Planning Your Trip

Benefits of hotel rewards programs

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When it comes to planning your carnival travel, the cost of your accommodation can easily exceed the price of anything you will need to buy. Of course, this can all be contingent upon whether you are a solo traveler or jumping with a crew. Many carnival-goers will opt for AirBnB’s when going with large groups, which makes sense because you need more room. However, I prefer hotels for safety as well. This blog will discuss why you should consider joining a hotel rewards program and booking hotels as much as you can for your travels.
Read on!

To learn how to accrue airline miles without flying, click here

No Loyalty Benefits for Home Share.

Depending on where you are traveling, Airbnb properties can be cheaper than hotels in the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, no loyalty perks are associated with Airbnb, VRBO, etc. Unless you have a credit card that rewards spending, you could spend thousands of dollars a year traveling with no kickback for your continued business. As an avid carnival-goer, I encourage you to seek opportunities that pay you back when you travel.

Reasons to join a Hotel Rewards Program

Y’all, it’s FREE. I cannot think of any hotel chain that does not have a complimentary sign-up. You can sign up online or at the front desk of the hotel when you check in to your hotel. As soon as you sign up, you can earn rewards immediately.

Accrue loyalty points

Hotel rewards programs reward you for your loyalty, allowing you to accrue points and benefits that give you access to free stays, upgrades, late check-outs, dining credits, and more. Granted, you will start to see the benefits once you accrue more loyalty points, but a little bit here and there over time goes a long way.

More points, more perks

This huge breakfast was COMPLIMENTARY.

When I stayed at the Intercontinental Medical Center in Houston, Grace and I enjoyed complimentary breakfast (valued at around $80) every morning throughout our entire stay and a $20 dining credit. In addition, I was allowed to check out at 4 pm, and high-speed Wi-Fi was complimentary. When I stayed at the Kimpton in Huntington Beach, I enjoyed a mandatory upgrade to an oceanfront suite, and my amenity fees were waived.

Discounted rooms

With this many points, I could go without paying for a hotel stay for quite some time (minus taxes) or combine points and cash to save a lot of money!

Regardless of tier, hotel chains reward loyalty members with discounted rates, even if you have never stayed with them. You might find the price for program members less than anything you may find on third-party discount travel sites. For example, I have been an IHG member since 2013. I have enjoyed complimentary room upgrades and even stayed at the Pallazo hotel in Las Vegas using 60,000 points and $30 cash per night. To date, I have accrued over 775,000 points total and intend to use my points for that dream trip to the Maldives when I retire. Currently, the redemption rate for the Intercontinetal Maldives is 90,000 points and $80 a night. Imagine staying in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives (around 1200 a night) for only $300. You can enjoy free nights with your points and free night certificates depending on your chosen hotel.

Purchase gift cards with points

You can use your hotel points and rewards to purchase gift cards for food, drug stores, grocery markets, and drug stores, which can reduce your spending on everyday goods and services.
While the value of your points is significantly reduced, it can help if you if your budget gets tight.

Car Rental/ Airfare Benefits

Several rewards programs offer airfare and car rental benefits. For example, IHG points can convert to airline miles. Of course, the value of the points will be heavily depreciated when you transfer over to an airline, but this is a benefit that Airbnb does not offer. Alternatively, many reward programs offer automatic status upgrades with rental car companies. If you are an avid traveler, this may be handy for you.

Tips for maximizing your benefits

Your hotel rewards points are currency! So here are some super helpful tips that can help you maximize your points and benefits:

– It’s better to have more points stacked with one program than scattered across many. So stick to the hotel chains you tend to use.

–       Check the website regularly for bonus periods and sign up. For example, IHG periodically runs bonus periods where you can double or triple your points earnings.

–       Always make sure you book your hotel while logged in to your account to ensure that you accrue points for each stay. If you forget, ensure that the front desk receptionist adds your membership number to your stay at check-in.

–       Evaluate the cash rate of your points. Sometimes it makes more sense to pay with cash than to use your points. So bust out the calculator on your phone and divide the cash cost of a night by the number of points you need for your stay. By all means, if you are in a pinch, do what you must!

 –       Avoid using your hotel points for non-hotel rewards. Doing so will heavily depreciate the value of those points.

 –       Your points can expire with some programs, so keep up with expiration dates. For example, points can expire 12-24 months after no activity.

 –       Look into co-branded credit cards! I am an IHG member and have the IHG Premier credit card, which allows me to earn 26X on my hotel stays. We will talk about that later!

Hotel Rewards programs

Below is a list of hotel rewards programs. It would help if you naturally looked at the hotel chains you are more likely to stay. Click the hyperlinks below:

Carnival isn’t cheap! With consistency and patience, you will be well on your way to saving money and enjoying incredible perks. Your favorite hotel chains may not be available at your next carnival jump, but you can use your hotel perks and points on your other trips.
This information was super helpful to you! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to comment below or email

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There are two Atlanta carnivals happening. I’m here to help you with some information that will help you make your choice for 2022.  (Updated MARCH 10, 2022)

  • Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival route has significant changes. 
  • Intel on a longer parade route.

I’ve been sitting on my hands, waiting on things to be official for 2022 before I would even brush on this.  But news flash: There are two “Atlanta” carnival parades happening on the same date. Why? I won’t get into all that, but this is what you need to know.

