If you’re not using Points and Miles, you really should be!

Ritz-Carlton, Marana Az. (Tucson)

Booked a room for 3 nights using 70,000 Marriott Points and a free night certificate. This place is a bargain at 35k points per night! The value of the Points and free night certificate is ~$945.

I checked the non-Points value to make sure that using points gives the better value…

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Looks Good. ~$945 in Points to get $1249.74 in value. If you have the Amex Spg Luxury Card, you’re automatically Gold with Marriott. If you travel or spend enough, you can become Platinum. Either way, when you check in, you’re eligible for an Upgrade. I checked in and was upgraded.

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~$945 in Points/free night certificate and now $3833.99 in value! Wow!

How did I earn the points? Spg Luxury card with 75,000 point sign up bonus. $450 year fee. WAIT! You get $300 of that back as a credit to pay a Marriott Hotel charge(s) and $250 of it back for airline incidentals (fly Delta and use it for gift cards to help pay for your flight). You also get a free night certificate and Marriott Gold status. Do the Math!

Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/MICHAmOzEI?xl=cp33

 

 

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Traveling Zen:::The Paperback Version is now Available!

Take me to AMAZON! 541E949B-10DF-4C91-810B-E2CFD159074D.jpeg

I Think I’ll just have a Tantrum!

 

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It will take a true traveler to appreciate this. Everyone else will most likely be unsympathetic and follow the thought with the statement “stop whining”. So be it.

Traveling is not just going from A to B, it’s a passion. I love it from choosing the destination, the planning, the getting there, the “there” and even the coming home. I love the “trip” almost as much as the destination.

This time last year, we were packed and on the 28th of February, we left for Asia; Vietnam, Cambodia and China. This was a big deal and I was anxious to see the results of all the planning, from using Airline Miles, Hotel Points and well, everything. It was a Grand Adventure.

Here’s the whining part. I have been melancholy all day. I am missing the adventure and due to “life”, there are no adventures planned in the near future. Nothing is horribly wrong, fortunately, but our travel has been put on hold. My writing simply pales in conveying the passion that a true traveler feels at being “grounded”, unable to explore the world.

Tomorrow will be a long day. I am thankful that I’ve been able to travel as much as I have and I realize that many others can’t travel and…Ugh, this is Crap!, blah, blah, blah… So, I’m a selfish #!@&! and this is all about me! I want more and I’m gonna sit here with my arms crossed and my bottom lip hanging out until I get my way.  I may even hold my breath or stomp my feet, me, me, me whatever; It’s time to go!

 

Trying Something New; A Video

Some thoughts just have to be spoken. Let me know what you think. I know it’s too long, but if you survive, an opinion would be appreciated. I’m reading and at few points the language gets kinda “salty”. 🤭🤓

Orlando, Florida! No Snow Here

I highly recommend getting away to Orlando if it’s cold where you are.  It’s a wonderful feeling to wear a t-shirt in January. Points and Miles work Great here!

  1. Fairfield by Marriott 3 nights $853.00 or 30,000 Points ($270.00 in value). Used 30k Points!
  2. Silvercar, Audi for 3 days $126.00 or free with Sapphire Reserve $300.00 Credit. Used Sapphire!
  3. Uber from Airport. Free with AMEX Platinum $15.00 each month Uber Credit.
  4. 2 Allegiant Air r/t tickets. $210.00. Used Ritz-Carlton $300 Credit to pay for carry-on, seats and priority boarding (2018) Bought Tickets In 2017 using Ritz-Carlton 2017 Credit. Total cost $0
  5. Ate on the plane $16.00 or free with Ritz-Carlton Credit. Free

Total out of pocket for 4 days 3 nights in Orlando. $0.00. Even the 30k for Marriott were from a sign up bonus. Probably will cancel Ritz-Carlton next month when renewal comes. Anyway, enjoy the view!

 

Going From A to B. The Second Half of 2017; By the Numbers.

 

Our return from St. Louis marked the end of our 2017 Travels.  It’s been an amazing year and I am looking forward to 2018.  Our next trip is to Florida in January. In an article dated July 31st, 2017, I broke the numbers down for the first half of our year.  I’ll list the numbers for the second half of the year and then I’ll do a grand total for 2017. We started the second half with a trip to Santa Fe, NM and ended the year in St. Louis, MO.

