I'm not a huge New Years Resolutions guy, but come the beginning of every new year, lets just say there is at least the desire to eat better, exercise more, and spend more quality time with loved ones. But ohhhhh to travel more. Travel, you are forever on the list, and not only that, you are a list in and of itself... of places to see, experience and taste!
Last year was a "down year" in terms of travel for us. After an AH-MAZING month in Asia to close out the end of 2014, with Rachel pregnant as all get out, and with the long awaited arrival of our little girl in April, we were literally "travel handcuffed" by our little usurper (not that our cognitive function could have comprehended anything other than sleeeeeeeep). However, we did make it out to Newport Beach, California in October for our annual family vacation, but it wasn't as enjoyable as we had hoped with Malin dealing with an ear infection, time change AND daylight savings!
As I mentioned above, we have an annual family vacation every year around October/November. This year, the destination is Puerto Vallarta. As usual, my father is generously fronting the bill, but being the points aficionados that we are, we like helping relieve his financial burden by contributing to the cause with our flights. This works out especially well, as we are the only part of the family on the East Coast, and Puerto Vallarta is much cheaper to get to from California since it is on the Pacific Coast.
I initially booked our flights thinking we were headed to Cancun, as this was the destination we originally discussed. Good thing Rachel caught my error! But in doing so, and seeing how cheap flights could be had, I thought it might make a nice long weekend getaway to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary at the end of May!
Thanks to our Southwest Companion Pass, I was able to book the 3 of us, for both roundtrip trips, for under $200 each! I'm not sure where we are staying yet in Puerto Vallarta, but we will be staying at the Hyatt Cancun Ziva, an all-inclusive resort, on points! Trip reports and final points/costs breakdowns will be forthcoming!
Some dear friends of ours will be moving down to Miami, FL in May, so we are planning to visit sometime in August. I haven't even looked at booking anything yet since a visit date is still to be determined. We will more than likely utilize our British Airways Avios points to fly American down there, as Miami is a huge American Airlines hub. But depending on flight availability, using our companion pass on Southwest again could still be a possibility. Remember, having options is the name of the game!
American Airlines is also devaluating their award flight pricing, meaning it will cost more points to redeem award flights, starting March 21, 2016. So, I am looking to book us a first class experience on Cathay Pacific to potentially visit my father in Hong Kong next spring. Right now, this roundtrip flight costs 135,000 miles if booked before March 21st, but after that, it will cost 220,000 miles! Super steep increase if you ask me. If you're looking to redeem your American miles, you best get on it!
Our 2016 travels is shaping up to be quite sunny and beachy! Thus far we've booked flights for trips to both Cancun and Puerto Vallarta for under $400 (it's actually free, but I will elaborate on the trip reports!) total for our family of 3. We have one more potential trip to Miami in August, and I'm looking way forward to a possible jaunt over to Hong Kong next spring.
There is still more than enough time to obtain a Southwest Companion Pass that will last you through 2017, and book some BOGO free quality time for you and your family. If you didn't already know, Southwest now flies to some great international locations such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Aruba, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun! You can now make flight plans through the beginning of November on Southwest.com.
*If you're interested in sitting down and allowing me to walk you through, step-by-step, how we travel so cheaply, book a consultation! Where are you guys looking to travel in 2016?
Picture Credit: Dronepicr on Flickr