I’m a travelholic, and I’m the first to admit that. The biggest perk of my job is a generous time off policy (four weeks of vacation time, which is unheard of in the finance industry for someone as junior as I am in the company), but even that isn’t enough to tide me over. I like to travel frequently, and I can never get enough. In fact, the three-day weekend was invented for people like me. It gives you just enough time for a quick getaway, and I take advantage of that every chance I get. It pains me a little to think that Mike and I have no travel plans over New Year’s…what a letdown! I suppose I could still plan something for an absolute last-minute roadtrip, but I think it’s safe to say nothing will come together at this point.
Enter the staycation. This weekend, I’m going to travel using my personal residence as my accomodations. Not a bad deal – my apartment is nicer than most Holiday Inns and I won’t have to worry about checked baggage fees.
I’ve actually never been on a true staycation. Sure, I’ve done things in town that a tourist may do, but only for an hour or two of my day rather than designating a generous part of my weekend toward playing traveler. This time, I’m going to do it differently. I think a staycation will only work if I plan it like I would plan a real vacation. I’ve done reading and research (okay, not as much as for a real trip since I have a little insider information), and mapped out an itinerary. I won’t touch the laundry and I won’t run errands. This will be a real vacation.
I’ve got plans to tour local attractions, have a nice meal out, and go out for a few drinks. I’ll bring my camera and take pictures, and I’ll share stories with family and friends. The weather is supposed to beautiful – sunny and 60+ degrees – so it should be easy to relax and enjoy. There’s actually a lot to do in my local area that I’ve never carved out time to do – so here’s my chance!
Life is what you make of it, and I’m determined to get a little of my travel fix even when I can’t get out of town.
Have any of you taken a staycation before? What were the best parts? Any downsides? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Every hotel chain has a bonus for 2012, and Intercontinental Hotels Group is no exception.
Priority Club Insider brings us details about the promotion running from January 1 – March 31. You will need to register beforehand in order to qualify, which only takes a minute. You need to choose ONE of the following promotions, and once you register, you can’t switch.
- Register: Stay 3 nights to earn 5,000 bonus Priority Club Points
- Register: Stay 7 nights to earn 10,000 bonus Priority Club Points
- Register:-Stay 15 nights to earn 15,000 bonus Priority Club Points
Since there is no switching, you’ll have to strategically choose which offer best works for you. You don’t want to overestimate the nights you have because if you register for 7 nights but then only stay for 6 nights, you’ll get nothing. However, if you register for 3 nights but then stay for 7 nights, you’ll still only get the 5,000 point bonus.
I think this is a mediocre promotion. With Marriott’s promo, you could get a free night after as little as just two nights (as long as they are different stays). For a free night with Priority Club, you’d need to stay 15 nights to get the 15,000 bonus points. However, it’s always worth registering for a promotion and taking any bonus points on the table if it falls in line with your plans anyway.
Awhile back, I posted on how American Airlines was offering double elite qualifying miles on travel during January, typically a somewhat slow period for travel. These are not miles that you use toward an award, but miles that count toward qualifying for elite status. I don’t personally book “mileage runs”, or flights taken for the sake of qualifying for higher elite status, but I still think it’s worth it to register for these promotions if you already have travel plans anyway. As always, if they’re giving it away for free, don’t leave it on the table!
A few other airlines have also jumped on the bandwagon, so I wanted to pass on the information to you.
United is offering double award miles on most round-trip flights operated by United and Continental. Flights must be booked and flown after registration but before January 31 (previously booked travel is ineligible). Unfortunately, you have to be targeted for this promotion with United in order to take advantage of this. You can find out if you were targeted by logging into your MileagePlus page and clicking on the My Promotions tab. From there, you will be able to read more details and register through your own account. (Hat Tip to Just Another Points Traveler)
Everyone is eligible to participate in Southwest’s promo for double tier-qualifying points. Registration is required in advance, and flights must be booked and flown after registration but January 31. (Hat Tip to The Points Guy) Furthermore, you can get double points if you are flying into or out of Boston, Manchester, Providence, Orlando, Newark, or LaGuardia. Registration is required by December 30. Flights musts must be booked after registration but before December 30, though travel can be completed through February 15. These bonus points don’t qualify for status, but do qualify for reward travel, so it’s worth registering for both promotions. (Hat Tip to Online Travel Review)