For my first trip out of my basement (see Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report), I’m going to underwhelming, over-hyped, overpriced Miami! Flush with points, I considered staying at high-end properties like the W Miami or Hyatt Centric South Beach. Then I checked the price tag. The W is 100k Marriott points. The Hyatt Centric, though affordable at 20k Hyatt points, is not available. Scanning other options, I saw other properties for 60k to 70k Marriott points. I quickly realized that my cache of points from not traveling last year (see NYC Twice: A Recap of My 2020 Travels) would easily be blown if I was not more careful. Humbled by my points poverty, I have no choice but to resume traveling like I did before i.e., staying at the cheapest points option for the first night, staying at a mid-level property the second night, and then stretching my stay cert for the best property available for the third night.
I rationalize this beer budget, champagne lifestyle travel strategy by telling myself that this trip is a mattress run for securing Titanium Elite and Hyatt Globalist for 2022 (see 2022: The Year of Status & Becoming Hyatt Globalist Again: TPOL’s Masterpiece Strategy). Absent of those goals, I would stay in Puerto Rico until the world reopens (see 11 Reasons Why I Still Don’t Want to Travel). When that happens, I’ll still face the challenge of stretching my points to the limit and figuring out how to replenish them. Devaluations are making the goal of traveling for next to nothing tougher than ever, especially for hotel stays. The change in the points redemption landscape may tempt some to burn what they have left in a last hoorah or a first hoorah after lockdown. I’m taking the opposite approach. I’m going to hoard harder and become even more frugal. If I’m going to burn 100k points, it’s going to be when the world is raring again, and it certainly won’t be for a property in the US.