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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

 

The official arrival of fall means that it is 100% acceptable, and even encouraged, to lock in holiday travel plans sooner rather than later. If your family likes to spend a part of the winter holiday at the Gaylord family of resorts (in the Marriott family), it’s time to make your bookings — today.

One of the best ways to save money on a Gaylord holiday getaway (other than using a Marriott 35,000-point certificate) is to book early. As I learned while planning our own Gaylord Texan holiday getaway last year, the Gaylord early bird holiday discounts are really good and those discounts end today (Sept. 23). Booking with the early bird discounts not only saves you 20% off the room rate, but you also get a daily resort credit of $50 or $100 each night.

With rates starting at just $148+ per night on the cheapest holiday dates at select Gaylord properties, getting 20% off with a $100 resort credit is a pretty big deal. Assuming the rate is refundable (and those I tested were), there’s little risk in booking today rather than waiting to pay more tomorrow.

Holidays at the Gaylord Texan (photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

If you want in on the Gaylord early bird booking discounts, here are the links and details.

Gaylord Texan: Save 20% + $50 resort credit per night to be used at on-site restaurants, in-room dining or at Relâche Spa. (Maximum credit is $100 per stay.)

Gaylord Palms: Save 20% + $50 resort credit per night to be used at on-site restaurants, in-room dining or at Relâche Spa. (Maximum credit is $100 per stay.)

Gaylord National: Save 20% on best available room rates plus receive a $100 resort credit per night for use at on-site restaurants, in-room dining or at Relâche Spa.

Gaylord Opryland: Save 20% on best available room rates plus receive a $50 resort credit per night for use at on-site restaurants, in-room dining or at Relâche Spa. (Maximum credit is $100 per stay.)

(Photo courtesy of Gaylord Texan)
(Photo courtesy of Gaylord Texan)

If you haven’t been to the Gaylord resorts during the holidays, they are truly holiday destinations unto themselves. While most of their on-site activities cost extra beyond your room rate, these resorts have massive multi-room ICE! displays, indoor snow tubing, outdoor ice skating, snowball throwing, an Elf on the Shelf breakfast, Cookies with Mrs. Claus and even Santa himself.

My daughter ready for snowball throwing (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Thankfully, we have lots of tips to help you save money on the plethora of Gaylord holiday activities, too.

Photo courtesy of Gaylord Texan
Photo courtesy of Gaylord Texan

While the early bird booking rates are likely the best play for some of the cheaper nights this holiday season, on peak weekend nights I would look to use 35,000 Marriott Rewards points (or less) rather than pay $300+ per night. This way you can save your cash budget for all the holiday-themed activities.

If you have a 35,000-point certificate from a card such as the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, that is another great strategy if visiting the Gaylord on a pricier night.

Inside the ICE Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan
Inside the ICE Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Finally, if you do decide to take your family to see ICE! at a Gaylord Resort (regardless of whether or not you also spend the night), here are my top 10 tips for visiting this indoor 9-degree winter paradise.

Featured image courtesy of the Gaylord Texan.

Know before you go.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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