As some of you know, we are planning a big trip in December of this year. Usually, the only big trips we all take are to my parents’ house, which is a 7-8 hour drive (that includes our frequent stops) and lodging at their house. Because of the length of this trip, there will be hotel stays not only while we are there, but also on the way down and on the way back.
In order to maximize our fun whilst at the kingdom of the mouse, I am trying to think of everything I can to minimize the costs on the way down and back. My first idea was to use my hotel points. I have almost 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points accumulated. Problem: there are no Hyatts (or Hyatt Places) anywhere near the place we would need to stop on the way down (North Florida) or on the way back (South Mississippi).
My second-highest number of hotel points is with Hilton HHonors, with whom I have about 5,000 points. Problem: it will take 10,000 per room per night to get a reward stay. Ideally I’d like to be able to cover at least one leg of the trip with a reward stay, which means I’d need about 15,000 more points. Amercian Airlines allows you to convert your miles into Hilton HHonors points, but I only have a paltry 1,250 miles with American! (Hilton also owns Hampton Inns and many others, so there are many more of their properties available than there are Hyatt properties.)
At first I thought I’d just send out an E-mail to all my friends and offer to swap 10,000 Hyatt points (which is enough for two reward nights under their system) for a two nights’ worth of points from another program (Hilton, Choice, Priority Club, etc.). Then I found out that all the various reward programs make you pay money (usually $5 to $10 per 1,000 points) to transfer your points to someone! Hardly worth it.
I signed up for one of those survey deals where you can earn points for filling out online surveys, but I don’t know how many surveys it will take to rack up 15,000 points!
I did have quite a few Delta SkyMiles at one point, but Delta doesn’t let you convert their miles into anything! I ended up ordering a subscription to The Atlantic Monthly with some of my Delta SkyMiles.