US Road Trip – July, 2021
This blog post is not endorsed or sponsored by Graduate Hotels. However, this post does contain affiliate links and we will earn a small commission from any bookings competed using these links.
We purchased a Graduate Hotels Hall Pass! What is that? Well, the extremely popular, super-speedy-selling-out Hall Pass was a $500 pass to stay at any Graduate Hotel property any night in the month of July. Oh course, there are terms and conditions like having to book all of your stays in advance, only five consecutive nights at any one property, some properties not available on weekends, etc. But, with 30 absolutely unique and beautiful locations within the US to choose from, OMG WHAT A DEAL!
Graduate Hotels are located in university towns across the country (with two even in the UK!). The properties pay homage to the local area are curated to showcase the spirit of each community. The decor aims to provide a sense of nostalgia to those visiting their alma mater and a sense of curiosity to those new to town. The interior design of these hotels is enough in itself to make me drive across the country.
So, we decided to join the frenzy to try to secure a Hall Pass when they went on sale in June. Hall Passes sold out within an hour, so sadly this deal will not be available by the time of this post. However, this is the second year the hotel chain has offered the Hall Pass. The promotion started in 2019, and each Hall Pass was $400 then! For obvious reasons, the Pass was not offered in 2020, but here’s hoping they will do this again next summer. Just be sure to visit graduatehotels.com and sign up for email updates.
When the Passes launched, the Graduate Hotels website had some major technical difficulties. After the online countdown ended, the site got stuck in a fatal loop refresh. I really thought “oh well, it’s not meant to be”. I knew they would sell out fast and I really thought we only had about a 50/50 chance anyway. But, thanks to someone on Instagram who literally cracked the [computer] code, I was able to obtain a direct link to purchase a Hall Pass and it worked!
Once we had the pass secured, we wanted to immediately begin booking our stays before the hotels filled up. They only sell a limited amount of Hall Passes, so naturally, they only allow a certain amount of rooms to be booked under the Pass per night, per property. So, naturally, my dentist called with a last-minute cancellation and I had been trying to get in before we left.
We knew going in that if we were going to do this, we were going to treat it like a challenge in a way. We wanted to visit as many properties/cities and use our entire month of included lodging. Our plan of action was to make sure we spent at least three nights at the properties we were the most excited about – Nashville, Annapolis, New York, and Seattle. And then, we would fill in the rest with stops along the way. But, due to the dentist delay, we missed out on booking Annapolis. But, other than that, we got everything we wanted!
So, here is the trajectory we ended up with:
- Graduate Tucson, Arizona
- Graduate Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Graduate Oxford, Mississippi
- Graduate Nashville,Tennessee
- Graduate Knoxville, Tennessee
- Graduate Richmond, Virginia
- Graduate Roosevelt Island, New York, New York
- Graduate State College, Pennsylvania
- Graduate Cincinnati, Ohio
- Graduate Bloomington, Indiana
- Graduate Iowa City, Iowa
- Graduate Lincoln, Nebraska
- Graduate Seattle, Washington
- Gradute Eugene, Oregon
- Graduate Berkeley, California
It is going to be a fast-paced trip for sure. We did try to find a balance between seeing a much as we can and giving ourselves some down time to work and play. Some places are going to be one-night stays on the way and we may only have time to check out the hotel and get a cup of coffee or a meal. I’m sure that does not mean we will find them any less interesting. We are definitely going to end up in some places we never would have gone to otherwise, which is very cool!
Graduate Hotels are super pet-friendly, so we are able to bring our dog, Elvis, with no concerns. However, we will have to pay an additional pet fee of $25 a night. The pet fee brings our total from $500 for a full months of lodging to $1225. This is still an amazing deal considering that the rooms we were able to book would have a going rate of around $4500 to $6500 if we paid full price for 29 days including the pet fees. Plus, $1225 is less than our monthly bills were at home before we sold the house!
Wait, Emily, you said 29 days and there are 31 days in July… Well, as you can see from the map, there is a long way between Tucson, AZ and Fayetteville, AR (about 18 hours) and between Lincoln, NE and Seattle, WA (about 24 hours). So, those nights we will not be staying at a Graduate property since there are none in between those destinations.
Obviously, there will be other expenses, including gas and food, but we feel like this is a seriously good deal and a fun way to see some cities we may have never seen otherwise! You can expect a blog post, Instagram post, and a YouTube video for each property we stay at. We will keep you up to date on how it goes, if we think it was worth it, and how much we saved with the Hall Pass!