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It seems to me in the travel world of my dreams, the best possible world would be the one where we make a choice, set an alert either for availability or price, and then technology kicks in and does the rest. I don’t have coding or software design skills, so for me, it’s still like living in the world of the Jetsons that my travel dream world has been here for some time already. But in my dream world, of course, this all goes off without a hitch :)
I’ve found that Hotel Hustle is the best and easiest hitch-less hotel tool to use, and I was reminded of this just yesterday. Grant hasn’t written about Hotel Hustle, so I wanted to make sure that the TWG posse is aware of just how great Hotel Hustle is. Hotel Hustle is the brainchild of Seth Miller, The Wandering Aramean. Seth writes code to relax, and I’m sure glad he does! The basic idea is that it’s a hotel award search tool.
Hotel Hustle does many things besides just searching an area for hotels. It gives you comparisons between the award price, the cash price, and even the cash and points price. I like this because maybe I start out looking for award availability, but then I see that maybe this isn’t the best use of my points. It’s all about choice, isn’t it?
It also allows you to pick and choose which hotel chains you’re interested in and set a mile radius. Other cool information you can see besides award availability is a redemption value, and what Seth calls hot award/cash rates in the region.
As I mentioned, in my dream world being able to set alerts is the icing on the cake, and that’s my favorite feature of Hotel Hustle. When you search for a specific hotel on a specific date and there is no award availability, you can set an alert and when availability opens up, you receive an email or text message.
In January 2015, Seth added another feature to Hotel Hustle, which I thought was brilliant. It’s called the Enough Points Function. Registered users can now integrate Hotel Hustle with Tripit Pro, TRAXO, and Award Wallet. When you link your accounts, you can use an extra filter option and you’ll see the hotel chains where you have enough points to book the awards. After all, what’s the use of looking for a Park Hyatt when you only have enough points to book a Hyatt Place :)
Besides setting hotel availability alerts, you can also manage them. After you create an account, the free version includes 5 free email alerts. The paid version ($2.99 a month), comes with 30 alerts and text message alerts. All bookings are handled directly by the hotel websites, so there are no issues with elite status credit earnings.
You might wonder how responsive Seth is when you experience a glitch with Hotel Hustle. Just yesterday, I got one of my favorite emails saying “Hotel Hustle Award Alert!” It was for a Westin in Venice. It said an award night had opened up for 1,494 POINTS. Amazing rate, right? I’m thinking I’ll spend the whole month in Venice at this rate :)
Your Hotel Hustle alert for a room at the The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice from 8/9/2017 to 8/10/2017 has triggered. An award room is available for 1,494 points per night. Other rates may also be available.
Click here to book directly at the hotel’s website.
Have a great trip!
Results as of 4/19/2017 9:18:35 AM Central Time
But I knew something smelled fishy. After clicking through to the SPG site, I saw that it was 1,494 Euros a night, not points. Gave me a good laugh. I emailed Seth and within a few hours he had fixed the glitch and was glad I had let him know about it.
Seth: I’ll take a look and see if SPG changed things up on the site. Sometimes the system gets confused between cash and points rates and it needs a tweak.
Shelli: OK, thanks. I thought it was too good to be true. If 1494 points per night, I’ll stay all year :)
Seth: This should be fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!
The bottom line is that Hotel Hustle is easy to use, set it and forget it, and save yourself a HUGE amount of time. Before tools like this, we’d have to check and check and check each hotel website over and over again. If you’re like me and you prefer the fun side of travel planning and would rather hand off the arduous tasks to others, give Hotel Hustle a try and see what you think!
Have you used Hotel Hustle? Please let us know in the comments!