Travel Planning for the New Year

I had planned on writing this post for a few days now and coincidentally a letter from a reader prompted me to write it sooner than later.

At the beginning of a new year, Blogger Hubby and I like to look forward to what our travel plans might be in the new year as well as the year after that.  In doing so it allows us time to strategize as to which airline we most likely would be flying or at least the alliance.  That way we can see how many points we have, how many would be needed for our trip, whether we need to apply for new credit cards for the points/miles and the timing of the cards.  We’d want to allow enough time to get the card, do the spend and have it posted to our account.  For some long haul trips you would need to begin looking for award space 330 days out from when you wanted to fly and therefore we would need for it to post by then.

Next, hotels then come into play.  Where would we be staying?  Do I have any free nights that we can use?  Are there any promotions that I can take advantage of to get more points?  Most hotels do have promotions throughout the year.  Blogger Hubby came to realize that if we spend $60 for a hotel room here, then that would translate into points for a much more expensive hotel on our vacation.  For those new readers, let me explain.  Club Carlson (Radisson, Country Inn and Suites, Park Inn) had a promotion back in 2012 where if you registered and stayed in one of their hotels by a certain date you received 50,000 points plus the points for booking it online and for staying there.  We also had an online coupon for 30% off the price of a room.  We made a booking about 30 minutes from our home and we stayed there (sometimes we just check in and don’t spend the night).  For that one night that cost us $54, we received about 53,000 points which we used at a hotel in Sydney, AU that would have cost us $350.00.  Currently Club Carlson has a decent promotion where you stay three nights and receive 38,000.  Click here to register.   Sometimes you do have to spend a little to get a better reward.  I recently did the same thing for the Big Win with IHG – made a reservation at the Candlewood Suites for $69 but received 39,000 promotion points plus the points for the stay.  That will translate into 2 nights in Copenhagen.  I know roughly how many nights I need accommodations for and will working towards that total.

Planning your travels will help you be successful in your travels.

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