Challenge Accepted! Hitting all four Club Carlson Deals

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I’m not much of a Twitter follower, popping on only once every other week or so, when one night I saw something that got my attention.  Jeanne and some others were staying up to sign up for the Club Carlson Big Night Giveaway and BOGO deals.  After asking a few questions, I figured, what the heck, and decided to stay up and sign up for them as soon as they were available.  After some minor computer glitches it went through and I was signed up for the Radisson/Radisson Blu 50,000 bonus points and the Country Inn & Suites 44,000 bonus points for staying one night at each property.  Great!  Now what?

After doing some research I figured out that staying at the Country Inn & Suites would fit in with our summer vacation plans.  We were already going to be traveling to Florida for a wedding and were planning on staying in Mississippi the night before.  This just required canceling our original hotel reservation and booking this one instead.  Yay, 44,000 bonus points for us.

The Radisson proved to be a bit trickier.  It would likely require staying at a hotel when it wasn’t necessary.  Luckily I know two people who actually like staying at hotels near where they live, my parents.  Since we were already going to see them for a week I asked if they would mind if we all stayed one night at the Radisson to go to the pool and basically hang out.  I picked the one near Celebration, FL so we could go over there in the evening.  I really liked this hotel.  It’s an older property, but it has two pools, several hot tubs, a waterslide, and they play kids movies in the evenings.  My mom and I also enjoyed taking advantage of the BOGO drink coupons I was given that we could use at several different bars in the hotel.  It’s also one of the 9,000 points a night properties so if anyone plans on going to Disney World in the future I would definitely recommend staying here if you have the points for it and are traveling on a budget.

After our trips in June I figured that was the end of it.  I accumulated a little over 100,000 points with two hotel stays and now I had points for us to use for future trips.   Then while I was looking to see if any Club Carlson hotels would work for another road trip I was planning, I saw the Park Inn promotion.  Unfortunately I signed up for that one too late and only was able to get the 15,000 points part of the promotion.  A few days later I saw the Park Plaza promotion and signed up for that as well.  I managed to get the 50,000 bonus just under the wire since my husband signed up for it the next day and was only able to get the 15,000 points promotion.

Originally my plan was to stay at one of the Park Inns in the DFW area for the night to let the kids swim in the pool for the day and maybe go out to dinner in the evening.  Then my husband suggested taking a long weekend and actually going somewhere (what a novel concept! =)  After figuring out drive times and what weekends would work, we finally decided on Houston.  We only stayed the first night there since Park Inns tend to be near the airport and we wanted to stay closer to the city; but it worked well for the first night since all we were doing was driving there and staying at the hotel.  The Park Inn properties also include breakfast the next morning which is important to us when we’re traveling with the kids.

The Park Plaza was a bit trickier since I found out later that the only one in the U.S. is in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Since I had never been to Minnesota and had wanted to see the Mall of America since high school, I was all for flying out for one night to hang out, shop, get some points, and flying back home the next day.  I also had to do this over a weekend so my husband would be home to watch the kids, luckily he agreed to this nutball plan of mine.  I also knew of one friend of mine who I thought might be crazy enough to do this along with me (especially if she also got in for the 50,000 points bonus).  Of course, Jeanne was up for it, and we were able to pick out a weekend that we could both make it out to Minnesota.  She bought a ticket while I flew non-rev which can have its challenges; but that’s another topic for another day.


All-in-all the four Club Carlson properties promotions netted us over 170,000 points for future use.  Had I been paying more attention I probably could have gotten the full Park Inn 44,000 bonus points, but I have no regrets.  I can chalk it up to an experience to remember for next time around if they ever do this promotion again.  This has also made me more likely to look at staying at Club Carlson properties the next time we travel, which I’m sure is the reason they ran this promotion to begin with.  =)



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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories

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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


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