How to become a travel ninja: travel Hacking anywHere in tHe world
Note that you need to check the actual books, as
these companies refrain from posting most of their
content online. (Apparently they want people to
actually buy the books – who knew?)
StaRwood (SheRaton, le MeRidien,
w, et al) oPtionS
Because I’ve been able to stay in dozens of free
Sheraton hotels all over the world, I’m a big fan
of Starwood’s Preferred Guest program . As far
as I can remember, I’ve stayed in their properties
in Brussels, Brunei, Cairo, Ft. Lauderdale,
Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Montevideo, New York
City, Vancouver -- and probably a lot more.
The trick with Starwood is to look for redemptions
that require a low amount of points or redemptions
in cities where paid lodging is especially expensive.
A lot of Sheraton hotels cater to business travelers,
and they tend to lower the amount of points
required for weekend stays. I’m usually traveling
both during the week and the weekend, so I’ve often
been able to get a low-points redemption during the
If you can get a Sheraton stay for 3,000-4,000
points, that’s usually a very good deal. If it’s an
expensive city (New York, Hong Kong, etc.) then
you probably won’t ﬁnd anything less than 10,000
points – but since hotels are so expensive in cities
like that, a 10k redemption can still be a good deal
relative to paying $300+ for a room.
To search for Starwood opportunities, log onto SPG.
com and choose “Find Award” in the upper-left
For years, I only used Starwood as my exclusive
“free hotel provider of choice.” I’ve recently added
Hilton to the mix, mostly because they oﬀer a great
AmEx card that gave me a lot of bonus points
(35,000) and no annual fee. They’ve now reduced
the bonus to 10,000, but it’s still worth a look.
Hilton AmEx Card