In a few days we embark on Camp Mom South America. It’s a loooong travel day: a five plus a six hour flight to be exact. I scored tickets for $370 RT to Santiago on Copa, which is a steal. However, they’re in coach as you would expect for that price. I’m using an under-appreciated travel hacking tool- barter- to get us a more comfy ride down south.
This for That
Most programs strictly forbid selling status or the perks attached. However, many allow gifting freely of the exact same instruments: upgrades, guest of honor perks, etc. With limits, some hotel programs allow points pooling and transfer among friends. There’s nothing in the terms that prevents a friend giving you a gift and you giving a different gift at the same time to the same friend.
So in my case a friend gifted me regional upgrades (RPUs) and I chose to gift her Marriott points for an upcoming stay. Perfectly legal in both cases. If I had tried to purchase the RPUs or she had try to purchase the Marriott points, we would have run afoul of the program gods.
This for that.
Another example: I’m a Marriott platinum via the status challenge. A friend has an upcoming Marriott award stay coming up. By booking the room with her (with her name also on the reservation, perfectly legal) she can share my benefits. She is a Hyatt Globalist. Earlier in the year I had a Hyatt award stay she booked with me as a guest of honor and I shared her benefits. Both Marriott and Hyatt allow points transfers between friends but in our case it wasn’t necessary as the stays were about the same value.
This for that.
It takes advance work to have the right friends at the right time. It goes back to networking. You need to make effort to meet folks in “the hobby” who work together for a common goal: traveling better for less. I’ll throw in an FT4RL plug here but any number of travel hacking groups exist both in person and online. You just have to make the first step.
Have you bartered with a friend for a better trip for both of you? I’d love to hear your success stories in the comments.
The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network.