A suitcase in a nice hotel room with the door slightly ajar
Posted: 8/14/23 | August 14th, 2023

For many of my travels, I’ve been a hostel man by and thru. And, whereas I nonetheless keep in hostels once I journey, since I run a enterprise from the highway, I typically want a bit extra privateness and quiet than what a hostel can present.

However accommodations can get dear and I’m nonetheless an affordable backpacker at coronary heart. I hate spending cash on a room I’m solely going to be in for just a few hours a day. To economize on accommodations, I began journey hacking. Through the use of factors and hotel-branded bank cards to get free stays, I’ve saved hundreds and hundreds of {dollars} in lodging over time.

Nonetheless, it may be a little bit of a ache to search out resort award availability. Every resort has its personal calendar of award nights (nights you can guide utilizing factors), and it may be time-consuming to flip by these digital calendars to search out one of the best deal.

That’s the place Awayz is available in.

This software searches throughout resort applications that can assist you discover one of the best place to make use of to your hard-earned factors in your subsequent resort keep.

Till now, there’s been nothing this complete for locating resort award nights, so I’m tremendous excited that it lastly exists. Out of the opposite (few) resort award instruments on the market, it’s probably the most user-friendly, searches throughout probably the most resort applications, and has one of the best options and filters.

On this evaluation, I’ll present you what the positioning is all about and the right way to use it to search out free resort stays on your subsequent journey!

 

What’s Awayz?

homepage of Awayz website with a search box overlaid on a spherical globe

Awayz is a software particularly for reserving accommodations utilizing factors. In the event you’re aware of the points-and-miles reserving software Level.me, it’s like that, however for accommodations as an alternative of flights (in the event you’re not aware of level.me, try my evaluation to study extra).

Like different reserving instruments, you merely put in your location and dates, and out pop a ton of choices for accommodations you can guide with factors. It additionally exhibits you a side-by-side comparability of the variety of factors wanted, alongside the money value, and provides its suggestion concerning which is the higher deal. It is a massively useful function in the event you don’t need to spend time and power crunching the numbers your self.

Presently, Awayz helps Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Accor, with Wyndham and Option to be added quickly. Having the ability to search throughout a number of resort chains is one other nice function, particularly in the event you’re attempting to make use of a transferable foreign money, like Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Final Rewards, which will be transferred and used at numerous resort chains.

Listed here are among the primary options that Awayz affords:

  • Availability alerts
  • A 12-month award availability calendar
  • A map function
  • A money vs. factors comparability
  • The power to enter your present factors applications to tailor the outcomes
  • Free-night award availability is highlighted

 

How Awayz Works

World map next to search box on Awayz website

To make use of Awayz, all you need to do is put in your required particulars (location, dates, and so on.). It then brings up all of the out there accommodations you can guide with factors. You may then filter your outcomes till you discover a resort that works greatest for you.

Awayz operates on a subscription mannequin. There’s a free trial, although, so you may attempt it out earlier than signing up. With the free trial, you’ll get 5 searches and 5 resort availability alerts, in addition to entry to all of Awayz’s options, except resort deal alerts.

The Journey Move ($4.99) is basically the higher choice if you wish to attempt Awayz to its full potential, because it provides you the flexibility to do 50 searches in 72 hours (the 5 searches on the free trial might be gone earlier than you realize it), in addition to 10 availability alerts.

In the event you journey and seek for accommodations usually, you’ll need the premium subscription ($8.33/month when paid yearly, or $11.99 when paid month-to-month). This tier provides you 250 month-to-month searches, 10 availability alerts, and resort deal alerts (the one tier that provides this).

You may see the total breakdown of the distinction between plans right here:

Breakdown of pricing and features for free trial, trip pass, and premium subscriptions for Awayz

In the event you join an annual plan utilizing the code nomadicmatt, you’ll get $10 off the annual Premium plan.

Setting Up Your Awayz Pockets

Earlier than you begin looking out, you’ll need to arrange the pockets and awards part. Right here, you may add your resort loyalty applications, bank cards, and the variety of factors you’ve got in every.
That is essential for just a few causes.

First, you may then filter by your out there factors when looking out. There’s no sense in mentioning accommodations you can’t guide!

Second, Awayz will take into accounts perks like free nights (a perk on a lot of the greatest resort bank cards), financial institution switch bonus promotions (e.g, get 30% extra factors when transferring Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors), or currencies the place you need to use factors as money (resembling Chase Final Rewards).

Awayz presently helps the next:

  • Lodge applications: Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Accor Stay Limitless
  • Transferrable currencies: American Categorical Membership Rewards, Chase Final Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou factors, and Altitude Reserve factors

You don’t have so as to add any figuring out info when including your applications. It is a constructive for these involved about safety, however a destructive for individuals who need the convenience of automated syncing of their level balances.

As an alternative, you’ll have so as to add in your present balances your self, as you may see on this instance:

Wallet section of Awayz website, with point balances for different hotel rewards programs

You may search accommodations with out including this information however including this info in makes it quite a bit simpler to see what your choices are with out guessing.

Learn how to Search and Guide Inns with Awayz

For our pattern search, let’s say we need to get some summer time solar by going to Miami for a protracted weekend in January. By firing off a fast search with simply your dates and site, you’ll get the next:

Search for hotels on Awayz website, showing different colored pins of available hotels on a map of Miami, Florida

However since this fundamental search brings up extra accommodations than you’ll need to wade by, the next step is to filter the outcomes.

The out there search filters are:

  • Lodge manufacturers
  • Transferable currencies and resort loyalty applications
  • Free-night certificates availability
  • Your present factors (the numbers you enter on the pockets and awards part)

You may as well type by distance from the middle of the vacation spot in addition to by level or money values.

