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Our Best and Worst Travel Moments of 2016

The end of the year is near! This is a good time to reflect on the past 12 months, and it made us think of our best and worst travel moments of 2016.

Nancy’s Best Travel Moments

1) Visiting Virgin Gorda Baths

It seems like a lifetime ago, but in January we stopped at Tortola, British Virgin Islands on our Disney Cruise and took an excursion to the Virgin Gorda Baths. The topography of the Baths was so unique and different compared to every other beach we have visited. Our day at the Baths was a beautiful adventure!

Virgin Gorda Baths

2) Spending the Day at Nickelodeon Universe

Is it weird that an indoor amusement park is at the top of my travel moments list? My kids had a total blast at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. We didn’t have to deal with weather issues, there were rides for every age group, and the lines were minimal. This was also my first solo trip with all three kids, and I’m proud that I didn’t lose anyone along the way. 🙂

Nickelodeon Universe

3) Adventuring on Las Caletas

Our recent excursion to Las Caletas on our trip to Puerto Vallarta was a dream. Scenic boat ride, gorgeous jungle island, zip lines, clear beach, foot massage…it was paradise.

Las Caletas

When I look at my three best travel moments, they all involve going somewhere new and different.

 

Nancy’s Worst Travel Moments

1) Getting Sick on the Disney Fantasy

During our cruise in January, I got sick about halfway through the week. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling miserable on what is supposed to be the trip of a lifetime! I was up all night coughing, which made me really grumpy, and my throat was so sore that it hurt to eat. And you know how food is a big part of cruising! Fortunately, I was able to get some antibiotics to help me feel better, but I didn’t feel 100% until weeks after our cruise. Ugh!

2) Road Trip Squabbles

Over Spring Break, my family took a road trip to Glen Rose, Texas. We did enjoy the town, but we are not a good road trip family. We suck at road trips, actually. The worst part was when we went through the drive-through safari zoo and all three kids sat in the same row of the van for a better view. Let’s just say that they frightened the animals away with their yelling! Except for this one:

Road trip troubles

3) Bedfellow Fights

When my family of five shares a single hotel room, we always split up my boys into separate beds. However, when I took the kids by myself to the Mall of America, we had one room with just two beds. I shared a bed with my daughter, which meant my two boys had to share the same bed. Let’s just say it did not go well, especially the first night. They even woke up my daughter with their fighting after she had fallen asleep! Grrrrr!

They look innocent here. This must have been the second night.

I guess if getting sick and listening to my kids argue are the worst of my problems during our trips, things aren’t so bad.

Leana’s Best Travel Moments

1) Enjoying beautiful scenery of Alaska from my own private balcony

What a treat!

It was much fancier than the first time I went (in 2007), back when my sister-in-law and I had to share a tiny inside cabin. That being said, even if I had to sleep in a janitor’s closet, it would be worth it to visit this spectacular part of US.

2) Staying in Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (twice)

My whole family fell in love with this resort, and I hope we can visit it at least once a year from now on. The fact that we happen to live  in Florida definitely helps.

Now I just need to find a way to perpetually replenish my supply of transferable UR points. But no, I won’t be paying annual fees on premium Chase cards. My love has its limits.

Speaking of Hyatt, how can I not mention Diamond status that greatly enhanced the stays we had with that chain! It was an accidental windfall obtained via match from IHG Platinum status (given out like candy to owners of their co-branded credit card.) I’m surprised Hyatt didn’t invent another status tier  for 2016 for all of us freeloaders, called  “Cubic Zirconia.” It only looks like a Diamond!

3) Listening to the sound of  waves from the balcony of Radisson Oceanfront Melbourne hotel

Even though the place isn’t fancy, I just loved staying here My parents enjoyed it as well. There is something very special about the area and I hope we can visit it again in the near future. This hotel is one of the reasons I decided to renew my US Bank Club Carlson credit card. Naturally, I’m talking about getting 40K points in exchange for paying an annual fee of $75. That’s almost enough for one night at an oceanfront suite at this particular hotel. 

My mom is obsessed with ocean

Leana’s Worst Travel Moments

1) Having a heated argument with my mom inside Family Dollar store

Read about it here. Now that some time has gone by, I’ve come to realize how petty and ridiculous the whole thing was. If I just kept quiet, it wouldn’t blow up the way it did, and the rest of the trip would have been much more pleasant. I rarely see my mom, and should put forth more effort in order to keep peace.

2) Missing our flight to Aruba

It was the first time something like this ever happened to me, and I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t allow more time to get to the airport. That being said, we ended up having a great time in Sarasota, Florida.

Aruba, we are coming for you in 2018!

3) Hoping for a perfect getaway with my husband, and having it turn into a bust

Once again, we made the best of it, but a lot of things went wrong. I need to learn not to be so stubborn and rigid, and to just let things go. Oh well, it just gives me an excuse to plan another outing without kids. Winning!

One thing all of our best and worst moments have in common….they were made possible (at least in part) by using miles and points from credit card sign-ups!

What are your best and worst travel moments of 2016? Please share!

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Author: Nancy

Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.

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