Friday Family Vacation: Grand Canyon


The Grand Canyon is a massive natural wonder located in Arizona, USA. It is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River and is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and tourists from around the world. Our Friday Family Vacation is to the Grand Canyon National Park.


How to Get to the Grand Canyon: Flights

To get there, most people will fly into Phoenix (Sky Harbor International), pick up a rental car, and then drive the 3.5 hours to the South Rim or North Rim. Our family comes from Chicago and has many options for flying into Phoenix. Luckily, United, Southwest, American Airlines, and many others fly into Phoenix for a reasonable redemption.


Screenshot Southwest award flight costs

A family with the Southwest Companion Pass can fly one member for free!


Screenshot United Airlines award flight

The following cards will make these flights possible for our family:



American Airlines award flight screenshot


These cards can be used for AA flights:




Lodging at the Grand Canyon

Depending on which rim of the Canyon you want to visit, there are a few options for hotels with points. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon is near the South Rim and about 60K/night. If you hold either of these IHG credit cards, you will get the 4th night free. That brings the total to about 180K for a family of four, with free breakfasts included too.


Friday Family Vacation: Grand Canyon - Hotel room with two white covered beds and brown carpet



Other Tips for Visiting National Parks

The Grand Canyon National Park entrance fee is $35 per vehicle. If you plan to visit multiple U.S. National Parks in a year, those entrance fees can really add up. However, there are a few ways that can help lessen those entrance fees. Veterans can get a free lifetime Military National Parks pass. Additionally, the Every Kid Outdoors program provides a free U.S. National Parks pass to 4th grade students. You and your 4th grader can visit the website and get your free pass today!

Bottom Line

Not everyone wants to vacation to Hawaii or Europe. Many people love to visit National Parks, and this one certainly is a spectacular sight! Friday Family Vacation to the Grand Canyon shows you how to use credit card points and miles to create a fabulous family vacation.

Large canyon of stone

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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