Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 26: Andaz Mayakoba Trip & Traveling With Kids on the Spectrum Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 26: Andaz Mayakoba Trip & Traveling With Kids on the Spectrum

Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 26: Andaz Mayakoba Trip & Traveling With Kids on the Spectrum

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Welcome to the Award Travel 101 Podcast, from the original Facebook community created for miles and points enthusiasts. Our goal for this podcast and our community is to help you learn how to maximize your travel rewards, no matter your destination or budget. In this episode, I chat with Special Education Intervention Specialist (and my wife/”Player 2″), Jessica Petrovic, about our recent trip to the Andaz Mayakoba in Mexico and how we navigated various obstacles.

Award Travel 101 Podcast Show Format

We break each show into six sections:

  • Question/Win of the Week — asked or shared by members of the Award Travel 101 community
  • News & Enhanced Offers
  • What Bonuses Did We Get — which will tell you what credit cards we're working on and why
  • Trip Updates
  • Highlight Feature
  • What You Didn't Know — a feature dedicated to a big or small tip that will help you better maximize the value you receive from your rewards.

How to Listen to the Award Travel 101 Podcast

You can find us anywhere you listen to other fine podcasts including:

Previous Episode Show Notes

Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 26 Show Notes

News & Enhanced Offers

Trip Updates

  • Joe:
    • How I saved 12K Rapid Rewards points
    • What did I book for 19K AAdvantage miles
  • Jessica:
    • First mommy/daughter trip

What Bonuses Did We Get?

Jessica's Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card arrived (read about how to maximize the Hilton Surpass). What plans do we have?

Highlight Feature: Andaz Mayakoba Vacation

Last week, our family visited a beautiful resort situated in the Mexican Rivera Maya just outside Playa del Carmen. Here's how we did it.

  • The perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve® provided breakfast at Bar Symon (via Priority Pass). Saved $80-90 for the family. Is the Sapphire Reserve worth the annual fee?
  • Flight down: We canceled a United award flight booked using 70K miles. Instead, we rebooked for $810 cash.
    • Applied 20 United PlusPoints (upgrade instrument) per person for wife and son
    • Complimentary Premier Upgrade (CPU) for daughter and me
  • Cancun (CUN) arrival: How was passport control?
  • Transfer to resort: Booked via USA Transfers – Experience?
  • Andaz Mayakoba:
    • Booked using 155K Hyatt points = six nights off-peak at 21K per night + one night at peak at 29K points per night.
    • Applied a Suite Upgrade Award earned as a 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 oceanfront for $200 per night (really about $250 after taxes and fees) — which included butler service. What is butler service, and was it worth it?
    • Summer weather
    • Globalist breakfast
    • Free bikes — 5-7 min ride from breakfast to La Playa
    • Free golf cart rides… or a long walk
    • Free eco-tour boat ride
    • Activities for kids 12 and under
    • Cost of service — pesos vs dollars
    • Should families consider this resort. Pros and cons.
    • My tour of Mayakoba, El Pueblito, Banyan Tree & Saffron (Thai)
  • Flight home: We canceled a United award flight home booked using 80K miles and rebooked for $715 cash.
    • Used 20 PlusPoints per person for Jessie and “Player 3” — instant upgrades after finding two (PZ2) seats upgradeable through United's Expert Mode over a week out
    • Used 20 PlusPoints per person for “Player 4” and me to get the #1 & 2 upgrade spots and cleared at check-in
  • Arrival in Cleveland (CLE):
  • Overall thoughts

What You Didn't Know

Allison Carraway shares how to use British Airways Avios for American Airlines flights

Where To Find the Award Travel 101 Community

For questions, you can join us in the free 97,000+ member Award Travel 101 Community.

  1. If you want to jump into more intermediate and advanced strategies, our Award Travel 201 community ($89.99 annually) is filled with those who want to dig into the weeds, looking for more outsized value.
  2. To book time with our team to discuss how to better your earning and burning strategies, check out Award Travel 1-on-1.
  3. You can also email us at
  4. Meetup sold out, but you can waitlist.
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