🛳️ An inside look at the cruise you can book with points

🛳️ An inside look at the cruise you can book with points

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 16 seconds

💳 Card Update: Our favorite business credit card just launched an all-time high welcome offer of 100,000 points. The annual fee? Under $100. Yep, hurry and pick this up before it’s too late.

Good morning from São Paolo airport, where I’m gearing up for my 63rd flight of the year so far.

Want to know why I know that?

I counted them all because I’ve started having extremely vivid dreams of sitting on flights and random-ass mundane stuff happening. Last night, I had a dream that a flight attendant asked me what I wanted to drink. I responded, “Coke, please.”

Then I woke up.

I mean, that’s how you know you spend too much time flying…

Anywho—today is a special one, so let’s get into some IRL travel hacking:

  • 🏃‍♀️ Mike Megan on the Move: A Cruise News Tale

  • 🤔 Poll: What’s your passport status?

  • ✈️ WOOH! Flying Blue adds free stopovers to all award tickets

To kick things off today, I’m going to pass the mic over to our Community Manager, Megan, who has a tale of great intrigue to share with thee… 👇

🏃‍♀️ Mike Megan on the Move: A Cruise News Tale

👋 Megan here for your dose of Cruise News! If we haven’t met yet, I’m our (overly) excited Community Manager, so prepare for many exclamation marks and jazz hands coming through the screen! 🤗

Today, I’m going to share my experience on Virgin Voyages’ newest ship, how I booked it for $0, and the status match that landed me hundreds of extra dollars in value 🎉

Mike shared how to book this cruise on June 5th, and coincidentally, I booked my cruise on June 5th, too (gosh I love this job 🥰).

Here’s how I did it:

  • Virgin Atlantic was initially offering a cruise deal for 80,000 points (which they frequently run).

  • But then, this bank had a transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic that only required me to use 62,000 points 🤯 All for a seven-day cruise where I got to visit three new countries!

  • After transferring to Virgin Atlantic and selecting the deal through Virgin Red, it took 24 hours to receive a secret access key to redeem for my free voyage!

I’ll keep this receipt forever 🤣

The Sea Terrace Room was amazing, the food was 10/10, and the entertainment and shows were so much fun (albeit a little more risqué because Virgin Voyages are adult only 🤭), but the port cities were the star of the show with so much to do!

But you’re here to learn about travel hacking, so let’s talk about the status match!

Virgin Voyages matches with 14 other programs to get you their Deep Blue Extras, which include:

  • 🍹 $100 bar credit

  • 💻 Unlimited premium wifi (which was so good I could do a Teams video call in the middle of the Adriatic)

  • 👗 Laundry service

  • ☕️ $10 premium coffee credit

  • ⭐️ And more!

At first glance, if you peek at that status match list, you might think you already need to be an avid cruiser to get matched. This is the part where you get to construct travel-hacking rocket science with your favorite cards.

Get this. If you have this card or this card, then you have Hilton Gold status.

With that, you can match to MSC Voyager’s Club Gold using this form. All you need is proof of your Gold Status with Hilton (a screenshot of the card on the Hilton app will suffice).

There are dozens of other programs you can match to (including Hyatt, Marriott, and Best Western). This was just the way I did it!

You’ll receive an email confirming the status match, which can take anywhere from two days to two weeks, so go ahead and do it now if you have a Voyage coming up!

Once you get that, fill out this form for Virgin Voyages proving your MSC status, and again, you’ll have to wait for an email that can take up to two weeks.

In summary:

1. Have amazing cards in your wallet

2. Fill out this form

3. Wait for email

4. Then fill out this form

5. Wait for email

6. Bask in the luxuries of free(-ish) upgrades 😎

That, my friends, is the beauty of travel hacking! You can have experiences you wouldn’t have dreamed of… all thanks to points and miles ❤️

Okay, now back to you, Mike.. 🎤

🤔 Poll: What’s your passport status?

Later this week, Megan (of Cruise News fame) and I will be hosting a Masterclass all about international travel. It’s going to be VERY good…

Before, however, I wanted to get an idea of how many of you have or have had passports before. So tell me:

Click an answer to see how other readers respond!

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Join us in the Daily Drop Lounge on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 pm EST for our International Travel 101 masterclass.

If you miss it, I will come find you, and I will cry profusely in front of you.

✈️ WOOH! Flying Blue adds free stopovers to all award tickets

If you’re like most people, you probably HATE long layovers… And I’m not talking about the 20-hour layover where you can leave, explore a new city, stay in a hotel for the night, etc.

I mean those nasty eight or nine-hour lads that are just barely NOT enough time to do those things, but still painfully long…

Hands down the worst airport in the U.S. for a long layover…

Well, what if I told you that you could book a flight with points and choose the length of your layover?

What if I then told you that layover could last up to one year and that you could not only explore a new city, but explore a new continent for weeks on end during that layover?

We call this a stopover. And Flying Blue now lets you book them for FREE on all award tickets.

Here are the deets:

  • When you use Flying Blue miles to book flights, you can add a stopover between 1 and 365 days to any ticket.

  • You must call Flying Blue on the phone in order to book a stopover.

  • This works for ALL partner airlines, regardless of whether you’re flying Air France or KLM.

The fact that this works with partner airlines is by far the most exciting part of this news.

For example, you could use Flying Blue miles to book a flight on Delta from New York City to Sao Paolo (where I currently am), spend two weeks in Brazil, then continue onward to Santiago Chile on GOL Airlines, all for no extra charge than if you had a simple layover in Sao Paolo.

Pretty sweet, eh?

Let’s look at another example:

You could fly from Paris to Mauritius on Air France, spend a week on the sandy dream-like beaches of Mauritius, then continue on to Kuala Lumpur on Air Mauritius (a Flying Blue partner airline), again for no extra charge.

Flying Blue has a bunch of awesome airline partners, including (but not limited to)…

To make things even better, Flying Blue miles are some of the easiest to earn given that you can transfer points from any major bank to Flying Blue (oftentimes with a saucy transfer bonus).

Overall, this is GREAT news, and I hope you all are rejoicing as much as I am.

That’s all for today, mis amigos. Today was a long newsletter, eh? I won’t keep you any longer.

Go off into the world, my beautiful readers. ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

23.4262° S, 46.4800° W

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