And I’m the mommy in question. My husband and me rarely get away anywhere without the kids. In fact, it’s been almost a year since our last escape from the munchkins. And to be honest, right now I’m going a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Where is my Martha Stewart wine? Oops, it’s only 9 in the morning… Oh well, it’s 12 o’clock somewhere. I’m kidding, y’all!
I’ve had kids home with me the entire summer, and keeping them entertained is not an easy task. Not to mention, trying to work from home (aka blogging) while having them run around and yell at each other can be a nightmare. So, if you see a misspelled word in a post, it’s my kids’ fault.
Anyway, long story short, I’m looking forward to spending one night in a hotel alone with my husband (in peace). I’m SO looking forward to it. The problem is, he is a super busy guy and hates driving anywhere on weekends. As it turns out, we will have to be in Orlando next month, in order to attend an event. So, I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone?
Since it will be our only getaway for a long time, I wanted a nice place. Not anything fancy, but relaxing, resort-like setting. I have plans for IHG points and have very little left in Hyatt program, which led me to Hilton. At the moment, I have 95k Hilton points and no specific plans to use them. Choosing a place was relatively easy. Introducing Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
I’ve been wanting to stay in this resort because it looks like an oasis in the middle of Orlando craziness. In general, neither my husband or me are big fans of this area in Florida. But the lake-front setting, pools and lazy river make the resort look peaceful and appealing.
The cost ranges between 34,000-50,000 points per night, depending on the season. The resort fee is waived when you use points, but you still have to pay parking fees of $27 per day. Since I currently have Gold status via Hilton Surpass credit card, it would cover breakfast for both of us. I may get a late checkout as well.
The award rate for our night was 36,000 points per night. Not dirt cheap, but not terrible. Plus, like I said, it’s a bit of a splurge since this is our only couple getaway for year 2017. So, I went ahead and booked it.
Enter “mommy” guilt
Like I said, it looks like a fun place, a little too fun, in fact. The more I started examining the photos, the more I felt like we should save the points and use them when we can bring the kids with us. The slides! The lazy river! Oh, how my children would enjoy those…
The standard rooms have two queen beds, so we could technically all fit. Sharing one room with kids is not ideal, but we could make it work for just two nights. Plus, the “maximizer” in me kept saying that we would get a better value out of the points by bringing four people instead of two.
However, we are already planning to take the kids to several fun, family-friendly resorts over the next 6 months. And yes, both have slides and a lazy river. It’s not like my children are deprived in any way, shape or form. Am I supposed to stay in a Motel 6 (that has no pool) with my husband so I wouldn’t feel any guilt? Actually, scratch that, the kids would probably enjoy Motel 6 also.
I know it’s crazy that I feel this way. I work hard in order to accumulate my points. It’s seriously like a part-time job at this point. And then I go write my thoughts down in the blog, which takes considerable time and energy. It’s like an alcoholic hanging out at the bar all the time. The type of bar that only sells Martha Stewart wines bought via Amex offers.
Why can’t I just enjoy the points without feeling guilty? Floating down the lazy river and not watching the kids for fear of them drowning sounds pretty darn nice. Not to mention, my husband prefers fancy hotels.
What?! New IHG Accelerate and Wyndham promos?
So, I made my peace with splurging on Hilton and then new IHG Accelerate promo came out. I’ve mentioned it on Friday, and shared my set of tasks:
I started thinking that maybe I should just pay for IHG property and hit one of the nights that way. Of course, I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. I have a much easier time parting with hotel points than I do with cash. Here are some of the options I was looking at:
I’ve actually stayed in two out of three hotels, and I doubt the other Holiday Inn is all that different. They are OK, just not a special “couple getaway” material. Yes, there is a pool and a hot tub, but no lake or anything else that screams “resort setting.” Of course, the price is fairly cheap, something that is hard for me to resist.
I was thinking that factoring in promo earnings, our hotel stay in Orlando would effectively be free. I would still have to book one more night, but I’m sure I could find a cheap property for $60-$70 all-in somewhere. I would just check in over the phone. Hey, maybe we could switch hotels in Orlando and stay two nights? Nah, my husband will not approve.
We would get 35,000 IHG points (factoring in regular earning rate on stays), which would pay for one night at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort Naturally, we would be taking the kids with us. And of course, we will take them to Hilton Bonnet Creek for two nights as well. So, the kids will have fun, but guess who just got shafted in this scenario? 🙂
I speculatively value IHG points at 0.3 cents apiece. So, by that logic, I would be willing to pay $105 for 35,000 points. That’s why I said that our hotel stay in Orlando would essentially be free. There is one issue, however. I would never pay $105 for a Holiday Inn if it wasn’t for the promotion. Not during a special getaway with my husband.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a simple gal, and I’m sure I would be perfectly happy at a Holiday Inn. We’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn Express for our anniversary before. The difference is, it was on IHG PointBreaks list, and within close proximity to St. Augustine, a city we both absolutely love. So part of me just wants to shaft the kids and stay in Hilton without them. We could always get more points since IHG promos come out on a regular basis. Not to mention, I would save my precious cash.
I looked into Wyndham promo as well (7,500 points after one stay when paying with Masterpass), specifically Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek Resort It looks like a fun resort, comparable to Hilton. But once again, there is an issue of spending cash which I really want to conserve if at all possible. Here is a non-refundable rate for one night, not including parking:
Whoa! Free travel can be very expensive. And then I would have to add a second night stay somewhere in order to have enough points for a future “free” night. Plus, once again, I would feel guilty for not bringing the kids after dropping so much cash.
Maybe I should just use the points I already have (guilt-free) and not worry about maximizing every single stay for a future family vacation. I wish I could turn off my OCD brain for once and not overthink every single math equation. Hmm, maybe drinking some wine would help.
Readers, what would you do? Can you help me get over my “mommy/maximizer” guilt?
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.