How I Book My Hotels When I travel; Review

I planned to calm down since finishing my journey to every country in the world last year, 25 repeat countries since then and attempts at taking my pasty Irish ass up Everest on a goal to the 7 Summits, slowing down hasn’t quite worked. Often I wonder if single-mindedness, goals, obsession etc are a curse rather than a blessing, and often I conclude that they are. Equally, no one achieved anything without suffering so let’s give it a good go.

It’s August now, my next few months include Ireland, England, Kenya, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Argentina. Often I partner with hotel brands thanks to my blog, my Instagram etc but that adds a lot of pressure to your trips. Not only are you climbing mountains, but you’re meeting hotel managers, thinking about angles etc. So often nowadays I just pay and get on with it. No obligations. No stress.

A few days in Santorini, Greece. My @airbnb is 👌🏻😍

A post shared by Johnny Ward 🌍🌎🌏 (@onestep4ward) on


I’ve talked about this at length before, when I first discovered BonWi. You can check that article reviewing how those guys work HERE. So for sure I used Agoda and Booking for years, and actually both and Agoda used to be amazing the way they stocked you up on points, like air miles, that kept you loyal to a brand and then every trip or two, boom, a couple of nights free in Athens, or Rome, or Bangkok with your points. They’ve cut waaaaay back on that recently, and I still continued to book with them. The inertia of understanding a platform. Same reason we’re stuck with Android or iOS. Change is scary.

I ended up speaking to Mike, the founder of and heard about how they’ve stayed true to the rewards game. Not just clinging on, but giving more points back than any others EVER did. Intriguing, so I had a look. I booked 3 nights in Lombok, Indonesia, and a night somewhere in Komodo. I soon found myself in Oslo, Norway after my marathon at the North Pole was delayed. The most expensive city in the world, no hotel booked for that night. I hadn’t used BonWi in 2/3 months so I logged in not expecting much. Next thing I’m staying in a city centre hotel with the points I got from my couple of stays in Asia. Maybe this thing is for real.

Bonwi review
My free hotel room in Oslo, Norway


I’m gonna hit this in bullet form. I get bored ready some blogger chatting about yet another start-up too. So ignore me and read why I reckon Bonwi is awesome, and here to stay.


  1. It’s a hotel booking platform. Like Agoda and Booking, a little slower, a little less sleek, but much more generous to the user.
  2. You book like any other platform, but you get points back for booking. Often up to 30% to 40% of the booking back (and that’s not some marketing rubbish, you literally get that much back frequently)
  3. Bonwi points are calculated at a penny per point.  Thus 10,000 bonwi points is equal to $100 USD
  4. Bonwi points can ALSO be redeemed for hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards at major retailers and even airline tickets (WHAAAAT?!)
  5. Once you’ve saved up points, and then use your points to book a free hotel, you get your points back on that booking too!
  6. Just for registering with Bonwi, you get 1,500 points ($15 value) deposited into your account even before you book anything!
  7. No games, the price you see is the price you pay. Don’t you hate it when you go to check out and WHAM, $65 more than you thought? Where’d that come from? No longer.
  8. Using points isn’t like those confusing airmiles, that when you try to use them it’s restricted date this, and back-up ticket that. You have 10k points? Book a room for 10k points. Black and white.
  9. Compare the rivals. You can see what you’d pay with all the famous hotel booking sites, so if you’re freaking out that it’s too good to be true – compare and book with the best deal, just remember the points you make back on Bonwi though.
  10. They’re relatively new. Which means they’re generous, and they want to grow market share. Which means they’re as cheap as they can be. Take advantage of that and book now.
Private villa lombok
My villa in Lombok I booked with Bonwi, just over $100 a night, INSANE!


As I continue to make more money blogging, and I focus more on growing  my charity and climbing mountains than racing around countries, I’ll be turning down a lot more hotel partnerships and booking more and more. Which means I need to find a way to make it efficient. Right now, this works for me. I’ll continue to share my thoughts with you guys over the next few months with Bonwi, and let me know you get on with them too. Just buy me a drink when you see me if you’ve had a few free hotel stays based on my advice though. Deal?!


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