3   +   10   =  

With any luck- you’ll get to the bottom of this post with some opinion, travel thought provoking insight and a great example of maximizing points. Thanks to a ridiculously wonderful error fare, from Vancouver to Sydney, we’ll be hitting Sydney, Australia for 4 nights this December. While I’ve been to Sydney before, Laura has not; so we’re going to split our four nights between the most over the top, vista oriented hotel- and a cozy Airbnb in a hip neighborhood.

The Obvious Question: Why Not Just Stay 4 Nights At The $900 A Night Hotel?…

We’re using 30,000 Chase Points- transferred over to Hyatt, per night to cover the Park Hyatt Sydney. At roughly 3 cents per points (30,000 points vs $900) it’s a great way to use Hyatt or Chase points. But still… 30,000 points is a lot, and there’s only so much time one needs to spend staring at the Opera House. The Park Hyatt is magic, but it’s in the middle of the commercial, tourist area.

As A New Yorker, I Always Encourage Travelers To Venture Outside The Tourist Areas. I’m Living My Advice…

I get it- I totally get it. There’s something truly iconic about venturing to the proverbial Times Square for the first time. The lights are bigger and brighter than you ever imagined. But once you’ve done it- don’t you want to know what New Yorkers actually do? Where they live, eat, run, shop- all that stuff?

So We’re Staying In The Potts Point/Darling Area For $150 A Night…

Airbnb has some amazing, under the radar guides for virtually every major city. After checking with friends, we settled on the ‘Potts Point’ neighborhood- putting us smack-dab in a semi trendy, great food, better coffee and incredible cocktail areas where Sydney professionals (and rich hipsters) call home. Less tourists, more of a feel for what it’s like to actually live in Sydney- and not just be a very posh guest. Of course, there are some ridiculous Airbnb properties for a fraction of hotel prices in many cities.

This Is A Win- Win…

$150 a night is very reasonable, especially when traveling with a companion. Having a kitchen, living room and other conveniences can really save on daily food costs- an invaluable move when staying in expensive cities. Being able to experience the very best in hospitality- right in the middle of the main attractions (while jet lagged) seems like a perfect refresher course. Once the sea legs are back, venturing to a more local, self catered arrangement feels like a really unique way to experience any city, and definitely something I recommend.

Your Thoughts?