Summer East Coast Family Road Trip

April 28, 2020

Road trip from West Michigan to Nantucket Island

We try to plan a family road trip each summer. With Nantucket in mind for our final destination, we mapped out which cities we’d like to explore along the way:

Niagara Falls, New York

Buffalo, New York

Boston, Massachusetts

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

First stop: Niagara Falls, NY

The Niagara River is an actual international border separating the United States and Canada. Due to our further travel plans, we explored The American Falls located in Niagara Falls, New York. There is so much to do and it’s a bit overwhelming. I would suggest researching Niagara Falls if you want to spend more than one hour here. In our case, this was meant to be a quick stop. We are so glad we experienced it even for a short while.

2nd Stop: New Buffalo, NY

We chose the Westin Buffalo New York for a night’s stay. We wanted a good night’s rest as we would head out first thing in the morning. The Westin is a great place and only about 1 hr. from Niagara Falls. And for 35,000 Marriott points, you can’t beat it! We dined at Patina for dinner (outstanding), then spent time in the courtyard- so gorgeous! We were up and ready for breakfast at 7:00 am, so Jake’s Cafe was the perfect grab and go!

3rd Stop: Boston, MA

We arrived on July 4 and planned to stay 3 nights. We splurged on a fantastic hotel, mostly due to the location- The Liberty, A Luxury Collection Hotel. At the time, the property was 50,000 points per night ( I just checked and it’s now a category 7 and 60,000 points per night- I still think it’s totally worth it), we were able to get almost everywhere on foot!

Boston is filled with historic attractions, and The Liberty Hotel has quite a history too. It was once the Charles Street Jail. The hotel has restored many of the original jail barred doors and its architecture is breathtaking. Its central location is right at the foot of Beacon Hill makes this a must stay hotel!

Read all about our Boston trip here: (blog post coming soon)
We’ll share where to eat, what to see, tricks to seeing Pop’s Fireworks away from the crowds, our experience at Harvard. Boston is a must-see city. We cannot wait to go back!

4th Stop: Portsmouth, NH

New Hampshire certainly isn’t a necessary spot on your way to Nantucket, but we sidetracked and added New Hampshire to the stops, partly because my husband went to the University of New Hampshire and he wanted to drive on campus.
We chose the gorgeous property, Wentworth by the Sea in Portsmouth, NH. We arrived just in time for lunch at Latitudes Waterfront right on property, followed by an afternoon at the pool and a spectacular dinner at Salt Kitchen + Bar. We really didn’t explore the state as much as I would have liked…but we thoroughly enjoyed 24 hours at Wentworth.

We used 60,000 Marriott points + 1 Suite upgrade. And what an upgrade it was: a 2 story suite with 2 full baths, kitchen, dining, and balcony overlooking the marina. Bonus, which we did know about beforehand, the suite was equipped with a washer and dryer! So, while in between laying at the pool, I ran back to do 3 loads of laundry. We’d have clean clothes for the rest of the trip.

*some hotel property photos are courtesy of the property.

Last stop: Nantucket Island, MA

There may not be enough words to describe my love for Nantucket Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts.  This was my 3rd time to the island and it definitely won’t be my last.  It’s as picturesque as it seems!

By now, you know…travel hacking is the way to go! To summarize our East Coast road trip, we used Marriott points for free stays…1 night-Buffalo NY (outside of Niagara), 3-nights in Boston, 1-night in New Hampshire…so before our final stop to Nantucket, we scored our accommodations for free!

But, Nantucket is almost impossible to travel hack. Balance right?! We rented an adorable cottage through VRBO and still earned 3x each $1 spent because VRBO is considered a travel expense. There were some available hotels through our flexible credit card portal, but point values were extremely high. Flexible travel credit cards are the way to go on Nantucket! Learn all about our trip to Nantucket here.  If you too want to travel for almost free and wonder which credit cards will get you there the fastest, learn how to travel hack with Tiffany here.

P.S. here are our top 4 road trip tips we swear by:
1. Pack a cooler of healthy snacks and water.
2. Bring several plastic bags for trash.
3. Pack pillows and blankets.
4. Stop every 2 hours. Place any empty water bottles and snacks into the grocery bag. Everyone gets out of the car, uses the bathroom. Fill up the gas tank and dump the trash. This saves so much time and you never have to worry about running out of gas.

Where will you road trip next?  Always happy to help you plan.  Check out our planning services here.

 

 

 

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Beth S.

Tiffany is truly a credit card point guru. She was very patient and helped my husband and I navigate our credit card point game.

William F.

WE’VE SAT ON THOUSANDS OF POINTS FOR YEARS WITH NO CLUE HOW TO REALLY USE THEM. TIFFANY COACHED US HOW TO COMBINE OUR POINTS, TRANSFER POINTS AND ADD MORE POINTS THROUGH CREDIT CARD SIGN-ON BONUSES. AWESOME SERVICE.

SUZANNE M.

WE OWN A SMALL BUSINESS AND HAVE ALWAYS WRITTEN CHECKS OR USED OUR DEBIT CARD EARNING ZERO TRAVEL REWARDS. WE’VE CHANGED OUR WHOLE WAY OF MANAGING MONEY AND ARE ON OUR WAY TO A FREE LUXURY VACATION THANKS TO TIFFANY.

JANET M.

TIFFANY HELPED MY HUSBAND AND I EARN A VACATION TO CROATIA BY USING SPECIFIC TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS ON OUR DAUGHTER’S WEDDING. WE HAD PLANNED TO WRITE CHECKS TO ALL OF THE VENDORS, SO GLAD WE MADE A 1:1 COACHING CALL.

Liz R.

WITH TIFFANY’S GUIDANCE, we EARNED 400,000 CREDIT CARD POINTS BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW BEST TO USE THEM. WE HIRED HER TO PLAN OUR TRIP USING A COMBINATION OF POINTS, MILES AND CASH (CREDIT CARD). HIRING HER WAS THE BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT. SHE WENT WAY ABOVE AND BEYOND. PARIS HERE WE COME. 

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