How I Save on Travel

Radisson Rewards 120,000 Bonus Point Offer

DSCN0845From the Radisson Rewards website

“Let your travel take you farther in 2019 — Earn up to 120,000 bonus points on all eligible nights including Free Award Night redemption stays. Book now and stay by March 31, 2019 to earn more bonus points to redeem for future stays, gift cards, prepaid cards, airline miles and more.

Stay 1 night, earn 1,000 bonus points
Stay 2 nights, earn 3,000 bonus points
Stay 5 nights, earn 10,000 bonus points
Stay 10 nights, earn 50,000 bonus points
Stay 20 nights, earn 120,000 bonus points

The more nights you stay, the more bonus points you’ll earn, so book soon. This offer is available at all Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson hotels worldwide.”

You can register here: Radisson Rewards Link


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Sometimes Buying Points is the Better Deal

As a rule it usually is NOT in your favor to purchase points for a hotel stay.  Hotel and airline groups will swamp you with offers to purchase points.  Generally paying for the hotel is cheaper than buying points to cover the stay unless you are close to having enough points. BUT this week I came across a situation where it is much cheaper to purchase the points than to pay for the stay.

Choice Privileges is having a “members only madness week”. This week members can purchase points for 25% off.  Usually this is still not enough to encourage me to purchase except I remembered when looking for my next hotel stay that I had seen a Choice Hotel that was only 8,000 points for a weekend night this winter.  With this sale 8,000 points would only cost me $66.  The hotel I was looking at was going to cost me $220.83 total for the one night stay in a two queen room.

Also in the same city was the option for a hotel for 12,000 points that was a tick closer to the train station.  Those points this week would be $99 instead of $132 with the 25% off deal.  This hotel if you paid for it would be $282.78 for the date I need.  The 8,000 point hotel had good reviews and I am willing to walk the extra block or two to be at my destination so I went with that option.

Few people really want to brave the Midwest in cold temps so point values are down which can make for great redemption opportunities.

Choice Privileges® Reward Night Redemption

Nov 11, 2018 – Nov 30, 2018:
Sun – Thu 8000 /room
Fri – Sat 8000 /room
Dec 1, 2018 – Jan 31, 2019:
Sun – Thu 12000 /room
Fri – Sat 12000 /room
Feb 1, 2019 – Apr 15, 2019:
Sun – Thu 20000 /room
Fri – Sat 20000 /room




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Southwest Airlines Fare Map Fun

So maybe only travel geeks would find a fare map fun?  I have a couple of times searched for a weekend away on the Southwest Airlines Getaway Finder.  The map lets you enter your starting airport, dates and price range.

Voila! The locations under $236 round trip from Minn/ St Paul airport.  Philly at $176 looks like a great getaway!

You can play with the map here:


Categories: How I Save on Travel, Saving Money | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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. 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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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: , , | 13 Comments

Chase Lounge Open at Epcot During Food and Wine Festival

This is a great perk for Chase card holders:

Chase is offering their debit and credit cardholders (including, but not limited to Disney Visa cardholders), access to the Chase Lounge at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival from September 19th – November 10th, 2014.
The lounge is located on the third floor of the American Adventure Pavilion within the Epcot World Showcase and offers a place to relax, complimentary beverages, and charging stations for your devices.
Each card member may bring up to nine guests. The Chase Lounge will be available from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday during the Festival. Do keep in mind that the lounge often reaches capacity, and when it does, will move to a one person out-one person in system.
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Check if Hotel Reservation Price has Lowered to Save

IF I have time prior to my trip I reprice my hotel reservation.  Meaning I go to the hotel website and pretend to make a reservation.  I had the Country Inn and Suites Washington Dulles booked for one night at the AAA rate of $81.  I was happy enough at that price.  But I just made another reservation for the same room style and date for $10 less.  $70.34 plus tax.

Always make sure you can cancel the higher cost reservation with no penalty. (I book refundable rates because I lose nothing if my plans change.)  Then I finish out the lower priced reservation and get a confirmation number before I go back in and cancel the higher priced reservation.

