Original post: 5/20/2018
For someone who enjoys traveling, the lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses in the US are amazing, especially when all you get for opening a credit card in Malaysia is a luggage bag. I was hoping to start building our credit card portfolio as soon as I moved to the US, however, I realized very quickly (when my Chase Freedom application was declined) that I wasn't gonna get approved for any credit cards without credit history.
In October 2016, United changed its lucrative award stopover rules and replaced it with the 'Excursionist Perk'. Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of the old stopover rules and pieced together a Round-the-World trip right before United made the change.
While it's unfortunate that all good things must come to an end, the Excursionist perk is still quite a valuable perk for award redemption with United miles. After all, it still gives you a FREE stopover, which is not an option for many other airlines.
Back in January, I used United's Excursionist perk to book our September trip to Malaysia with a stopover in Taiwan. Our flight route looks like this...
After our trip to Iceland this past summer, our second trip of the year brought us to the South Pacific. Iceland and New Zealand...two expensive "lands" within a year, what were we thinking?! Surprisingly, the total "all-in" cost for the both of us was less than ONE round-trip economy flight ticket from the US to New Zealand. =) Read on to find out where we went, what we did, and how much we spent.
To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, we are traveling to Fiji & New Zealand!! From Iceland to New Zealand, two expensive destinations within a year, this is definitely a year of "travel splurge"!! We spent a total of $900/person on our 9-day Iceland trip. My goal for this 15-day trip to the South Pacific is to spend less than what we spent for Iceland, do you think it is possible? Read on to find out how we plan to accomplish this goal. (Hint: Credit card rewards)
These are the places we will be visiting this trip:
Tokyo was our longest stop during our 2017 Round-the-World trip. As we all know, Tokyo is an expensive city, and spending 7 nights in Tokyo would cost a lot of $$$. However, we were able stay 7-nights at a 4-star hotel in Tokyo for $0. Thanks to Marriott's awesome 7-night travel package (which has devalued big time after Aug 17, 2018).
Source: Crazy Rich Asians
Thanks to Crazy Rich Asians, there have been a lot of talks surrounding representation and inclusion lately. I enjoyed the movie, and I admit, I've spent a lil' too much time on Youtube and reading articles about the movie. This whole 'representation' thing could be a publicity gimmick, but it is indeed quite an achievement to have an all-Asian cast in a Hollywood movie speaking fluent English in various accents. Imagine seeing an all-Caucasian cast in a Bollywood movie speaking Hindi, that would be quite a 'representation' too huh!?
I don't usually go to the movies (can't even remember the last time I went to a movie theater), but Crazy Rich Asians was one that I've been wanting to watch since I saw the trailer few months back. I've always enjoyed rom-com so this one is right up my alley. Coincidentally, the movie was released around our birthdays so the opening weekend was a perfect timing for a movie date.
I didn't read the book and went into the movie theater with zero expectations. No doubt there was a lot of hype about it, but we both really enjoyed the movie. The director, Jon Chu definitely did a great job incorporating a lot of unique aspects about that part of the world in the movie - the food, heritage, culture, language, architecture, scenery, etc.
Almost 2 years after the announcement of the SPG-Marriott merger on September 23rd, 2016, these 2 loyalty programs are finally merging on August 18th, 2018.
SPG has been my preferred loyalty program since I first signed up for it in April 2015. Even though I'm a lil' bummed that the program is rolling into Marriott's big umbrella, I can't really say it's all bad as I've benefited a pretty good bit from the merger and have certainly enjoyed all the perks and benefits.
This time a year ago, I published this blog/website and was looking forward to embark on our Round-the-World trip. Here's a quick recap of what I've 'accomplished' on this blog/website in the past year: