A few months ago, I had a chance to send some relatives to Holiday Inn Express Palm Coast, Fl for only 5,000 IHG points per night, normal rate is 15,000 points. Apparently, they had a blast. In fact, my cousin-in-law volunteered to write a trip report recording their experience. Enjoy!
My cousin-in-law’s trip report
We recently took advantage of the IHG Points Breaks program and redeemed two nights in Palm Coast, Florida at the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel was your basic Holiday Inn. It was clean and the staff was nice. We did have a nice large room with a sitting area. I will warn you that the free breakfast leaves much to be desired. The food was pretty bad, and I would recommend going elsewhere to eat (my notes: #LookingGiftHorseInTheMouth)
The property is a short 8-minute drive to one of the nicest beaches in Florida. We usually frequent Bradenton/Sarasota area, as it’s closer to our home, but Flagler Beach is well worth the extra drive. There were only a few people there the weekend we went.
The town is quaint and not filled with condos and high rises. It’s just a cute, laid-back beach town. It’s also a short drive north to St. Augustine or south to Daytona and Kennedy Space Center.
We spent all day at the beach by the pier. If you drive just a little south and park there, you may have the beach all to yourself. We ate at the Funky Pelican Restaurant right by pier. I recommend it if you like casual beach dining.
Since Orlando is on our way home, we decided to find something fun to do there for our second day. I didn’t want to do a theme park, as it’s just too hot and I didn’t want to drop a fortune. I have yet to take my two kids to Disney. I just haven’t gotten the motivation to spend $500 and stand in lines all day in the scorching heat. So I decided on Downtown Disney. I figured maybe it would have a Disney feel without the Disney hassle (my notes: # ThumbsUpWayUp)
Our first stop was the Rainforest Café. My kids really liked it. They have it decorated like a rainforest with life-size animals all around the restaurant, as well as some impressive aquariums. Every 10 minutes, the animals go off and make noises and a rainstorm with lightning is simulated. My kids thought it was great, but I noticed several children got scared and cried every time it happened. The food is good, but high-priced, to be expected.
The Lego Store was fun. It started raining, and we ended up staying there probably two hours or more. They have tons of Lego sets to buy, and then there are Lego stations around the store for kids to play with. We went to the back room, and my kids played happily for hours. There are also Lego sculptures that make good photo ops.
All in all, it was a nice little relaxing getaway that didn’t really cost much at all. We will be going back to Palm Coast soon, I hope.
Back to me
Well, I hope you enjoyed my first guest post. IHG PointBreaks program is a wonderful thing in that it enables you to be generous without spending hardly anything. Honestly, treating relatives and friends is almost as much fun as redeeming points for my own family. Almost!
Oh, I wanted to mention that later on she confessed that they found a roach in bed when they first got there. But it’s Florida, and they did let them switch rooms. Plus, it’s not like I put the roach there! I don’t shy away from controversy in my blog, so the “roach” part stays. I like to keep it real.
If you haven’t done it yet, I strongly recommend you consider getting Chase IHG card in yours and your spouse’s names. You’ll get 80,000 points to start with, and a free night certificate (at any IHG property) upon renewal and paying $49 annual fee. Minimum spending is $1,000 in 3 months, so quite doable for most families. Actually, that’s what my cousin-in-law did. So now I don’t have to treat her anymore, she can just use her own points. It’s a win-win.
This card doesn’t pay me referral, but I’ve set a self-imposed quota to convince all of my readers (and their spouses) to get it. Maybe this will be my blog’s legacy: 100% percent conversion rate when it comes to IHG credit card. Are you in? Of course, I assume that you are disciplined enough to pay your bills on-time and in-full. Otherwise, what are you doing reading my blog anyway?
Readers, please, share your experience on treating relatives to hotel stays through IHG PointBreaks program.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.