In many ways Cuba is a country frozen in time, which makes it a fascinating destination. Meticulously maintained vintage cars from the 1950s roam the streets, and colonial architecture still dominates Havana. Only an hour and a half away from the capital, and you’re in Veradero enjoying some of the best unspoiled beaches and pristine waters in the Caribbean.
Fly to Milan for the 2015 World Expo
Milan was just named the number one place to go in 2015 by the New York Times. This year the city will host the 2015 World Expo from May 1 until October 31, so if you’re savvy enough with your booking dates you can explore the over 60 pavilions from more than 130 countries for the bargain price of an off-peak award ticket. You’ll have to fly in early May or late October, but you’ll save 20,000 miles.
Where the Frequent Flyer Gurus Go
As you talk with travelers who are hard-core frequent flyer fans, you’ll often hear recurring themes when it comes to vacation destinations. That’s because miles allow you to visit exotic places that you might never visit if you had to pay for the airline ticket out of pocket. Once you’ve unlocked the secret value of frequent flyer miles, you suddenly see new possibilities when planning trips. Here are a few places that most frequent flyer gurus have visited using their miles.
Use Your Miles for a St. Thomas Vacation in the Caribbean
When you’re looking for a Caribbean vacation, set your sights on St. Thomas. It’s one of the U.S. Virgin Islands just 1,100 miles southeast of Miami so it’s a snap for Americans to visit. Since the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix) are a U.S. territory, American citizens don’t need a passport if traveling from the mainland or Puerto Rico.
British Airways’ Prices to Montreal are as Magical as the Trip
Quebec’s cultural center, Montreal, and the nearby capital, Quebec City, are some of the chilliest urban areas you can find in North America during this time of year. But that’s part of the reason why it’s a great time to visit.
Orlando Flight Redemption Sweet Spots
Many frequent flyer gurus will tell you to never use your hard-earned miles to book a domestic award ticket. While it’s true that there may be more value when booking a first class ticket to somewhere exotic like Bali, there is definitely a time and place to spend miles to get to destinations closer to home.
SPG Nights & Flights Award Funds Christmas in Hamburg
For as long as I have known about the Starwood Preferred Guest program, I have been captivated by its Nights & Flights option. For 60,000 Starpoints, you get five nights at a category three hotel a mix of Four Points, Aloft and Sheraton hotels, with some Westins and 50,000 airline miles.
My Asia Award Booking Feat
For a few months now Ive been saving up miles and plotting a year-end trip to Asia. My brother is graduating from college in December, and as a graduation present, I decided to take the family to Hong Kong and Singapore right after he wraps up his last final.
Avios Make Last Minute Travel to Dallas Possible
Distant Cape Town on Miles
Pinned to the bottom of the globe, Cape Town might at first seem to be far too distant a getaway to reach via miles and points. But I found the stunning natural beauty and friendly, multicultural vibe of the city and surrounding region to be an incredible bargain for my miles.
Mix Classes to Maximize Miles to Athens
For points and miles travelers, upper-class travel is either the Holy Grail if you’re new to the game or an occasional dabbler, or the only way to go.
Africa With Low or No Fuel Surcharges
Africa is vast and amazing, so well focus in on getting to three popular destinations on the continent: Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and Dar es Salam, Tanzania.
Burning Through Dividend Miles to Sydney
Australia is one of the most difficult destinations to get to on points and miles, with limited award availability. I had my work cut out for me when I tried to book three round-trip, first-class awards to Sydney this past December.
Gambling on Getting Home from Vegas
After sending my son off to college last fall, I wondered if he’d be able to make it home for the holidays and whether there would be award availability during one of the busiest travel seasons. But I was happy to find a round-trip ticket for just 25,000 miles from Las Vegas to Newark on Thanksgiving weekend.
Hong Kong and Macau—Las Vegas of the Far East
Hong Kong is a fascinating and wonderful destination all on its own, but nearby Macau is an added bonus when visiting this part of the world. It’s become a gaming paradise for tourists and has many historic places of interest, duty-free shopping, and shows like the House of Dancing Water—an amazing, extravagant, and bigger-than-life performance that’s definitely worth the side trip.
Manaus: The Amazon Capital of Brazil
Manaus, the gateway to the Amazon, was our last stop in Brazil after the beaches of Buzios and the World Cup matches in Rio.
Buzios: Brazilian Beach Break
Buzios is a seaside resort town about three hours north of Rio de Janeiro. I go to Buzios every time I visit Rio, and my recent trip to Brazil for the World Cup was no exception. The town is picturesque and peaceful, even moreso after the hustle and bustle of the FIFA games.
Fly to Vienna and Get a Taste of Eastern Europe
When you travel to Europe, consider visiting a few countries in one trip. Just pick a starting point anywhere on the continent. It is small enough that getting from one country to another can be as easy as getting from Manhattan to the Hamptons.
FIFA in Rio on a Saver Award Ticket
There is a belief among travelers that it is nearly impossible to book a peak-season award ticket, especially to a popular destination. I beg to differ. I flew to Brazil for the World Cup. And yes, I flew using two award tickets for only 60,000 miles each just three weeks before departure when American Airlines Saver Awards opened up.
Beijing, China and Beyond
Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is on the itinerary for most travelers flying to this ancient land. The best way to get there is with United Airlines and its Star Alliance partners. Together they offer an incredible number of possible connections and stopovers.