Posts Tagged With: Spring Break

Off to Pennsylvania!

We spent spring break this year checking out three potential colleges for my daughter.  We hit a couple last year and I am sure we will hit a couple next year.  Just trying to give her an idea of what might work for her.  This year my Dad volunteered to come along and help split up the driving as the furthest school was ten hours from home.  I wanted daughter to know just how far 10 hours away from home feels before she makes her decision. And I had just a month earlier earned almost 50,000 IHG points so we had lots of options for Holiday Inn type hotels for free.

I had three days off from work and we had schools scheduled for Monday through Wednesday for visits.  This gave us Saturday to drive and Sunday to do something interesting.  My Dad had the great idea to visit Gettysburg and we made our route to swing down that way before heading back up toward Philly.

Here is a quick recap of the Penn trip and I will post more in depth later on the good stuff!

Saturday rental  was car pickup in the morning.  I had a good price for the car which was a challenge over spring break by using a coupon I found on Mousesavers.  By the time you add a second driver the deal is less enticing but still less than what I would have paid with Costco’s free second driver bookings.  Also booking with the Southwest Airlines code will earn me 1,800 airline miles with a promotion they offered.

Saturday night in Chambersburg was 10,000 Marriott points at the Fairfield Inn and dinner was with a $25 TGI Fridays gift card. Breakfast was supposed to be at the hotel but ended up being fruit and a muffin.

Sunday spent the morning in Gettysburg where the national park is free.  Went from there to Valley Forge which is also free.  Spent the night in the Holiday Inn Express King of Prussia for 15,000 IHG points.  Dinner was Red Lobster with a $25 gift card to offset the pain of the bill.  A good hotel breakfast was free Monday morning for us.

Monday was a college visit and driving to Lancaster to set up for our next visit.  We spent the night in a Holiday Inn Express in the Rockvale Outlets for 25,000 points.  Dinner was at a smorgasbord board restaurant in Bird In Hand.  Dad had found a coupon in the Lancaster visitors magazine.  We hit a few antique shops and an Amish bakery.  Another decent free Holiday Inn breakfast Tuesday morning before we headed out for our visit.

Tuesday we drove to Grove City and spent the night in a B & B the night before our last visit.  Having to only pay for one nights lodging I wanted to spurge a little and give us some space after a few nights of family togetherness in one hotel room.  Dinner was at a local Italian place we walked to in town.  Great breakfast was included with our B&B stay so we skipped lunch on Wednesday on our drive back home.

My Mom is amazing at packing snacks and even lunch for Saturday so we never had to stop or purchase lunches on our trip.  That is a big cost savings since we really only purchased dinner each night with breakfast for free at the hotels.  Even driving back later Wednesday we chose not to stop for dinner and just ate some snacks she had packed.

It was a very fruitful spring break trip!  Daughter really liked two of the three schools.  She also realizes how far away a ten hour drive is.  We hopefully did not drive my Dad too crazy! Having hotel points lets us travel cheaper  and we even sampled shoofly pie for free in Lancaster at Dutch Haven!

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Grove City

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Remember the Club Carlson Stay 3 promo this spring break!

Have you taken advantage of the Club Carlson stay 3 promo that is going on until April 13?  Sign up here….

This is a great promo to use on spring break because its 3 nights, not 3 stays.  So if you stay 3 nights at the Country Inn and Suites at Universal in Florida, the Park Plaza in Bloomington or our favorite Radisson Blu in Chicago you get the bonus points.


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Free wristband to Nickeldoen Universe at the Mall of America

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America Savings

We took a girls trip to the Mall of America over spring break.  I knew between shopping, eating and more shopping my daughter was going to want to ride at the Nick Universe in the middle of the mall.

I did not really want to spend $31 for a day of unlimited rides or $5 a ride if we bought single tickets.  This was looking like an expensive day and this was supposed to be a budget trip.  I was reading reviews on Trip Advisor and someone mentioned getting a free wrist band.  I was determined to dig out how they got in for free; I would love to get my child in for FREE!!!!!

And then on the Nickelodeon Universe website I stumbled on how to get a free wristband.

Reward  Members Receive:

·         350 Rewards credits just for signing up (redeemable for a FREE unlimited ride wristband)*

·         Rewards credits for each dollar spent on rides and merchandise at Nickelodeon Universe

·         Exclusive offers and discounts

·         Online Account Management

*Applies to new Nickelodeon Universe Rewards accounts opened after July 2, 2012. Must provide a valid mailing address and email to receive credits. 350 credits will be added to your Rewards account 3 business days after registration. Only one Nickelodeon Universe Rewards account per household.

Bingo!!!!! I didn’t know if it would work but I had nothing to lose but a little time.   So I signed up for the rewards program and heard nothing. In fact I had signed up 2 months before our trip and figured it was a lost cause. I was going to have to pay for her rides for a day.  It didn’t make sense to buy it per ride; she was going to want to go over and over.  Then a week before we left I got Nickelodeon mail, it was our rewards card!!!!!  I checked our balance online and I had the 350 points.

You redeem this card by going to guest services and also showing your driver’s license to match the address on the card.  But even if you are going with multiple children it’s nice to get 1 of them a free wristband!  It worked like a charm and my daughter went crazy riding the coasters.  She even snuck in a few quick rides on the Pepsi Orange Streak before the mall closed.  Saving $32 was well worth the time it took me to sign up for the free rewards program!!!!

Categories: Discounts, Saving Money, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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