Marathons The Basics

Here is Your Checklist for the 2019 Boston Marathon Travel Plans

best hotel points
Written by Charlie

Now that you got in to the 2019 Boston Marathon, here is your checklist for your Boston Marathon travel. There are some things you should take care of right away while others can wait a little bit. Find out what you should be doing first and get booking!

Congrats on getting in to the 2019 Boston Marathon! If you applied last week under the wave registration by clearance time, you should be good to go for the 2019 Boston Marathon! To everyone applying this week, good luck that you cleared the time required!

Now that many of you know you are in (and some of you are still hoping), it is time to start locking in your Boston Marathon travel. Here are some tips to complete that travel checklist.

Here is Your Checklist for the 2019 Boston Marathon Travel

1. Book Your Hotel
boston marathon travel

The Sheraton Boston hotel

With the actual transportation part, that could actually wait a bit for now. What really cannot wait is getting your prime hotel picks in. People that wait end up staying quite a bit away from the Boston action and if you like to be right in the thick of it, time to book your hotel!

Some of the best located hotels for the Boston Marathon already are booked up or have room blocks set aside for Boston Marathon runners. If you would like to go this route, Marathon Tours is the official travel agency for the Boston Marathon and you can book hotels through them – visit this page for more information.

If you want to save some money, book on your own, or, even better, use hotel pointsyou need to act fast! Remember, in most cases, you have plenty of time to cancel if you need to so the best course of action is to get your reservation in now.

If you want a hotel that is situated not far from the finish line, check these out (I used April 13 – 15 for the sample dates)! These hotels were available at the time of this post being written but that could change quickly.

  • Sheraton Boston Hotel | 50,000 Points Per Night with points | $755 Per Night with cash (half a mile from the finish line)
  • Hyatt Regency Boston | 15,000 Points Per Night with points | $700 Per Night with Cash | Can use anniversary certificate from credit card (one mile from the finish lineEdit: Currently not showing as available for points anymore. Keep checking as it did open up again last year for the this past race.
2. Book Your Rental Car

boston marathon travel

If you can manage just using Uber/Lyft or public transportation, that would probably be best. But, if you want to have a car to get around more freely and don’t mind dealing with parking, this would be your next thing to take care.

Unless you select a prepaid reservation (don’t do that!), you can always cancel a rental car reservation later. In fact, when you book with the rental car companies directly, you will not even have to enter your credit card information.

My advise is to book your rental car now, at the best price you can find, and then enter the details into Autoslash to have them keep checking for a cheaper rate. To get the best rates, it is important to have something over the weekend. That means, typically, over a Sunday night and for at least 2 days.

3. Book Your Flights – MAYBE!

This might be the thing that everyone jumps to right away. However, there is one big thing that I would wait on right now. That is for Southwest to extend their schedule to cover the weekend of the Boston Marathon. Right now, the schedule only goes up to April 5. The schedule will be extended on September 27 – just a little over a week from now.

Once the Southwest schedule comes out, I would check with them first. Since they have such a fantastic cancellation/flight change policy, it will literally cost you nothing to book with points or cash now and then make changes as the flights drop in price or if you book with a different airline (if you booked with cash, you will receive a credit in that amount good for one year from the date you booked your flight).

Also, other airlines may drop prices with the Southwest extension as well. I would advise you watch the prices right now and get an idea of what the “normal” price is from your cities. Go to Google Flights and check the airports around you as well as you may find a better deal.

Want comfort? Good to time to book that now with JetBlue Mint!

boston marathon travel

Fly JetBlue’s awesome Mint class!

If you are coming from Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, or San Diego, you are in the excellent position to book the fantastic JetBlue Mint (business class) flights. These seats are the best business class seats by a domestic airline for flights flown in the US and some of the seats even come with their own sliding door!

Whether you want the utmost in comfort for the long flight before your Boston Marathon or you want to really stretch out on the way home, this is the best way to do it. If you have JetBlue points (or Chase Ultimate Reward points, American Express Membership Reward points, or Citi ThankYou points), you can use those to get the flight for “free” or you can go ahead and pay cash. The price is currently from $499 for one way from the West Coast to Boston or from $404 from Boston to the West Coast. Click those Google Flight links to be able to play around with your own dates and get prices.

I have to say – the $404 price is a steal for this JetBlue Mint seat, especially since you could book it for as few as 27,000 Ultimate Reward points (if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Check it out now!


Gone are the days of registering for the Boston Marathon the month before the race and also gone are the days where you could wait until then to book your travel. It is best to lock in hotel and rental cars now and to start watching your flights. Thanks to Southwest, you could easily change the ticket to get the best price as the time gets closer and if prices drop. With other airlines, if you find a price you like, book it but know you won’t be able to change it later – without it costing you a lot!

Time to lock in that Boston Marathon travel! Again, congrats on getting in to the 2019 Boston Marathon!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.