We just finished seven nights in Paris, where we stayed at three different hotels and changed properties every two days. While we very much enjoyed our time in this gorgeous city, hotel hopping here (especially with kids!) was not something I would recommend lightly.
When we each travel solo, both Josh and I are fine with bouncing from one hotel to another each night in order to earn the maximum number of points for each trip, or stay credits towards status or a current promo.
Sometimes it’s not super fun (okay, it’s never really fun at all), but it’s usually totally worth it (except for when it’s not at all). The point is that we’re no strangers to the process. We know what’s involved. So we decided to do it in Paris, because our stay would be completely free that way.
And a free stay in Paris is just one of those things that it’s hard to refuse. 🙂
It was more of a pain than we expected.
The amount of work involved to pack up four people in very cramped quarters is no joke. We packed light at the outset of our trip, but we have (ahem) acquired some additional baggage along the way. (It was mostly because of the amazing shopping in Japan: Muji, GU, Tokyu Hands and Uniqlo…it’s all your fault).
Each time we packed up, it took over an hour, sometimes more if various family members were having meltdowns or other issues. Then it took another good hour to schlep to the next location, especially since we took the metro instead of a cab.
So by the time we were rolling again, it would be – at best – late morning. Sometimes it would almost be lunchtime. We definitely lost valuable daylight hours doing all of our moving around.
I would do it again.
Even though it was a total pain in the butt, I would do the same thing again. I would just have a better plan. I think next time I would organize our luggage better, and have:
- One suitcase for ALL of the (sort of) clean clothes
- A suitcase for all of the dirty clothes
- Another suitcase for toiletries and other necessities
- Another suitcase for stuff that we weren’t currently using (cough, Muji).
That way, we wouldn’t have to constantly rifle through all of our suitcases to find one missing item, sort through clothes to find clean-enough outfits, and move things from one place to the next, constantly.
It was worth it because it was free.
There’s no way we could have afforded all of these hotel stays if we had to pay with cash! Because of the very strict occupancy rules (and very small spaces) in Europe and Asia, as a family of four, we needed two rooms at each of these hotels.
First we stayed two nights at the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan. This cost us 50,000 Club Carlson points each, for a total of 100,000 points: this was possible because each of us has a Club Carlson Visa, so we were able to take advantage of the “buy one, get one free” award night feature that is a benefit of having the card. (Note that the award rates have increased for this property: each award night is now 70,000 points, so if we booked the same stay today, we would each pay 70,000 points, for a total of 140,000 points).
We spent the following two nights at the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees, for another 50,000 Club Carlson points apiece.
Then we bookmarked our Radisson spree with another two-night stay at Le Metropolitan.
(Tip: you can easily transfer Club Carlson points between family accounts by calling in. We were able to fine-tune each of our balances that way, so we didn’t have to mess around with topping off account by buying points, etc…which was nice).
We finished our time in Paris with a one-night stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. (Two rooms, which cost us 30,000 Hyatt points each).
So the grand points total for our seven night/fourteen room stay in Paris was:
- 300,000 Club Carlson points
- 60,000 Hyatt points
- ZERO DOLLARS
…which was VERY nice.
Have you hotel hopped on vacation in Europe? How did it go for you?