Breaking Down Week 4 Of Daily Getaways

There are plenty of deals to be had in Week 4 of Daily Getaways.  With the exception of the Hyatt Daily Getaway in Week 3, this is one of the strongest all-around weeks.

There are also still some offers left from previous weeks.  You can find my Week 1 recap here, and my Week 2 recap here.

In case you’re not familiar, Daily Getaways are daily deals sponsored by the US Travel Association.  Some are better than others, so you need to think about whether you can take full advantage of the offer before buying.

For the more popular offers, they will sell out quickly, which means being around right when they go on sale each day at 1:00 pm EDT.  Some offers will sell out in hours, some in minutes.  It’s also important to be patient.  If you click shortly after an offer becomes available and it shows sold out, keep trying.  Someone may have an offer in their shopping cart but change their mind or have their computer crash.  When that happens, their bad luck or change of heart can be your good fortune.

There’s no 10% discount this year for paying with an AMEX card.  However, it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the pricing of most deals, with some being slightly better (and others the same or slightly worse) than last year.

Here are the Week 4 offers:

Monday, April 13th, 2015:  Universal Orlando Packages On Sale

There are 3 separate offers:

Four (3) day tickets for $700

Right now, Universal Orlando is running a special where you get the 3rd day free when you buy a 2-day pass.  That ticket is $194.99.  That means this deal will save you $80 if this was your exact plan.  I haven’t been to Universal Studios since the first George Bush was President (no joke), so I can’t say how many days you need to explore the two parks (these tickets are good for both Orlando parks).

Private VIP Experience for $3,042

This includes admission to the parks for 12 people, all of whom can take part in the VIP Experience.  You get free parking and lunch, and 8 hours of a VIP tour guide.  Their website lists the pricing for a slightly less private version of this at $329 a person.  We’ll assume the private version is more money (because, why not?).  That means if you have 12 folks in your party, you’ll save at least $1,000.  But, getting 12 people together for something like this can be tough.

Universal Orlando Vacation Package for $2,472

This includes round-trip airfare for 4 people from a major metro airport, 3 nights in one of their hotels, round-trip transportation to and from the airport and park tickets for 3 days.  We already know from above that the value of the tickets is just above $700.  Orlando is a cheap city to get to, so I wouldn’t budget more than $250 per ticket towards airfare.  Hotels are another matter. They don’t guarantee what property you’ll be at.  And, while I find plenty of nights where hotels are over $300 a night, there are plenty of packages that drive the price well under that.  Combine that with lots of blackout dates for this package, and I would pass.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015: Caesars Las Vegas Packages

This is mostly a mixed bag, not too different from last year’s Caesar’s offers.

2-night Harrah’s stay for $299

2 nights in a mini-suite, 2 Buffet of Buffets passes, round-trip limo transfers, fitness center and internet access along with a bottle of champagne.  The buffet passes are worth about $120.  Is the rest worth $180?  Probably, depending on when you go.  But, I don’t see a screaming value here.

2 nights at Caesars for $465

Daily Getaways

The Pool at Caesars Palace

2 nights in a regular room at Caesars, 2 Buffet of Buffets passes, round-trip limo transfers, fitness center and internet access.  I just don’t see getting significantly more than $400 in value out of two nights in a regular room at Caesars consistently enough to make this a huge savings, but you can probably pocket $100 if you were planning to enjoy the buffets.

2 nights at the Caesars Hotel of Your Choice for $425

This is one of the best deals of the Caesars bunch and a repeat of last year, though at a higher price.  You have your pick of Caesars hotels, $100 dining credit, $150 spa credit, round-trip limo transfers, fitness center and internet access.  2 nights in a regular room are certainly worth more than $175.  If you can get full value for the dining and spa, this is an easy package to save a few hundred dollars on.

2-night Nobu Hotel package for $590

This is a pretty solid deal.  Two nights at Nobu Hotel, $300 dining credit, round-trip limo transfers, fitness center and internet access along with tea service in your room.  There are a few times I found Nobu for cheaper than $200 a night, but plenty where it’s much higher.  Since half of the package value is covered by the dining credit, you should be able to save a couple hundred dollars pretty easily.

2 nights at Planet Hollywood for $500

This is a repeat of last year’s offer, but $30 more expensive.

