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Okay IHG mattress run opportunity on Labor Day weekend

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Across the DC region, rates for IHG hotel rooms on Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend have fallen into the $60s and $70s.

By combining two promotions from IHG, you can earn 11,000 bonus points, along with whatever points you’d normally earn from hotel spend. You should also be able to combine this with 6% cashback from Mr. Rebates.

I’ll break down the numbers after the break.

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Written by notatypewriter

2015 August 31 at 7:00 pm

Documenting two mattress runs with IHG and Hyatt

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I recently got into the world of travel hacking. One of the techniques these folks use is “mattress running,” where they spend nights at cheap hotels to earn points to spend at expensive hotels. Typically this doesn’t make any sense, but occasionally, hotel chains will offer seasonal promotions that starts to make some sense.

Essentially, you’re buying points with the hotel chain, but with a lot more rigamarole. The usual caveats with points currencies apply, in that you’re exchanging the flexibility of hard currency with hotel currency that they can re-value at any time they want.

In order to do this, you have to find a cheap hotel to stay at. I live in the DC area, where there are a lot of hotels in business areas that have cheap rates. The two areas I look at for this area are the Dulles and Gaithersburg areas for weekend nights. I haven’t yet found a good area for weeknights, so if you know of anything, please leave a comment or shoot me a DM on Twitter (@ENOTTY).

I try to make these mattress runs a sort-of “staycation” so I feel like I get a little more out of these stays. By staying in the Dulles area, I’ve been able to visit some sights that I’ve wanted to see, such as Udvar-Hazy (free + $15 for parking) and the NRA musuem (free). When I stayed in Gaithersburg, I had a great time learning about Civil War battle tactics at Monocacy National Battlefield (free).

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Written by notatypewriter

2015 July 24 at 8:24 pm

Quiznos on Craig Math Fail #fb

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I was at the Quiznos near CMU on Craig St today and noticed their 2 for $5 deal. For $5, you get to choose two items from their list of 20 items, which includes 7 salads, 5 Bullets, 4 Sammies, and 4 soups. From this menu, Quiznos says you can make over 250 combinations. But they’re wrong!

Over 250 combinations

The actual number of combinations is {20 \choose 2} + 20 = 210. {20 \choose 2} is for the number of combinations of distinct items and the final 20 is for the number of choices where you get two of the same item.

I think I know why they say 250 though. The official Quiznos menu has 23 items, for a total of 253 combinations. Quiznos franchises must source promotional material from Quiznos corporate, which prints everything up and assumes the 23 items.

This isn’t as satisfying as catching Quiznos in a fail-moment, but it serves to prove that math is useful!

Thanks to Alan and Kevin for some math help. (Alan uses pirates and gold, but I like my reasoning better.)

Written by notatypewriter

2010 April 7 at 5:49 pm

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