Award Travel 101

All the Upgrades & Traveling With Kids Who Have Special Needs

July 28, 2023 Season 3 Episode 26
Award Travel 101
All the Upgrades & Traveling With Kids Who Have Special Needs
Show Notes

In this episode, I chat with Special Education Intervention Specialist (and my wife/P2), Jessica Petrovic, about our recent trip to the Andaz Mayakoba in Mexico and how we navigated various obstacles.



  • Joe - 
    • How I saved 12K Rapid Reward points
    • What did I book for 19K AA miles
  • Jessica -
    • 1st Mommy/Daughter trip


  • Jessica - Hilton Surpass arrived - what plans do we have?

HIGHLIGHT (Main Feature) Andaz Mayakoba Vacation

  • The perks - Sapphire Reserve (Priority Pass) Breakfast at Bar Symon saves $80-90 for the family
  • Flight over - Cancelled UA Award flight using 70K miles and rebooked $810 Cash
    • Applied 20 PlusPoints (upgrade instrument) per person for Jessie and Noah
    • Complimentary Premier Upgrade (CPU) for P4 and me
  • CUN Arrival - Passport Control - How was it?
  • Transfer - USA Transfers - Experience?
  • Andaz Mayakoba arrival
    • 155K Hyatt Points (6 nights off-peak for 21K per night, and 1 night at peak 29K)
    • Used Suite Upgrade Award Milestone benefit (first earned at 50 nights and again at 60 nights) to upgrade to “Standard” suite. Choice of Lagoon or Oceanview. Chose Oceanview. 
    • Offered an upgrade to Ocean Front for $200 per night (really about $250 after taxes and fees), which included butler service. What is butler service, and is it worth it?
    • Summer Weather
    • Globalist Breakfast
    • Free Bikes - 5-7 min ride from breakfast to La Playa
    • Free Golf cart rides - you want to walk?
    • Free ecotour - boat ride
    • Activities for kids 12 and under
    • Cost of service - pesos vs dollars
    • Should families consider this resort +/-
    • My tour of Mayakoba, El Pueblito, Banyan Tree & Saffron (Thai)
  • Flight Home - cancelled UA award flight home using 80K miles and rebooked $715 flight home
    • Used 20 PP per person for Jessie and P3 - instant upgrades (PZ2) over a week out
    • Used 20 PP per person for P4 and me to get the #1 & 2 upgrade spots and cleared at check-in
  • CLE arrival - backwards process
    • how was clearing customs
    • Used Amex Platinum and Business Platinum to pay for GE for both kids ($200) - how was the process?
    • What about TSA?
  • O

Where To Find the Award Travel 101 Community

For questions, you can join us in the free 100,000+ member Award Travel 101 Community.

  1. For more intermediate and advanced strategies, join Award Travel 201 community
  2. To book time with our team, check out Award Travel 1-on-1.
  3. You can also email us at
  4. Our next meetup is located in San Antonio, TX on April 26–28, 2024, and it's SOLD-OUT. You can get on our wait-list, but to learn more visit Taco 'Bout A Fiesta!

Support the AT101 Podcast/Community