Category Archives: Hotels + Points

World of Hyatt Glitch: Anniversary Free Night Certificate Showing for Category 5-7 Properties (But Not Bookable)

YOU CANNOT BOOK CATEGORY 5-7 HYATT HOTELS WITH THE ANNIVERSARY FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE – SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION AND CLICKBAIT-SOUNDING TITLE

(Hat Tip to the Travel Hacking 101 Facebook Group)

Good morning everyone.  Yesterday, I was in my World of Hyatt account and I wanted to see when my Chase Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Free Night Certificate was set to expire.  To see when you certificate will expire, log into your Hyatt account, click the My Account header, and click on My Awards.  My certificate will expire on November 9, 2017, and I have to complete my stay by that date. While I was looking for hotels to use my certificate at, I discovered a glitch where the certificate will show up as a payment option when it is not supposed to.

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A Penny for your Thoughts: Tips for Getting the Best Currency Exchange

Last week. I wrote about My Simple Currency Exchange Rate Philosophy and helping my nervous friend find a more relaxed approach to spending money when he travels. Reader Danny wrote: “I think it might be an interesting topic for how people get better rates for getting currency exchanged similar to your Disneyland best practices (read The Ultimate Disneyland Playbook (Full of TWG Reader Tips!)). I always do the ATM, but I’d be curious to see if there are any other good ways.” Danny had a good idea, and indeed many of you replied with your ideas about getting the best exchange rate possible. I still think this topic is worth fleshing out a bit more, so let’s begin.

Image source: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/A-brief-history-of-money-11059182.php

I’ll go first, as I’ve had many varied experiences over the years, and I think some of it has to do with the varied locations of my travels. For instance, when I was in Bali, cash was king. My lodgings did take credit cards, but otherwise, the local merchants wanted cash. The owner of the small family-run place I stayed at didn’t want me going to any money changer, bank, or ATM on my own. I was traveling alone and he was the personal friend of friends of mine, so he felt very protective of me. He took me for a twenty minute ride on the back of his scooter into Ubud where he escorted me to his money changer and handled the transaction for me. Later, when talking to other travelers, I learned that I got a really good exchange rate, but of course, a scenario like this is POSSIBLE, but not the norm. Continue reading

Reminder: Sacramento Travel Hackers Meetup @ In-N-Out Burger (Saturday June 17 from 12-2pm)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  This is a just a friendly reminder that I will be in Sacramento this weekend for a wedding and will have a Sacramento Travel Hackers Meetup on Saturday afternoon.  If you are in town that day and want to talk about miles, points, travel, and enjoy a delicious double-double, come join me at In-N-Out Burger in Sacramento’s neighboring city, Rancho Cordova.

  • Where: In-N-Out Burger, 2475 Sunrise Blvd, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 (Google Maps)
  • When: Saturday, June 17 @ 12-2pm

There is no need to RSVP, just show up with an appetite and an eagerness to talk about travel hacking.  I hope to see some of you there.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Italian Vacation Part 3: Hotel Mozart in Rome, AquaSalata Fish Restaurant & Villa Borghese Gardens

Are you taking advantage of Europe being on sale these days? I know many readers are heading over the pond. If Italy is in your plans, either now or sometime in the next year or so, be sure to read this post. After all, who doesn’t plan on visiting Italy sooner or later. I’ve got four Italian destinations for you, so let’s get started. In Part 1, I talked about Venice and Milanin Part 2, I talked about Florence, and what to see/do/eat in those cities. In this post, I’ll share tips with you about Rome, so let’s dig in.

ROMA (Rome, Italy)

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. Image source: http://www.cntraveler.com/destinations/rome

To begin, let me talk about taking the train from Florence to Rome. Usually, I use Trenitalia train service, which is owned by the Italian government. I heard about Italotreno which is a competitor and offers relatively new high speed train service. I had heard that the main advantage was that it cost less. However, that’s only if you buy your ticket ahead of time, so beware of this. I did decide to give them a try, even if the cost was the same as Trenitalia. Their trains were late and there was insufficient storage for luggage. So sure, the savings might be worth it, but if you don’t buy your train ticket ahead of time, I still prefer Trenitalia. Actually, I think next time I’ll try BlaBlaCar, the long distance carpooling service!

For lodging, I stayed at Hotel Mozart which was recommended to me by my cousins. The hotel is near the Spanish Steps on Via Condotti, which if you’re at all familiar with Rome, you’ll know is a busy part of Rome. Do make sure to ask for a quiet room. My cousins warned me about asking for a quiet room, so I did just that and didn’t have any issues with noise. The room was lovely, the concierge Rosella was very helpful, and Alex at the front desk had a great sense of humor! The breakfast spread is included with the price of the room and it was everything and more that you could want. There’s a music conservatory on the same street, so I enjoyed hearing opera being sung when I was in my room during the day. The hotel is priced on the high side, but like Hotel La Scaletta in Florence, if you use your Citi Prestige Credit Card 4th night free benefit, the cost is offset.

Breakfast at Hotel Mozart in Rome, Italy. Image source: http://www.hotelmozart.com/en/gallery/

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Trip Report: Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass Village, Colorado

I arrived in Denver from Maui (read Trip Report: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa) and checked into the Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass Village, Colorado, about 5 hours later, mid-week in September, for a 3 night stay.  There was no snow on the ground in Snowmass, contrary to the name, but the views were still breathtaking.

There’s not much to say about the Viceroy hotel except one thing: it is awesome!  This particular location has high end finishes on literally everything, including the in-room espresso machine, washer and dryer, gas fireplaces in the master bedroom and living room, and a full kitchen.  If you are into skiing, you will notice the lift is at the base of the hotel.  You can literally get on the lift as you walk out of the resort and ski back down to your room.

Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass Village, Colorado

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