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Treating Family Through IHG PointBreaks Program, Roaches and All

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)

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and 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.

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9 thoughts on “Treating Family Through IHG PointBreaks Program, Roaches and All

  1. Sounds like a great beach vacation for your extended family! We are staying at Daytona Beach Shores next summer, and I hope we have a similar experience with the lack of crowds and a more peaceful vacation. And, they made a smart decision to avoid the parks during the heat and crowds of the summer!

    My SIL and brother are also big fans of the IGH credit cards. They each have one and have been able to stretch their points for many free nights. However, I’m not quite convinced yet. I set up an IHG number so that I could play around with hotels and rewards, but I haven’t found many rewards for a family of 5 at their hotels. And two rooms costs a lot of points. But maybe I’m not doing something right and I need to experiment on the website more.

    • @Nancy Summer at Daytona should be fine. Most of the crowds are there during spring. As far as IHG card goes, of course, it’s a case of YMMV I do think it’s a good choice for 99% of families, even large ones. Mostly it’s due to PointBreaks program. How can you go wrong at 5,000 points per night, even when redeeming for 2 or 3 rooms! Also, many properties are only 10,000 points per night, so going during high season can present tremendous value. For example, there is a HI Express in Melbourne, Fl for 10,000 points.
      Also, my suggestion is not to rely on IHG search alone, but call the hotel. I’ve written about our stay in Sanibel http://milesforfamily.com/2014/08/13/our-sanibel-getaway-with-chase-ihg-card-certificates/
      In it I said that it costs $15 extra per day to have a rollaway for a 5th person under 8 years of age. The search didn’t really give that option, though, and said that the max for the room is 4 people. You could also offer to bring your own air mattress and see what they say. I think it’s YMMV kind of thing, and every property is different.
      I truly believe it’s a great card for majority of people, and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

  2. Do you know if they have blackout dates on point redemption? We enjoy staying at the Pensacola HI, but only in the summer. The card wouldn’t make sense for us if we weren’t able to redeem during high season.

    • @Stacy In my experience, regular IHG hotels don’t have any blackout dates. There are some properties in Holiday Inn Vacation Club brand that do block major holidays, but it’s very rare. However, all IHG hotels do have capacity controls. During popular times, award rooms can be booked up, since there is a certain allotment.

      So, I wouldn’t advise waiting till last minute to book. You can always cancel without penalty if your plans change. If you have a broad range of dates in the summer that will work for your family, it shouldn’t be an issue even if you wait till spring to book. I’ve also heard of people calling IHG and asking the agent to open availability for a certain hotel, and be successful at it. But it’s the case of YMMV Hope it helps, and I do think it’s a great card to get!

      • Thank you! It’s not a card I have ever considered. But I was researching, and there are several HI Express hotels in London (for way less than Marriott and club Carlson) that we could use too! Thanks 🙂

    • Stacy, no worries! The reason this card doesn’t get much love in our hobby is due to it not paying commission. If it did, there would be posts galore, I guarantee it. I do think it’s great to have on hand, since you get Platinum status, 10 percent rebate on redemptions , not to mention the sign up bonus. We’ve got tremendous value out of it, it’s an incredible card.

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