Want to learn to travel for (almost) free? Here’s how we got $8,096 of free travel in October 2023.
October Monthly Update tl:dr
We’re in the middle of our busiest stretch of leisure travel ever. Between Sept and January, we’ve got a ridiculous 30 days of vacation. And most of it’s free!
Points Earned & Redeemed in October
Zuzu & I had 2 spectacular trips in October. At the start of the month, we took free flights on Southwest Airlines and spent 7 nights in Utah with a dozen friends hiking Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks.
Only 2 weeks after returning, we flew 1st Class to meet friends for 6 nights at luxury All Inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
The 1st surprise to most people is that we only spent $1794 for everything on these 2 vacations.
The 2nd surprise is that our luxury trip to the island was much less expensive than our Utah trip!
Thanks to points and miles, we got $8,096 of free travel in October. And we only spent $1794!
Zion National Park Trip
Fresh off our September road trip trip to New England, we flew (for free) and met 11 friends near Zion National Park in Utah.
The 13 of us spent 5 nights at a huge rental house but several of us flew out early. To keep our out-of-pocket costs down, we stayed for free on points at a Hyatt Place for those 2 extra nights.
On this trip, we split alot of “normal travel costs” with our friends but we used our travel hacking skills to get:
- $50 credit on breakfast at the Nashville Airport’s Priority Pass Restaurant
- 2 free nights at St George Hyatt Place in Utah for 24k Hyatt points. Saved $402.
- 2 R/T flights on Southwest. We saved $530 by using points instead of cash.
That’s $982 that we saved by travel hacking on this trip.
Punta Cana All Inclusive Trip
After hiking around New England and Utah, we get to relax for six free nights at spectacular all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
Our first class flights down and back are also completely free. Here’s what credit card points and miles got us for free on this trip:
- $56 free breakfast at BNA thanks to our Chase Sapphire Reserve© card
- 2 free AA flights in First Class, saved $2991
- 2 nights at Secrets Cap Cana All Inclusive Resort, saved $1540
- 4 nights at Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana All Inclusive, saved $2527
In total, Zuzu & I saved $7114 on a trip that we never could have afforded if we didn’t know how to travel for free. Our total out of pocket cost was only $213 for taxis and tips!
Future Travel Already Booked
Turks and Caicos Vacation
Thanks to points and miles, we’ve been able to visit 6 new countries since 2021. Later this year, we’ll visit new country #7: Turks & Caicos!
Zuzu & I used 175k Hyatt points to book 5 free nights at the luxurious Point Grace Resort. While we’ll have some out of pocket expenses, we’re saving almost $7000 on hotel and airfare.
Cancun all inclusive
For our fourth trip to Mexico since 2021, we used points to get two free round-trip tickets in First Class and five free nights at the wonderful Hyatt Ziva Cancun.
We even used a free Suite Upgrade Award (SUA’s are a free benefit to Hyatt Globalists) to confirm a huge Ocean-Front corner Suite with Club Lounge access.
Future Travel Summary
Even though we’ve been traveling for free since 2021, it’s still incredible to think how much we’re able to travel from September through January.
That’s 10 free roundtrip flights, 9 free hotels/resorts and 1 shared condo (not free) totaling 30 nights away from home.
BTW, I know most people can’t take 30 vacation days over 5 months. It’s extreme even for us. We have flexibility because I work for myself and Zuzu works PRN in healthcare. Neither of us get any PTO (Paid Time Off).
While we’ll have out-of-pocket costs of maybe $2-3k for these 6 trips (that condo is the largest chunk), we’ve used points and miles to cover around $18,000 in hotels and about $7,000 in flights.
Want to learn how to travel for free when you can get away? Download our free eBook “Luxury Travel for Free” and get a free one-on-one consultation!
World Of Hyatt Status Update
Heading into November, we had 58 nights of Hyatt stays in 2023.
However, since our 4 nights at Zilara Cap Cana hadn’t posted yet, we actually hit 60 nights to earn another year of Hyatt Globalist status!
As of November 1, we had 1,166,914 points and miles in our accounts.
Our points and miles balances really are like money in the bank to us. Our current stash is worth about $31,134 in free travel to us.
Since all these trips were already booked, our points balance actually went up in October. A month ago, our balance was $29,263.
- Chase Points: 530,713 (worth about 3.9 cents each)
- Amex Points: 568,645 (worth about 1.6 cents each)
- Hyatt Points: 10,317 (worth about 3.9 cents each)
- Southwest Points: 18,381 (worth about 1.5 cents each)
- AA Points: 38,858 (worth about 1.7 cents each)
On this travel hacking blog, SEO traffic was down slightly from 5610 in September to 5540 in October. My article that had the greatest increase in Google traffic last month was about the best drinks to order at all inclusive resorts.
In November, we don’t travel much but we may apply for a new credit card or two. We’re planning on a trip to Europe in 2024 and I’d love to have even more points in our coffers to make sure it’s our latest Trip of a Lifetime!
By the way, if you’d like free help to find the best credit card for you, we’re happy to help. It doesn’t cost you anything and we’ll earn between 15k and 40k points just for referring you!
How Can We Help You Travel?
If you want to start traveling on points and miles, I’d love to help you just like I’ve helped our other friends. I don’t charge to help you.
For example, we helped our Punta Cana travel buddies open 2 new credit cards when they decided to travel with us. It took them about 4 months to earn the 155,000 Hyatt points that they needed to get their All Inclusive vacation for free!
If you decide to apply for a card, I’d appreciate it if you use our referral links.
Just drop us a note on the Contact Us page and we’ll come up with a free custom plan for how You Get To Travel!
Or, you can download our free eBook: Ultimate Guide to Free Luxury Travel!