Friday Family Vacation to Yellowstone Park


I remember a couple of family trips to Yellowstone Park from when I was young. I always enjoyed looking for a bear, seeing Ol’ Faithful, and enjoying cool mountain air (especially since we were coming from Arizona for summers). In those days, it was a sacrifice for my family to take us there because my dad was a school administrator. These days it is so affordable to travel hack and create those family memories. I am sure my dad would have loved  Friday Family Vacation to Yellowstone Park.



There are not a lot of hotels that you can book with points and miles in Yellowstone Park. There is a Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone, but it books up quickly, so plan accordingly. It books for about 64K IHG points/night.  You can get two of these IHG cards (refer P2 for one) and book a 4-night stay. Remember, as a cardholder, the 4th night is free when you book 3 award nights.


Screenshot Holiday inn redemption in West Yellowstone.


You could also stay at a different hotel in the area if you have a Capital One Venture Card and use the “purchase eraser” feature after charging your stay on the card.

Another option you could consider is the Marriott Springhill Suites Island Park. This hotel is very family friendly with 2 queens and a sofa bed/trundle. You’ll also enjoy free breakfast here. The hotel is about 25-30 minutes from the park entrance. Prices here range from about 41,000-66,000 points night. This could be a good use of your 35K or 50K free night certificates (with some points to top them off). Check out this post to see the current Marriott card offers.

Marriott Springhill Suites in Island Park is a great option for visiting Yellowstone!

These are the cards that could pay for your lodging:




The nearest airport to Yellowstone is West Yellowstone (WYS). Delta flights will connect into SLC from many cities and then fly there. It is also reasonable to fly into Salt Lake City, rent a car, and then drive to Yellowstone National Park, about 5 hours away.


Screenshot of Delta flight to Yellowstone


You can fly into Bozeman, Montana from Denver and many other cities and then drive 2 hours to West Yellowstone also.


screenshot of flights from Denver to Bozeman, Montana


These are some of the credit cards you could use for flights:



Bottom Line

Our Friday Family Vacation to Yellowstone Park shows you how easy it is to travel hack with your family to national parks in the United States. While many people want to travel to the beach or a big city, a large number of families look forward to visiting many of the national parks. Yellowstone is a major family travel destination. Make it happen with points and miles, and let your children have some of those magical memories that I have (for a fraction of the cost)!

Steam coming off water in outdoor area

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  1. Ashley says:

    We are also doing Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier on points and miles for two weeks. We have a direct from Nashville to Bozeman on Allegiant, so we are doing the the Capital One credit erasure for those flights. And then we did Wyndham points (transferred from Citi) to Vacasa to get rentals for my family and my sister’s family for an entire week. We are so excited. It would have been $5,000 for the Vacasa rental alone! I wouldn’t have known how to do all this without you ladies – thank you!

    • Pam says:

      Awesome!! We would love you to write a trip report when you get back for our reader success stories! Have so much fun!

      • Brandon says:

        This sounds like a great trip. I feel like using the Vacasa booking through Wyndham is the way to go for visiting Yellowstone. Such great options.

  2. Brandon says:

    I appreciate you adding the Yellowstone destination. It is definitely one of the more unique locations to try and use credit card rewards for. While maybe not as high on most travel bloggers referral lists, the following are other options for hotels in the West Yellowstone area that can be booked with points/miles. Days Inn and Super 8 by Wyndham. Weston Inn and Desert Inn by Best Western. SpringHill Suites Island Park Yellowstone (~30 miles), but this is a much more costly stay at 129,000 points per night.

  3. Brenda says:

    Not necessarily points related, but camping at National Parks is much cheaper than hotels. You just have to plan enough in advance to snag a spot while they are still open because they fill up fast at the popular parks. (Yosemite often fills up the day campsites are released). We are going to Yellowstone this summer for 5 nights and the campsite came to $188 total. We’ll likely use points for a hotel on the way there and back, though.

  4. Rachel Limpus says:

    I’ve been to Yellowstone seven times in the last 11 years and will be going back next year. May is my favorite time to visit. It might be cold in the morning, but the wolves have puppies and are easily found if you know where the dens are. You can also hike in the northern part of the park and enjoy less crowds.

    We drove from Missouri one time (do not recommend), flew into Denver and drove from there one time, and have gone through Bozeman the other times. I’m a big fan of the Bozeman airport and the town in general.

    If anyone is able to travel there in May, I’ve always been able to book the Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone. Be sure to check out the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center if you’re near West Yellowstone and have the time!

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