May 24, 2023
San Antonio is an AWESOME city to visit for a quick, weekend getaway. It is full of life, culture, and great food! You can find many historical sites (The Alamo) which tell the stories of Texas’ history. P2 (My hubby/player 2) had to attend a healthcare conference in San Antonio. I decided to take the kids for an impromptu trip while adding a few more nights toward my 20-night Hyatt Globalist status challenge.
Flight: Two one-way main cabin tickets plus one companion pass/fees- (TPA-SAT)= 21,170 SW points plus $16.80
A one-way main cabin ticket plus two companion passes/fees (SAT-TPA) = 12,592 SW points plus $16.80
Hotel: 2 nights at the Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market = 11,500 Hyatt points (Cash price= $128/nt plus taxes/fees)
1 night at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa = 20,000 Hyatt points (Cash price= $406/nt plus taxes and fees)
Car rental: SUV (Rav4 upgraded to New Chevy Blazer) Purchased through Capital One travel portal= $171.37
33,762 SW rapid rewards points and $33.60
31,5000 Hyatt points
$171.37 cash for car rental
3 round trip tickets, 3 nights hotel stay, and a 3-day car rental in San Antonio
TOTAL CASH OUT OF POCKET= $204.97
P2 and I each qualified for Southwest (SW) Companion passes in January 2023. Companion passes allow you to bring one person with you on any SW flight for 2 years. “A Rapid-Rewards member who earns 135,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest per calendar year will qualify for Companion Pass” (Southwest Rapid Rewards T&C ). Southwest companion pass season comes around October/November every year. There is a whole strategy to qualifying for a companion pass, but I will save that for another time.
I had over 175,000 points in my Southwest account that were gained through combined sign-up bonuses from a SW personal and business card. I paid 21,170 plus $11.20 for 2 tickets from TPA-SAT and the 3rd ticket only cost $5.60 with the use of the companion pass. My return flight cost 12,592 points and $5.60. I paid an additional $11.20 in fees for the two littles. My ticket was paid with points and we used both companion passes for the kid’s return flights. P2 was coming home on the same day as our return flight so we were able to use his companion pass for one of the kids return ticket. Total cash out of pocket = $33.60 for three people round-trip.
We arrived on a Thursday night and planned on staying until Saturday morning near Downtown San Antonio. The hotel I booked didn’t actually make a difference because we were going to be out and about all day. I found the Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market for only 5,000 points on Thursday night and 6,500 points on Friday night. I have to admit, this was not the nicest hotel, but it met our needs. Free breakfast and a bed to sleep in…I try not to be high maintenance LOL. I had some points in my Hyatt account from a “Bonus Journeys” promotion so I did not have to transfer any points and booked directly. This stay counted as nights 14 & 15 towards my 20-night Globalist status challenge offered by Bilt. This promotion went live in April 2023 and you had to sign up for it before the deadline to join. Hyatt requires 60 qualifying night stays to reach Globalist status. Bilt offered this same benefit status for only 20 nights between specific dates in May through July. Globalist includes AWESOME perks like free parking, free upgrades (suites when available), and free club lounge access. We are going to Hawaii for New Year’s and I thought it would be awesome if we could try for an upgraded room with Globalist status. The real fun came when we decided to book a night at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Night 16 of my Globalist challenge only cost 20,000 points! This resort included a waterpark area, lazy river, movies on the lawn, s’mores on the fire, kid’s bicycles/play area and a spa. It was truly beautiful and I wish we would have stayed here for the entire trip. Cash price for this stay would have been over $406. That’s a calculation of 0.02 cents per point! If I booked this same hotel through the credit card travel portal, it would have cost almost double the points with my CSP (around 39,500 points). Credit card portals only give a 1:1 point value. You can save so much money when you transfer points and book direct.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have SEVERE motion sickness. I initially planned to Uber back and forth from the Riverwalk to the hotel/resort, but I really didn’t want to be sick on this trip. That plan quickly went out the window when I realized the cost of an Uber and the fact that I needed car/booster seats for the littles. I looked up a last minute car rental in the Capital One travel portal. I know, I know… It sounds hypocritical to say not to book throught the credit card portal, but my startegy is sound. I literally booked this car rental the same day we were scheduled to leave. I found a great rate for a Toyota Rav4 SUV through Sixt Car Rental for $171.37. Booking through the portal gave us 10x the points! I knew there was no chance of a cancellation, so I took the chance. I declined the rental car insurance because we have primary rental car protection with our Capital One Venture X card. Here’s a mom hack for you… I forgot my inflatable booster seats at home. The car rental company wanted to charge an additional $100 for the seats. I found the closest Walmart to the airport, made an online pick-up order and picked up two booster seats for $40! I carried them on the plane for our return flight (FYI-regular car booster seats are not FAA approved) and now we have extra boosters for when family comes in town! Yay me!
Weekend getaways are EVERYTHING!
As healthcare workers, sometimes we have to make the most of three-day weekends or short trips when we can get them. A trip that costs less than $250 (not including food and activities) is a pretty AMAZING deal! Trips like this are what keep me sane and help give me the energy boost I need to come back to work with a fresh mindset. Start counting down the days till your next trip, Fam. I’m dreaming of crystal blue waters and island breezes. Until my next post…