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The Ultimate Oahu Travel Guide (Part 5): How to Maximize Value For Your Next Trip

The Ultimate Oahu Travel Guide: How to Maximize Value For Your Next Trip 

There are an endless amount of hotels and resorts to choose from all across Oahu that I discussed in Part 2 of this Oahu Travel Guide, but if you're interested in maximizing value for your trip, there are numerous ways to do it that could include using points and miles or taking advantage of special programs that add extra value and amenities for your trip.  My top recommendations not only help maximize value for your next trip, but optimize it based on your budget and travel style. 

This family travel guide to Oahu is broken up into five different parts that go over the island, the best places to stay, what you need to experience, our favorite places to eat and shop and how to maximize value for your next trip.

You'll find plenty of different options for exploring Oahu's different regions, the island's many activities, its eclectic restaurants and accommodations. 

How to Maximize Value For Your Next Trip
  • Use Points and Miles
  • Use the Right Travel Advisor
  • Other Hotel Collections: Find Value with Visa Signature, AMEX FHR and Similar Programs
  • Wholesale Travel Suppliers 

Points & Miles
I've discussed utilizing points and miles to help maximize value when traveling in many previous posts here on the blog and would say I am knowledgeable about all of the hotel programs, airlines programs and other travel related points and miles programs offered by credit cards.  
One of the reasons I don't discuss more on how I exactly use points and miles is because everyone accrues different points, miles or prefers cash-back and since "Your Mileage May Vary", meaning how I accrue and use points and miles may not be the best way for you to accrue them or use them.  Where I may find great benefit in using points for hotel stays, you may find better value by using them for flights or getting cash-back.  Plus there are many other bigger websites out there, like The Points Guy,  that exclusively discuss how to get the best value out of points and miles.

I've used miles to book flights for our family trips when it makes sense and I am getting good value for my miles, but over the years, I've found I get much better value out of points when redeeming them for hotel stays, especially at Marriott brands since we have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status and get extra perks (breakfast, room upgrades, etc) when staying at Marriott brands.  

If learning more about points, miles, hotel/airline loyalty programs and credit card programs is something you're more interested in, let me know and I'll start posting more about it on the blog!

Use the Right Travel Advisor 
What if you're planning a trip and don't have the necessary points and miles or just don't have the patience or the interest to accrue points and miles in an airline program, hotel program or a flexible point currency offered from banks like Chase, American Express, CitiBank or others?

Finding extra value for your trip with value-added perks and amenities is a must with the right travel advisor only programs like Marriott STARS and Luminous, the Virtuoso Hotel Program, Hyatt Prive and similar programs.

The Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous Program is a hotel collection representing the world’s largest and most diverse collection of iconic luxury brands including Ritz Carlton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin hotels and more that offer tremendous value-added benefits and amenities such as free breakfast, hotels credits, room upgrades and more when booking through select travel advisors like The Family Travel Guy!
  • The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki: The most coveted spot on Waikiki Beach is at The Royal Hawaiian, featuring luxurious guest rooms showcasing unrivaled panoramic views of Diamond Head and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
  • Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa: The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, often referred to as the "First Lady of Waikiki," is a legendary landmark hotel that introduced the world to Hawaiian hospitality in 1901. Take a step back into time, but still enjoy all of the contemporary amenities and unique services you'd come to expect of the Westin brand.
  • Sheraton Waikiki: Centrally located on World famous Waikiki Beach with a great pool deck area and 1702 guestrooms and 150 suites.  Rising on a half-mile of crisp white sand, the Sheraton Waikiki Beach Resort casts sparks with an endless whirl of entertainment.
  • Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa: The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa features some of the best views in Waikiki and a wide variety of guest services and amenities in the heart of Waikiki. Featuring a newly renovated Nanea Lobby and event spaces, the resort is situated only steps from world-famous Waikiki Beach
  • The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach: Discover a new and distinctive resort experience at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach.  Rooms and suites at this Waikiki Beach hotel blend the amenities of a residence with the services of a luxury resort. Available with up to four bedrooms, accommodations feature ocean views, balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens, living spaces and bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. With 246 suites, the resort boasts the largest number of hotel luxury suites on the island.
For Oahu, Virtuoso hotels include:
  • Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina: The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is the first Four Seasons property on Oahu, located in the Ko Olina resort area on the West side of Oahu.  The five-star Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina balances a classic Hawaiian style with modern one-of-a-kind luxury.
  • The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki: The most coveted spot on Waikiki Beach is at The Royal Hawaiian, featuring luxurious guest rooms showcasing unrivaled panoramic views of Diamond Head and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort: This secluded beachfront resort, just 10 minutes from Waikiki, features spacious accommodations, a world-class spa, world class dining at five restaurants, private lagoon with resident dolphins and Kahala beach.

