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Old May 5, 10, 12:25 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Suggestions on destination for using TP with kids

We all know that Travel Packages are the best redemption value for cashing in points. Now that the Marriott relationship with AA is ending I want to redeem a package so I can get AA miles.

The problem is I can't think of a place of a place where i would want to stay 7 consecutive nights with the kids and not run out of options and get bored. The only place where this a lot to do for 7 days straight is Orlando but we used our last TP this past Christmas in Orlando so don't want to repeat it.

Since I have noticed that many of you redeem points for TP I am looking for suggestions...

I still have 1 year past June 30th to actually use the stay certificate which thankfully gives enough time to plan things out.
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Old May 5, 10, 5:35 am   #2
 
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We are using a travel certificate to stay at the Wailea Marriott. I can't imagine we will be bored there
My kids are really looking forward to the trip!
We are going to do a Luau and a snorkel/sailing trip.
We are also considering the Road to Hana.
Otherwise we will be at the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon!!

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Old May 5, 10, 6:03 am   #3
 
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I've used travel packages for 7-night stays w/kids at Marriotts in Marco Island, FL, Monterey, CA, and Anaheim, CA.

Each trip had unique elements, but I would say boredom was not a problem at any...
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Old May 5, 10, 6:15 am   #4
 
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How old/many kids? Are you willing to travel internationally? Preferred time of year to travel?

I can make better suggestions if I know their age and how many you have.
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Old May 5, 10, 6:19 am   #5
 
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How old are your kids. There are a lot of destinations with many activities to keep families busy for a one week period. If Hawaii is too far there are also several Carribbean/Southern options that exist.

Aruba
Cancun
Costa Rica

At any of the above there would be plenty of activities available to keep most kids of all ages busy. Not to mention beaches, pools and the resorts themselves.

We head to Cancun for two weeks every summer. This year my kids are 3 and 6. We will not be bored as there is plenty to do as well as a nice pool and great beach. Sure I get to build lots of Sandcastles on the beach, however, this is their vacation for me being away off and on during the year!!
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Old May 5, 10, 7:27 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yul lite View Post
How old/many kids? Are you willing to travel internationally? Preferred time of year to travel?

I can make better suggestions if I know their age and how many you have.
My kids are 8 and 13 years old and quite active so like outdoor activities. I am willing to travel internationally as well - preferably an AA / oneworld destination.
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Old May 5, 10, 7:28 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svasandani View Post
We all know that Travel Packages are the best redemption value for cashing in points. Now that the Marriott relationship with AA is ending I want to redeem a package so I can get AA miles.

The problem is I can't think of a place of a place where i would want to stay 7 consecutive nights with the kids and not run out of options and get bored. The only place where this a lot to do for 7 days straight is Orlando but we used our last TP this past Christmas in Orlando so don't want to repeat it.

Since I have noticed that many of you redeem points for TP I am looking for suggestions...

I still have 1 year past June 30th to actually use the stay certificate which thankfully gives enough time to plan things out.
I highly recommend your kids use TP.
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Old May 5, 10, 7:53 am   #8
 
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We have twice spent a week in London with our kids and still felt like there was more to do. It is practically impossible to be bored in London.
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Old May 5, 10, 8:05 am   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I have a 10 and 13 yo, and here are their favorites:

Australia - used my nights in Sydney (in August), but also went to Cairns and Surfer's Paradise. LOTS of activities and fun for kids.

London - 13 y.o. loved it and has been angling to go back for a couple of
years now. Stayed at County Hall, but there are other 2 double bed options.

Hawaii - Honolulu Marriott and Maui. I don't think I'd use points in Honolulu as you can usually get a room for around $150 and there is no lounge anyways. I had a travel package that was expiring so I needed to use it.

Also really liked Hong Kong and Beijing, but that may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Lower on the list:

San Juan
Prague
Berlin
Amsterdam

I prefer to use my points at hotels with a lounge, which the above all do apart from Honolulu.
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Old May 5, 10, 8:31 am   #10
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I'm going to redeem two TP's in the 2nd half of June for AA miles. I still haven't even figured out what cat to redeem for yet. Can we redeem say for a cat 1-5 cert then upgrade with miles to a higher category or redeem down if we have want a lower category?

I have two kids 8 & 10 and I'm taking them to AU but don't know where we are going yet, would like to use my MR certs but no sense in booking till I am able to book award tix.

other wise, I'll probably do the Disney World/Land trips, key west maybe.. otherwise, Hawaii is a possibilty but I'm doing HHV (hilton for ten days this year) and Maui with Hyatt so I'm not sure I'll get back there to use the MR certs in time.

