Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4 out of 6 ain't bad...

  This past week has been productive!  We booked 4 out of 6 of our hotels for our June trip.  And in true Gulick fashion, we did it on the super cheap. :)

  Here's how it got started.  Sign up for a Starwood Amex and get 25,000 bonus points for doing so.  In addition, we receive a point per dollar spent.  Best thing about all of it?  These points can be exchanged into AA miles at a 25% bonus for doing so!  After we cashed in the first round of points, it was obvious this was the card to pay for everyday things since the mileage earning potential was high.  Well, we're about halfway there.  Or were, I guess I should say, haha!

  When looking for hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney (2 relatively expensive cities to sleep), Curtis thought he'd look into using our points (about 15k between the two of us) to pay for the rooms there.  Some were over 20,000 points a night BUT these hotels are rather smart.  :)  They have what's called a points plus cash option.  You can use some of your points to knock down the price of a room, score!  Again, a much better option overall.  Some of the rooms only required 1200 points a night plus $30.  $30!!! As a result, we booked 2 hotels this way.  All in all making 7 nights of hotels under $300!

  Since Singapore had higher point values for their nights (yes, Curtis did the math and figured out point per dollar value) we decided to explore other options.  Enter Priceline.  Ahh, that wonderful, beautiful website that allows you name a price on a hotel and almost always yields great results.  I never knew that Priceline was international but after one search, we decided we'd go this route for our hotel in Singapore.  4 star hotel for $115 in the heart of the city?  Sold! :)

  And last but not least, Hong Kong.  This is the only city we didn't try to wrangle in a deal.  We found this hotel by tried and true research.  And I mean lots of it!  We saw this hotel listed anywhere from $80-200 on various websites but the cheapest we found was actually through their official site.  Score!  $77 a night for a beautiful hotel in Hong Kong, right in the middle of all the action.

So there you have it.  Half of our trip is booked for around $900 for hotels.  I'd say we're doing pretty well so far!  I'll do a full breakdown of each hotel in future posts along with the exact point/cost breakdown.  :)

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

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