Good morning, or evening from Qatar Airways Qsuites! You know the drill when I’m writing from the sky – this time, I’m starting a trip Dubai, Turkey and Georgia For a month.
The Prince of Travel team is joining forces on a Load Revenge travel circuit. There is some cross-over in our travels and I will give samples of some aspiring products that we have already reviewed on the blog. Fortunately, I find time to fully enjoy these experiences while not in “work mode”, while focusing on my blog’s contributions in some new areas that Prince of Travel has not covered.
Let’s get started here, because it was several convenient hotel bookings that started my plan. I’ll draw a picture so that things come together – empty with me because it’s not in chronological order.
The trip originated from speculative bookings on the days of Marriott Bonbay’s award chart death. I’ve identified a handful of properties that I would like to see, and have thrown my entire forest fear point balance into some refundable redemption. I thought I would never again lock in some unique experience at a rate and want to see if any trips would grow around them. Shooting first, planning later.
One such property is the Bodrum EDITION, which was on my radar as one of the most recommended Marriott Forest Horse hotels by my more experienced Miles & Points friends. Total 200,000 forest fear points for five nights.
(Of course, a few hours after I booked, the same dates were going for 80,000 points per night, which increased to 50,000 points. As we were warned earlier, Bodrum EDITION was among the biggest price increases.)
After I emptied my point balance at Bodram Edition and a few more hotels, I had only one 85,000-point Free Night Award Certificate Welcome bonus from my Marriott Bonavoy Brilliant Card, and I have no clear idea how to use it.
I was chatting with Rachel, our assistant at the Prince of Travel. He suggested, “Hey, I’ll stay in Al Maha for two nights before you come to the bedroom. We have to stop on the way! ”
Sure enough, both nights the old Category 8 standard rate was going for 85,000 points! I’ve caught one, a friend has caught another, and we’ll be sofa-surfing with each other on a chaotic weekend of desert decay.
To have such a brief stay, you’d better believe that I would maximize my time, allow them to check-in as soon as possible, and with the last check-out I could finish my outbound flight without missing a beat.
I arranged a night in Dubai before my Al Maha arrived. As a first-time visitor, I’ll be at Four Point Sheikh Zayed Road, near the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall – an important tourist attraction, and I need to do something to get energy through my jet-lag.
Suddenly, a speculative booking was becoming a realistic plan.
Fast forward to the side of the bedroom now, in Istanbul. I booked five nights at the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus, highly recommended and well positioned around Caracas. Older Category 5 hotels cost between 30,000-40,000 points per night. I secured my booking after I dropped the prize chart. The price actually dipped a bit here and there, but I finally locked myself in Five-night block for 149,000 points In total.
After that, I would stay in Cappadocia for four nights. I booked Terra Cave Hotel In Expedia for TD, uses 104,000 TD Award Points, The equivalent of CA $ 520. (I can still finish the month More The TD Awards that I started with, thanks for the current nice welcome bonus on the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card.)
After that, I’m going to Georgia for the rest of my trip. I currently booked for four nights at the Tbilisi Marriott. In cash, any Marriott Bonavoy Hotel in Tbilisi is currently eligible for a 20% discount for four or more nights. I was able to get a rate US $ 181 per night, Which is more than I expected (I hope I’ll offset it with cheaper food and daily expenses), but not more than the nearby Courtyard Hotel.
The rest of my time in Georgia is as open as this moment. Weather permitting, I would like to visit some small town for hiking and mineral bathing in the mountains.
Once Bodrum EDITION and Al Maha came together, finding a way to get there in style was paramount. Since I made these bookings on March 28, it has been challenging to find the desired prize in six weeks.
I have long been interested in using Qatar Airways Qsuites, including previous plans for the Omicron variant in South Africa. Traveling to the Middle East, it was a good opportunity to do so.
After a long and arduous search, I finally found a seat on a Qatar flight from Washington to Doha on a date that worked for my Al Maha arrival. However, the plan was far from ideal: it required a false-plane red-eye in Air Canada signature class with an upgraded latitude fare, an overnight stay at a hotel in Toronto and a separate airplane ticket in Washington.
