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This year, my family went on a Star Wars Disney Cruise in January. My kids and I relaxed at a resort in Phoenix over Spring Break and went on a cruise to Bermuda in May. We spent a few days in New York City, and then traveled for two weeks to Australia and New Zealand.
Last month, we celebrated the holidays at MVMCP and on a Very Merrytime Disney Cruise. We also squeezed in a trip to the treehouse, a short trip to Washington D.C. as well as several trips to see family in Colorado and Texas.
When I put that in writing, it seems like a lot of travel. We could not have done all of that travel without the help of miles and points from credit card bonuses.
It has become a tradition on Miles for Family to share our best and worst travel moments of the year. This isn’t about bragging about all the places we’ve visited this year, but rather about reflecting on what moments stood out and how we can learn from the good and the bad.
Sydney Harbour: Our 3-day trip to Australia was just supposed to be a stopover to lose our jetlag on the way to New Zealand. But, my family loved Sydney much more than we anticipated. Being in Sydney Harbour was like an out-of-body experience. The Sydney Opera House is so iconic, and I never thought I’d stand in front of it (or tour it!). I’d love to return to Australia and see more places outside of Sydney.
Farmstay in New Zealand: Out of everything we experienced in New Zealand, our vacation home rental remains at the top of our list. The views and the animals made the stay unforgettable.
Traveling with my Mom: I had the opportunity to travel with my mom this summer. Because of her age and medical conditions, this may not happen again. But, I’m especially glad she got to spend time with my three kids together.
Seeing an Old Friend: While my kids and I were in Phoenix for Spring Break, I got to see an old friend from high school that I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years. We picked up right where we left off. I’m so glad I got to see her multiple times over the week.
Brighton Beach and Coney Island: While I’ve been to New York City many times, this was the first time I visited Brighton Beach and Coney Island. These places are usually not on the short list for most tourists. But, I loved the area. Brighton Beach was so scenic and relaxing, and my kids had an absolute blast at Coney Island.
Thankfully, it was hard to think of my worst travel moments. We didn’t have major mishaps, and I usually remember the good and forget the bad. But traveling with kids isn’t all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
Flight Delays in Washington, D.C.: I didn’t even write a post about this trip, but my oldest son and I went to Washington, D.C. to fix his passport issues. We had to squeeze this trip in between our Bermuda cruise and our trip to Australia/New Zealand, and my son wasn’t happy about it. On the day we were to return home, there were storms and our flight was canceled. We had to scramble for a hotel and fly on a much longer, non-direct route home the next day. In the big scheme of things and looking back, this delay wasn’t a huge deal. But, we were both grumpy in the process.
On every trip, we deal with cranky, bickering kids. This might not always be evident in the photos I post on here, but it’s a reality. None of it ruined our trips, and we are used to it. But, I think it’s important for families to know that even though they may spend a lot of points, miles and money to be at the Happiest Place on Earth, their kids will still argue and find things to complain about.
I believe the thing that saved us from additional drama on our trips this year was having two hotel rooms and vacation home rentals with more space. I plan to continue that as much as possible as my kids get older.
Readers, what were your best and worst travel moments of 2019?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.