  • Enjoy a $100 dining credit to use at your choice of restaurants, bars and lounges within the hotel.
  • 2 Show Tickets to the Caesars Entertainment Show of your choice
  • Complimentary in-room bottle of champagne.
  • Round-trip transportation to and from McCarran International Airport and the hotel.

2-night Rio Secco Golf Package for $520

This is another repeat at a higher price (about $50 more than last year).

A Hollywood Hip King is essentially their standard room and it will set you back at least $150 a night and over $200 on most nights I searched.  The show tickets are probably worth between $150 and $200 depending on what show you pick.  Between those two and the dining credit I could see saving $100 to $200.

  • Stay 2 consecutive nights in a Premium Studio Suite at Rio Secco
  • Enjoy a $100 dining credit to use at your choice of restaurants, bars and lounges within the hotel
  • A round of Golf for 2 at Rio Secco Golf Club.
  • Round-trip transportation for 2 between the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and the Rio Secco Golf Club.
  • Round-trip transportation for 2 between the McCarran International Airport and the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

A studio suite at the Rio is at least $250 a night.  Golf starts at roughly $120 a person and goes up from there.  So, between the room nights, the golf and dinner, you can save a couple hundred dollars.

Wednesday, April 15th 2015: Hertz Packages

5,500 points for $252 (about 4.6 cents each)

13,200 points for $428 (3.2 cents)

16,500 points for $698 (4.2 cents)

These are pretty much an exact match from last year.  Again, oddly, the cheapest package is not the largest.  I asked the same question last year, is a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards point worth 3.2 cents?

I think so, even given the devaluation the program took last year.  The exclusion of SUVs from specialty rentals is a big hit, and they’ve expanded the range of dates where you need to redeem double points.  But, for one-way rentals, 3.2 cents is still a phenomenal deal.  Standard weekly rentals are still a really good savings as well.  There aren’t a lot of these packages available, so be ready on time.

Thursday, April 16th 2015:  Discounted Busch Gardens and Sea World Tickets

Daily Getaways

Face Painting At Busch Gardens

These prices are both about $5 more than last year’s deal (essentially the non-AMEX price from last year), but still a significant discount.

Don’t forget to get free season passes for young children if you plan on hitting Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Busch Gardens tickets are $45

Sea World tickets are $49

Daily Getaways

Pizza Family In Penguin Cave At Sea World

Busch Gardens Tampa’s normal price is $85 a piece, though they’re running a special right now for $75 midweek.    But, a 2-day pass is $99, making the Daily Getaway a wash if you plan on multiple days.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is $75 normally.  But, you can get unlimited Busch Gardens and Water Country trips for the season for $100 a person.  Since Water Country normally costs $51, the annual pass for both may be the better value if you can hit both.  We’ve been able to do Busch Gardens in one day the past few years, scoring tickets from Daily Getaways.

Sea World Orlando charges $85 for a normal ticket, $75 for weekdays.

Sea World San Antonio charges $52 a day, making this deal a wash.

Sea World San Diego charges $89 for a day pass, but currently has a deal where that same $89 gets you a season pass.  Consider that before buying.

Friday, April 17th, 2015: 20% Discount on Marriott Gift Cards

This is 1% better than last year’s 19% discount.  If you’re a Marriott fan, you’re rarely going to see a better discount than this.  There are 3 different denominations:

$1000 gift card for $800 (limit 1)

$100 gift card for $80 (limit 5)

$500 gift card for $400 (limit 2)

There are only 75 of the $1000 cards, versus 308 of the $500 cards.  These will absolutely go immediately.  Be prepared if you want to get in on this one.

The post Breaking Down Week 4 Of Daily Getaways was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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  1. How hard is it to redeem marriot gift cards? I dont want to drop $1000 for one, then when I go to check out, the customer service person has no clue what the heck to do.

    1. If you are at a regular domestic Marriott no problem at all. A new property or Autograph Collection property you might get a blank stare but they should be able to do it, just make sure to give yourself about 15 mins to check out, it always seems to takes them a while. I haven’t used them overseas.

      The one issue is not all rates are officially valid for payment with Marriott giftcards and there are some reports of them not accepting gift cards for AAA rates. I have not run in to this the few times I have used them.

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