Daily Getaway Week 2 Breakdown: IHG Points, SeaWorld Discounts, Vegas Packages, and More!

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The Daily Getaway Deals are a collection of travel offers that are brought together by the U.S. Travel Association and American Express for residents of the United States.  They have run for several years, and are being offered every weekday this year from May 19 – June 20, 2014 at 1PM Eastern.  The packages and deals are of limited quantity, and there is one new deal per day.  You get 10% off if you pay using an American Express card, so absolutely plan to do that.  Some of the deals are better than others, and with some deals the demand is so high it is hard to actually score one of the limited quantity packages.  So don’t play if that will ruin your afternoon.

The deals aren’t quite as smoking as a couple years ago, in part due to some program devaluations, and in part due to other ways to “manufacture” points these days.  However, there are still some good opportunities depending on your travel goals and plans.  I will say that for every offer, you should have an idea on how you will use the nights/points/rentals/etc since you are spending real money to obtain these packages.  If you want to peak ahead, you can view all five weeks of deals here.

I provide a weekly breakdown of the deals, as well as a post the night before or morning of some of the deals that I think might be more interesting.

With all that being said, I bring you Week 2 of the Daily Getaways

Daily Getaway Week 2

Monday May 26th IHG Reward Points

Purchase packages of IHG Rewards points to use on IHG award stays however you choose.

  • 15,000 IHG points for $100 ($90 with Amex discount) .6 cents per point, 2500 available
  • 25,000 IHG points for $167 ($150.30 with Amex discount) .6 cents per point, 2000 available
  • 50,000 IHG points for $325 ($292.50 with Amex discount) .585 cents per point, 1250 available
  • 100,000 IHG points for $630 ($567 with Amex discount) .567 cents per point, 1000 available

Key terms:

  • No more than 4 packages of points purchased through this offer are allowed per loyalty number. A maximum of 16 packages of points is allowed per loyalty number across all IHG offers.

Buy or no buy:

You can essentially purchase IHG Reward points whenever you want for .7 cents each, so this isn’t an amazing deal, but it is a cheaper and easier way to pick up some IHG points.  I think it is handy to have a few IHG points on handy in case you run across a Point Breaks hotel for 5,000 points per night that works for you (new list coming out tomorrow).  However, I wouldn’t buy many more than you have plans for since you can essentially buy them for just a bit more than this any time you want.  I think I will be passing since on this since I already have some IHG points in my account, but I would buy at least a few if my account were at zero.

 

Tuesday May 27th Caesar’s Hotel and Casino Packages:

This is the first of several days throughout the Daily Getaways where the deals are packages of rooms/activities at casinos in Las Vegas and beyond.

  • Harrah’s Las Vegas package $299 (20 available) – $269.10 with Amex discount
    • Stay 2 consecutive nights and spread out with 500 square feet of space in your Mini Suite at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
    • Daily access for two to the fitness center
    • Enjoy two Buffet of Buffets passes, giving you unlimited access to six of the most spectacular buffets in the city for a 24-hour period.
    • Complimentary in-room internet access for one device
    • Round-trip airport limousine transportation for 2 between McCarran International Airport and Harrah’s Las Vegas.
    • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2015 and must be booked no later than 30 days in advance of scheduled arrival date.
  • VIP Caesars Palace package $1,540 (10 available) – $1386 with Amex discount
    • Accommodations for three consecutive nights in a plush suite at Caesars Palace (suite types may vary)
    • A $200 dining credit to use at the Caesars Palace restaurant(s) of your choice
    • Two tickets to the show of your choice at any of Caesars Entertainment’s 8 Las Vegas properties (based on availability; some restrictions apply)
    • Daily fitness center access for two at QUA Baths & Spa
    • Round-trip limousine transportation between McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Caesars Palace
    • Complimentary in-room internet access for one device
    • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2015 and must be booked no later than 30 days in advance of desired scheduled arrival date. Blackout dates apply.
  • Caesars Palace two day package $465 (20 available) – $418.50 with Amex discount
    • Accommodations for two consecutive nights (room type is based on availability and may vary) at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (double occupancy).
    • Two Buffet of Buffets passes, giving you 24 hours of access to the city’s most spectacular all-you-can-eat buffets.
    • Two fitness center day passes.
    • Complimentary internet access for one device
    • Round-trip airport transportation between Caesars Palace and McCarran International Airport.
    • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2015 and must be booked no later than 30 days in advance of scheduled arrival date.
  • Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace two day package $590 (5 available) $531 with Amex discount
    • Dinner for two (2) at Nobu Restaurant and Lounge valued at up to $300.
    • Transportation to and from airport and hotel.
    • In-room tea service
    • Daily fitness center access for two (2)
    • Complimentary internet access for one (1) device.
  • Paris Las Vegas two day package $350 (10 available) $315 with Amex discount
    • Accommodations in a Red Room Premier for two consecutive nights at Paris Las Vegas. (double occupancy)
    • Dinner for two including beverages at your choice of restaurant (valued up to $150)
    • $150 credit to use for your choice of treatments at Mandara spa
    • Champagne in-room
    • Ground Airport Transportation in Las Vegas

