The hotel program I've ignored for years is actually great

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Fun fact: Many Koreans are tetraphobic, a.k.a. they fear the number four. Elevators don’t use the number, and even homes with 4 in the address are worth less than others.

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Fun fact: Many Koreans are tetraphobic, a.k.a. they fear the number four. Elevators don’t use the number, and even homes with 4 in the address are worth less than others.

Good morning from gorgeous Seoul, South Korea!

I’m writing to you from the Executive Suite at the Conrad hotel, the nicest hotel room I’ve stayed in since… well, maybe ever…

And this is just the bedroom… you should see the living room 🤯

I booked this place for two nights using fewer Hilton points than you’d probably guess.

Sometime soon, I’ll show you how you can go from zero points to a 5-night stay in this thousand-dollar hotel room with relative ease.

But for now, let’s kick the week off with a bang!

  • 🌍 DD Travel Tourney Round 2 continues

  • 🏨 Why I’m changing hotel allegiances

  • 🖼️ Devastating travel meme

🌍 Travel Tournament Round 2 continues…

Last week we kicked off Round 2 of voting with the first two categories. I can’t share the results yet, but there were some REALLY close calls…

Today, we’ll keep Round 2 going with the other two categories: Bucket List Destinations and Travel/Credit Card Perks.

Here are the brackets showcasing the winners and losers from Round 1 of these two categories:

Unlike last week, the results above aren’t very surprising…

But now things will get much more interesting as we cut the remaining contenders in half. So, without further ado, go ahead and vote! 👇

1/4 - 🌎 Bucket List Destinations Round 2A

Which one will you pick??

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

2/4 - 🌎 Bucket List Destinations Round 2B

All such different options... hmm...

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

3/4 - 💳 Travel Credit Card Perks Round 2A

This one is... tough.

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

4/4 - 💳 Travel Credit Card Perks Round 2B

Ugh, I like all of these.

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

🏨 Why I’m changing hotel allegiances

You may have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot about Hyatt lately.

That’s because they’ve been having some excellent deals, but also because I’m kinda sorta obsessed with them...

You may remember me in the past saying such things as,

I don’t care about Hyatt. They are dumb.

- Me, probably

Historically, Hyatt has been the hotel chain that I find hardest to use outside of the U.S.

As a primarily international traveler, it’s not very beneficial to invest in a program that I won’t be able to use very often.

However, they’ve saved my butt already twice this year. In both Erbil, Iraq and in Malmö, Sweden, Hyatt has been the only chain with hotels. And nice ones, too…

This is the Hyatt Regency in Iraq, which only costs 5,000 points per night

So I’ve been doing some digging around, and I’ve found that Hyatt has been acquiring new brands left and right, which has really beefed up their international presence.

Just the other day I booked a pretty amazing deal through Hyatt at one of their new Alua all-inclusive properties.

And this is not your average all-inclusive…

I booked a six-night stay at the AluaSun Helios Beach in Obzor, Bulgaria for only $49 per night. 

Yup, that’s not a typo, folks.

While the $49 rate seems to have been swooped up, I still see plenty of options for under $60 per night. I just ran a search for mid-May while writing and found this. 👇

And this includes breakfast, lunch, AND dinner every night at a hotel where I have no elite status. And although it’s in an obscure town in Bulgaria, it actually looks like a really nice beach resort…

I posted this in our FaceBook community a few days ago and someone commented that this nightly rate is “cheaper than my rent,” which is also true for me (especially considering all meals are included).

Should I go live in a resort in Bulgaria? Yeah, maybe.

Because of all of the above reasons (and more, as you’ll see), I’ve decided to pursue Hyatt Globalist Elite Status this year rather than try to renew my Hilton Diamond status.

Here’s why I’m going for Hyatt Globalist:

Milestone Rewards: Hyatt has milestone rewards that offer great perks like room upgrades, free night awards, bonus points, and more. Starting at 20 nights, you’ll get a sweet benefit every ten nights, even if you don’t hit elite status.

Brand Explorer: Hyatt will give you a free night certificate for every five brands you stay at in their portfolio over your lifetime membership. Since Hyatt has about 30 brands, you can earn as many as six free night awards from this method alone. 

Plus, Hyatt has plans to add even MORE brands in the near future.

Many of these brands have been added in the last year

Difficult Elite Status: Unlike the other programs, there is no easy way to earn top-tier Hyatt status (i.e. through things like status bumps and credit card perks). As a result, there are fewer elites out there, and therefore I’ll have a better chance of getting to use those benefits.

Valuable Points: Hyatt points are much more valuable than other hotel points, but you can still transfer points from certain credit cards at a 1:1 ratio, which is an incredibly valuable perk.

Fixed-price Award Chart: Hyatt is the only major program that still uses an award chart. That means that no matter how expensive a hotel is, the points price has a fixed cap, which is amazing.

This hotel in Mumbai that I’ll be staying at later this year (on a very exciting trip) costs $320 per night, but only 3,500 Hyatt points, which again, can be transferred from this card at a 1:1 ratio…

That’s almost ten cents per point in value, which is basically unheard of.

Now for the other question: Why am I ditching Hilton?

Pretty much the opposite of the reasons above…

The points are less valuable, elite status is EASY to earn (which means that it’s almost impossible to get upgrades at hotels), and they don’t have many good arbitrage opportunities like Hyatt does.

Having said that, I’m literally sitting in a massive luxury suite overlooking Seoul that I booked with Hilton points and got upgraded to with my Diamond status…

So all that to say, no shade toward Hilton—there are still plenty of good opportunities with the program. I just won’t be pursuing elite status with them this year.

Anyway, I’m still a Marriott boy at heart and will make Marriott Titanium status my top priority. But I’m really looking forward to giving Hyatt more attention this year, and maybe now you will too.

🌱 Sponsored by AG1®

As you all know, I’ve been on a handful of long-haul flights lately. As much as I love flying (truthfully, I love it ❤️), the extreme pressure changes, higher risk of dehydration, and general fatigue on the body can result in something called jet belly.

Just saying the words “jet belly” kinda makes me want to giggle 🤭 But the symptoms aren’t really something to giggle about (e.g. stomach bloat, heaviness, and overall discomfort).

Suffering from jet belly is yet another reason to love AG1® 🙌

That view is from the Conrad in Tokyo, if you were curious 😉

One of AG1’s big focuses is supporting digestive health which can be directly affected if you’re flying a bunch and get that pesky jet belly 👿

It also works to support your overall immunity, which is something I am personally grateful for!

It does this by including 75 high-quality ingredients that all work together to create a super nutritional drink. You’re loading up on tons of essential multivitamins, minerals, and pre- and probiotics with every sip.

If you want to bring AG1 along on your flight, they’ve got convenient travel packs that can fit right in your pocket. Of course, you also have the option to keep a big bag of it at home when you’re not out circumnavigating the world.

If you want to try AG1 today, you’ll get:

  • 🎉 A free welcome kit

  • ☀️ A year’s supply of Vitamin D

  • 📫 A flexible delivery schedule

  • ✅ A 60-day money-back guarantee

Just click that super-easy, perfectly-place, beautifully-made button below to try it out for yourself 🤗

🖼️ Devastating Travel Meme

As if trying to find an open outlet at the airport wasn’t stressful enough already…

That’s all for today, friendos.

Next time you hear from me I’ll be back in Tokyo for one last round of ramen and sushi before heading back to North America on what will be one of the most exciting flights of my life… And later this week, I’ll be sharing how you can book it for yourself!

Have a great rest of your Monday and I’ll see you bright and early ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

37.5665° N, 126.9780° E

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