Fortunately, I got some last minute availability on the Doha route from Seattle. I didn’t waste time changing my ticket, as it saved me an extra day of travel. Also, instead of taking a bus from Vancouver to Seattle, I avoided the cumbersome need for a negative antigen test to enter the United States for a mere connection.
Although I could book a flight with British Airways Avios through my Qatar Avios subscription, I used 70,000 American AA Advantage Mile + CA $ 54.10. Avios is easy to earn, but I’ve been sitting on a big balance of AAdvantage miles for a while, so I chose to keep the cash fee low.
I will be staying at the Doha terminal for eight hours before a short night flight to Dubai. Since the connection in front of me (short distance) is in first class, I am entitled to go to Al Safwa first class lounge, where I will definitely spend my entire vacation. Also, due to being at Airside, I do not need a negative PCR test to enter Qatar.
Once I finish at Al Maha, my airplane ticket starts. First, I’m on an “outbound” leg Etihad Airways, From Abu Dhabi to Istanbul. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a business class award seat on this flight, although I’m looking for one with a seat alert on ExpertFlyer. For now, I’m paying 12,500 airplane points For this the economy is bound.
From there, I quickly headed straight back to Bodrum, with a round-trip cash fare Turkish Airlines. I pay about CA $ 120 For tickets
After visiting the city for five days back in Istanbul, I received a one-way cash fare with Turkish Airlines. Kayseri, Cappadocia’s largest airport. I almost paid CA $ 70 For tickets
After that, I have a one-way cash rent Pegasus Airlines, Istanbul’s Sabiha Goksen International Airport (SAW) is a low-cost carrier in Turkey, with connections from Kayseri to Tbilisi. I paid US $ 162.62 For international tickets, including a checked bag.
Finally, I will pick up my airplane ticket with a “return” leg from Turkish Airlines Tbilisi to Istanbul to Seattle, all business class, ending with a quick Air Canada connection to Vancouver. This limitation of travel costs 81,900 airplane points, The last hour of the economy brought down the total price of tickets with a favorable dynamic price.
With no availability on the Turkish route in Canada, I was lucky to get a seat From Istanbul to Seattle Leg, a new route that was launched the same day I was booking my flight. This puts me in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner instead of a Boeing 777, a good choice for a single traveler due to the cabin configuration.
By booking both airplane bound on the same ticket as the open jaw, I only had to pay a one-time CA $ 39 partner booking fee. All in all, the price of booking has come 94,400 airplane points + $ 152.50.
Car rental and activities
Digging deeper into what I wanted to see and do, I decided to rent a few cars.
For Al Mahr, I am taking a two-day fare from Dubai to Abu Dhabi International Airport as a one-way route. I’m renting হার 92.94 for two days with Hertz, which I cover 9,294 MBNA prize points. It was cheaper than arranging a taxi for a short stay, and it was more convenient as I was on a tight schedule. (I love my desert drive!)
I am renting a car for Cappadocia, where I am waiting for the flexibility to explore the extraordinary landscape at my own pace. I made a four-day booking for 251.79, which I covered 50,400 TD award points.
I would probably do the same thing in Georgia, for the same reason as Cappadocia. Starting partially during my time in the capital Tbilisi, I currently get a 6-day rental for books at $ 451.75, covered with 90,400 TD award points.
For activities, I booked my Cappadocia balloon ride early with butterfly balloons on TJ’s recommendation. If my flight was delayed due to the weather, I was able to get a place in the second of my four mornings, with the house quite shaky.
Otherwise, I still have some things to find out. I will probably promise to visit a Burj Khalifa in the next hour. Outside of that, we’ll see where the road takes me!
My trip to Colombia earlier this year was the first major trip since the epidemic. It was my revenge as a Traveler. It was a big step, which I needed.
This trip has a bit of a different flavor. As my first major ambitious travel experience in Points, all Domino fell in the right direction, not to mention a rather complex puzzle, this is my revenge as a Point collector. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.
Previously, I was very careful to keep myself where I felt I needed to be. This time around, I’ve picked out some of the things I’d like to see, and I’m coming on a trip with a lighter, more open and irrational attitude. I’m so excited to try new things, just say I can, thanks to the power of Miles and Points!