One of my favorite travel strategies

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5 minutes and 12 seconds
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✈️ Etihad Airways introduced a new stopover program which offers travelers who book roundtrip flights on their site up to two complimentary hotel nights in Abu Dhabi, aiming to attract over 100,000 visitors to the city. Pretty cool, huh? Read more about it here.

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✈️ Etihad Airways introduced a new stopover program which offers travelers who book roundtrip flights on their site up to two complimentary hotel nights in Abu Dhabi, aiming to attract over 100,000 visitors to the city. Pretty cool, huh? Read more about it here.

Good morning from beautiful Bali, Indonesia!

While I look enviously at the rest of the tourists swimming in the ocean (my surgery incisions haven’t fully healed, so I’m not allowed), I’ve got some good travel stuff for you to enjoy:

🌎 One of my strategies for stretching my miles and points

One of the questions I get asked most often is this:

How do you have SO many points? How can you travel for months and months and not run out?

And my answer is the same for everyone:

I put a LOT of emphasis on not just earning more points, but conserving and stretching my points to make them last as long as humanly possible.

So today, I will give you some strategies for doing the same, along with some examples of how I’ve done this in the last couple of months.

A blue map on a pink and purple background

One of the ways I stretch my points to the limit is by going where the points lead me.

In other words, letting the deal decide the destination.

And while services like FareDrop are good for doing this with cheap flight deals, you can also do it with points and miles.

In fact, there’s a website called Points Yeah (not sponsored, but call me 🤙) with a tool called “Daydream Explorer.”

Points Yeah "Daydream Explorer" tool

Essentially, it will show you good points and miles deals from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world.

For example, if you live in Miami, you could fly to Buenos Aires in Premium Economy for 32,500 points - a deal I just found on the site a minute ago without searching for anything specific.

Points Yeah "Daydream Explorer" tool

Even if you never planned to go there, it’s hard to argue with a deal that good, so why not explore Argentina?

I often let good hotel deals decide the destination, too.

For example, I just spent a week in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

I didn’t previously know much about this region, but I saw that Hyatt just opened a brand new hotel in Makassar for just 3,500 points per night or around $52 cash.

Hyatt Place Makassar

After doing some research, it turns out there’s a ton to do in that area.

I ended up making tons of new friends and saw some amazing places that I would’ve never imagined visiting without finding a random good hotel points deal.

South Sulawesi

Rammang-Rammang, just one hour drive from that Hyatt hotel

Last year, I spent some time in southern Africa, specifically in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

Like the previous example, I didn’t specifically seek out those destinations…

Rather, I found a ridiculous deal for a multi-city flight from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to Toronto with a stopover in Botswana, all in business class, for just 85,000 points.

Example of a good flight deal I found last year

Since the good deal departed from Zimbabwe, I went to Zambia and Zimbabwe beforehand, got to explore Botswana during my three-day stopover, and loved it all.

I got insane value for my points, saw three new countries, spent more than 30 hours in business class, and saved a lot of money - all because I found a random deal and followed it.

But sometimes, conserving points means not using them at all… Here’s a fun example of a project I booked recently that I call the “path of least resistance” trip.

Basically, I need to go to Tanzania next month for my best friend’s wedding.

From Tanzania, I found the cheapest flight I could find to… well… anywhere…

Cheap flight from DAR to AUH

It was to Abu Dhabi via Saudi Arabia, and only cost me $214, which is great for a long set of flights (the price has since gone up, hence the above screenshot).

From there, I found the cheapest flight out of Abu Dhabi.

It was to Baku, Azerbaijan, for just $21. Booked.

AUH-GYD for $21 on Google Flights

I continued this trend by booking a cool trip to Baku, Astana, Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, and Kuala Lumpur.

In the end, my almost one-month-long trip looks like this:

"Path of Least Resistance" trip itinerary

The entire itinerary shown only costs about $600, and no points required (for the flights).

If you tried to book the same itinerary with points, you’d likely shell out more than that in taxes and fees alone, on top of a ton of points…

Considering this consists of eight flights through eight countries, that’s an amazing deal.

I’ll get to see a few new cities, try some new airlines, and explore a unique part of the world without spending much cash or any points.

Again, this is all because I simply found the cheapest flights and went there…

Once in these places, I’ll certainly use my hotel points to continue to save money.

Thankfully, there are tons of good deals like this Hyatt Regency in Baku for as few as 3,500 points per night.

Between flights and hotels, I’ll travel for close to one month and spend a total of about $1,000 and less than 100,000 points.

So here’s the bottom line… I’ve booked plenty of flights and hotels simply because there were good deals and good ways to save my points and money.

By doing so, I’ve seen SO many new cities, countries, had new experiences, met awesome new people, etc.

So consider letting the deal decide your next journey.

I guarantee you won’t be upset to have conserved points, spent less money, and opened yourself up to places and experiences you previously didn’t even know about.

🎸 UNITY by Hard Rock

It’s no secret that we love points and loyalty programs around here, and I mean ALL types.

So I’m actually really excited to say that Hard Rock is launching its global loyalty program, called UNITY, where you’ll be able to earn rewards while staying, dining, shopping, and gaming at participating properties!

Joining UNITY is completely free, and as a member, you’ll enjoy exclusive tier-based benefits that only get better the more you participate.

Curious what those status tiers and all the exclusive perks are? Well, you can head over to UNITY by Hard Rock to learn all the deets 👀


UNITY is also giving members the chance to participate in their Come Together Maldives Experience—a 6-night all-inclusive stay at the incredible Hard Rock Hotel Maldives 🤯

Screenshot of a Maldives resort and details about entering the sweepstakes

Who wouldn’t want to go to the Maldives? Just look at that place!

All you need to do is join UNITY (for free!!) and enter the giveaway to have a shot at winning 👇

Please support our sponsors!

✈️ One of the best tools for miles and points

Okay, so maybe some (probably a lot) of you don’t have the flexibility I do to “let the deal decide the destination” as I did in many examples above.

You’ll be happy to know that there are also tools out there to help you maximize your points for exact dates and places you have in mind.

And specifically, I’m talking about 👇

I have ALSO used this tool before, so it definitely serves a purpose 🤗

If you want a walk through of how to use it and what value it can bring you when planning your next trip, head over to our YouTube channel to get all the deets.

That’s all for today, amigos! I hope you enjoyed today’s look at some strategies and tools for helping you travel more (and save your points in the process).

I’ve droned on long enough today, so I’ll let you go.

See you tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

8.6910° S, 115.1678° E

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