First post. I need help booking my vacation with my points.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by hanly2, Jan 16, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. hanly2

    hanly2 New Member

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    Ok I have been doing a lot of research, but I still have some unanswered questions. Here is the jist of it. I have a family of 4, kids ages 14 and 10. We live in South Jersey. We plan on going to the bahamas this july for 7 nights. I am going to book the airfare with my SWRR points from BWI - NAS The total was around 38,000 points and $400 in fees. The kids really wanted to go to Atlantis but the wife and I just didn't see the value there. So we are looking into booking at the new Grand Hyatt using points transferred from our UR account (15k per night?). We still want to make a visit to Atlantis for a day or 2. And found out through some research that if you book a room for the night at Atlantis or Comfort Suites, that you get access to Atlantis for 2 days. I do not have any Choice points yet, but after checking the CS is 35k points per night. Atlantis through Marriot is 35k per night. Is there any benefit to booking at CS over Atlantis at this point? I have about 300k UR points and 130k SWRR to use. Just need some help. I am sure that there was a question I missed here but cant think of it now.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    I think it depends on how much you value your points... Atlantis sells day passes that you can buy for straight up cash and it might be a better return than using points for it.

    Keep in mind that Atlantis might or might not be an incredible mess when you go, precisely because they sell day passes, and it generally fills up to capacity with tourists that arrive in the cruise ships. I'd say make the most out of the Hyatt which is new, take a cab to Atlantis when you arrive and see how busy it is, then decide on the spot if you want to buy the passes or not (you can do it the same day, and the line itself might be a deterrent) :)
     
  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I dont understand why using SWRR would inccur ~$100/pax in fees ?
     
  4. hanly2

    hanly2 New Member

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    I'm not sure, but BWI fee was $5 and NAS fee was $96. I remembered the other question also. Should I sign up for the Hyatt card asap to get Platinum membership? Would that be beneficial on my trip? Viguera, I don't want to wing it like that for a few reasons. 1. The day passes are the same price but you would only get 1 day, with a night booked you get 2 days. 2. I would spend the night at one of the 2 places which would save me 15,000 miles by not paying for a room at the Hyatt that I wont use. and 3. Because its probably going to be busy everyday, and cab fare isn't cheap lol.
     
  5. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    If you're doing 7 days just sign up for the Hyatt Challenge and you'll get automatic Platinum and will be well underway to Diamond, assuming you put a few more nights in before the challenge expires. Since you're going in July you should contact them and sign up mid-June IMO.

    As far as the whole hotel thing... Atlantis is nice, but it's really more of a packed touristy water park with a casino. If there are cruise ships in town you'll have two days of incredible crowds and long lines to do anything.

    Baha Mar is relatively new, much more quieter and since you're already paying for it seems like a more reasonable option.

    But I could be wrong... just try it and see what happens... :)
     
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  6. hanly2

    hanly2 New Member

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    I didn't make this clear, the only reason I want to go to atlantis is because the kids want to go to the waterpark. It is the whole reason the trip idea came up. Its like telling the kids we are going to Paris but you cant see the Eiffel tower.
     
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  7. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    Ok then. Although the Eiffel Tower is an overcrowded tourist trap nowadays. IMO, of course. :)
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    This one?
     
  9. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    If you're doing an award booking at the Grand Hyatt, considering using "points + cash". Half the points + $100 (for category 4). It's a fairly cheap way to stretch your points. And if you do straight up points booking, those nights won't count toward the challenge or any promos Hyatt is running; points + cash rates do qualify.

    Platinum membership: is only marginally useful, now that internet is free for all. There's nothing wrong with the credit card, but I would wait to get it until you have a clear idea of where you want to use the two free nights (a high-end property!). If you wait until after you get Diamond, those two nights will be in suites.
     
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  10. hanly2

    hanly2 New Member

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    Any more thoughts on Atlantis vs Comfort suites? I really need to figure that part out.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You still have to pay all the taxes and real fees on award tickets. For international travel that's often $50 or more into the USA.
     
  12. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Do award stays count towards the new challenge? They haven't in the past.
     
  13. hanly2

    hanly2 New Member

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    Looks like I will be booking one night at Atlantis and 6 at the Hyatt. Can and should I get insurance on award stays, and flights? Thanks
     
  14. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    You probably should not. Award stays usually have a sane cancel policy; at most, you'll likely be out the cash cost of one night. And award tickets can usually be cancelled for a redeposit fee (v. losing the entire value of the ticket). And, even if that didn't work, insurance would just pay for the cash cost - it would not reimburse you for the points/miles. I would self-insure.
     

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