Award travel / Cruising / Delta / etc.

Our Recent Mediterranean Cruise in Miles, Points, and Cash

Mediterranean cruise

  Back in August I found this Mediterranean cruise itinerary for a great price.  We were looking forward to several months of intense daily babysitting and decided that we would need a relaxing break during our next travel opportunity.  We just took this cruise over Thanksgiving and this is how we put it together using airline miles, hotel points, and unfortunately, cash. The Cruise We decided to book a 7-day round-trip out of Venice on Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas.  There were two reasons we chose this cruise–great itinerary and great price.  Bruce had not been to Venice

Award travel / Hotel Rewards / Marriott / etc.

Pretravel Checklist–Part 2–Confirming Hotels

I’ve checked my flights to make sure that I still have reservations, seat assignments, and that no horrendous schedule changes have taken place.  Now it’s time to check on hotel reservations that I made several months ago. In August, I made reservations for one night both pre- and post-cruise in Venice using  I always make totally refundable reservations.  The pre-cruise hotel is right in the heart of the action in Venice, near the train station and near, but not on, the Grand Canal.  I wanted to be near the Piazzale Roma, where the bus drops you off from

American Airlines / Award travel / Delta / etc.

The Year So Far in Miles, Points, and Trips

Here’s how we’ve used our miles and points so far this year: ♦ January—Crete–120K United miles in Economy for two round trip Atlanta to Heraklion.  Killer 5 legs on the outbound. Thankful for Star Alliance lounge access!  Used 20K IHG points for Holiday Inn in Vienna on layover back to Atlanta. ♦ January–25K American Airlines miles round trip in Economy for one plus a lap infant Montreal to Atlanta.  Flew my grandson and his mom for a visit to see us. ♦ February–Road trip Atlanta to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to carry grandson, his mom, and their dog, who had been

Georgia / Hotel Rewards / Hotels / etc.

Kids Weekend in the Mountains–Playgrounds, Trains, and Rivers

We took one last getaway before the academic schedule starts again– A four-day weekend in the North Georgia/North Carolina Mountains, with an emphasis on kids’ activities. This is something we would do more often if we didn’t need to drive through Atlanta to do it.  But we steeled our nerves and just decided to deal with the traffic and go on the trip.  It’s still pretty warm at night, so instead of camping, which we like to do in the mountains, we spent all of our nights in hotels that I had booked for free on points. All of

Award travel / Credit and Debit Cards / Georgia / etc.

Reevaluating My Hotel Strategy

I like accumulating hotel points for free stays, but hotel point collecting has always taken a back seat to collecting airline miles.  My travel focus for the last few years has been on international travel, and the opportunities to stay in hotel chains are not always available or appealing.  It doesn’t thrill me to stay in a Hilton in Malta, for example. This summer has marked some changes in our travel patterns.  As our oldest grandson has reached the ripe old age of four, he has become a reasonable travel companion; that is, if we don’t venture too far