Both Atlanta and Atlanta-Dekalb carnivals will take place Saturday, May 28th in different locations.  In the past, many people have gone to the wrong event they intended to seek, so it’s important to me to make you aware.

Two separate "Atlanta" Carnivals.

Atlanta Carnival

atlanta caribbean carnival parade route
Parade route from 2019.
Atlanta carnival 2022 Band launch flyer
Atlanta Carnival Band Launch will be February 5, 2022.

The ACCBA has announced all their bands will launch on February 5, 2022. 

To purchase tickets to cooler fete/band lanch,  click here.

Run by the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleader’s Association (ACCBA), the “downtown” Atlanta carnival is considered the “original” carnival that takes to the streets in downtown Atlanta.  Since a split around 2014-2015, the “downtown” Atlanta carnival has been on a smaller scale, but also has great vibes. I have been advised to expect MUCH more from the ACCBA this year. You can find out more here. The website is still updating information about the participating Mas Bads and Parade Route, so stay tuned. The links below are to their Facebook and Instagram pages.  You can also find their Facebook group here.

A representative of the ACCBA has advised me that the parade route will be the same as 2019’s route.  However, a little bird told me it is intended to have a longer parade route this year.

Atlanta-Dekalb carnival used to be a four-hour parade route. 


Downtown Atlanta Carnival Bands

Listing of the downtown Atlanta carnival bands are listed here and have been verified as current as of 11/19 by an ACCBA representative.  Most of these bands do not have instagram pages or websites listed.

Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival

Atlanta Dekalb Carnival Parade Route
This is the new parade route as of March 11, 2022.

The Atlanta Carnival Bandleader’s Council (ACBC) developed the Atlanta-Dekalb carnival after the split with the ACCBA.  Since then, Atlanta-Dekalb has been the most significant carnival, backed with more mas bands than the downtown event.  You can find out more at: 

The parade will take place on a new (but old) parade route on Convington Parkway in Decatur, GA.  It will start at Covington Parkway near Paul Edwin Drive, leading into the Festival village at 4380 Memorial Drive.

The old parade route was about four hours long.  On the other hand, the new parade route will be longer, giving masqueraders more time to enjoy themselves.

Atlanta-Dekalb bands.

Participating bands and launch dates come directly from ACBC.

We Kinda Ting Flyer

Launch date: December 12, 2021 (Virtually)

We Kinda Ting Mas has announced their theme for Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival with NinjaFete and Vaval Weekend as partners. Fonrose, Krave, Experience Nyrvana, David Dewer, and Mirage Mas are identified as section partners.  Still clarifying what that means to each,  It has been confirmed by reputable sources that Krave and Mirage will be private sections.  More to follow on the other section partners.

Note: WKT will close pre-registration on 6 December.

Band Launch January 7, 2022 (Launching Virtually).

Sokah Fetters mas Band Logo

Band Launch January 8, 2022, open for pre-registration.

Poison Mas

Band Launch January 9, 2022, open for pre-registration.

There have been hints on social media of a collaboration with Panache. More to follow.


Band Launch January 16, 2022.

Feters Army Mas Logo

Band Launch January 15, 2022

Sesame Atlanta Carnival Logo

Band Launch January 29, 2022


Band Launch January 22, 2022.


Reggaematic Mas has been listed by the ACBC as a band participating in Atlanta-Dekalb this year.  This band prides itself on playing music from all over the diaspora– Soca, Zouk, Afrobeats, and Dancehall.  No further information has been announced yet.

Feters Army Mas Logo

Band Launch January 15, 2022

Sesame Atlanta Carnival Logo

Band Launch January 29, 2022


TNT Garage Boys Flyer

TnT Garage Boys has a Band Launch February 5, 2022.

Image pending for Entice Mas.  Band Launch February 12, 2022.


Madd Colors has a band launch date of 2/19/2022.

We Live Carnival Flyer

Band Launch February 20, 2022.

Band Launch February 26, 2022

Band Launch January 23, 2022.


Mas with Panache Logo

Bamd Launch January 30, 2022.

Band Launch March 5, 2022. Vibez and Vision is open for pre-registration.

Band Launch January 19, 2022 (Launching Virtually).

Unity Mas Band

Band Launch March 12, 2022

Panyarder’s Mas Band Launch March 19, 2022. (Image Pending)

The VI all stars majorettes has been on the road in Atlanta for 16 years. They are a specialty group of majorettes, which is a huge staple of VI carnival since 1952. Children will learn history, teamwork and all about participating as a majorette in Carnival. This is for children ages 4-17.  They have had parents, so if you are interested as adult, feel free to contact.  If you want to register your child as a majorette, please shoot a DM or you can email Nicole Roebuck Warner at:  Registration will close early January 2022.

Don't ask me which to attend...

Well, you must know, I will not tell you all that, but I will continue to keep you abreast of the developments and information for both carnivals. The websites are in the process of updating, so it is not officially announced which band will turn up where (but if you’ve played Mas there, you’ll know).  Classically, band launches can start as early as December, all the way through March of next year.  A lot of bands had launched their costumes before 2020 was cancelled.  Likewise, let’s not forget that COVID-19 still has an impact on public events, so I anticipate there might be some differences.

Either way, I have attended both and can make recommendations whichever event you choose!  Would you believe I started playing Mas in Atlanta-Dekalb??  And so, It has a special place in my heart ❤️.  Either way, I will keep you guys in the know so you can make informed decisions.

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