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The Delta attack on United hubs elicited my first post written in utter excitement with
little no editing.
After I booked the Dublin trip, I realized there were more pieces that had to fall into place, and thought it would be a good opportunity to document my trip-planning process.
The trip is IAD-ATL-DUB, and back the same way. I’m in New York, so I am anticipating:
- Booking hotel rooms for six nights
- Probably renting a car
- Getting myself down to Washington, DC from NYC
- Using my American Express Platinum Card to get into Delta and/or Priority Pass lounges in IAD and ATL (and DUB on the way back)
- And of course, being in Ireland for the first time
After I got the confirmation email from Delta, I wondered what hotels would be in Dublin. I had a Hyatt free night cert from the Chase Hyatt Visa, as well as a nice stash of Club Carlson points.
I thought surely there would be a Hyatt in Ireland. Nope.
After Hyatt, Club Carlson is my go-to. And it looks like I will continue Club Carlson-ing around Europe, this time at the Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin, right downtown.
Which leads me to my next point. I didn’t know on Monday night, January 5th, that I’d be booking a trip to Dublin. I’m glad it happened, that I had a Delta egift certificate, Arrival points to write off part of the fare, and some Club Carlson points in my account. This is a prime example of why it’s good to have a stash of points and/or miles in a program that you trust.
I got too excited to get a proper shot of the screen where it shows my buy-one-get-one, ah but I love that screen. Having the Club Carlson Visa Signature gets me a free night with every award redemption. So, for 44,000 Club Carlson Gold Points, I got two nights for free in Dublin. For completely, 100%, no-taxes-or-anything free.
Had it not been for my stash, I would’ve paid $509 dollars for the two nights.
In this case, my points were worth $.0116 points each – not bad for a hotel redemption.
You know what else is cool?
I have 40,000 more points coming my way any day now. I recently hit my one-year anniversary with the Club Carlson Visa Signature and will get 40,000 points for renewing.
That means I could have booked this ~$500 2-night stay for just the cost of the annual fee on the card, which is only $75. The Club Carlson program continues to wow me with their generosity and ease of redemption, especially, as I’ve seen personally, in Europe. And getting $500+ in value in return for paying $75 is a total no-brainer. I will keep this card for as long as it gives out the anniversary bonus, Gold status, and buy-one-get-one on award redemptions.
And one more thing: if I get upgraded in Dublin to a bigger room, that will mean I got even more value per point out of this award booking, and in theory, out of the anniversary bonus (which I still could spring for).
I love Club Carlson. I feel like they’re the unsung hero of hotel chains right now. (And Hyatt would be a great fit for Dublin!)
Two nights of my six in Dublin will be with them (and most likely more).
I will continue to document the planning for this trip. As you can already see, it happens in pieces, and it is good to have a stash of points for surprise fare sales, or for more urgent concerns that may happen.
The sporadic nature of this booking has given me more to think about as far as my travel goals. It reminds me of when I randomly bought flights to Alaska on American because of a fare sale and ended up going to Anchorage for my birthday. I’m wondering if I should just turn all my travel goals over to the Universe and let it do what it does best… I know that sounds super hippy-dippy. I will have to elaborate more in another post.
Anyway, can’t wait to get to Ireland! Already have a feeling it’s gonna be amazing.
Did anyone else get in on this fare sale? Any must-visit places in Dublin or the surrounding area that you know of?
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.