Key terms:

  • Package not available over New Year’s weekend or Super Bowl weekend. Additional blackout dates and restrictions may apply.
  • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2015, and booked no later than thirty (30) days in advance of scheduled arrival.
  • At least one (1) person in the party must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older to redeem this package. Any minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Buy or no buy:

These Vegas packages can be an okay deal, with some being better than others.  It is hard to say how good a deal they are as it depends in large part how much you would have spent on lodging the days you go to Vegas, and how much usage you get out of all the extra perks.  I have gotten very good value from a similar package at the Mirage in the past, but that is only because I was going to spend money on eating out, shows, and spa anyway.  If for example you wanted to stay at Nobu and thought you would spend around $300 at Nobu Restaurant anyway, then that package may make sense as you often won’t beat those prices unless you are getting stuff comped.  None of these jump out at me as absolutely amazing deals, so this will be a “no buy” for me…though I am a bit interested in some of the Vegas packages in later weeks.

 

Wednesday May 28th CityPASS Tickets to Several Major US Cities

You can buy packages of tickets to popular attractions in several major cities in the United States.

  • CityPASS booklet of prepaid admission tickets to 4 San Francisco attractions, plus a Muni & Cable Car 7-Day Transportation Passport $86 – 125 available ($77.40 with Amex discount)
  • CityPASS booklet of prepaid admission tickets to 5 Atlanta attractions $74 – 75 available ($66.60 with Amex discount)
  • CityPASS booklet of prepaid admission tickets to 5 Chicago attractions $94 – 125 available ($84.60 with Amex discount)
  • CityPASS booklet of prepaid admission tickets to 5 Seattle attractions $64 – 88 available ($57.60 with Amex discount)
  • CityPASS booklet of prepaid admission tickets to 6 New York City attractions $109 – 150 available ($98.10 with Amex discount)

Key terms:

  • Children’s passes sold separately at CityPASS.com.
  • Ticket booklets are valid for nine (9) consecutive days; the validity period begins on the first day of use.
  • Within 5 business days of your purchase, CityPASS will ship your New York CityPASS ticket booklets via complimentary UPS Ground. UPS delivery takes 5-7 days. UPS Ground is available only to physical addresses and does not deliver to P.O. boxes.
  • Ticket booklets must be activated (first used) no later than February 29, 2016. Once activated (first used), the ticket booklets are valid for 9 consecutive days.

Buy or no buy:

A CityPASS can be a very good way to see a number of tourist attractions in a given city, as it is a lower price than buying each thing separately and prevents you from having to wait in ticket lines at each individual place.  However, of course this is only a good deal if you actually want to go to the attractions that are included in each city.  The reason this is a “no buy” for me is that I don’t have immediate plans to go to one of these cities and do these attractions, and the prices are the same as on the CityPASS website.  The only discount is the 10% you will get off for using an Amex.  Make sure you buy children tickets directly from CityPASS so you aren’t over-paying for those.  This makes it a potential buy if you have near term plans to use the passes, but otherwise it isn’t worth speculatively buying since they have expiration dates and the savings over the normal CityPASS price is very minimal.

 

Thursday May 29th Five Night Stay at Diamond Resorts International properties.

This deal is for a 5 consecutive-night stay in a 1-bedroom room, at one of 63 participating Diamond Resorts International properties. Double occupancy. View a list of participating resort locations here $600 ($540 with Amex discount) – 200 available.

Key terms:

  • Within 10 business days of purchase, a certificate will be mailed via U.S. Mail to the shipping address you provide at purchase. This certificate will include instructions on how to redeem your vacation.
  • The certificate is valid until July 4, 2015 (one year from date of issue).
  • This certificate is non-transferable.
  • Credit card deposit will be required for incidentals.
  • Certificate expires July 4, 2015.
  • Reservations are subject to availability.
  • Diamond Resorts reserves the right to select alternative accommodations, such as hotel, motel or condominium.
  • Certificate may be subject to high season, holiday and other blackout periods depending on destination.
  • Certificate is valid for accommodations and the room tax associated with reservation. It does not include airfare, food, beverages, taxes, port fees, gratuities, transportation to and from airport, service charges or other incidental charges.

