Tag Archives: Award Travel

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How to Redeem your World of Hyatt Free Anniversary Night Certificate

Good morning everyone, I had a great weekend in Portland, full of hikes, Voodoo Donuts, craft brews, and Trail Blazers basketball.  Enough about me, let’s talk about how to redeem your World of Hyatt free anniversary night certificate that comes every year when you pay the Chase Hyatt Credit Card $75 annual fee.  If you have the credit card, you can see the free night award in your World of Hyatt account by clicking the My Awards tab.  This is my dad’s Hyatt account and his award night was expiring in mid June and he didn’t have any Hyatt stays planned before then, so we decided to use it for a night near the Portland Airport (thanks dad!).

World of Hyatt Book Award Night 1

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Travel Meetup: Points with a Crew & Travel with Grant in San Francisco (Sunday April 2 @ 7pm)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I am heading to Portland tonight for a quick weekend trip with my brother, but I wanted to get the word out that Dan from Points with a Crew (yeah, that guy that has 6 kids) and me (the guy that sometimes acts like a 6 year old kid) will be co-organizing a miles and points travel meetup in the Bay Area.

  • When: Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 7-10pm
  • Where: Staybridge Suites San Francisco Airport, 1350 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066 (Google Map) <– Dan picked this location, I would have gone with the usual In-N-Out…

StayBridge Suites Near SFO

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My Amazing Experience Interacting with the Park Hyatt Butler Service Team

There’s been a lot written about Hyatt lately, especially with all the changes in the Hyatt elite status program. And oddly enough, much of the blogging about Hyatt and all the changes took place while I was enjoying a stay at a Park Hyatt! So I couldn’t help but think about why I like Hyatt so much and why I bother maintaining elite status. Rather than just adding my voice to the pro or con discussion about the changes and whether maintaining status is worth it, I decided to explore and write about one of my most favorite luxury amenities of Hyatt hotels and especially the Park Hyatt’s: butler service.

My seven night stay at the Hotel Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires gave me the perfect opportunity to do this. This was my fifth stay at a Park Hyatt, but in the past, I’d never stayed at one for more than a few days. This stay in Buenos Aires gave me the chance to experience getting to know the butlers, and I sat down with three of the five-team member butlers and had fun, engaging conversations with them about their roles, how they see us (the guests), and other questions of mine they answered. If you’re like me and you enjoy getting to know how hotels operate behind the scenes, you’ll enjoy reading about the butlers!

Image source: https://buenosaires.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Image source: https://buenosaires.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

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Have a Complex Award Redemption in Mind? JuicyMiles is the Award Booking Service I Recommend

Last week, I offered advice on how to use an award booking service. Now it’s time to tell you which award booking service I recommend and WHY! Over the past seven years or so, I’ve tried at least 6 different award booking services and have established a great relationship with JuicyMiles, run by Adam from PointMeToThePlane.com

I call it a relationship because I see it as a partnership, a braintrust of sorts. You see, I believe in hiring professionals to fill in the gap in the areas of travel, or any area of life really, where I don’t seem to have the best skill set. I like to get better at what I do well and let others help with my weaknesses. I’m really great at accumulating miles and points, really great at picking accommodations and planning travel adventures, and really really great at having a wonderfully memorable time when I get somewhere. But the actual booking of the award trips… that’s not one of my strengths.

Like you, I want to get the best possible value for my miles and points. I also, perhaps like you, have some particulars in terms of how I like to travel (business class, fully lie flat seats, etc). So let’s look at some of the tips I mentioned in working with these services and you’ll see why JuicyMiles excels!

  1. Sometimes I do a bit of research ahead of time and sometimes I don’t. I figure JuicyMiles award bookers know the alliances, airlines, and miles needed way better than I do. After all, they’re doing this all the time and have seen and heard it all. They never mind my follow-up questions once they present me with my options. Rather than being in a rush, they seem to care more about my satisfaction with my award trip routing.

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My 7 Tips for Using Award Booking Services

It seems to me in the world of travel there are three phases: the planning process, the getting there process, and the being there process. For me, the planning process can sometimes be the most daunting. It’s fun and exciting to acquire all the miles and points and pick my dream destinations.  And then comes booking the award tickets. Exciting, though often oh-so-frustrating.

If you’re like me, there are times when you’ve considered using an award booking service. You want help booking the tickets, planning a great itinerary, and choosing the best aircrafts and class of service. In other words, you want a great value for the miles you’ve accumulated. Who wouldn’t?  After personally using various award booking services, and settling on the one I think is the best, here’s my list of 7 must-know tips.

I’ve had very varied experiences using these services and I want you to benefit from what I’ve learned. I want you to get the best possible value and have the smoothest experience when you hire award booking services.

7 Tips For Using Award Booking Services

1. Your Preferences. It clearly helps to have specific destinations in mind, as well as approximate dates. However, I’d suggest having a back-up plan both for destination and dates. Knowing what’s most important helps, too. For instance, are non-stop flights more important than class of service?  Would you fly business class even if you’ve got the miles for first class if the route is non-stop and on the exact dates you want? Knowing your preferences helps the award services guide you. Continue reading