We have just returned from our Hawaii trip and it is going to take some time before I finish editing all the photos and posting the trip reports. In the meantime, I wanted to share how we planned for this trip using points and miles to reduce our costs significantly. Long story short, the entire planning process took about 10 months with multiple changes in between, which explains this lengthy post.
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.
After booking the flights for our 'Asia Hopper' trip, our next task was to sort out the accommodation for 1-week in Taiwan and 1-night in Hong Kong.
IHG hasn't been on my radar in the past as I've always preferred SPG (now Marriott) when I travel for work. It wasn't until last year when I started planning for our New Zealand trip that I started looking more into IHG and was able to score 6 free hotel nights in New Zealand for 108,000 IHG points.
Travel Is Free posted a few posts about IHG earlier this year and this post got me checking my Q2/Q3 2019 IHG Accelerate promotion and my offer was actually really good...complete 6 offers and earn 105,000! P.S. I'm glad to see Drew back in the blog-sphere again as his posts are always intriguing and interesting. =)
Here's my offer:
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.
Total distance of 18,151 miles (29,211 km). Nowhere close to the RTW trip last year, but I doubt we'll ever beat that.
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!?
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