I have a bunch of hotel nights booked over the next 6 months for both pre- and post-cruise vacations (I am a Frequent Floater after all). I religiously follow the adage of arriving at least one day before my ship is scheduled to sail. But I usually arrive 2-3 days ahead of time because I want time to explore the port city I am departing from or just have a few days to relax before boarding the ship.
While I am a Hilton Diamond (via $40,000+ Hilton card spend each year), I am also an equal opportunity hotel stayer (is that even a phrase?) and am happy to switch where I am staying in a heartbeat if I can get a better deal or something that better meets my needs. But sometimes switching is not needed to save a bunch of points. Let me explain:
Now that most hotels have switched to dynamic prices (as opposed to award charts) prices in points for any room can change at any given time. In the “old days,” they would only change if the hotel category changed.
Thus in an upcoming stay, I booked the exact same room for 5,000 points less for the duration of my stay. It was well worth a few quick clicks to book a new reservation and then dump my old one.
The same goes for dearest Delta. They let you now (as long as your flight departs from the US) cancel and/or rebook as much as you want at no charge. It is wise to search for new awards and see if the same flights you have booked are now less. If so, you can book new and then cancel your old ones. Sometimes, when a schedule change hits, you can change flights and get points back without the need to book new and cancel.
I have done the same thing with American Airlines as well, that is, the price of my award has substantially gone down and booked the same flights and then dumped the old bookings with a net result of more points at home in my frequent flyer account!
While I rarely have a need for rental cars the few times I do book one, I also make it a point to check for new deals now and then to see if I can save a few bucks and book lower either with the same company or switching to another one.
Bottom line: you should not be “done” with your booked vacation once you have everything in place but keep looking for better offers until you reach a point where you can no longer cancel and get your points back for free! – René
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