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A road trip can be a great summer vacation option for spending quality time together as a family. The Western United States offers a variety of destinations to choose from, whether you're looking for budget-friendly travel options, opportunities to explore the great outdoors or a luxurious home away from home packed with amenities.
If you've accumulated a stack of Marriott Bonvoy points, you could easily turn them into free hotel stays. As you plan your summer road trip itinerary, here are some of the best hotel booking options for a Western U.S. getaway.
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Program: The complete guide
Best for family-friendly travel
Taking kids on a summer road trip means checking out destinations that offer activities and sights to keep them occupied. Here are two of the best options for family fun.
SpringHill Suites, Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming: Consider checking into SpringHill Suites in Jackson Hole if you're interested in a family road trip to Grand Teton National Park. Whitewater rafting and fly-fishing are other family-friendly activities to try. This is a Category 6 property, so bookings require 60,000 points per night during peak travel times.
Monterey Marriott, Monterey, California: Monterey Bay is family-oriented, with both indoor and outdoor attractions, including the scenic drive Highway 1 offers as it passes through nearby Big Sur. The Monterey Marriott offers close proximity to attractions. It’s a Category 7 hotel, so you'll need 70,000 points to book peak nights.
» Learn more: 5 family vacation planning tips I learned on the fly
Best for budget road-trippers
Some Marriott brands can offer a major bang for your points. Hotels offering good values include Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton and Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, Ventura, California: This Marriott property could be a good fit if you want to spend part of your summer road trip at a resort. Ventura is known for having desirable attractions for families, and Santa Barbara is just a 30-minute drive up the coast if you want to make a day trip. This is a Category 4 hotel, with peak bookings requiring just 30,000 points.
Fairfield Inn & Suites, Spokane Valley, Washington: Spokane Valley features a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions for families. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Spokane Valley is a Category 3 hotel, which means you'll need only 20,000 points to book peak nights.
» Learn more: 10 tips for family budget travel
Best for getting back to nature
If you're interested in spending time outdoors as a family, national parks and more rural settings may appeal.
TownePlace Suites Whitefish Kalispell, Whitefish, Montana: Whitefish is just over a 30-minute drive from Glacier National Park, which is ideal for exploring as a family. It's also home to Whitefish Lake, which offers fishing and swimming. TownePlace Suites offers comfortable rooms and, since it's a Category 4 hotel, it doesn't require a ton of points to book.
SpringHill Suites, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho: Coeur d'Alene is the largest city in northern Idaho, and it's ideal for outdoor summer fun. There's the Mineral Ridge trail for hiking, river rafting and a network of bike trails to check out. SpringHill Suites is accessible to local attractions and as a Category 5 hotel, requires 40,000 points to book peak nights.
» Learn more: Make your national park trip an adventure in savings
Best for luxury travel
A luxury hotel may be on your summer road trip must-have list if you want to feel pampered while you're away from home. Marriott's luxury hotel brands include W Hotels, the Luxury Collection and the Ritz-Carlton.
The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Portland, Oregon: If your road trip involves a stop in Portland, consider The Nines. Guest rooms feature high-end finishes and spectacular views of the city. The Nines is a Category 6 property.
W Seattle, Seattle, Washington: Seattle is home to numerous tourist attractions, but you could just as easily spend an afternoon strolling one of the city's many parks. The W Seattle offers a luxurious escape after a long day of sightseeing as a family. This is also a Category 6 hotel.
» Learn more: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose?
Maximizing Marriott Bonvoy points for summer road trips
If you're using your hard-earned Marriott points to book hotel stays, you want to get the most value possible out of them. These tips can help you maximize rewards when booking reservations.
Book five consecutive nights with points to enjoy a fifth night free.
Consider booking summer road trips before or after the peak season to take advantage of discounted rates.
Be strategic when redeeming for a "cash + points" combination, and compare cash rates.
Stick with middle-tier properties (categories 4 and 5) for stretching points the furthest.
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 2020, 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