My 11-day, $126 trip to Mexico

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✈️ Today is your last chance to take advantage of FareDrop’s EPIC Black Friday deal. It ends at 11:59 PM tonight… don’t miss out. You’ll regret it.

Good morning from beautiful, magnificent Mexico City, which has long been my favorite place in the world.

But your email inbox is my second favorite place in the world, and I have some good travel hacks to give you in today’s email:

  • 🌮 Mike on the Move: Mexico City edition

  • ✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (December 2023)

  • 🌱 Virgin Atlantic just made aviation history

🌮 Mike on the Move: Mexico City edition

As I said earlier, Mexico City is my favorite place in the world. Today, I’ll tell you how I booked my trip here with points and miles.

Later in the week, I’ll tell you more about why I think Mexico City is extremely underrated, and why I call it my favorite place.

Originally, I was booked on Air Canada in business class on a nonstop flight from Toronto to Mexico City. I found an excellent redemption for just 21,500 Aeroplan points and $88 USD in taxes and fees.

Considering the high cash price of these flights and the often sky-high award costs, I had to jump on the deal…

And as much as I hate on Air Canada, their 737 MAX planes are super comfortable, especially in business class.

But… there was one issue… I didn’t feel like waiting until yesterday to fly. I was too damn excited.

So, on Saturday morning, I woke up, booked a new flight for the same day, and went straight to the airport.

Thankfully, I was able to fly on United (via Washington Dulles) for only 25,000 Aeroplan points - which I still consider to be an excellent deal.

I was pleased with the experience in United’s business class. But the best deals of the trip, in my opinion, are the hotels I booked.

A few weeks ago, I told you about how I booked a stay at the Andaz Condesa Hotel in Mexico City for my friends and me.

This hotel is what we call a “sweet spot.” The cash cost during my dates is over $300 per night (plus tax), but only 15,000 Hyatt points.

As a Category 4 property, it was also a great way to get the maximum value out of a Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Award that I earned from their “Brand Explorer” promotion (read more about that here).

The fact that my friends and I can get a nice suite upgrade (I hope), complimentary breakfast, and other benefits thanks to my Globalist status makes this a fantastic use of Hyatt points in my book…

But my friends aren’t joining me until Wednesday.

So, in the meantime, I decided to book a few nights at Marriott’s newest brand, City Express.

Over a year ago, I told you about Marriott’s acquisition of this brand, which has properties all over Mexico. I was eager to try it out, and this trip was the perfect chance.

I was able to book four nights at this property for just 27,000 points, or just 6,750 Marriott points per night…

This is truly why I’m still a Marriott Boi™️ at heart. You really cannot beat that value.

Since Marriott also gives you every fifth night free, you could book an extra night for no extra cost, bringing the cost down to just 5,400 points per night.

Overall, I am very happy with the hotel deals I was able to snag here. But now, let me tell you how I plan to get back home to Toronto.

Rather than use points, I decided to make use of my United Travel Bank credit. I had about $350 of credit lying around for a scenario just like this, and I was able to find a connecting flight via Chicago for just $388…


These planes aren’t wide-body beasts with lie-flat seats, so it’s not like this is the deal of a lifetime…

Still, the comfort of business/first class for only $38 out of pocket is amazing.

And it is TRULY only $38 because that $350 of Travel Bank credit was free thanks to two credit cards I have:

  • This card had a $250 annual airline credit that could be used by simply loading funds into United Travel Bank.

    • FYI They changed the credit a few weeks ago, but it is now even more flexible.

  • This card has a lesser-known perk that gives you $25 of United credit every six months ($50 a year).

So, to clarify, I was able to leverage perks from two HOTEL credit cards to book a nine-hour itinerary in United First Class for just $38 extra dollars.

God, I love travel hacking…

And that’s how I booked an 11-day trip to my favorite city for a total of $126 USD.

Have you been to Mexico City?

If so, tell me what you love about it!

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (December 2023)

December is here, people. I’m not super pleased at the onset of winter… But I AM pleased that Flying Blue has dropped their latest batch of Promo Rewards, and they’re clearly targeted at us northerners…

If you aren’t aware, Promo Rewards are monthly deals that Flying Blue publishes to save points on flights between North America and Europe (and sometimes beyond).

This month is pretty unique, especially for Canadians and those looking to travel beyond Europe (don’t worry, there’s some good America stuff too 😉).

Here are the deets:

  • You must book your flights by the end of the month (December 31st)

  • Travel can take place through May 31, 2024

  • You must fly with either KLM or Air France, depending on the route

  • The discounted rate will be automatically reflected in the search

As you can see, this month includes great deals like Boston and Washington to Europe for only 15,000 miles in economy.

But there are some more interesting opportunities for Canadians, like Toronto to Europe for only 37,500 miles in BUSINESS class, which is fantastic.

Another unique aspect of this month’s rewards is that they include destinations like Cairo, Egypt, and Osaka, Japan.

Flying from Europe to Japan can be VERY expensive…

So the fact that you can fly nonstop from Paris or Amsterdam for under 19,000 miles is actually really exciting in my opinion, especially considering the cash cost of the flight is easily over $1,000.

So theoretically, you could fly from the U.S. to Europe, spend a few weeks there, then continue onward to Japan for a total of only 33,750 miles… That’s a TON of distance to cover for that few miles.

These deals are valid through May 2024, but you do need to book them by the end of the month.

If you need to top up your Flying Blue balance, don’t forget that most banks allow you to transfer points, sometimes with a transfer bonus.

Check out our Top Credit Cards page if you want some inspiration for your next card. 😉

🌱 Virgin Atlantic just made aviation history

In another very exciting piece of news, Virgin Atlantic just made history by flying the first commercial plane across the Atlantic using sustainable aviation fuel.

If you’re like me, you enjoy the world. So much, in fact, that maybe you don’t want it to be completely destroyed by carbon emissions. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Even though many airlines allow us to purchase carbon offsets for our travels, it’s nice to know that there is now a real way to drastically reduce (though not eliminate entirely) the emissions going into the atmosphere in the first place as a result of air travel.

Anyway, I love seeing such major developments in the aviation world, so check out this article if you want to read more about Virgin Atlantic’s recent feat:

Thank you to everyone who has shared photos of your awesome airport t-shirts with us!!! It’s great to see so many like-minded travelers who love FareDrop and Daily Drop taking our shirts on the road with them.

As a reminder, you can buy one of these shirts on our website… Or you can sign up for FareDrop and get one for free (but only for today).

Keep those pics coming, y’all! 😁

That’s all for today, folks! I’m gonna go demolish some street tacos now. But I’ll be back with you first thing tomorrow for some exciting travel hacks, so stay tuned.

Te amo, y espero que tengas un buen dia ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

19.4326° N, 99.1332° W

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