I'm a big fan of the Marriott chain of hotels. We stay at their properties almost exclusively and thus I have earned the Platinum Elite level in their loyalty program. With this, I earn even more points and often enjoy the benefits of complimentary upgrades. I have to tell you, I'm a sucker for free stuff and really appreciate the little touches like a welcome package of goodies or a free Starbucks coffee at check-in. Not a big monetary value but nice after an all-day drive.
We live out in the country and often stay in town at the Residence Inn for a holiday weekend. It has a full kitchen so we can prepare our holiday meal and saves everyone the drive out to our place, particularly when some of the family has to work or the weather is bad. Our grandson loves when we do this because he spends most of the time at the pool. It helps make the holiday more vacation like for everyone...and housekeeping makes the beds :)
This weekend, we are staying in town for Thanksgiving. Being all together has allowed us to spend some time making plans for our upcoming vacation. First the girls and I and then hubby and I...ok perhaps I'm a little spoiled and get to join in everyone's vacation, but I am the one with the Marriot card after all.
Planning our post-retirement travel we are considering the option of using some of my points for free rooms. I have collected a lot of points over the years and have never used any of them. I also register for every promotion in order to earn extra points. This makes a big difference in my account balance. And now we are going to reap the rewards. We've wanted to go to the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot for several years and I was able to book a Residence Inn in the Orlando area for a month on points. If we were paying for the hotel, it would cost us over $5000! Definitely a nice little bonus for my years of loyalty to the brand.
As we gather this afternoon to watch football and baseball and to enjoy a delicious holiday meal, I am thankful to share this time with family and friends and look forward to many more holiday gatherings to come.