Save On Family Vacations: Best Daily Getaways Deals in 2019
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The annual five-week Daily Getaways promotion launched today, and like many other deal-seeking travelers, I am excited to take advantage of some of the offers. We have the full round-up of the first three weeks of deals, and like every year, there are some that are better than others — especially for a family.
It’s important to note that some offers are extremely limited in quantity and while they might provide value, it really comes down to luck of the draw. I personally suggest focusing on the offers that are easier to purchase due to the quantity available and only if family has a definite use for the package purchased.
I don’t suggest making a speculative purchase as you never know when a program might devalue. Note that the deals for the last two weeks of the Daily Getaways promotion have not yet been announced, but we will update when they are available.
IHG Rewards Club Points
Today, Daily Getaways kicked off its first offer of the year by selling IHG Rewards Club points. You can purchase IHG points for 0.5 cents per point. While this is typically a great way to stay at IHG properties for less, keep in mind that there are many times throughout the year when IHG sells its points directly for the same price. The only advantage of purchasing points during the Daily Getaways is that the transaction shouldn’t count toward your 100k yearly maximum on points purchased.
With this promotion, there are four packages from which to choose:
- 10,000 IHG points — $50 (410 available; maximum quantity = 5x per account)
- 35,000 IHG points — $175 (440 available; maximum quantity = 4x per account)
- 60,000 IHG points — $300 (425 available; maximum quantity = 4x per account)
- 100,000 IHG points — $500 (550 available; maximum quantity = 3x per account)
You can theoretically purchase 16 packages per IHG account or 730,000 IHG points in total. Families can turn these points into a great deal at a place like the Holiday Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach. This property is right on the water and walking distance to the beach, restaurants and Pier 60 (where you’ll find a huge playground and nightly entertainment). At only 35,000 IHG points a night, this means you are paying a fixed $175 per night, including taxes. Now, to discount your total points spent, if you have the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, one of the benefits of the card is that you’ll receive your fourth night free when redeeming points. So, on a four-night stay you are actually only paying 26,250 points per night, or just $131 a night.
The high-end Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman costs 70,000 IHG points per night, but at 1/2 a cent per point, $350/night may be cheaper than booking paid rates.
This is especially true if you can lock up four nights for 210,000 total IHG points with the co-branded IHG credit card providing the 4th award night. Paying $1050 for the points needed to book a four-night stay under those circumstances is a very good deal.
Or, if you are able to find a hotel that works for you with the current PointBreaks offers that require only 5,000–15,000 points, you are down to paying between $25–$75 per night with points purchased at these rates. Best of all, you can still combine the fourth night free benefit from the IHG credit card with PointBreaks hotel deals.
Wyndham Rewards Points
On Wednesday, May 8, Daily Getaways will sell 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $175. With the Wyndham Rewards chart, 15k points will get you two free nights at Tier 1 properties, one free night at Tier 2 properties and half the needed points for a night at Tier 3 properties. Despite the recent devaluation in Wyndham Reward points, there are still some great opportunities for families.
For example, $175 can get you two free nights in Jerusalem, a stay on the beaches in Thailand, time at a handful of properties near Disney World or even in Belgium. Of course some of these properties might cost less than $87.50 per night (even after taxes are taken into account), so you’ll want to check the lowest possible rate ahead of time to see if you are actually getting a “deal.”
Most buyers will probably want to take advantage of this package for the Tier 2 properties, where paying a fixed $175 per night at a hotel during peak-season will absolutely save your family money. Some opportunities include summertime in Newport, Rhode Island, ski season in Park City, Utah, or year-round in many of the Hawaiian Islands. Also, Wyndham’s condo and vacation homes price at the 15k point level (per bedroom), so there are a ton of places around the world to stay for the equivalent just $175 a night.
With this promotion you are able to purchase up to four packages per account, thus 60,000 Wyndham Rewards points. With 1,143 packages available, I do not foresee this offer selling out immediately. It is the exact offer as last year and the opportunity to purchase this deal was around for many days (and that was when Wyndham points were more valuable). Compare the cost against an upcoming stay to see if purchasing points will in fact save you money.
