Want to save money when you travel? The easiest way that you can do that is to know what deals, perks, or benefits you already have available to you and use them! Sometimes they are very obvious, while other times you might have to look a little harder to find them.
Before you travel, take a quick look at the hotel and its loyalty program websites to see if there are any Resort Fee perks or Tier Status benefits that you might be able to utilize during your stay.
During our recent trip to Hawaii, we spent 2 nights at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea on Maui. As Hilton Diamond Members we received a 3-level room upgrade from a Standard Terrace View King to a Deluxe Ocean View King. A savings of $200 per night.
At this hotel, Hilton Honors members currently receive a Daily Food and Beverage Credit of $ 25 per person. The credit can be used toward any food, beverage, or grab-and-go purchase. Their amazing breakfast buffet with a spectacular view does not come cheap but is totally worth it. We used our $50 Food and Beverage Credit both days we were there to bring the price into a reasonable range and enjoyed a fantastic breakfast overlooking the ocean.
In my recent post Being Boujee on a Budget, I discussed Hotel Resort Fees. The Resort Fee at the Hyatt Centric in Waikiki was $33 per night. By booking a Reward Stay our Resort Fee was waived, but we still received the benefits. That is a 5-night savings of $165. But by knowing what perks that fee offers, we were able to save even more. A list of items included in the Resort Fee can be found on the hotel website.
Hyatt Centric Resort Fee Features:
- GoPro Rental (Reservations Required)
- Beach Chairs
- Beach Umbrellas
- Boogie Boards
- Sunscreen & After Sun Aloe Gel
- 2 Reusable Water Bottles
- Water Filtration Stations on 19th, 7th, and Lobby Floors
- Unlimited Local & Long Distance Calling
- Premium Wifi Access
- Chromecast service for in-room television viewing
- Exclusive discounts at the Activity Concierge Desk
- International Market Place (Shopping Center) Passport Discount Booklet
- One-time Hui Car Share Discount Coupon (Hui Mobile App Required)
- Betta Fish Buddies
- Morning Yoga (Twice a week)
- Lei Making (Once a week)
We took advantage of all of the bold items on the list. Here are the items we saved money on by not having to rent from one of the beach stands.
At the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, it would have cost $1200/day at the pool to rent a Cabana or $250 a day for a Canopy Daybed. We took our chances each day on snagging complimentary pool chairs instead. The Hyatt Centric, however, offered similar Cabanas and Canopy Daybeds in their pool area which were free to use for all hotel guests. We used them both frequently during our visit along with the huge poolside pump dispensers of sunblock and after-sun gel that they provided. We also brought our complimentary refillable water bottles from Hyatt to the pool with us and filled them from the water filtration center located there.
Hyatt Tier Benefits
Here is the Hyatt Bingo board of Discoverist Tier benefits which is another way we saved on our trip. World of Hyatt cardholders automatically receive Discoverist Status. You can also earn it through their loyalty program by staying 10 nights. We took advantage of each item highlighted in yellow during our stay. As I mentioned earlier, the Resort Fee was waived by booking Reward Nights. We also received 2 premium bottles of water each day that I estimate would have cost $1.50 each. A $15 savings over 5 days. With our Tier Status, we were able to check in at a separate desk with no waiting, and we received both a room upgrade and late check-out during our stay. The late checkout worked great for us because we had a later flight home so it gave us extra time for packing, breakfast, and hanging out at the beach.
Credit Card Perks and Benefits
It only takes a minute to scroll down the offers page of your credit card to see if there are any deals that you might be able to use and then add them to your card. While you are on the website, click the benefits tab to review the perks that are currently included with your card. If you add deals that you plan to use, make sure you put that card in your wallet when you travel.
Before our Hawaii trip, I looked over each of our cards to see what might come in handy and added a few offers that I thought we might be able to use.
I added an offer to my Southwest Card for 25% off Southwest inflight purchases. I used it for a $7 drink and received a $1.75 credit on my statement.
I also found a Hilton Hotels Amex Offer which I added to my husband’s Hilton Surpass Card. It landed us a $40 credit on our Hilton hotel stay in Oakland on the way home from Hawaii.
I noticed that there was a Cheesecake Factory located on our block in Waikiki. Since I knew that my Amex Gold card had a Dining Credit that works at The Cheesecake Factory, I stopped in for a bowl of soup and a glass of wine while my husband was out fishing and earned a $10 statement credit for my lunch.
Think about what other memberships you have that could provide you with value or savings during your travels. Associations with places like AAA, Priority Pass, or Costco can each offer you additional perks or deals.
Priority Pass Membership
Priority Pass Lounge membership is a Hilton Surpass credit card benefit for us. Since flying to Hawaii required several flights, I made sure to check each airport with a 2-hour or more stopover to see if there was a Priority Pass Lounge. We were able to grab lunch and a cocktail in San Jose on the way there, snacks and a glass of wine in St. Louis on the way home, and soda and a snack while we waited to board our inner island flight from Maui to Oahu. I estimate that the complimentary food and beverages we enjoyed during these lounge visits saved us an additional $100 by not having to fork out big money for overpriced airport food.
We love this benefit. The membership provides us with 10 complimentary lounge visits per year and we can use an additional visit to bring one guest in with us. Several credit cards offer this perk, so check to see if any of your cards have it, or keep this benefit in mind when shopping for a new card.
I have had a AAA membership for my family forever. The roadside services come in handy but it also offers a lot of travel perks and discounts. When we fly, we use Airlines Parking near DTW because it is safe and easy. They also offer a AAA discount so instead of paying their standard $14/day rate, we paid $12/day while we were in Hawaii which saved us $18 over the 9 days that we were gone.
Although these are small savings individually, they can really add up over the course of a trip. Even without considering the hotel room upgrade price differences, we still saved over $500 with all the other combined savings during this vacation.
I hope these simple tips will help you find some extra savings for your next trip.
Dream, Plan, SAVE, Adventure!