  1. 12 trips, ranging from 1-7 days
  2. Stayed in 12 different hotel Brands
  3. Stayed in 1 VRBO
  4. Stayed in 1 AirBnB
  5. Flew ~11,000 Air Miles
  6. Drove ~8,740 Miles
  7. Rented 6 Vehicles
  8. Used 3 Ubers
  9. Endured 9 different Airports
  10. Held Lilly’s hand for 24 airplane take-offs and landings
  11. Visited 12 US States

Clearly the second half of the year was a bit more sedate than the first half.

Here are the combined numbers for Travelinggump.com’s 2017 Travels:

  1. 28 Trips, ranging from 1-17 days.
  2. Stayed a total of 119 nights in various Hotels
  3. Stayed in 2 VRBO’s
  4. Stayed in 1 AirBnB
  5. Flew ~60,000 Air Miles
  6. Drove ~15,440 Miles
  7. Rented 13 vehicles
  8. Endured 31 Airports ( A few more than once).
  9. Held Lilly’s hand for 86 take-offs and landings
  10. Visited 19 US States
  11. Visited 5 different Countries
  12. Took 7 buses
  13. Took 4 Taxi’s
  14. Used Uber 9 times
  15. Used Lyft once
  16. Used one Roller Coaster to get to and from the Great Wall of China
  17. Used 3 Tuk-Tuks
  18. Added well over 1.5 Million Points/Miles to my travel portfolio
  19. Reached Diamond status with Hilton, Platinum with Marriott/Ritz and Starwood, Spire Elite with IHG (Intercontinental and Holiday Inn) and Discoverist with Hyatt (Ho-Hum).
  20. Loved Every Single Minute Of It All! (except maybe the tummy bug I caught in Vietnam, not so much).

Wishing you Happy Travels and a Wonderful 2018!

Michael

That Points WOW Moment! And it’s a Big WOW!

It’s Wednesday and we’re siting on the couch.  Bored.  Lilly says “the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Indian Market is this weekend”.  Now, this is our only open weekend for the next month and maybe we should stay home and do housy stuff, right?…No way! Roadtrip!

The issues: 1.  The Santa Fe Indian Market is a big deal and getting a Hotel room two days before it starts could be an expensive problem.  2.  Santa Fe is a 12 hour drive.  3.  We need a Hotel on the way there, one when we actually get there and one on the way back, (my ass isn’t driving 12 hours in a row if I don’t have too).  I know, a three night trip like this is a bit impulsive but it’s SANTA FE!  Live a little…

The Solution:  The first place to reserve a Hotel is Santa Fe.  I mean, this is all just academic if we can’t find a room there.  I check the usual suspects and Hilton is the only one and they want $783.00 for the night.  Yeah, No, not paying that; let’s check points, 50,000, sounds like a lot right, not really.  Hilton points are worth the least (.006) of any Hotel chain that I watch.   In addition, they are easy to get.  The American Express Hilton Surpass card usually comes with around 80,000 points if you sign up and follow the rules.  50,000 points is worth around $300.00 (50,000 x .006).  I like this, but what about taxes?  Look below, I printed it as if I was going to pay for the room with cash. $901.96 or 50,000 points ($~300 in value and taxes are included).  I used points (Duh) and booked the room.  Also, because I keep an eye out for Hilton promo’s etc, there is no way that I spent $300.00 to acquire those points, most likely a third of that.

For one of the other nights, Marriott was the clear choice.  Marriott points are worth ~ .009 each, making 10,000 Marriott points worth about $90.00.  So, I booked the room using points instead of paying the $149.15.  Again, watch for Marriott Promo’s.  The Chase Marriott credit card also is usually available with 80,000 points if you follow their terms.  I don’t have $90.00 invested in that 10,000, most likely about $25-30.

The third night, I’m paying for the room ($130.00) to complete an IHG (Holiday Inn) promo.

This will be a 1700 mile, 4 day roadtrip.  How about a rental car?  Silvercar isn’t available (ugh) so I’m forced to wade into rental car hell.  After the usual headaches, Hertz emerged from the abyss with a full-size vehicle at $69.00 for 4 days.  I had some old Hertz points lying around and got the price down to $36.00.  Booked with Chase Sapphire Reserve for the Primary Collision Insurance.  So that’s that and we’re on the road again!

Happy Travels