Alamo Car Rental
If you are a family that rents cars often, this Alamo car rental deal might be a great purchase for you. On Thursday May 9, you can purchase a $50 Alamo certificate for just $25. You can purchase up to three certificates and actually use all of them toward a single reservation. Best of all, the certificate does not expire. The one caveat to this offer is that the certificate can only be applied to the daily base rate, not taxes and other fees.
This is one of the more popular offers during the Daily Getaways promotion and even though there are 2,200 packages available for purchase, I expect this one to go semi-quickly. You can purchase up to three packages per person.
Admission to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens
If you’re looking for discounted theme park tickets, then the Daily Getaways might have you covered. On May 10, you can purchase single day tickets to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens for $55 each. That includes SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The maximum number of tickets you can buy is six and your dates of travel can be any time before May 31, 2020. There are no blackout dates.
For comparison’s sake, a single day ticket purchased from SeaWorld’s site for its Orlando theme park for a date in May costs $84.99 for all ages 3+. Remember that children 2 and under get in for free. The $85 admission is not discounted but travelers can often find reduced-priced tickets from a variety of sources such as Undercover Tourist. Depending on your travel plans, the Daily Getaways package may or may not save you money. Compare the best available price you are able to get versus the Daily Getaways package to verify that it’s a value for your travel dates.
There are 1,403 packages available and there will likely be healthy competition for these tickets.
Universal Express Ticket
Week two of Daily Getaways starts with a great discount for families heading to California. On May 13 you can purchase a discounted ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood with the Express Ticket option for just $149. This type of ticket sells for anywhere between $179 and $279 if purchased directly from Universal Studios (online in advance), so you are looking at a minimum of a 17% discount.
This package will give you one-day access to Universal Studios Hollywood in California, plus one-time express access to each ride and attraction. Think of it a skip-the-line pass, although it can only be used once per ride. During a peak day at Universal, or even off-peak dates with shorter operating hours, being able to skip the main line (to wait in a shorter line) can be a lifesaver for some families. You’ll also receive priority seating at select shows.
There are only 235 of these packages available but I believe if you are on your computer right at 1pm, you’ll be able to purchase this deal. Just remember, the tickets are only valid for admission between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, at Universal Studios Hollywood (not Orlando), so make sure your travel plans line up accordingly.
Choice Privileges Points
One of my favorite Daily Getaway package will be available May 15. On this day, you can try to purchase Choice Privileges hotel points at a discount. Although Choice just recently offered one of its all-time highest discounts via purchasing points, this opportunity is even better.
With this promotion, there are four different packages to purchase:
- 14,000 Choice Privileges points — $80 (0.57 cents per point; 1,150 available)
- 28,000 Choice Privileges points — $144 (0.51 cents per point; 1,571 available)
- 42,000 Choice Privileges points — $205 (0.49 cents per point; 1,049 available
- 55,000 Choice Privileges points — $265 (0.48 cents per point; 1,306 available)
Choice Hotels is not talked about much in the points or miles world, but the chain can offer some awesome opportunities for a family to travel for less. Here’s one of the real benefits of its program for families: when you redeem your points, all hotel rooms are available for the exact same amount. This means a studio or a two-bedroom suite at the same property will cost the exact same number of points. This is exceptionally valuable if you are looking to stay at one of its Bluegreen Vacation Club properties that sometimes have three-bedroom suites available. For large families or for those who like to spread out, this can be a huge benefit. (Here are more tips for families trying to book two-bedrooms at other chains on points.)
This reality also makes Choice one of the most useful types of points for families in European cities, such as Paris, where rooms for four start at just 8,000 points per night. Choice points are also clutch for securing Atlantis Water Park access for less by booking a room at the neighboring Comfort Suites. This is handy and cost effective even if you are just cruising into the Bahamas for the day.
