Good morning, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of Daily Drop, the binge-able travel content that you never run out of.
Here’s what I’ve got for you today:
🏃🏼♂️ Mike (not) on the Move: I’m trying slow travel
I love writing these segments every week where I tell you about all of the travel hacks that I’m using on my own travels.
But this week is a little different.
That’s because, in true Mike fashion, I have decided to cancel my entire trip. If you’re playing Daily Drop bingo, you’ve all probably been waiting to check this one off.
I tell ya, it happens every time.
But instead of coming home, I’m trying out slow travel. Specifically, I’ll be camping out in Bangkok for over a month.
I’ve been on the move a LOT over the last year. I think the rapid travel, while AMAZING, has started to take its toll on me.
When I arrived in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago, I immediately felt at ease, comfortable, and… well… happy.
So I decided that I should have more of that. Because happiness is kinda cool.
After last year’s series of newsletters about slow travel (written by our fearless leader, Austin), I have been looking for a good opportunity to give it a go for myself.
This is exactly why I always try to book my flights and hotels with flexible cancellation and change policies.
For example, I had a series of flights booked from Manila to Chennai, India, using Aeroplan points.
But thanks to booking a flexible fare, I was able to make a last-minute, free change to fly from here in Jakarta back to Bangkok instead. 👇
This is also why I almost always avoid pre-paying for hotels and instead choose booking options with 24, 48, or 72-hour cancellation windows. Even if you don’t make lots of spontaneous changes like me, you never know when something could interrupt your travel plans.
In fact, I was able to cancel ALL of my upcoming hotel reservations without paying a dime in fees.
Now, when it came to looking for accommodations for five weeks in the same city, my travel hacker brain immediately jumped to hotels…
For example, I could’ve booked this Hyatt Place for 30 nights and paid just 150,000 Hyatt points.
It’s a LOT of Hyatt points, but a month is also a very long time…
Even IHG had some pretty appealing options, like this hotel that would’ve cost just 6,500 points per night or just under 200,000 points for the month.
Again, a lot of points - but for a freaking MONTH.
But I didn’t do either of those things…
Instead, I figured I could try something new - since this is uncharted territory for me anyway. 🤷🏼♂️
So I booked a full month at an Airbnb in my favorite neighborhood in the city.
It has all of the things I like to have in a hotel (like a gym, pool, and overall comfortable living space), but will make my slow travel debut feel a little more like home.
At $1,050 for the month (after fees), this is still a great deal.
And if you think there’s no way to travel hack a situation like this, you haven’t been paying attention… 😉
Since Airbnb is categorized as a “travel” merchant by credit card companies, you can use Capital One miles to cover the entire purchase for just 105,000 points.
So not only am I saving points by doing this instead of booking hotels, but I’m also getting a more interesting and unique experience - both of which are important to me.
Overall, I’m looking forward to experiencing slow travel and getting to know a city I already love on a deeper level.
The fact that miles and points can make an experience like this happen only solidifies my love for this amazing travel-hacking world even more.
✈️ Virgin Atlantic 20% award sale
There are few things we can consistently rely on in life.
One of those things is that if Jon Hamm is in a movie or TV show, I’m gonna watch it. And I’m gonna LOVE it. He’s just incredible.
But I digress.
Another one of those things we can rely on is that Virgin Atlantic will almost always be offering some sort of promotion, transfer bonus, or award sale.
In fact, right now, they are offering a 20% discount on award flights across their entire network.
Here are the deets:
Only applies to Virgin Atlantic flights (not partner awards)
Discounted rates will be reflected in the search results
You must book your flights by January 31st
Taxes and fees are not discounted (😭)
Applies to any and all flights that are available to book
Overall, this isn’t the best deal we’ve seen from Virgin, but it’s pretty darn good.
For example, if you want to fly from the U.S. to Europe in fancy-pants business class, you’d normally pay 47,500 miles for the privilege.
Now, however, you can book the same flight for just 38,000 miles, which is great.
Of course, on the lower end of the spectrum, flying the same route in economy only costs 10,000 miles most days.
Therefore, you’d only walk away with 2,000 miles in savings - probably not something that will move the needle for most.
If you’re crying into your computer screen right now because you don’t have any Virgin miles, don’t worry. I gotchu, boo. 😉
Overall, it’s nice to see a great Virgin deal back so early in the year. But unless you plan to fly in business class, I wouldn’t feel the need to hop on this.
Anyone else guilty of this habit?
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That’s all for today, kids!! I’m excited to spend some quality time here in Bangkok. But since I’ll be here for a while…
Will you be passing through Bangkok in the next 5-6 weeks?
If you do, let me know. We should hang out.
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See you tomorrow, my loves ❤️