Category Archives: Family Travel

Seeing Hamilton in Chicago for Cheap: Part 1 – Introduction and Planning

Million Mile Secrets team member Jasmin visited Chicago with her 3 kids to see Hamilton – An American Musical.  And she did NOT wait months for tickets or pay a small fortune!

She’ll tell you how she traveled with her family to Chicago using miles, points, and credit card perks for an unforgettable weekend of Big Travel with Small Money!

Jasmin:   Thanks, D!  My children are huge Hamilton fans!  The soundtrack is in heavy rotation in our house, the kids know all the lyrics, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is their hero.

But tickets to the Hamilton productions in New York and Chicago are very hard to get.  Shows are sold months (or years) in advance, and ticket prices can be incredibly prohibitive.

Seeing Hamilton In Chicago For Cheap Part 1 Introduction And Planning

If You Want to See Hamilton – An American Musical, You’ll Normally Wait Months and Spend a LOT of Money

But with a bit of luck and the right credit cards, I was able to surprise the kids with tickets to Hamilton and a trip to Chicago as a Christmas gift – without breaking the bank.  I’ll explain how!

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Don’t Let Your Hotel Card’s Free Anniversary Night Go to Waste!

Million Mile Secrets reader, W, commented:

Is there an expiration date for the free weekend anniversary night you get with the limited-time AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass offer?

The free weekend night you earn with the current Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express offer must be redeemed for stays within 12 months after the date it’s issued.

This expiration policy is similar for other hotel cards with a free anniversary night, like the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and Chase Hyatt.

So to make the most of the free night benefit, it’s important to book a stay before it expires.  Otherwise, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to save money!

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration

You Have 12 Months to Redeem the AMEX Hilton Surpass Free Weekend Night for a Stay at Hotels Like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

I’ll share some tips for using your card’s free anniversary night!

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A Surprise Solo Trip to 6 Continents, Made Possible With Miles & Points!

Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Satish is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.

A Surprise Solo Trip To 6 Continents Made Possible With Miles Points

At Machu Picchu

A big thank you to Satish for sharing his story!

Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.

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Complete List of New IHG PointBreaks Hotels: Book Starting Monday!

Yesterday I showed you a few hotels you can expect to see on IHG’s latest PointBreaks list.

Now, IHG has released the full hotel list!  You’ll pay just 5,000 IHG points per night at over 100 IHG hotels worldwide.  You can book starting Monday, April 24, 2017, for stays through July 31, 2017.

IHG PointBreaks April To July 2017

Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Krabi Ao Nang Beach for 5,000 IHG Points per Night and Make It Your Home Base for Exploring Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands

I’ll give you the full list!  And remind you of ways to save even more booking PointBreaks hotels.

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Use the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free at Disney to Save Big Money!

Ken and his wife Emily write about using points and miles (and saving money) on Disney trips at Mousehacking.com.  So I’ve asked them to share their tips on booking Walt Disney World resorts with the Citi Prestige card to get the 4th night free benefit!

Ken and Emily:  You can book Walt Disney World stays with Starwood points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but some folks choose to save their points for other trips and instead put their Disney stay on a credit card.

For the 3 stays we’ve booked at Walt Disney World in the past year, we’ve used the Citi Prestige.  When you book a hotel stay of 4+ nights through the Citi Prestige Concierge, you’ll get a statement credit for the 4th night.  However, starting July 23, 2017, the 4th night free credit will be based on the average nightly cost of your stay, excluding taxes.

This a great perk, and a terrific way to save money on Walt Disney World resort stays.  We saved $1,165 on a split stay between Animal Kingdom Lodge and Beach Club on a recent trip to Disney from this benefit alone!

Disney World Hotel Discounts 2017

A Free Night at Walt Disney World Means More Magical Views for Less!

Let’s see how to book Walt Disney World resorts using the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit.

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Save Time & Money With Costco Travel Part 1: Introduction

Did you know Costco members can save money booking car rentals, vacation packages, and cruises?

The Costco Travel program can be a great option for folks who book paid travel instead of redeeming miles & points.  Because you might save lots of money compared to booking through an online travel agency like OrbitzExpedia, or Priceline.

For example, team members Jasmin and Harlan each booked week-long car rentals through Costco Travel and saved $100 off the prices shown on other sites.  And you can potentially save much more or get extra perks with other travel packages!

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal

Planning a Cruise? Costco Members Might Save Money or Get Extra Perks Booking Through Costco Travel

I’ll share details about the Costco Travel program.  And explain why some folks might benefit from booking a trip with the warehouse club!

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6 Fantastic and Free 5-Day US Hotel Stays With Marriott’s 100,000-Point Bonus

With the increased offer on the Chase Marriott card, you can earn 100,000 Marriott points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

The great news is, that’s enough for 5+ free nights at a number of fantastic Marriott hotels in the US, in popular spots like Las Vegas, Denver, New Orleans, and more!

So you can start planning your next road trip.  Or take a getaway without flying too far from home!

Free Marriott Hotels In US With Points

Beautiful Denver, Colorado, Is an Excellent Spot for a Vacation. And You Can Stay in Downtown Denver for Free Using Your Marriott Points!

Let’s take a look at my list of wonderful Marriott hotels in the US!

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Do You Know the Difference Between Marriott Hotel Brands?

If you don’t know all 20 of Marriott’s hotel brands, you could be missing out on redeeming your points at some great hotels!

That’s because several brands, like Protea or Autograph Collection, don’t come with the Marriott name.  So some folks might see a hotel with an unfamiliar name, and miss a chance to redeem their points!

And now that the Chase Marriott card comes with 100,000 Marriott points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, there’s even more reason to become familiar with Marriott’s hotel brands.

Marriott Hotel Brands

You Can Redeem Your Marriott Points for Great Stays at Fancy Ritz-Carlton Hotels

I’ll give you a quick summary for each of the Marriott hotel brands!

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This Family of 4 Got a 2-Week Adventure Across 6 European Countries With Miles & Points!

Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Julie is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.

This Family Of 4 Got A 2 Week Adventure Across 6 European Countries With Miles Points

Our Family Loved Seeing the Swiss Alps From the Mountaintops

A big thank you to Julie for sharing her story!

Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.

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Look for These Upcoming Changes to Southwest’s Reservation System

Lyn writes about Southwest on her GotoTravelGal.com blog and has written a free guide to help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass step-by-step.  Emily and I believe the Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in travel!  I’ve asked Lyn to give us an update on Southwest’s reservation system and when we can expect changes and improvements.

Lyn:   You may have noticed some things about Southwest that are different than other airlines.  Of course, their service is outstanding (which is a big reason why I love to fly Southwest!) and they offer amazing deals like the Southwest Companion Pass.  But they also schedule flights differently and you won’t find them on sites like Expedia or Google Flights.

How To Book Southwest Flights

Southwest Has Been Operating Under a Dated Reservations System. But Changes Are on the Way!

I’ll give you a quick overview of the latest intel about when more updates are coming to Southwest’s booking system.  And show you how it may affect us as their customers.

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