How to play hotel bingo (and why you should)

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🌹 A woman flying from Qatar to Australia received a rose in a Doha airport lounge. But, when she arrived at her destination, she failed to declare the rose… which cost her around $1,200 — ouch! Read more here.

Hey there, friends. Welcome back to Daily Drop. I’ve just landed in Taiwan after an AMAZING few days in China. And now that I’m in a place that doesn’t ban Google, YouTube, and basically the whole internet, I’m all caught up on the latest hot goss from the travel world…

…which I will now share with you:

  • 🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: Go to China. Just do it.

  • 🌎 Wanna learn about traveling solo? I’ll teach ya.

  • 🏨 How to play “Hyatt Bingo” (and why you should)

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: Go to China. Just do it.

As I mentioned, I just had an awesome time in China. And I’m out of China now, so you know I’m not just saying it because the government is forcing me to.

Not only was the visa-free transit super easy and stress-free (I went into detail about it last week, in case you missed it), but Shanghai is a magical place.

Shanghai skyline with the ol’ iPhone.

I did all kinds of cool stuff, from trying amazing street food to exploring the MANY parks, gardens, temples, and markets.

But you can read about that stuff on your own… Let’s talk about how I travel hacked there.

For my first few nights, I stayed at a hotel that many people are curious about. It’s called UrCove, and it’s a brand owned by Hyatt.

The reason most people have never stayed at one is that they ONLY exist in China…

I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel. Because most UrCove hotels are Category 1 Hyatt properties, I was expecting it to be pretty bare-bones and low-end.

But the hotel was actually pretty sweet.

The room was very comfortable and comparable with most mid-scale hotels out there.

But the breakfast? Hot damn… The breakfast was dank. It was a mix of normal Western-style food along with tons of wicked tasty Chinese dishes.

Honestly, it beat out many other 5-star hotel breakfasts I’ve seen.

And one of the coolest parts? There was a robot that roamed the hotel doing my bidding.

No, I’m serious. There was a cute robot (I named her Mr. Robot, because gender norms can suck it), and she would deliver things (like food, amenities, etc.) to my room, all automated.

It was a lot of fun. And Mr. Robot was a sweet angel. And I miss her dearly. 😭

This is Mr. Robot.

Anyway, I was super happy that I was able to book three nights at this hotel by transferring just 15,000 points from my handy dandy credit card.

With the free breakfast thanks to my Hyatt Globalist status, I felt like I really maxed out the value of my points on this one.

So, while the UrCove is no Ritz-Carlton, I thought it was really fantastic value for points, and I would absolutely stay there again—especially considering how ubiquitous they are all over China.

But you know what IS the Ritz-Carlton? The freaking Ritz-Carlton, where I stayed for my final night. 👇

The Ritz is pretty famous in Shanghai, taking up the top 20 floors of the 60-story skyscraper in downtown Shanghai.

I decided to ball out for a night and spend WAY too many points… 😅

I normally would never drop this many points on a single room, but I was having such an awesome time in Shanghai and thought it would be the perfect way to top off my trip to China.

It was amazing, if for no other reason than the views (both from my hotel room and the sweet rooftop bar, which overlooks the iconic Shanghai skyline).

Overall, I REALLY hope some of you decide to go to China and take advantage of their generous visa-free entry for up to six days.

There is a lot to see and do in this beautiful city and a lot of fabulous travel hacking opportunities.

🌎 Wanna learn about traveling solo? I’ll teach ya.

Later today, Tiffany and I will be going live in the Daily Drop Lounge to talk about traveling solo.

Many of you have reached out asking about ways to get started with solo travel, how to stay safe, and tons of other great questions.

Today, we’re gonna cover all of that and more.

So make sure you join us this evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. I know it’s a bit late, but it’ll be fun. Grab a beer, toss on your pajamas, and tune in.

🏨 How to play “Hyatt Bingo” (and why you should)

Earlier in the newsletter, I mentioned a “brand” of Hyatt hotels called UrCove. While I enjoyed my stay there, I did have an ulterior motive for staying there over other brands in Shanghai.

That’s because Hyatt has a promotion called “Brand Explorer,” which offers free night awards for staying at their different brands.

In the biz, we refer to this little game as Hyatt Bingo. You’ll see why.

Here’s how it works:

You’ll earn a Category 1-4 Free Night Award for every five brands you stay at as a World of Hyatt member.

If you open up your app and scroll down the “Account” tab, you’ll see something that looks like this:

As you can see, I’ve stayed at ten brands (11 once my stay from the UrCove posts).

So far, I’ve earned TWO free night awards from this promotion alone, which is amazing.

I used both of those awards earlier this summer to stay at the iconic Alila Fort Bishangarh in Rajasthan, India—one of the coolest hotels ever—on a stay that otherwise would’ve cost me around $600.

Overall, I personally think this is the easiest way to earn Hyatt Free Night Awards since anyone can do it, and it’s pretty easy to strategize around.

If you have a trip somewhere and all of the Hyatt hotels are priced similarly, you can simply choose to stay at a new brand to work your way toward more free nights.

Currently, Hyatt has 28 brands in their portfolio (not counting SLH, which this deal doesn’t apply to). That means that you can earn a total of FIVE free night awards by doing this, and six whenever Hyatt adds another two brands…

Since Hyatt is adding new brands all the time, you’ll always be able to earn more of these awards when they do.

So the moral of the story, kids, is to play Hyatt Bingo. It can be fun, introduce you to new destinations and hotel styles, and, more importantly, give you some amazing rewards.

Want to help Daily Drop take over the world? Share our newsletter with your friends/family/pets/colleagues/enemies and win some rewards in the process!

Sign up for Daily Drop to grab your referral link!

Or copy your unique referral URL to share with others:

…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

That’s all for today! I know this has been a long newsletter, so I’m gonna shut my mouth now.

But I don’t want you to shut your mouth. Actually, I’d like to hear from you:

Have you ever earned a free night award?

If so, which one?

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Take care and have a great day ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

25.0330° N, 121.5654° E

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