Buy or no buy:

Diamond International has destinations in lots of places that sound like great family vacations spots such as Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, Ka’anapali Beach Club, Flamingo Beach Resort, and The Kenmore Club.  Assuming you have an Amex card, the $108/night can be a fantastic price for expensive places like Maui.  In some other destinations, you may actually be over-paying at $108/night.  The trick is that with time shares you will have availability issues during peak season, so keep that in mind.

This is a no buy for me as I don’t have any immediate needs for stays of this nature, and I don’t want to deal with availability issues, but there are some situations where I could absolutely see it being a good value for family travel – especially since you will likely have more room to spread out than a typical hotel room.

 

Friday May 30th: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tickets

Single day admission tickets to SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego or SeaWorld San Antonio or Busch Gardens Florida or Busch Gardens Virginia.

  • One day ticket to Busch Gardens Florida or Busch Gardens Virginia – $45 ($40.50 with Amex discount) – 640 available
  • One day ticket to SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego or SeaWorld San Antonio – $49 ($44.10 with Amex discount) – 900 available

Key terms:

  • Expires May 15, 2015.
  • Valid during regular operating hours only.
  • Not valid for separately ticketed events.
  • Max purchase of 6
  • No blackout dates.

Buy or no buy:

SeaWorld tickets can be around $100 if you pay full price at the gate, though of course hopefully you would never do that as discounts are easy to come by.  However, unless you are getting the tickets free thanks to being under 3 years old, by being a teacher in FL, Southern CA, or TX or via being active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman or their dependent, this is a very good deal if you just want to visit a park for one day.

If you want to visit multiple days then you may do better simply getting a season pass or a multi-day visit ticket, but for one day tickets you probably aren’t going to beat these prices.  I find that SeaWorld visits get pricey in a hurry thanks to parking, food, and extra activity fees, so you will absolutely want to keep the admission price as low as you can.  We don’t have another visit to one of these parks on our calendar, so we are a “no buy” on this, but you should absolutely consider buying if you plan a one-day visit to one of these parks before May 15, 2015.

Are any of the Week 1 deals “buys” for your family? – See more at: http://mommypoints.boardingarea.com/2014/05/13/breakdown-of-all-week-1-daily-getaway-deals-all-5-weeks-released/#sthash.xFTgXFoA.dpuf

Are any of the Week 2 deals “buys” for your family?

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Comments

  1. Hi Summer. Continued kudos for your blog and I know you’re just doing your job. But please consider not in any way promoting the evil (yes… Evil) that is SeaWorld. I’m guessing you haven’t seen the insightful and sickening “Blackfish” movie. It is an expose on how the corporation tortures these majestic animals and the number of horrors that have gone on. Whatever you believe, please tell me you believe a huge animal should not be captured and kept against its will in a bathtub tiny tank relative to its size. Sorry I know this is not a forum for this type of stuff but I, like millions of others globally, want that park shut down for good. Sadly while they make millions of dollars they will fight til the end.

  2. I like Seaworld. Without it I would never have gotten to see some of the animals and fish like those and we wouldn’t be aware of how great they are. Millions of people have become more involved due to Seaworld even if they are just after profit. Just like Zoo’s all over the world.
    The main reason for my post is that I don’t see buying any of these deals unless you are getting ready to use them anyway. It’s just not cheap enough to buy on speculation.

  3. @DaninSTL. Sure, ignore the cruelty, torture, accidents and deaths even, including a young trainer. You are what’s important… You get to see the animals, at whatever cost to them. A true selfless exceptional human being you must be.

  4. Summer, if your daughter watched Blackfish, I am quite certain you could save hundreds of dollars in SeaWorld tickets, food, parking, etc. I highly suggest you watch this movie yourself and make your own decision about the value of this “deal.”

  5. I totally understand the SeaWorld concerns and have seen the movie. That said, I think there is also value with kids seeing and learning to appreciate animals. Dont know that we will be returning to SeaWorld but not my place to make that decision for anyone else. If anyone wants to go might as well get the best deal possible.

  6. I haven’t been to Sea World since the one in Ohio closed years ago. I used to attend media day each year. Best deal ever free admission, free food and drinks and hardly a crowd because it was only open to members of the media and our families.

    I always went to cedar point to ride any new coasters on media day too. Now that I’m retired I buy a platinum pass so I get free parking and admission to any cedar fair park in the U.S. or Canada. If you go more than three times in a session its a better deal.

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