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In the time of COVID-19, one thing’s for sure: Planning a trip isn’t easy.
Faced with ever-changing restrictions, new guidelines and shifting infection rates, today’s getaway could be tomorrow’s hot spot, or vice versa. It’s for this reason that more leisure travelers than ever are making last-minute travel plans. According to a recent AAA report, 65% of travelers booked a hotel within seven days of travel this September, up from 45% last year.
Road trips have also been rising in popularity since the pandemic started because they offer a socially distant means of transportation and generally require less planning than far-flung escapes.
Fortunately, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a weekend in the city, there are more options than ever when it comes to exciting, drivable destinations to satisfy your wanderlust. And Marriott Bonvoy™ Escapes can help simplify the process of choosing a place to stay.
Launching every Wednesday, Marriott Bonvoy Escapes is a five-day sale that lets travelers book stays for the following four weekends (Thursday through Sunday stays at hotels, or any night at resorts).
It’s a solid deal: Marriott Bonvoy members save 25% and nonmembers save 20% on stays at more than 1,500 participating hotels throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. As always, Marriott Bonvoy members will earn bonus points, receive the best rates, get a room upgrade when available, have a flexible cancellation policy and enjoy free Wi-Fi and contactless mobile check-in.
To find a participating hotel, enter your destination and travel dates on the Marriott Bonvoy Escapes page. And, make sure to maximize your rewards by booking your trip with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. The card confers automatic Silver status in Marriott’s loyalty program. Plus, you’ll earn 6x points per $1 spent on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy and earn a Free Night Certificate (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary. (Read the full Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card review.)
While destinations and participating hotels vary each week, here are four that caught our eye this time around.
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Marina del Rey Marriott in Marina del Rey, California
For a weekend beach escape, look no further than the Marina del Rey Marriott. Just five blocks from Venice Beach, guests can enjoy views of the harbor or Santa Monica from a private balcony. If you’re feeling social, take a dip in the pool or grab a spritz at the hotel’s trendy outdoor lounge.
Gallery: Photos: Swanky, social-distance-friendly Caribbean villas (USA TODAY)
What to do: Any visitor to Venice Beach knows the first stop should be the neighborhood’s famed boardwalk. Shop for souvenirs and watch the street performers (and bodybuilders). It’s also a great spot to try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding.
The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection in Philadelphia
Found in Philadelphia’s former City Hall Annex, the Notary Hotel showcases the stunning 1920s architecture that makes this historic landmark so special (think: original marble floors and brass moldings). It’s in the city center, making it a great home base for exploring when you’re short on time.
What to do: There’s plenty to do outside this time of year in Philadelphia before winter really kicks in. Check out the sculptures and colorful lights at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens or go ice skating at Dilworth Park. If you need a head start on holiday shopping, Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and Fall Artist and Artisans Market are just two outdoor (and festive) options.
Disney Swan in Orlando, Florida
Within walking distance of Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the Swan is a great choice for a Disney World getaway. It’s also not often that you’ll find a great deal on a hotel that’s right on Disney property, which makes this trip extra tempting. A Westin hotel, you can expect the brand’s signature Heavenly Beds, lots of dining options (including a character breakfast), five heated pools, a playground and a sandy lakeside “beach.”
What to do: If you’re staying at the Swan and heading to the Disney parks, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll receive many of the perks of Disney hotel guests, such as access to 60-day FastPass+ reservations, Extra Magic Hours, free parking at Disney World theme parks and free bus transportation. (Note that FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.) If you’d rather take it easy, the Swan is adjacent to shopping and dining at Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course.
Courtyard Page at Lake Powell in Page, Arizona
Surrounded by traditional adobe Pueblo architecture, guests can cozy up to an outdoor fireplace and take in the breathtaking views of Glen Canyon at this charming, Southwest-themed hotel. The Courtyard Page features a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, 24/7 fitness center and newly renovated rooms.
What to do: Page, a small town in Northern Arizona, serves as a popular home base for visiting many of Arizona and Utah’s scenic natural wonders. Antelope Canyon, one of the most photographed sites in the American West, is just an hour’s drive away, while Bryce Canyon, Zion and even Grand Canyon national parks are within striking distance if you’re up for a day trip. Not that there isn’t plenty to do closer to town. In Page, you can visit a Navajo heritage center, hike up to the jaw-dropping Horseshoe Bend or take a boat ride on Lake Powell.
If you’re heading out on a spur-of-the-moment road trip, make sure to explore your options with Marriott Bonvoy Escapes. You’ll discover great value hotels in some of the country’s most popular destinations.
Featured image courtesy of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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