Many Americans are uneasy about air travel this summer: 50% who had trips booked through late October canceled their plans entirely, according to a recent Travel Sentiment Study from Longwoods, a market research company. Also, 22% changed their trip to a drivable destination instead of flying.
It’s clear that many families are rethinking their plans and making adjustments to ensure a safe family vacation.
Federal authorities advise against unnecessary travel, noting that the best way to protect your family and others from illness is to stay home. Lots of states have reopened or are reopening soon, many of them in the Western U.S. Throughout the region, family-friendly locations, like some state parks and museums, may be accessible as restrictions are lifted.
If your family feels ready for a road trip and has a swell of Hilton Honors points to redeem, here are some Hilton family properties worth checking out.
» Learn more: Hilton Honors: The complete guide
5 hotels to book with Hilton points in the Western U.S.
1. Homewood Suites by Hilton, Boise, Idaho
This hotel offers spacious rooms to comfortably accommodate your family. It’s also pet-friendly and provides free parking for guests. Located in Boise, Homewood Suites is a few hours’ drive from the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, where the family can catch views of Snake River and local wildlife like big-horned sheep and bald eagles while coasting along the paved road.
2. Hampton Inn Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming
If you’re looking for a vacation destination with lots of traditional family summer activities, consider Hampton Inn Jackson Hole. It offers complimentary breakfast, coin laundry facilities and other amenities that make traveling with kids easier. And it’s just a 1 1/4-hour drive from the recently reopened south entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
3. Hilton Garden Inn Seattle, Bellevue, Washington
Hilton Honors members who want to experience more modern accommodations can check in to the Hilton Garden Inn, located in downtown Bellevue, to enjoy its upscale decor. From the hotel, it’s a short drive to the landmark Pike Place Market; currently, you can stroll the open-air market, and some businesses there are open for curbside pick-up only. This hotel destination keeps you within driving distance of recently opened beaches, including Scenic Beach.
4. Homewood Suites by Hilton, Bozeman, Montana
The Homewood Suites by Hilton in Bozeman serves as a comfortable home base for traveling families, thanks to its spacious rooms and complimentary breakfast. A family-friendly activity to look forward to is visiting the nearby Museum of the Rockies, which features Yellowstone exhibits and dinosaur exhibits, to name a few. It recently reopened to visitors Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is limited for safety and health reasons, so make an online reservation.
5. Home2 Suites by Hilton, Idaho Falls, Idaho
With full kitchen amenities in every room and induction burner cooktops available on request, Home2 Suites lets you prepare a home-cooked meal for your family or order takeout to enjoy in your suite. The town of Idaho Falls has the Greenbelt Loop that spans 5 miles of paved walkway along both sides of the Snake River. If you have time, consider a day trip to the famed Shoshone Falls Park where you’ll discover towering waterfalls and stunning views.
Check hotel and state travel policies
No matter which Hilton property you choose for redeeming your Honors points, keep an eye on changing hotel policies and services due to state-enforced travel laws. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a helpful list of state health department websites.
Contact your preferred hotel before booking your stay to see if there are any restrictions that will affect your plans, then contact the reservations desk ahead of your arrival to learn of any new policies that came into effect since you booked.
» Learn more: NerdWallet’s best hotel credit cards
CDC recommendations for safe travel
When venturing out of your home this summer, be mindful of ways to keep your family safe. The CDC offers a few tips for those who choose to travel during this time, including:
Double-check whether anyone in your family is at high-risk if they fall ill from COVID-19. Traveling outside of your local community and being among other people increases the risk of infection.
Carefully select activities that promote social distancing so your family is 6 feet apart from others.
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds after coming in contact with public surfaces and before eating, as well as after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Bring plenty of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for your road trip, in case soap and water aren’t accessible.
In public, always wear a cloth face cover or mask to slow the spread of infectious droplets.
Cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Photos courtesy of Hilton (© Hilton 2020).
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card