A couple months ago I enjoyed my best value Choice Hotels stay when I redeemed 32,000 points for 4 nights at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park. With rates going for over $150 per night, it was an awesome award stay for my older two kids and I. So when we had another need, this time much more local, Choice points were at the forefront of my mind.

My daughter’s 13th birthday is coming up. She is pretty social, and having a party with her friends is a must. Which means that planning it at home is less than ideal. Her two  younger brothers like to be in the middle of everything and don’t offer her and her friends much space, which is exactly what you don’t want as a budding teenage girl. Plus, our house is just small. Parties with more than just a few kids are hard. My son had only five over for his recent birthday, and our house felt very full.

So my wife had the idea that we book a local hotel room for the party. She and the girls could make it a sleepover. They wouldn’t necessarily have more space, but at least it would be all theirs. Things is…we don’t have many choices locally on points.

Booking The Hotel For My Daughter’s Party

We have exactly two IHG properties and one Hilton property within a 35-minute drive from our home. Neither of these were ideal. They are a bit far away for other families, and the IHG properties in particular are terrible from an award value perspective. We’d also need two rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, which would run 80,000 IHG points.

The other other options are Choice and Best Western. I’m completely out of Best Western points, so I headed over to the Choice Hotels website.

Which is where I struck gold. The first Choice Hotel property, a Comfort Inn & Suites just 15 minutes from our house, was a solid option. Just like awards at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park, every room was offered for the same rate! Sure, a rate of 16,000 Choice points is less than stellar for a hotel where standard rooms are going for $100 per night. But when you can get a 2-room suite with a king and two queen beds, the calculus changes completely. We’d only need one room.

The hotel was asking $202 after taxes, so I was actually getting 1.26 cents per Choice point. Not bad at all. I peg Choice points at about 0.8 cents each, as an average value. But I tend to get more with very selective use.

Comfort Inn Staycation Birthday


The girls will be able to enjoy the pool, hang out for hours, and have a fun sleepover. The boys and I can make ourselves scarce when the core festivities are over (i.e. cake, presents, and the like) and leave my wife to chaperone the fun. I hope she gets some sleep!

I love saving money on travel, but I also love saving money on things like this close to home. It’s not exactly a “staycation,” but it is still an awesome use of points that serves a great purpose for our family.