I know I’m not alone when I say summer is one of the best times to travel – the sun is out, work hours are flexible (for many people) and it’s just hard to not want to be outside. And considering the number of holiday weekends that fall within the summer, it’s easy to plan a weekend getaway or an extended vacation stay. In fact, I recently read that 41.9 million Americans traveled over the 2016 Fourth of July weekend. And I can only imagine how many will pack up for an end-of-summer trip over Labor Day weekend later this season.
But, as we all know, there’s a lot of planning and decision making that comes into play before booking your final itinerary. One of the most important aspects in planning my summer trips comes down to where I will be staying. From comparing room prices and locations, to weighing available amenities, booking a hotel can be a bit overwhelming.
Luckily for us summer travelers, many hotels run loyalty program perks and promotions during the summer season – helping to make that booking decision a bit easier. According to Choice Hotels International's annual summer travel survey, 61 percent of travelers say loyalty points and programs impact where they’ll choose to stay on summer vacation. And even more impressive, 57 percent of travelers say they save up all their hotel loyalty points to use toward summer vacation.
Knowing I’ll get the most out of my stay – even leaving with some extra perks and points in my pocket – makes planning my summer vacation that much more enjoyable. Here are some of my recommendations for summertime hotel perks and promotions to take advantage of before this vacation season ends.
1. Marriott global promotion bonus points
Rack up some serious bonus points by staying at Marriott Hotels this summer. All Marriott Rewards members can build a stock of points for future hotel stays and reward redemption by booking at participating properties now through September 5, 2016. Marriott Rewards members can earn 2,000 bonus points on every paid stay, starting with their second stay. And members will even have the ability to rack up to 10,000 bonus points throughout the duration of this summer promotion. That’s equivalent to a complimentary one night's stay, a room upgrade or free food and drinks!
As an added bonus, you can sign up for their sweepstakes when registering, and earn an extra entry with each night. What’s the grand prize? 100 members will win 100,000 points.
2. Stay twice, earn a $50 gift card at Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels is rewarding their loyalty program members with $50 gift cards for booking twice this summer at their properties. All Choice Privilege rewards members who stay twice now through August 18, 2016 will receive a $50 gift card to a participating shopping, dining or gas partner. Earn yourself $50 to fill your tank at Shell or Mobile for that summer road trip you’ve been planning, or treat yourself to dinner at Applebee’s or Chili’s.
3. Hilton doubles up summer points
One of my favorite ways to redeem rewards points for staying at hotels is by doubling up on my rewards without needing to do anything extra or special when booking. That’s why this next summer travel perk, Hilton’s double points promotion, is one of my favorite on the list. Hilton rewards members have the chance to earn double Hilton HHonors points on stays at all worldwide Hilton properties now through August 31, 2016. And there are more than 540 Hilton properties worldwide, so no matter where you’re traveling this summer, it’s more than likely you’ll find a Hilton Hotel to double up on points for future stays, room upgrades and more.
4. Best Western $50 two-booking bonus
Similar to Choice Hotel’s $50 gift card offering, Best Western travelers enrolled in the Best Western Rewards program can snag a $50 Best Western gift card for staying twice at their properties now through August 28, 2016. The best part? Travelers can earn a gift card for every two separate stays. If you stay four separate nights this summer at a Best Western, you’ll rack up $100 in gift card savings. Additionally, Best Western rewards members also save 10 percent when booking direct on bestwestern.com, and earn 1,000 rewards points for stays completed during the promotion period.
Sounds like a pretty sweet summer deal if you ask me.
If you miss out on these summer deals, make sure to check back soon to see what your favorite hotel and loyalty programs have to offer for fall getaway deals.
Have a great trip!