My Top 10 Posts of 2017

Get Outsized Value from These 10 Most Popular Posts

As 2017 draws to a close, I wanted to recap for you the 10 most popular posts on my blog this year. You should be able to get outsized value from these posts, especially the #1 most popular.

Here are the top 10 posts, starting with the most popular: (more…)

How to Get a Spectacular Hotel Room Upgrade for Free

This Approach Has Worked for Me 9 out of 9 Times

The weekend before last, my wife and I stayed 2 nights at the historic Hotel Del Coronado, just south of San Diego, CA. Using Hilton points, I booked a free stay for us in a standard room, which sells for around $350/night. I wasn’t excited about the room. It wasn’t on the ocean, didn’t have a view, etc. But we were upgraded for free to an Oceanfront Tower Resort Suite on the top floor of the hotel. That room sells for over $1,500/night. It was 900 sq. ft. large. And it had the two features that I wanted: a spectacular ocean view and a balcony to enjoy it from.

View from the balcony of our hotel room upgrade

The view from our upgraded room’s balcony at Hotel Del Coronado

The upgrade was a gratuitous gift from the hotel. That said, I took certain steps to ask for the gift. I’ve now taken those steps to try to secure an upgrade on 9 separate occasions in three different countries. In all 9 cases, I succeeded in receiving a free room upgrade. Some of the upgrades, such as the one my wife and I just received, have been jaw-dropping. Others have been more modest, but still extremely meaningful to me, providing larger rooms, connecting rooms, better views, etc. Each upgrade has added substantial value to my family’s trip without costing a penny.

In all 9 cases, I booked the rooms for free using points prior to asking for, and receiving, an upgrade. Most people might be hesitant to ask for an upgrade on a paid stay and would be downright embarrassed to ask for an upgrade on a free room. But I have no shame in asking. And neither should you. Worst the hotels can say is “no.” But that’s not what they say.

Here’s how to get hotel room upgrades—sometimes incredible ones—for free: (more…)

How to Save 46% on a Hotel Room with a Hotwire / Priceline Trick

I Recently Saved over $50 in 20 Minutes

How would you like to save 46% on a hotel stay as I recently did? The trick is to play Priceline off of Hotwire. Let me explain through the lens of my recent booking.


I needed to stay in Estes Park, CO for one night. Searching on, the cheapest rate I found was $90 for a 2-star hotel.