Mattress Run Part II: Wherein Frugal is Defined and Free Luxury is Defended

Yesterday in Mattress Run Part I, we defined the “obscure-to-beginners”–aw shucks, obscure period–concept of a Mattress Run. In today’s continuation of points travel esoterica we answer the question: “is it worthwhile?” Spoiler alert: yes. Hell yes. At least for particular promos and scenarios. For you, mileage may vary (points, actually). Better spoiled than soiled. Sometimes you’ve got to sleep on it, so to say, when a mattress run opportunity presents itself. But when you realize that opportunity may be monumental, you’ve gotta go.

Frugal Defined

I admit I’m frugal. Not cheap. Frugal. There’s a whopping difference, you dig? An abyss. Cheap, if I recall correctly, according to author Andrew Tobias (or some such similar Personal Finance sage) is when you stiff a server on tips, don’t gift adequately to those you love, etc. Frugal is thoughtful allocation of limited resources (cash money, baby). When I pay for hotels for domestic visiting-the-fam type trips, I’m also frugal but not cheap. Give me a clean, safe, quiet, comfortable room in a property with high ratings and I’m good. Add in interior hallways and it’s a Done Deal. Some hotel chain sub-brands I’ll accept when I’m not in a Vacation Destination are Choice Hotel properties like Sleep Inns and Comfort Inn and Suites. For IHG, Holiday Inn Expresses. When I’m a Revenue Customer booking a Revenue Room (fancy schmancy verbiage for “I’m paying with cash”), I’m frugal.

Frugal+ = Frugal with a Taste for Free Luxury Hotels

Frugal+. Rhymes with Google+. I’m not sure anyone uses either the term or the service, but both sound catchy. Presuming one isn’t either wealthy or living beyond one’s means (a pox on the latter of y’all), there comes a time in one’s travel life when your mind is effin’ blown–and blown utterly–by a luxury property. For me it may have been staying gratis at the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice. But as Andrew Tobias did surely say in his modestly titled personal finance classic The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, a luxury once tasted becomes a necessity; so pace yourself.

While I don’t view luxury hotel stays as necessities, I sure appear to act as if it were the case in at least one particular domain: vacation destination travel. I’ll “pay” for luxury if its with points or free night certificates–that is, if I don’t have to pick my own pockets for the privilege.

You may not initially find Mattress Runs appealing. They may appear bat shit crazy, quite frankly. However, once you start accumulating free stays at phenomenal properties, what once appeared insane becomes the New Normal–in the best sense of course. If you’re married, be mindful of your spouse! 🙂

Mattress Run: the last generation

In our next Mattress Run installment, Part III, I’ll lead you through a few actual Mattress runs and show what the fruits of such labor yields. Spoiler alert. You may have to go through that:

Where you might do your lowest-cost mattress run...
Where you might do your lowest-cost mattress run…

To get to this:

Free welcome Mai Tais at the Wyndham Koloa Landing in Kauai, Hawaii. Could be yours with enough mattress runs. Note: this property is now an Autograph Collection by Marriott.
Free welcome Mai Tais at the Wyndham Koloa Landing in Kauai, Hawaii. Could be yours with enough mattress runs. Note: this property is now an Autograph Collection by Marriott.

The result is worth the pain, I trust you’ll agree. Now it’s on to Mattress Run Part III: Do One With a Current Hotel Promotion.

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