 2015.  Earn the bonus 2015 points up to five times during the promo period. Five stays would earn you over 10,000 bonus points.  You must stay at least twice to earn the bonus 2015 points.

More information and to register visit this page: https://www.wyndhamrewards.com/trec/consumer/promoReg.action?promoRuleCode=FALL14&vanityUrl=2015&eid=wrt:hero2:promo:celebrate2015-1&variant=

To qualify for the “Celebrate with 2015 bonus points” promotion (the “Promotion”) and earn 2,015 Wyndham Rewards points, a Member must (i) register at WyndhamRewards.com/2015 or 1-866-996-7937, (ii) book two Qualified Stays, each at a Participating Hotel and at a Qualifying Rate, with arrival dates between October 15, 2014 and January 30, 2015 (the “Promotion Period”), and (iii) complete the two Qualified Stays by February 6, 2015. A Member may earn additional Wyndham Rewards points, in increments of 2,015 Wyndham Rewards points, by (i) booking additional Qualified Stays, at Participating Hotels at a Qualifying Rate, with arrival dates within the Promotion Period and (ii) completing the additional Qualified Stays by February 6, 2015. Members will receive 2,015 Wyndham Rewards points, starting with their second Qualified Stay as described above, for up to five (5) separate Qualified Stays (i.e., the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth Qualified Stays) with a maximum of 3 rooms per stay. Member stays with check-out dates after February 6, 2015 will not be counted towards the Promotion.

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Walmart Beauty Box

I seem to be a on box kick lately.  I love Fair Trade Friday boxes, and I like most of my Birchbox items. For $5 I had to try the Walmart Beauty Box.


This was my $5 fall box.  A full size lipstick, a perfume sample, a clinical strength deodorant, Olay sample and a few other small items.

For $5 including shipping I was happy enough with all the items.

Here is more information on the Walmart Beauty Box: https://beautybox.walmart.com/

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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh

I had a free hour in my conference day so I walked over to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  The museum is located a block from the capital and across the courtyard from the North Carolina Museum of History.

The museum accepts donations for admission if you desire and when I hurried over there it was a little after 5pm on a Thursday.  The gift shops were closed but the exhibits were still open.


The museum while smaller did have some very nice exhibits.  There are the mountains to the seas, coastal North Carolina and an underground exhibit.

The place is not large but would be great for a rainy day to take up an hour and poke around.




Monday–Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 9 am–5 pm
Thursdays and First Fridays: 9am-9pm
Sunday: Noon–5 pm

More information can be found here: http://naturalsciences.org/

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Sheraton Raleigh Hotel Downtown Conference

I stayed at the Sheraton Raleigh hotel downtown recently for a work conference.  The cab from the Raleigh airport was $35 coming to the hotel at night with little traffic. But almost $50 going back in the afternoon with heavy traffic. Usually we have this conference at the Hilton near the airport.  That location worked fine but it is nice to change things up once in a while!

I will admit I had read some reviews that had me nervous about guest room conditions.  I was very happy that my room was in great shape and only had an issue with the toilet that needs to be repaired.  (The chain kept falling off the handle in the tank to flush.  At home I would have fixed it, at the hotel I left a note for the cleaning staff as I was running late to my breakfast meeting. It was fixed but then came off again later in the night and I called the front desk.  They must have repaired it because I did not have the problem again on my stay.)

The king bed was so comfy and I loved having 4 very large pillows to myself.  The desk/ television area worked well for the little bit of computer work I had to do at night.  The bathroom had a nice large counter space to put all my stuff for the week.




The meeting rooms were perfect for what we needed. The food was excellent and the staff was very friendly.  From the sounds of it everyone enjoyed their stay at the Sheraton.

More information can be found here: http://www.sheratonraleigh.com/

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Birchbox October 2014 Box


I came home from a work conference to a new Birchbox for the month.

In the box was a sample of Tuscan Honey Glycerine Hand Therapy, a tinted face cream foundation by Dr. Jart.  A Lord & Berry black eye pencil, Paula’s Choice Anitoxidant Serum and a BrightenUp! Face Rejuvenator.

Here is a link if you are interested in signing up: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/stretchingittotravel

(We both benefit if you chose to use my link, if not just Google Birchbox to signup.)

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Think Summer 2015 Travel

We have a few plans set in stone already for the summer of 2015. Daughter has her big Europe trip to look forward to and we are doing things a little differently because of that.  Next summer will be more weekends away and smaller trips instead.

One of the weekends we wanted to plan ahead was the Chicago Air and Water show in August.  I was able to use points today to reserve us a queen room for both Friday and Saturday nights with no issue.  Not something I could do IF I waited until May or June next spring.

So IF you have some tentative plans for the summer of 2015 go ahead and book now. You can always cancel if things change or a better rate comes along! (Just be sure to book a refundable rate.)


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La Nouba Disney Dining Deal

Enjoy a magical evening out with dinner and a performance of La Nouba!For a limited time, you can purchase the special Dinner & A Show package, which includes a meal at a popular restaurant in Downtown Disney area—plus a ticket to La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil®.
Explore ticket prices per person:

  • $99 plus tax for a Category 2 ticket ($89 plus tax for children ages 3 to 9)
  • $119 plus tax for a Category 1 ticket ($109 plus tax for children ages 3 to 9)

The package includes 1 ticket to a 6:00 PM performance Tuesday through Saturday nights on the following dates:

  • September 30 through November 1, 2014
  • November 6 through November 22, 2014

Before or after the show, enjoy dinner at Wolfgang Puck Grand CafePlanet Hollywood or Splitsville Luxury Lanes. The offer includes one entrée, dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage.

We have seen La Nouba twice at Disney.  Each time was an incredible experience.  I would recommend category two tickets.  We have done category 1 and 2 but enjoyed category 2 better.  A large section of the show is up in the air,  the view in category 2 is better for this part.  There is not a bad seat in the house!

Regular priced category two tickets for the 6pm Saturday show were $78 for an adult plus tax. The Disney dinner package is $21 more for an entree, dessert and NA drink.

For example Planet Hollywood a burger is $14, Key Lime pie is $7 and a Coke is $3.25. $24.25 total for dinner so a little savings with the package.  For Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe it is $15 for the hearty mac-n-cheese, $9 for a brownie sundae and $2 for a soft drink.  $26 for your meal saving $5 with the package.  These are the lower end entrees, other choices will result in larger savings.

The fine print:

  • This package is valid for shows Tuesday through Saturday September 30, 2014 through November 22, 2014 and includes one Category 1 or Category 2 seat to La Nouba’s 6:00 PM performance and a meal at a participating restaurant.
  • Meal includes an entrée, a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Meal coupon must be redeemed on the same day of performance and must be presented to the restaurant upon seating.
  • The cost of gratuity is not included.
  • Tickets and seating are subject to availability.
  • Advance purchase is recommended.
  • Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance of show date and will be available for pickup at the La Nouba Box Office Will Call window.
  • Not valid for previously purchased tickets, gift certificates or with any other discount.
  • La Nouba does not have shows on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 or Wednesday, November 5, 2014.
  • The meal coupon includes priority seating at dinner. Guests should be seated for dinner by 4:30 PM to dine before the 6:00 show. If you wish to eat after the show, priority seating at the restaurants begin at 8:00 PM.
  • Please arrive at the theater a minimum of 30 minutes prior to show time.

More information can be found here and to book: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/cirque-dinner/

Menus for the included restaurants can be found here: http://allears.net/dining/menu#pi

Two couples stand outside the Cirque du Soleil theatre in the evening holding drinks and smiling

Image from Disney La Nouba website.

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