Right here’s what it appears like (grayed-out applications are ones you haven’t entered level values for):

Search filters on Awayz website, shown as checkboxes

When it brings up the search outcomes, Awayz makes use of its personal algorithm to additionally spotlight whether or not it thinks utilizing factors or money is a greater worth, which is tremendous helpful info as you weigh your choices.

When you’ve filtered and regarded by the outcomes to discover a resort that you just’re considering, choose it to get much more particulars. You’ll see one of the best worth, money value, the worth in the event you use factors as money, and buttons to see your complete award availability calendar or to set an availability alert in case your most popular dates aren’t presently out there.

Screenshot on the Awayz website of a potential booking for a Hyatt hotel in Miami, Florida, showing the breakdown of points vs cash needed for that stay

On this case, one of the best deal is utilizing Hyatt Rewards factors, which you’ll be able to switch from Bilt or Chase (as indicated within the backside right-hand “Switch Companion” field).

In the event you’re versatile along with your dates and need to see your complete award availability calendar for this resort, merely hit that black button and up it pops. It’ll spotlight the dates you’re presently looking out, however you can too scroll by your complete 12-month calendar to see if there are higher offers on the market. The bottom charges (in each money and factors) are highlighted in inexperienced, whereas the very best charges are highlighted in crimson:

Calendar on Awayz website showing the cost in points and cash for each night in a Hyatt hotel in Miami, Florida

On this case, you may see that in the event you may shift your lengthy weekend journey again by simply two weeks, you can save 9,000 factors.

In any case that digging, let’s say you’ve determined that that is the resort you need to guide. Hit “guide now,” and also you’ll be dropped at the resort’s web site. You’re by yourself from there, however even when it’s essential switch factors, it’s usually a really simple course of.

Professionals of Awayz

1. The power to look throughout many applications directly
The obvious professional of utilizing Awayz is the flexibility to tug up all accommodations you can guide with factors on your desired dates and site. With out this software, you’d have to look throughout all of the applications wherein you’ve got factors (or may have factors in the event you transferred them there). That includes logging into every web site, discovering the award charts, factoring in any charges, and evaluating throughout all applications. It’s not that onerous, but it surely does take time.

2. Factors-to-cash comparability
This function is one other main profit to utilizing Awayz. Once more, evaluating money and level values is a time-consuming course of, particularly whenever you’re new to utilizing factors for resort stays. Awayz takes the guesswork out of this course of by utilizing its personal algorithm (which is frequently up to date with the most recent information) to find out one of the best worth.

3. Simple-to-use interface with useful filters
The web site could be very simple and straightforward to make use of, and the filters make fast work of serving to you discover accommodations that work on your wants. The power to enter awards applications and present factors helps you slim your search down much more.

Cons of Awayz

1. It’s a paid software
Awayz does have a restricted free trial, however if you wish to get probably the most out of this software, you’ll need to pay: both $4.99 for a 72-hour Journey Move, or $8.33/11.99 (annual billing vs. month-to-month billing) for Premium.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re new to journey hacking and haven’t fairly memorized the ins and outs of every program, it’s a cut price when you think about the potential financial savings in not solely cash however the time you’d spend attempting to determine and search throughout applications.

And, as a Nomadic Matt reader, you may get $10 off an annual subscription with the code nomadicmatt.

2. It doesn’t routinely sync along with your loyalty applications and currencies
This could be a professional to those that don’t need to give exterior entry to their accounts, but it surely additionally provides an additional step within the course of. It’s additionally straightforward to neglect to replace whenever you do use your factors.

3. Not all manufacturers are supported (but)
Whereas Awayz helps many main chains — Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Accor — it doesn’t but help all of them. Wyndham and Alternative aren’t presently supported, although these needs to be added quickly. Nonetheless, if these are your most popular manufacturers, you won’t discover Awayz to be helpful to you simply but.

Who’s Awayz for?

Awayz is very nice for vacationers which might be newer to redeeming factors for award nights. Utilizing Awayz saves you time (and cash) within the resort award search and reserving course of, which is very helpful whenever you’re first beginning out studying the right way to get free stays. The cash-to-points comparability function is very key for this.

However even skilled journey hackers can get lots of worth out of the software. You probably have lots of factors in numerous currencies, you know the way time-consuming it’s to look throughout applications. Plus, the flexibility to set alerts can assist you discover elusive stays with out having to consistently hold tabs on the resort.

***

Awayz is a welcome addition to the rising scene of award reserving instruments. Whereas there are a selection of complete instruments for locating award flights, to date, nothing comparable has existed for locating resort stays you may guide with factors. With a rising suite of filters and options, in addition to side-by-side comparability of factors vs. money pricing, Awayz helps you save each money and time — essential assets it doesn’t matter what kind of traveler you’re!

Whereas it’s a paid software, there’s a free trial out there, and even paid variations turn out to be price it after they allow you to discover an incredible free keep.

And keep in mind to make use of code nomadicmatt to get $10 off!

Guide Your Journey: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner. It’s my favourite search engine as a result of it searches web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is being left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You may guide your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use Reserving.com because it persistently returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and accommodations.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage is one factor you WILL need to purchase. It’s there in the event you get sick, robbed, delayed, or a visit cancelled. I by no means go on a visit with out it since you by no means know what may occur. Don’t skip it. I’ve seen too many vacationers remorse doing so. My favourite firms are:

Wish to Journey for Free?
Journey bank cards assist you to earn factors that may be redeemed totally free flights and lodging — all with none further spending. Take a look at my information to choosing the right card to get began. For US residents, right here’s how one can get factors on hire too.

Able to Guide Your Journey?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for one of the best firms to make use of whenever you journey. I listing all those I exploit once I journey. They’re one of the best in school and you may’t go mistaken utilizing them in your journey.

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