Yes, yes I did. But before I get into details, I wanted you to see this quote from a well-known blogger:
“I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time and I’ll tell you what, back in the day, blogs were a bit rough around the edges. But now? Blogs are polished, spit-shined, photoshopped, staged and nothing short of lovely.”
It made me laugh because my site is not even close to that. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against “lovely” and “spit-shined” per se, and maybe one of these days I’ll get there too. Ah, who am I kidding? Not as long as I write about traveling with small kids. Friends, nothing is off limits here. I once wrote about my daughter having a “mother of all diarrheas” on a flight to my brother-in-law’s wedding.
I’ve mentioned how we had to cancel a family visit due to my kids’ lice infestation. I still have nightmares about that one. Like my son running around the house and excitedly yelling: “Mommy, I got bugs in my hair!” He was so proud. My mother-in-law couldn’t believe I wrote about it on my blog. I told her not to worry because no one reads it anyway. Wrong. Quite a few of her relatives saw the post.
But honestly, travel with small children very often is the opposite of “lovely.” I’ve had to cancel so many trips due to sickness, and some I wish I would have canceled. And so it goes with our last planned mini staycation. I’ve mentioned how we were going to be out of town for the weekend. We were supposed to stay at Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport.
At first, I totally dismissed it because well, it’s an airport hotel. But then I took a closer look and was surprised to find out that it has an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and outside south beach inspired cabana area. The cost was quite high at 30K IHG points per night, but this would be a “spa” trip for an entire family. Approved! What sealed the deal was current Accelerate promo. Here is my husband’s offer:
As you can see, we only need to stay two separate nights in order to collect 40K points. But the catch is, one stay has to be booked via “points+cash” rate. And that’s exactly what I did for this Sarasota hotel. I used 25K IHG points + $40, effectively buying 5,000 points at this absurd price. We had a short couple getaway planned in April, and I booked it via paid rate at a cost of $100 per night.
You can register for your Accelerate promo here Definitely check the offer if you haven’t already because it could be quite lucrative. In fact, you may want to consider switching some planned hotel stays, as long as the rate is reasonable. But first, read my post on quirks of IHG program here
Of course, as you have probably figured out by now, our Holiday Inn trip didn’t materialize. A week ago, my son started throwing up. Our hotel stay was coming up soon and I was concerned my daughter would catch the bug as well. And she did, so we had to cancel the whole thing. I didn’t get penalized, but got 30K points back (no cash portion), basically, overpaying dearly for my 5,000 points. Still, it was better than losing the whole thing.
What are you going to do, right? When you have kids, you just have to roll with the punches. There is a silver lining to this whole fiasco. I decided to rebook our stay in April and try out Hotel Indigo in Fort Myers. It’s going up from 25K to 35K points tomorrow ( see the full list of changes and book your desired hotel today!)
Flexible rate at this property consistently runs at $200 per night (including tax), so this is a good use of points. Plus, the hotel occupies a unique historic building in downtown, and I’m a sucker for this sort of thing. I went ahead and used “points+cash” rate yet again, and bought another set of 5,000 points for $40. Fingers crossed, our trip goes without a hitch this time.
As far as the second night required to hit the promo, I will probably do a mattress run for a property that costs $55 or less, or maybe do another couple getaway. Hey, you do what you gotta do for a promotion! It’s not like I want to have some peaceful relaxing time alone with my husband. 🙂
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.