spgmomentsDo you belong to a hotel rewards program?  Most hotel chains offer a free rewards program, which are a great way to earn discounted and free stays while staying at chain hotels that you usually frequent.  While it generally can take casual travelers a while to rack up any significant amount of points, business travelers or other frequent travelers can definitely earn free stays.  Hotel chains like Starwood Preferred Guest operate many popular hotel brands like Sheraton, Westin, and W, so you don’t even need to stay with one brand. 
The Starwood Preferred Guest program also offers SPG Moments – a special program where members can bid their points on once in a lifetime opportunities in sports, culture, TV, and movies.  Last week, my 7-year old daughter and I got to experience one of these opportunities at Totem – Cirque du Soleil, currently touring in Boston.  The experience included face painting, performance workshops from the Cirque du Soleil performers, a gift bag, access to the VIP Rouge tent, and premium seats.

My daughter spend the morning learning how to dance the finale dance, how to juggle, and how to use devil sticks.  Best of all, these lessons came directly from the performers in the show that actually perform those routines.  Then, we had a Q&A with the company manager.  All of these experiences happened within the VIP Rouge tent (Tappe Rouge), with complimentary wine, juice, appetizers, and desserts.  When the show started, we were led to our seats – just three rows from the stage.

My daughter and I loved the show, and she was so thrilled to see the performers that she’d met on stage.  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m definitely planning to collect up my Starwood Preferred Guest points so I can bid on more of these experiences.

Disclosure: We were treated to this SPG Moments experience at no cost.
 
Jodi Grundig, Finance Traveling Mom, regularly writes about her travels on Family Travel Magazine and Mom’s Favorite Stuff.