🌎 Around the world in 47 days

 

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

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Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop. 🌞

Before we get into the thick of it, I just want to remind you that today is your LAST DAY to sign up for FareDrop with a 50% discount and get one of these sick airport tees for FREE. 👇

As a reminder, there are over 300 airports around the world to choose from, so make sure you get on top of it ASAP.

Once you finish signing up for that, come back here, and we’ll cover the following:

  • 🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: 18 countries in 47 days

  • 🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

  • 🏨 50% transfer bonus to Marriott

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: 18 countries in 47 days

This week, I’m embarking on another trip that is… well… quite intense.

All in all, this trip will take me on a full around-the-world tour, hitting 18 countries over 47 days, including 21 flights.

For visual reference…

This trip will start in Japan and take me all the way to places like China, Cambodia, Madagascar, Uganda, New York City, and many, many more places in between.

Over the next six weeks, I’ll be coming at you with plenty of great travel hacks I’m using, but let’s start off with week one.

First off, I’m spending a week in one of my favorite cities in the world; Kyoto, Japan.

Despite being a popular tourist hotspot in peak season, It’s actually surprisingly easy to find awesome accommodations in Kyoto.

For example, the Hyatt Place Kyoto prices out at just 9,000 points per night during the dates I’m there:

I transferred points from my favorite credit card to book a 7-night stay for just 63,000 points.

Given the amazing location and top-notch hotel in a popular summer destination, I’d say this is a big win.

From Kyoto, I’ll be heading on a fun… slightly stressful… and very short… adventure to Shanghai, China.

I transferred points from this bank to Air France/KLM Flying Blue to book a nonstop flight on China Eastern Airlines from Osaka to Shanghai.

This is a great example of how programs like Flying Blue offer TONS of value, even if you don’t live or travel in Europe, thanks to their many partner airlines and the ability to transfer points from pretty much every major bank.

12,500 points to fly this route (which otherwise costs over $400) was excellent value for points, which I transferred instantly from this credit card.

Next week, I’ll tell you about how I was able to travel to China without any visa using a unique travel hack.

I think both the hotel and flight I mentioned are great examples of how far you can stretch your credit card points, no matter what part of the world you’re in!

🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

🏨 50% transfer bonus to Marriott

Earlier this month, we told you about some awesome transfer bonuses that are going on right now.

Today, I wanted to tell you about a transfer bonus that is, to put it mildly, less awesome.

And yet… I think I might use it.

Until September 30th, you can transfer points from this bank to Marriott with a 50% bonus.

So here’s the deal…

It’s no secret that Marriott is one of the least valuable ways you can use points from the bank in question... 

With the long list of other transfer partners like Hyatt and Virgin Atlantic (among many others), most people would find it hard to justify using them in this way.

So why am I telling you about it?

Well. I’m just a Marriott boy at heart. 🤷🏼‍♂️

As much as I love other hotel programs like Hyatt, Marriott just keeps pulling me back in. Here’s why:

  1. They simply cannot be beat for international locations. They’re everywhere.

  2. Their award rates actually get really good when you leave the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Which I do, often.

Let me give you an example.

In a few weeks, I’m visiting Victoria Falls and hanging out in Zimbabwe/Zambia. As you might imagine, there are not many hotels in this area.

In fact, Marriott is the ONLY hotel chain that has any locations here. And the hotel I’m staying at only costs 10,500 points per night.

As you can see, the room would otherwise cost over $200 per night (which is even cheaper than other non-chain hotels in the area).

With the 50% transfer bonus, I’d only need 7,000 points from this bank per night, meaning I’m getting 2.9 cents per point, which is AWESOME value.

A few days after I leave Vic Falls, I’ll be in Kampala, Uganda.

Again, Marriott reigns king here with FIVE properties in Uganda’s capital city, most of which price out around 10,000 points per night.

But those rates are pathetic compared to this next one…

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In this part of the world, your Marriott points can reap some amazing value.

For example, you can book a 5-night stay in downtown KL for just 20,000 points… TOTAL. For five nights. 🤯

With this transfer bonus, you’d only need to transfer around 13,000 of these points to book a full 5-night stay.

So here’s the bottom line…

Many of you think that Marriott stinks. 

And the truth is… I completely agree.

They’ve ruined my trips in the past, have mediocre customer service, and in the U.S., their award rates are abominable…

Even with all of those considerations, it’s STILL worth using the program, in my opinion.

The value I get for my travels makes all of the downsides worth it, and they are the only program that consistently shows up in cities both popular and obscure.

With this 50% transfer bonus, you really can’t argue with the value if you have any plans to travel abroad.

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That’s all for today, folks! While I daydream about all the ramen I’m going to eat later this week, I have a question for you:

What is your ideal “Around the World” trip? I’d love to know which countries you’d go to and why, so let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.

Until next time, take care. ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W