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Finding the right hotel stay for your family can take a lot of time and effort. Luckily there are a few great travel tools to help you make the decision easier!
I’ll show you how to find family-friendly hotels that can save you money and make your travels more comfortable!
How to Find the Right Hotel for Your Family Trip
Consider Your Destination
Will you be traveling to a big city or small town? What sort of activities are you planning to do?
Keep in mind that in smaller cities and rural areas, you might not have the same hotel choices as you would in a large city. Here’s a post on how to decide which hotel points are best to collect for your trip.
Which Hotel Chains Are Available?
You don’t have to search hotel chains individually to see which hotels are in each city. And you don’t even have to search each website to see which one has available award nights.
AwardMapper is a tool that allows you to enter a city name and see a map view of where the hotels are located and even how many points are needed.
Both are great time-savers for finding award nights!
Know Which Perks Are Most Important to You
One of the most important factors in selecting a hotel is location. For many families, being as close as possible to public transportation is a top priority.
Having breakfast included in your stay is a great perk offered to some elite program members. But these hotel chains also offer free breakfast to all guests, which is a terrific way to save money, especially when traveling as a family.
Folks with the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express or Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card have complimentary Hilton Gold elite status, which gets you free breakfast at certain Hilton hotels.
Also remember that The Platinum Card from American Express or The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN holders have access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which offers free breakfast for 2 when you book through the program.
And the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection programs gives Visa Signature card holders (like the British Airways Visa Signature Card) access to free continental breakfast for 2 when booking a hotel through the program.
Internet access can be a pricey add-on. Luckily, there are many ways to get complimentary internet access.
A Real-Life Example
Suppose your family wants to go to Washington, DC, to visit the National Mall. And you have lots of Hilton points from the recent AMEX Hilton best-ever sign-up bonuses.
First, visit Hotel Hustle and enter the city and travel dates. To see only Hilton hotels, check “Hilton Honors” and uncheck the remaining hotel brands. The Hilton hotels are marked with a yellow flag.
There’s a Hampton Inn & Suites – Navy Yard available on your travel date with a cash price starting at $186, or 50,000 Hilton points. Or a cash & points rate of 20,000 Hilton points plus $85.
Hampton Inn provides free breakfast and, like all Hilton locations, gives free Wi-Fi to Hilton Honors members who book directly through Hilton.
Another Hilton Option
If you want to be closer to the action, consider the Capital Hilton, just a few blocks from the White House. Rooms are available for $199 or 50,000 Hilton points on our sample night.
There’s no cash & points rate available, but you can set an alert which will notify you if a room opens up.
You won’t automatically have free breakfast at the Capital Hilton unless you have Hilton Gold status, which is included with the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express or Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve cards.
If you have lots of Hyatt points, or Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which you can transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio), there are good Hyatt options in Washington, DC.
Families would enjoy the Hyatt Place DC / Downtown, which costs ~$279 or 12,000 Hyatt points per night.
Hyatt Place has spacious rooms and offers free breakfast to all guests. Plus, the Chase Hyatt card comes with Platinum status, which entitles card holders to complimentary premium internet access and late check-out.
If you earned lots of IHG points from the Chase IHG card, you might consider the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Northeast. It costs 20,000 IHG points for the same date, or make a cash reservation starting at ~$159.
Free Anniversary Nights
Because big cities like Washington, DC, tend to have hotel rates that are expensive in both cash and in points, I find that urban hotels are excellent options for redeeming free anniversary nights that come with some credit cards.
There are also several cards that come with awesome ongoing perks for remaining a cardholder long term!
Earning More Points
If you don’t have enough points to make an award reservation, you have several options for moving transferable points into hotel points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
- IHG (1:1)
- Hyatt (1:1)
- Marriott (1:1)
- Ritz Carlton (1:1)
American Express Membership Rewards
AMEX cardholders who earn Membership Rewards (for example, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, or the no-annual-fee American Express EveryDay Credit Card) can also transfer their points to hotel programs, including:
- Choice Privileges (1:1)
- Hilton Honors (2:3) and
- Starwood (3:1)
Getting Your Last Night Free
Don’t forget, if you have a multi-day stay, there are several options for getting your last night free. If you’re paying in cash and you book 4 nights with your Citi Prestige card, your 4th night is always free!
Choosing the right hotel for your family trip is easier when you use the right tools! I like Hotel Hustle, which shows you if award rooms are actually available for your dates.
And hotels with perks like free breakfast are a real money saver for families!
My friends who travel often for business say extra perks like free Wi-Fi and breakfast are even more important to them when they’re traveling with their families, because those expenses would otherwise be paid for by their company if they were traveling for work.
Let me know if you have any tricks for booking hotels for your family!
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