I'm still a bit concerned as to how much bang for the buck I can get for these certs
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Old May 5, 10, 8:46 am   #11
 
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TrojanHorse

If you also have Hilton points, I would suggest using Marriott for Sydney and Hilton for Cairns. In the end that is what we did, and then paid for 6 nights at the Courtyard in Surfer's Paradise (on a rate which included parking and breakfast for C$125). My kids were younger than yours are now when we went to Australia. If I ask them today where in the world they want to go - they would both answer back to Australia. They absolutely LOVED it, especially the week in Cairns.

I find Marriott quasi-useless for family stays in Spain, Italy and to a slightly lesser extent France. However, another suggestion would be Marriott in London and the ADT Hilton in Paris. We have done that before, and will be again this summer. Also, the Marriotts outside of London are mostly on pointsavers this summer, so some are 40,000 points for 5 nights (breakfast in but no lounge). I think that is a good value, especially since Hiltons in the same area are 30,000 points per night.
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Old May 5, 10, 8:55 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yul lite View Post
TrojanHorse

If you also have Hilton points, I would suggest using Marriott for Sydney and Hilton for Cairns. In the end that is what we did, and then paid for 6 nights at the Courtyard in Surfer's Paradise (on a rate which included parking and breakfast for C$125). My kids were younger than yours are now when we went to Australia. If I ask them today where in the world they want to go - they would both answer back to Australia. They absolutely LOVED it, especially the week in Cairns.

I find Marriott quasi-useless for family stays in Spain, Italy and to a slightly lesser extent France. However, another suggestion would be Marriott in London and the ADT Hilton in Paris. We have done that before, and will be again this summer. Also, the Marriotts outside of London are mostly on pointsavers this summer, so some are 40,000 points for 5 nights (breakfast in but no lounge). I think that is a good value, especially since Hiltons in the same area are 30,000 points per night.

I'm pretty much stuck on the HHV in Hawaii for ten days. I have burned through all my Hh points after this most recent devaluation and if I cancel now, I will be effectively losing points.

The initial hope is Marriott in AU using the certs although like I said, I need to get the award tix (QF) first; before trying for lodging.

I agree with MR in London.. I do that one often and the boys love London. I also agree MR is useless in Spain (at least Madrid). I'm also a SPG and Hyatt guy so that may help me out in AU if the Marriott thingy doesn't work. Im just shedding myself oh Hh after the Hawaii trip is completed.
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Old May 5, 10, 9:17 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I'm still a bit concerned as to how much bang for the buck I can get for these certs
It varies depending on where and when you are traveling, but below are some prime examples (nightly rates shown below include taxes and svc charge for ROR calculation purposes):

December
Hong Kong JW Cat 6 $450 1.75/pt
Ren Harbour View Cat 5 $400 2/pt

June
Paris Ren Vendome Cat 8 $490 1.4/pt
Paris MR CE Cat 8 $710 2/pt
Also probably Rome, definitely Moscow as it is very expensive. London one can usually find reasonable rates if one is flexible. I stayed there (RCC) for 5 nights at 132/nt (about $235 w/VAT) a little over a month ago.

Christmas/New Years
Phuket JW Cat 5 $700 3.25/pt Awards weeks are available Dec 25 - Jan 1
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Old May 5, 10, 9:20 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I still haven't even figured out what cat to redeem for yet. Can we redeem say for a cat 1-5 cert then upgrade with miles to a higher category or redeem down if we have want a lower category?
You should be able to pay the point difference to "up" your category to a higher level. I've never tried to "lower" the category level and I'm not sure if Marriott will do that. What I have done in the past when I wasn't sure where I wanted to use my TP award, was to order the Cat. 1-5 as you suggest. And then up it to a Cat. 6 or higher if needed.
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Old May 5, 10, 9:47 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
You should be able to pay the point difference to "up" your category to a higher level. I've never tried to "lower" the category level and I'm not sure if Marriott will do that. What I have done in the past when I wasn't sure where I wanted to use my TP award, was to order the Cat. 1-5 as you suggest. And then up it to a Cat. 6 or higher if needed.
thanks for the information as its pretty much what I had hoped to here; since that last post I did some looking at the cat 5's and 6's (nothing really was in the 7's or 8's that I thought I'd actually want to go too) and there were surprisingly quite a few 5's that would be of "value" to me and the 6's definitely hit some of my preferred locations

I think at least at this point, I will do one of each and since its only a 30K difference it won't take much to make this up as its two months cc charges or less than one megabonus difference.
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