Not only would you receive extra value-added amenities and perks when staying at any of these above hotels, there can also be special offers that may include free nights, extra hotel credits, confirmed upgrade at time of booking, extra savings offers and more.   

One of the best offers I've seen, and has been updated for 2022, includes every 5th night free at the Royal Hawaiian, Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Waikiki.  There is publicly available offer better than this one and no other way to secure it, than by booking through an eligible travel advisor.

Other Hotel Collections
Another great way to maximize value is by having an eligible credit cards that can unlock other hotel collections available from Visa Signature, American Express FHR, Mastercard Luxury Hotels and other similar programs.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection is composed of some of the world's most intriguing and prestigious properties, including brands like Peninsula, Park Hyatt, and Shangri-La. This hand-selected portfolio, developed for Visa Signature cardholders, is appraised regularly. All properties, from boutique gems to world famous hotels, provide a premium collection of benefits specially designed to offer an unparalleled experience.

With every booking, Visa Signature cardholders receive:
  • Best available rate guarantee (temporarily unavailable)
  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • $25 USD food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status
  • Late check-out upon request, when available
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts & The Hotel Collection
As a Platinum Card Member, enjoy elevated benefits at over 1,800 properties worldwide with Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection.

Amex FHR: With each booking, receive this complimentary suite of benefits that offer an average total value of $550 at over 1,200 extraordinary properties worldwide.
  • 12pm check-in: Start your vacation sooner with 12pm check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade: Receive a room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two: Wake up to daily breakfast for two, on the house
  • $100 experience credit: Enjoy a complimentary experience credit valued at $100 or more
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi: Stay connected during your stay with complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Guaranteed 4pm check-out: Keep your vacation going with guaranteed 4pm check-out
The Hotel Collection: When you stay two or more consecutive nights, receive these elevated benefits at more than 600 hotels.
  • Room upgrade: Receive a room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • $100 experience credit: Enjoy a complimentary experience credit valued at $100 or more
Mastercard Luxury Hotels and Resorts 
Enjoy premium benefits and savings on hotels, car rentals and flight bookings.
  • Complimentary Daily Breakfast
  • Special Amenity up to $100
  • Room Upgrade (upon availability)
  • Early Check-in Late Check-out Upgrades
Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection Program
Special benefits available when you book through the program using your Chase card
  • Daily Breakfast for Two
  • A Special Benefit Worth Up to $100 Unique to each property
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Room Upgrade, If available
  • Early Check-in and Late Check-out, If available
If you have an eligible credit card, it may be worth checking out these hotel programs in order to maximize your value. 

Wholesale Travel Suppliers 
Another great option to consider when not using points and miles is wholesale travel suppliers and tour operators (typically only available through a travel advisor/agent).  

Travel packages offered from these suppliers can sometimes offer great value and savings when you package up flights, hotels and/or rental cars.  Offers and promotions can vary from supplier to supplier, but I have seen some great pricing when packaging up flights and hotels, especially for Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean!  

Examples of tour operators and travel advisor only suppliers include Pleasant Holidays, Classic Vacations, Travel Impressions, Blue Sky Tours and more.  Booking with a wholesale travel supplier is very similar to booking with Costco Travel or through Expedia, but when booking with one of these suppliers you wouldn't get points in hotel programs or the benefits and inventory may be limited.

I would only consider booking with a wholesale supplier if you have don't have hotel status, i.e., Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Hilton Honors, etc and are looking for the absolute lowest price you can find, while still trying to maximize your overall value.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to go about traveling or trying to maximize and optimize your travel.  There are many things to take into consideration that may include personal preferences, budget, travel style, what points/miles you may have, school schedules, along with many other considerations that can help determine how you can best maximize value for your next trip.  

I hope reading about the these options above can help you with your travel goals and as always, please feel free to get in touch with any questions or if you need help booking your next trip! 

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