Booking flights and hotels is definitely more complicated than earning credit card points and miles. Luckily, we have so many search engines to help us book award travel, both for flights and hotels. We have talked about some of them in separate posts, but I wanted to put them all down in one post and link to the more detailed posts about them. These are our favorite award search engines (so far)…
There aren’t a lot of search engines for hotel award redemptions yet. Let’s go over a few of them.
We have a whole post about the AWAYZ site. I like it and plan to use it more often. We have an affiliate link with them where you can get $10 off the annual subscription with the code travelhackingmom. Note that this link came AFTER I had written the post, so there were no ulterior motives in recommending this site; I genuinely like it.
Pro: If you know the area you want to stay and the dates, this site shows you all your options.
Max My Point has been around longer and is a favorite of many. It tracks Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, and IHG. After playing around with it, I was impressed and can recommend it also. My initial search was for the Grand Hyatt Kauai, and this was my results page.
Pro: I like that it brings up all the available dates I can book here. Perfect when you know where you want to stay.
StayWithPoints is newer to me, also. I put Santorini in the search bar, and it came up with a few hotels and their availability. This was the availability for the Mystique Hotel, a Marriott.
When I am looking for flight awards, I like to check the flight search engines and I usually compare a couple of them.
I’m checking out dates from JFK to Athens, one-way, business class for the following sites on June 18th. Each of them came up with some British Airways options + almost $800 in taxes and fees, so I scrolled down to cheaper options. While these options were cheaper, I am not familiar with EgyptAir.
It is important to ensure that the flights are not mixed cabin flights as found in the Award Logic search—that wouldn’t interest me. And you would find much better availability by switching to economy class flights.
Roame is a newer search engine, and my favorite part about it is that it is free and searches very rapidly. I also wrote a blog post about using Roame. I almost always use this search engine along with a paid search engine when I am searching.
Next up is seats.aero. I love the Qatar Qsuites finder tool on this site. It helped me find Qsuites for a trip I am taking next Spring. Recently, we covered this service in a blog post. I like this site for looking for last minute-trips only, or for looking for different ways to position to a destination. In this instance, it did not help me at all. It did confirm that there was not much business class availability JFK-ATH on my dates, though.
The newest search engine of the bunch for flights, pointsyeah promises to search all major credit card rewards and 18 airline loyalty programs of over 120 airlines quickly (10 seconds average). Even better, it can search with multiple dates. And it is free. I think that I will like it and plan to use it more often for that multiple-date feature.
Using a search engine can point you in the right direction when trying to book award travel. None are perfect, so I often pick a couple and compare them when I am trying to book travel. These are just some of our favorite search engines to book award travel. They seem to get better, and more seem to come out all the time, so we will add more as we check them out!
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