Travel Hacking – Hotel Stays

Over my years and years of travel, I have somehow built up some 90,000 Aeroplan points. Now, this is nowhere near the 1 million or so that some people manage to attain without even buying a flight, but for me it was significant.

Just a bit of beauty that I'll enjoy courtesy of Aeroplan points. Photo credit: Sheraton

Just a bit of beauty that I’ll enjoy courtesy of Aeroplan points. Photo credit: Sheraton

The question came down to “how were we going to spend them”? We looked at flights for our upcoming trip to Southeast Asia. Nope. We would have needed another 60,000 points and then had to pay taxes ON TOP of the points. Not cost efficient. Then we looked on the online store. Loads of neat stuff, but again, after taking years to build up those points, it didn’t seem worth it to spend on crap that I would likely regret later.

So where did we end up? Six nights total staying in 4-5 star hotels throughout Southeast Asia. Two nights in Hanoi. Two nights in Nha Trang. Two nights in Bangkok. All of this and I still have a few thousand points to spare AND I didn’t have to pay any taxes.

Tips for booking with air miles:

  • Be patient – we looked up several sections of dates and Aeroplan would say “hotel doesn’t exist”. Changed the dates and suddenly it was there. It’s as though they don’t want you to book…
  • Book weekday trips – I’ll be damned if we could find any weekend travel. That’s when the red error messages flashed like nobody’s business.
  • Do your research – Our six nights in 4 or 5 star hotels are equivalent to us having spent $700 on hotels. We’re backpacking this trip, so would we ever do that? Not on your life, but when it’s free, yes! That said, I hear it can be tricky to change trips booked on air miles, so be sure of your dates, know how you’re getting to the city, and figure out what is around you. Nothing worse then spending all that money only to struggle to get to and from.

Any other beautiful travel hacks out there for your average folks?

If you’re hard core about travel hacking, here are some of the amazing resources that I’ve found. I personally don’t have the patience for it, but if you’re committed, you can get some great deals. Alex in Wanderland.  Nomadic Matt.  Travel Hacking Cartel.

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4 Responses to Travel Hacking – Hotel Stays

  1. Harliqueen April 29, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    Great advice, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • vscot848 April 29, 2014 at 5:18 am #

      No problem, glad you found it helpful.

  2. Sarah Kades May 2, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    You have me SO excited for upcoming travel!! And thanks for the info! Happy Adventures!

  3. Irma May 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Those hotels are going to be a real treat – great idea!

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