Welcome to 2017! What better way to start the New Year than to talk about our favorite thing—travel!
Leana is on a trip right now, so I’ll share my travel plans for the year first, and she will share hers when she returns.
It’s funny how I plan these trips independently, one at a time….and then when I aggregate them together, I realize it’s a heckuva lot of travel! (Or is it just me?)
The Big One
I’m going out of chronological order here, but I have to start with our big trip first: Disney Cruise to Alaska! It’s been years in the dreaming and planning phase. I’ve already shared our plans to come up with the money for it here, here and here. I’ve also already posted about how we are using airline miles to fly there and our strategy for booking hotel nights in Vancouver prior to the cruise.
We still need to finish paying off the trip and decide on our port excursions. We also need to finalize our pre-cruise plans in Vancouver. I’ll have 4 full days in Vancouver with my youngest kids, and my husband and oldest son will have 2 full days in Vancouver before the cruise.
I am so stinkin’ excited about this trip! Five months and counting.
Based on the rain and gloom from last year’s Spring Break, I decided to make a beach trip happen this year. One week in Florida! We will spend 5 nights in the Clearwater Beach area near Tampa and 2 nights near Fort Myers.
My husband and I have both been to Tampa when we were kids, but this will be our first time going to beaches on the western side of Florida.
I hope to meet up with Leana and her family while we are there. I promise, we will take a selfie and post it!
This week-long trip is only costing us $28 out-of-pocket for airfare and hotel. I’ll be writing more about how we are using miles and points for this trip in an upcoming post.
I’m so glad we booked a night earlier this year, as the 2017 season is almost sold out. I have a feeling this is going to be an adventure we won’t forget!
Our biannual adoption reunion is in Southern California in July. The past two reunions have been at Disney World in Florida, so this is a big switch.
This reunion is a chance for my boys to meet up with other kids who were adopted from the same area. It’s also an opportunity for parents to reunite with folks we’ve been following through online blogs for years.
We didn’t think we would make the reunion this year due to our big Alaska cruise, but points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve are going to help us make it.
Our plans include three nights in a brand-new Hyatt House near Disneyland as well as two nights with the reunion group at Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove. I’ll write more about this trip as we finalize our tickets and itinerary.
In August, I’m going a solo trip to New Orleans! I’m going to meet up with a college friend at a convention for the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. (Any Deltasigs reading this??!?!)
I visited New Orleans in 9th grade with my friend and her mom, but I haven’t been back since. I’m looking forward to exploring the city for a weekend and enjoying adult company.
Hotel in the Middle of Nowhere
I have tentatively booked a few nights at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa for the end of the 2017. We visited this resort last year in July, and we just came back from a trip to its sister resort, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. (I’ll have a write-up on Hyatt Regency Hill Country later this week).
Usually, Hyatt Lost Pines has special New Year packages online for the last few days of the year, and no points or Points + Cash rates are available. However, last month for a few days it was possible to book using points and other discounted rates.
In past years, Hyatt Lost Pines has gone all out with family activities during this time of the year. Carnival games, Ferris wheel, outdoor ice skating rink, etc. Should be fun!
Hyatt Lost Pines is sort-of on the way back from our family’s place in South Texas, so we will be combining the visits into one trip.
Of course, we have to fit in some travel to visit our family. We usually visit family in South Texas three times during the year, and we try to go to Denver once per year.
We don’t have these plans finalized, but some of these visits will occur over holiday weekends.
We currently haven no travel planned for Fall 2017. The school calendar hasn’t been published yet, so I can’t see if my kids will have another 4-day weekend in October like last year. Also, our current plans will eat up all of my husband’s work vacation days, so that really puts a damper on any additional travel plans.
We may be trip-less in the Fall! And that’s ok.
Have you finalized your 2017 travel plans? Please share!
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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.