Review: Glamping In Wadi Rum


Now you’d think, given that we were just up the hill in Little Petra, that Petra itself would be our next stop. Instead, we stopped for lunch in Wadi Musa (and worked for a few hours, I couldn’t help it!), before continuing south to Wadi Rum.

We arrived in Wadi Rum as the sun was starting to set, which made for a beautiful drive in.

I’ve already detailed the adventures of getting walked from our previously-booked Airbnb in Wadi Rum, so won’t go into that here, but you’ll want to read it if you haven’t yet voiced your opinion on the scam/no scam question. Instead, I’ll review the camp we actually stayed at — the Teva Milky Way camp.

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I Was Walked From My Airbnb!


Airlines often oversell space on flights, then ask for volunteers to be “bumped” from the flight. Hotels will sometimes overbook as well, and use the industry term “walked” to describe the process of accommodating a guest at another nearby property.

I’ve never actually been walked from a hotel, and it’s definitely not something I was expecting to have happen at an Airbnb!

As a quick background, my husband and I are in Jordan, and planned a night in the protected area of Wadi Rum. If you’re spending the night in Wadi Rum, your only real option is to stay at some iteration of a Bedouin camp.

There are a range of options, but the basic amenities are pretty much the same, with a handful of tents set up for guests, along with a main common area tent for meals and socializing, and two buffet-style meals included in the price. Most everyone uses the same goat hair tents, so the bathroom facilities are probably where there’s the most variation in quality (and thus pricing).

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20% Off Airbnb Gift Cards


While the focus at OMAAT will always be on hotels where you can earn and use points, there are times when chain hotels aren’t available, or alternative accommodations make more sense. Airbnb can bridge that gap nicely — we had great stays in London and Thailand last year, and I’ll be using Airbnb during my New Years trip to Jordan.

If you have any upcoming Airbnb stays, here’s a great opportunity to save 20% on your trip.

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Our Amazing Thailand Airbnb


Yay! We’re finally to the fun part of the trip!

As best as I can tell, there is not a single chain or points-friendly hotel in all of Kanchanaburi Province, though there is a spate of local accommodations, hostels, and guest houses. Home-stays seem to be the done thing, for the most part.

I’ve been craving some more complicated travel — not that I don’t love my life, and getting to travel in ridiculous luxury — sometimes it’s just nice to switch things up. Of course, there’s a limit to how rugged and isolated you can get when traveling with a family, but when my colleague Jordan suggested Kanchanaburi (“just go; it’s beautiful, and you won’t hear any American accents while you’re there”), it sounded perfect.

Heather took on the task of finding a place to stay, and found a great place about an hour outside of Kanchanaburi city, right on the River Khwae.

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Save $50+ On Airbnb Through Amex Offers


We’ve written previously about Amex Offers, which is a program through American Express which offers discounts and statement credits for using your linked card at a variety of retailers.

These offers save me hundreds of dollars throughout the year, be it on hotel stays, cell phone bills, or even Amazon. It typically takes just a few moments to register, and the statement credits post automatically.

The latest Amex Offer is for $50 off a $100 purchase at Airbnb. I actually have an upcoming family trip to Thailand where we’ve been seeking out more-local accommodations, so the timing of this is perfect for me. Even if you don’t have an immediate use for an Airbnb stay, the promotion specifically allows the purchase of gift cards, so you can buy now and use the credits whenever.

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Earn Virgin America Points With Airbnb


While we’ve long seen partnerships between airlines and hotels, I love some of the more creative, “outside the box” partnerships we’ve seen over the past few years:

— In mid 2013 Hyatt and MGM teamed up to offer members of both of their loyalty programs perks when staying with the other brand. At the time it was a bit unconventional to see a partnership between hotels which don’t otherwise belong to the same chain.
— In early 2015 Starwood and Uber teamed up to offer bonus Starpoints for Uber rides. This is a fantastically creative and lucrative partnership which I can’t get enough of.

Well, Virgin America and Airbnb have announced a partnership, which is also extremely innovative.

How does the partnership work?

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My First Experience With Airbnb

airbnb - 3

In the last installment, Tiffany explained why we decided to stay at an airbnb in London. Since we would have needed three hotel rooms, it was significantly cheaper to get an airbnb than to stay at a hotel.

And I was excited at the prospect of finally staying at an airbnb, as I’ve never stayed at one before, but get asked about them all the time. I love the “sharing” economy, like the ride sharing offered by Uber, so I was curious to see how that worked with airbnb. For that matter, airbnb is giving hotel chains a run for their money, and in many cases hotels view airbnb as being competition in the same way as other local hotels.

Tiffany had more experience with airbnb than I did, so she handled everything. She chose the apartment, worked out the logistics, etc.

Here’s the place we stayed for two nights, which was a two bedroom apartment located near the O2 arena (where we wanted to be).

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When Using Points Doesn’t Make Sense


Without question, I receive tremendous value when redeeming miles and points, and particularly on the hotel front. Combined with elite status perks, hotel awards have not only allowed for some great stays at properties that would otherwise have been a bit out of reach for me, but have made the increasing frequency of travel in our household a little less painful.

So I’m a big fan of using points for hotels, particularly when said points can be acquired inexpensively or through credit cards. But there are times when using points for a hotel just doesn’t make sense — or where hotels don’t make sense in general.

And one of those times is when you realize at the last minute that you need a hotel in London for three people.

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