Closer to home, if you are heading to Cape Cod this summer, you can stay at The Soundings Seaside Resort in Dennis Port for 30,000 Choice Privileges points per night. Let’s say you were to purchase the 55,000 and 42,000 point packages, that will give you enough points for a three-night stay. That brings the daily rate to just $156 a night, which is a great deal for a summer family vacation in Cape Cod.
As good of a deal this all might seem, there is one huge limitation when using your Choice Privileges points. Points can only be redeemed 100 days in advance. This can be a real issue for families who like to plan well in advance. It also means that by the time you are able to book your vacation, the hotel could possibly be sold out. With the Choice Privileges program, you are taking a gamble by purchasing points ahead of time for a stay in the far future.
With this particular promotion, you can purchase up to two quantities per package, which means you can ultimately purchase up to 278,000 Choice Privileges points per account. Fortunately there are many packages available so being able to purchase this Daily Getaway should not be too challenging.
Avis Car Rental
In addition to the Alamo car rental deal from Week 1, there is also the opportunity to get a discount from Avis. On May 16, you can purchase a one-day car rental for just $30. This is exclusive of taxes and any additional fees although you are allowed to combine seven certificates into a single reservation.
You must make the reservation at least 24 hours in advance and travel by June 15, 2020. The certificate is valid for rentals of any car class up to a Premium (group G) car. This is also only valid for round-trip rentals (not one-ways) at participating Avis locations in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, the New York Metro area is excluded. One word of caution — the terms state that blackout dates may apply, but no specific dates are listed.
There are 500 total packages available and I personally do not believe this one will sell out right away — although you never know for sure. You can also purchase up to seven certificates per person, all which can be applied to the same reservation.
Orbitz Promo Code
This is an extremely unique opportunity to save money on your next Orbitz reservation. On May 24, you have the opportunity to purchase a $1,000 Orbitz promo code for just $650. This gives a fixed 35% discount, which is a great deal though of course there are some restrictions. The promo code can be applied to prepaid stand-alone hotel bookings. This means that it cannot be used for a hotel + flight package or if you pay the hotel directly upon check-in.
This is one of the better offers during the three-week time period, although you’ll want to be aware of some of the terms that tag along with this deal: First off, the coupon code expires March 15, 2020, although you can still travel through Dec. 31, 2020. Secondly, this is a one-time code where you must spend at least $1,000 to apply the code. This means it cannot be used multiple times until you hit the $1k threshold. And lastly, if you need to change or cancel your reservation, the promo code cannot be re-used. Bottom line: Make sure you are 100% certain of your travel plans with this one.
This offer is extremely limited with only 60 packages available. The promotion will sell out within seconds of the deal going live — be at your computer hitting refresh by 12:59 EST sharp. There will be way more than 60 people on the Daily Getaways site at 1pm EST trying to purchase this deal. Being able to purchase this deal will come down to luck.
Your family could also potentially save money on an upcoming stay at a Loews Hotels or Omni Hotels & Resorts property, but note that the certificate for both packages state it is only for single or double occupancy and there are blackout dates. This could be problematic for many families. If there is a certain property you are eyeing that is a better deal than paying the lowest possibly rate, call the property directly and ask if the certificate can be redeemed for rooms that have two beds.
Mommy Points used the Loews deal last year to stay for less at the Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando (which conveys valuable and included Universal Express Passes). She saved hundreds of dollars with this package, but encountered significant blackout dates during the summer travel months — though was able to get a room with two queen beds.
There are some good deals to be had over the next several weeks via the annual Daily Getaways, but make sure to only purchase deals when you absolutely have a need/strong want. Purchasing points or packages that have expiration dates without an actual vacation in mind might end up costing you more money in the long run — and beware the blackout dates for the various packages.
In the 4th and 5th weeks of the Daily Getaways, we hope to see a discount on purchased World of Hyatt points, Hertz points and discounted Marriott gift cards, just as we have in the past.
If you are wondering which credit card to use to maximize your points-earning potential on the Daily Getaways, in the past, the purchases have coded as travel. The best credit cards to use for your purchase would then include the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Premier Card as you’ll earn 3x points on travel.
What Daily Getaway packages will your family attempt to purchase this year?
Featured photo by Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images
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