We just completed a 10-day, 9-night road trip where we were able to enjoy 12 brewery locations! I consider the trip a success and thought I would share a few tips I found that worked well.
Lodging- As usual, I could have used points but decided to take advantage of Marriott’s summer bonus point promotion to earn some extra points to go along with my Marriott Visa. I also obtained Gold status recently which I put to use for the free upgraded internet (great for kid’s tablets) and hopeful upgrades but that’s another post in its entirety. It looks like my final tally is about 22,000 Marriott points earned for the 5 paid nights.
I did use my annual free night from Marriott and we also added in three nights of camping to help control lodging costs. My total lodging with taxes and/or fees was $982.19 for an avg. per night of $109. Not too bad in my opinion. I also made sure to recheck my hotel bookings where I was able to cancel and rebook several times. This is where booking direct with the hotels can save you hassle and money. It may seem silly for only $10 or $15 but when you can do that to multiple nights it definitely provided us some beer money.
We also stayed outside of San Francisco which saved big money and or points. We took a ferry into SF from Vallejo, CA which acted as a great little scenic tour as well.
Travel- We made sure (ok my wife did) to have plenty of activities for the kids. Our daughter is the inpatient one and our son will just watch Paw patrol in the car for 5 days straight! Pack some extra movies, games, and activities. My wife printed out a map showing our trip so we wouldn’t hopefully hear, “Are we there yet” quite as much. It kind of worked.
For Gas, I downloaded the Exxon Mobile Speed Pass App which for the summer will earn you a free $20 after 3 fill ups. Be sure to link your plenty account to it. It takes about 5 minutes to do everything and is simple and easy. You can create multiple accounts so have fun and save. You can pay right from your app for gas which is great.
Food- We basically attempted to stop a family friendly brewery for lunch and dinner when possible. This gave us adults a chance to sample new beer and the kids can eat and in some cases, play. We would bring the Kindles in to keep them happy too. Use that CC for triple points on dining and the Chase freedom after July 1 for 5x the points on dining too. For those with credit cards that earn more for dining, most of the breweries usually code as dining so you can buy some beer to take home and earn points.
We got to visit some great locations and great breweries. I’ll be sure to give you my rankings of breweries soon.