The next upcoming trip for me is to Denver CO for the IBA InterNational meet in mid-August. I considered riding one of my motorcycles to the event, but the dreadful and unrelenting heat in the Plains has changed my mind. So scratch that itinerary and re-work it for a car trip rather than a motorcycle trip. I can make more miles in the car, having to stop less frequently for gas, and push it a little more in the heat.
Part of the planning is to see how effectively and efficiently I can use my hotel loyalty points. I belong to a select few of them, so the game is to work several factors in my favor:
- What are the hotel choices at a logical stopping point along the route? Will stopping sooner or going a few more miles down the road change the selection?
- What are the points requirements for a night's stay at one or two of the different hotel choices at the selected stop location?
- What is the best price for a night's stay at those same hotels?
- Is the value/points comparison an effective use of the points? How does this compare for all hotel choices?
- Am I better off paying for the room this particular night/this particular trip and saving the points for a later trip?
- Are there any "red flags" in the reviewers' comments for the chosen hotels?
So it looks like I'll spend down a few of my loyalty points accounts in the next couple of trips and then recharge them during trips planned for later in the year. Then I'll have those points to use for trips coming up in early 2013.
And so it goes.