Deluxe It Up - To Infinity & Beyond!

HS is probably the only one I would pay for. So much value there.


Looking for possible quick side trips on the Miami part of our Florida trip…

This definitely should be included in this Deluxe It Up thread.


We had a great time south of Miami on a “kill a post-cruise” day. Did the Everglades Alligator Farm, “Robert is Here” for some fresh fruit shakes, and lunch on Key Largo. Sat on the beach for a bit at the State Park on Key Largo, too.


Worth reminding people to Massage All the Search Parameters (MASP?) whenever looking for deals.

I’ve been stalking National Car Rental for several months now waiting for some sort of price drop for my 1-week rental this summer, but it really hasn’t moved more than a couple of $.

I usually try various combinations of pick up and drop off times, but that tactic hasn’t helped either- until today.

We will be flying into Orlando on a Friday, heading down to Miami for the weekend, then back up to Orlando until the following Friday. We’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency MCO Friday night to make the arrival for our Saturday morning flight a much easier roll downstairs and walk over situation.

Today when I searched that Friday - Friday rental with the same morning pickup and drop off times, I was presented with a very similar price to my current booking.

Since we’ll likely want to hang around Grand Cypress or maybe DS or eat at Geyser Point on our last day, we likely wouldn’t head over to MCO until later in the day.

Changing JUST my drop off time to 9:00PM instead of 9:00AM on the last day resulted in a $51 drop in price - for 12 MORE hours of rental! So weird.

For fun, I also checked renting in Miami airport instead - when using morning pick up and drop off times for the same dates the rental down there was about $170 less!

But, when I changed it to an evening drop off that last night it popped right back up to the higher full price I had booked in January. (I don’t really want to drive multiple hours back to Miami the last day to catch a plane, so flying into and out of Miami is far from my first choice for this trip anyway.)


Often times a weekly rate can be cheaper than a shorter trip, when they charge you a daily rate. So it is worth setting your return time to a week out and see if the price drops, even if a week is 2 or 3 days longer! There is no penalty for returning it early…and apparently some will actually credit you for returning it early, resulting in even bigger savings.

There can also an hourly versus daily rate…so adding a few hours to a day could give you a daily rate that is cheaper. (But I don’t know how many places do that…most just add a full day on, even you are over by just 1 hour.)


I just changed the flight for my July cruise to United. The dates are right in what likely will be the strike zone, and I just decided to be proactive. I was able to change a flight I already had booked and even ended up with a slight credit. Then I cancelled the AA flight and used the credit to book for the timing of the former United flight (for some reason it wouldn’t let me change directly) which will hopefully be after all this SugarHoneyIcedTea is over.


Quick follow up on trying to score a lower National rental price - we’re leaving on our trip in a few weeks, so I’ve been running random searches at various times each day to see if I could catch a big drop.

Since April I’ve been able to rebook a few times, saving $15-$35 or so each time and currently hold the $577.91 booking from 25 days ago. Since then the price has remained either within $2 of this price or temporarily jumped back up to $640 or more.

(I’m renting for a week, with the last day’s return set to 12 hours later than original pick up time.)

Out of curiosity, I’ve run the same rental for starting dates at various distances away to see how it changes based on window. Here’s today’s numbers.

I’m hoping that 3 days out price happens again in 2 weeks when we’re about to leave… would be an $80 savings over my current price.


I love seeing these updates from you. Gives me tips every time on what I should be doing to save money.


Quick follow up this week - the numbers are just not panning out this week: I’ve been checking each morning and evening and the 3 to 5 day out rental price for this upcoming week has shot up to $654. Yowch.

Checking my reservation for next week (now 9 days out) it has remained steady at $572 for several days now, which is only about $5 less than my current reservation.

Fingers crossed I do see some drop over the next few days, but if not:

Still a nice price and I’m happy with it. Crunching the numbers, it is actually about $20/less per day than when I booked each of my 3-night rentals on a few trips last year in Miami and Orlando.

I’ll call that a minor win, at least.


Southwest released a new sale today, so may be worth checking your bookings for any better deals.

Here are the applicable dates:

Sadly, points increased for my flights in the fall.

Also, What, I ask, is the deal with Southwest showing a departure time for my flight on their price calendar that is a full 25 minutes earlier than the time that appears on my booking? I double checked - same flights on both legs.

Flight Calendar

My Booking


Don’t know…maybe one accounts for boarding time, and one is actual departure time?

That’s all I got.

Saw this image posted in a travel/points Facebook group:

In practice, seems like a good idea for those who forget to travel with extra small cash money, as I do.

On a related note: this being from a Fairfield reminds me of the philosophical discussion my DW and I had last week during our stay at one of these Marriotts upstate:

We booked a room for 2 nights for DD’s college orientation.
She stayed with us the first night, then in the dorms the 2nd night.

When we arrived, the room in general was clean and set up, but the shower was chock full of hair. Glurg.
DW ran the shower to clear it out.

When DW and I returned to the room after a full day at the college’s parents track, it was not serviced.
So, we made the beds. Then realized that there had only been about 2 tissues in that holder so we were out, plus needed new towels since almost all were used and still damp.

DW heads down for towels and tissues, front desk person tells her that they only service rooms every THREE days. THREE. WTH.

They go get her the supplies. As she leaves, another guest came down for the same reason and gets same explanation.

As we left the last day having had no room servicing AND had to pretty-much self-serve on supplies, we wondered about the usual tip we’d leave housekeeping.

We did leave one night’s worth of tip because that’s how things work - but in reality my brain makes the argument that the night I arrive, I am paying for a room ready to go, clean and supplied up.

That did not really happen.

I don’t think of my tip applying to Day 0. I think of it as: I made a mess (we actually probably clean up a lot more than we should), so a tip to take care of us is in order.

But, no one actually took care of us. (Nor did I even see a single housekeeping person, which was odd.)
and it feels like a partially un-ready room negated the call for a tip.

Again, as humans, we tipped - but it was kind of bogus, man.


Tipping hotel staff is something that was foreign to me as a concept until a few years ago. And, honestly, we tend to turn down service if given the option.

But if are staying a single night (or multiple nights, but without service) we don’t tip. Having a clean room is just part of the expectation of any hotel.

Now, if we get any cleaning service on days BEYOND that, we would tip.

This may or may not be the “proper” way to handle it…but it is how we handle it.


Thanks, that kind of jives with my thought.

In this particular instance, being a college town most people are staying one or two nights at most.

Thinking an every third day housekeeping policy likely means a lot less tips for the housekeeping crew.

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Setting up my usual shared family Google Map for the Miami portion of our trip with all the important icons…

The newish “mono city” base map in Google Maps is SO much better for sharing screen captures, BTW.

The regular map has so many icons you can’t even see the ones you’ve added yourself - they should make manually added icons to a personal map much larger so they are distinguishable.


Based on that map, while you were staying at the Hyatt, you grew famished and ate, and ate, and ate. This led to gastroenteritis, so you went to the Urgent care…but it was so dire, they rushed you to the hospital!

I hope you’re okay!

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You may get an email very soon saying your flight has changed. This happened to me a couple weeks ago. Almost the same timing too- meaning a very early morning flight. Mine actually got pushed back by 25-35 mins. I kept it but still have the option to switch it later. Its a 10/30 flight.

This is how we are. Generally DH doesn’t want housekeeping in the room during our stay. We keep our room extra tidy and get our own supplies. IF we need housekeeping DH calls to get them to come while we are there and he hands off a tip to the actual person giving us service.

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