You do not always find a lower rate, sometimes you get lucky like I did today.  And I will check it one more time before I leave because it takes me less than five minutes to save some money.

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Saving points for a “rainy day” or to drag your Mom across the state on 48 hours notice

My parents are good sports.  They put up with my desire to travel and sometimes they are even willing to come along.  To be able to travel on a whim I try to keep some points available because I usually have more points than money to spend.

I was reading my Facebook updates when I saw that Kristen from “We are that family” was going to be at a women’s conference on the other side of the state.  I was so excited!  I had stalked her blog for years, reading it daily and here she was going to be with in driving distance.  I HAD to go!!!!

This was a Wednesday I think and the conference was bright and early Saturday morning in March 2013.  The conference was free, even better!!!!   So I went thru my mental list of people who might be able to come with me, it was a short list.  My sister had to work, others had their kids and it was short notice.  Called up my Mom who was game and I went to work on hotel options. There were not very many hotels out there.  And to make things more interesting in March I usually have very little extra money in the budget to do fun stuff.   So I had to use hotel points to make this work easily.

This is why I collect points, IF some opportunity knocks I can still go. I don’t have to say I don’t have the money right now for a $125 hotel room.

I booked with my priority club points at the Holiday Inn Express.  Upon arrival we received an awesome upgrade to a two queen room suite.  Perfect since it was my Mom, Daughter and her friend.  We had plenty of room to sprawl out for the night.  The girls swam in the pool for a couple of hours, dinner was Little Caesar’s that I picked up around the corner from the hotel. Breakfast was at the hotel and $7 for the lunch at the free conference.

So our sudden crazy trip was $0 for the hotel, $8 for Little Caesar’s and $14 for lunch. The kids were able to eat free at the conference.  And gas to drive 3 and a half hours each way.  This is why I keep hotel points around in a few programs, you never know when you get an opportunity!

If you get a chance please check out “We are That Family”.  Kristen and Mercy House are doing some incredible work over in Kenya with pregnant girls living in extreme poverty.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay Priceline Stay

We needed a hotel in Tampa prior to a cruise.  Not being much at all into points or miles at the time I just wanted to save some money.  So I looked into Priceline.   It took a little research on bidding for travel and better bidding to figure out how everything worked before I tried a bid.

My first bid was too low so I rebid in a couple of days with success.  I won the Grand Hyatt Tampa bay for $47.  I was very happy with the reviews and we only needed the hotel for one night!

The hotel shuttle took us from the airport to the hotel for the night even though it was pretty late when we flew in.  It was nice to not have to pay for a taxi.


Check in was very friendly and we were given a basic king sized room in the main tower building.

Continue reading

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Making Disney Vacations Less Painful by Paying Monthly or Weekly

Did you know you can make payments on your Disney trip?  Its a great option that we have used on most of our trips.  Generally I book well in advance, more like nine or ten months out.  Pay the deposit to get the trip booked, either by booking online or by calling Disney.  Then each time I was paid I would log in to the Disney website and make a payment on my balance.

This enabled us to pay for our trips with “cash”  and make the cost burden seem lighter.  It either left me with no balance due at 45 days out or a small balance so it seemed less painful.  Also being booked early let us snag dining reservations at the opening booking window.

And Disney does not penalize you if a discount comes along. Call Disney reservations and ask them to apply the new offer to your reservation. I have done this several times when I was booked and a later free dining offer came out.  Note: sometimes there is not availability at the resort you booked at for the promo.  Twice I was booked at Port Orleans French Quarter but then changed resorts to get the free dining offer.  Not a big deal for us, we are not resort specific when a deal is involved.

Making payments online only works for packages. IF you have a room only reservation you will pay for the first night upon booking and the balance at the hotel.  We are usually package people unless we have an annual pass, then I put the money in an envelope each week towards the room costs.

Call (407) 939-7675 or visit the My Disney Experience section of the website.



Categories: Disney, How I Save on Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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