I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before. You’ve done all the hard work, applied for the best credit cards, banked your Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You Point, and are now wondering how to redeem for a big trip you’ve been thinking about for months. But where do you redeem if you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury? Splurge on first class flights or luxury hotels?
In my experience, if going for luxury, I personally will choose a business class flight over a luxury hotel if my flights are 8+ hours or overnight every day of the week. Luxury hotels are great, but when you are jaunting around the world, with limited time off, I you need to hit the ground running upon arrival, I could care less about the hotel room having extra amenities, particularly if it’s an adventure or culture trip. My ability to get a good night’s sleep, feel rested, and improve my mood will trump any extra service levels a concierge or luxury hotel service can provide.
I am always surprised by how many folks can’t wait to blow points on the Ritz Carlton or Conrad properties when on vacation. I get it, you want to spoil yourself and feel pampered, and in a lot of cases it makes sense, particularly at beach resorts. But oftentimes the way I travel, I want to be active, and staying inside a hotel during vacation is not really my thing. A hotel has a bed, and as long as that bed has a decent mattress and sheets that don’t give me a rash from low thread count, I will probably feel rested enough to tackle the day!
In other words, I’m of the opinion that getting a lie flat bed on a long journey will have a very material difference on your experience. From all the new research out there, sleep is paramount to improved happiness, alertness, better decision making, and less stress. If I can start my vacation on the right foot, I will be less focused on “relaxing” at the destination and can go straight into activity mode, which is my favorite mode!
I know I’ve personally flown on 8+ hour economy flights on transatlantic routes, and often have had the feeling of “I can’t wait until I reach my final destination, get me off this plane so I can get some decent sleep.” And that is no way to start a vacation, if you can’t help it.
I’m curious, what are your thoughts: would you rather choose a lie flat bed or luxury hotel?