Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Miles and Points Travel--2014 Plus 2015 Plans

Several of the travel blogs I read regularly have posted recaps of 2014 travel and plans for 2015 travel with miles and points, which inspired me to do the same.While my family traveled on miles and points sporadically prior to 2014, the benefits of my miles and points hobby did not really kick in until last year.

2014 Trips Made Possible/Easier with Miles and Points:

January 2014
--Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral, Florida. We used Southwest miles to fly our family of 5 round trip from Dallas to Orlando and Marriott points to stay at a hotel for 2 nights prior to our cruise.

September 2014
--New York City 10th Anniversary Trip. My husband and I flew from Dallas to New York City on Southwest miles and stayed 2 nights for free at a DoubleTree on Times Square.
--Colorado 50th Anniversary Trip. I used miles to fly one-way to Denver for my parents' 50th anniversary.

October 2014
--Disney Cruise. We again used Southwest miles to fly all 5 of us to Orlando for a 7-night Disney Cruise. We used $1303.15 in credit card rewards (Amex, Disney, Discover) to reduce our out-of-pocket cost of the cruise.

November 2014
--Thanksgiving trip. I used American Airlines miles to fly my sister one-way from Indianapolis to Dallas for our Thanksgiving trip to Amarillo.

Whew, that's a lot of miles and points in 2014! That's a total of 12 round-trip tickets and 2 one-way tickets on airline miles, plus 4 free hotel nights.

Miles and Points Plans for 2015:

--Girls Weekend Trip. I'm using Southwest miles for a one-way flight for a short girls weekend trip to one of my favorite places!

--Hawaii. This is our big trip this year! 5 round-trip flights on American Airlines miles, 8 nights of almost-free hotel (the hotels won't be completely free, but it's looking like after we apply all of our credit card travel rewards we will end up paying less than $100 total).

--Colorado. 5 round-trip flights on Southwest miles and 2 nights of free hotel (just a quick trip to see my family)

--Florida. 5 round-trip flights on Southwest miles plus 3 nights of free hotel at the beach (we will be paying cash for 3 nights at a Disney hotel at a greatly-reduced group rate)

So that's a total of 15 round-trip flights, 1 one-way flight and 13 free hotel nights planned for 2015.

I am both excited and grateful for these upcoming trips with my family that are made possible by this miles and points hobby. I consider this "miles and points thing" one of my part-time jobs, since it does take some time and effort to read travel blog recommendations for earning points and track spending/earning. Family travel is a precious, priceless gift that I hope we are fortunate enough to continue giving to our family.

If you want more information about collecting miles and points for free or almost-free travel, here are some good posts to read:

Beginner's Guide by Mommy Points
Top 10 Travel Credit Card Offers for January 2015 by The Points Guy

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