This is my first blog entry--ever. As a new steward on this board, I wanted to specifically talk about these. I think many can use these if they knew how. I would like to show how we have used them and answer any questions you have.
I started traveling a lot for work in 2005. We also purchased (2) MVCI weeks in that year. (Phuket and Aruba Surf Club) As a result, we finally had a large quantity of Marriott Rewards points. Hundreds of thousands. The points don't expire, but I wanted to look at options for using them for more than just rooms. I looked at airline miles. The transfer rate was fairly poor-as is the case for most hotel transfers to miles. I then began to read about Marriott Travel Packages. Flight and Hotel Packages | Marriott Hotel Packages
Marriott's Travel Packages (TP) consist of a 7 night stay at a Marriott hotel, a certain number of FF Airline Miles or Airline Points, and a rental car discount coupon. The big advantage of the TP's is the ratio of the airline miles is now 1:1. That's right-1 mile for 1 Marriott Reward point. (If you are MVCI owner, you can get a TP that has a 5 night stay for reduced points.) The hotel stay must be used all at one time-at one property-consecutive nights.
Patience and flexibility are required, but we have been able to use them to travel to: Rome, Thailand X 2, Hawaii, Aruba, Costa Rica, Paris (booked for 2013). Accommodations and premium cabin airline tickets all covered by the Travel Packages.
Over the course of the next several posts, I will describe our experiences. What has worked, some best practices etc. Marriott offers these for our benefit. Take advantage if you can. More tomorrow.