Reader Success: Jess & Her Husband Visited a UNESCO World Heritage City With Their Miles!
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 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! Jess is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money. A big thank you to Jess for sharing her story!
What’s your name and how long have you been involved in the miles & points hobby?
My name is Jess. My husband and I have been collecting miles & points for ~3 years now.
What was the goal of your trip?
Our goal for every trip is to get out there! We want to see the world, enjoy the outdoors, eat, drink, and be merry. And do it all while meeting new people!
How long did you collect miles and points for your trip?
Which points did you save to take your trip?
Which cards would you recommend to open for a trip like yours?
How did you search and find the award flights?
How did you find your hotel accommodations?
What was the most challenging part about planning your trip? How did you solve it?
We had a lot of moving pieces traveling around South America due to the sheer size of the continent. Trying to coordinate all the flights, car rentals, and accommodations in the various places proved challenging. But we managed it by using an Excel spreadsheet to keep everything organized.
Give us a few recommendations or tips for what to do at your destination. Parks, restaurants, hidden gems, etc.
Do a free walking tour with Tours 4 Tips. You will explore hidden nooks and crannies of the city with a knowledgeable guide – make sure to give them a good tip! Be sure to grab a bite to eat at J Cruz. The restaurant is famous for Chorrillana, which is french fries topped with steak, onions, and eggs.
If possible, don’t miss Bariloche, Argentina. It is a beautiful alpine town hidden in the middle of South America. Rent bikes at Circuito Chico Adventure and ride the Circuito Chico route for stunning views. You visit several breweries along the way (Don’t drink too much! You have to get back on your bike!).
Finally, if you want to feel like you stumbled across a secret spa in the middle of the jungle, go to Termas Los Pozones near Pucon, Chile. The last part of the journey there is a bumpy dirt road up a mountain. But you won’t be disappointed when you soak in the beautiful thermal pools.
What did you learn about yourself on the trip?
It is the same lesson I re-learn on every trip – as much as you plan things, something will always go awry. You can either let it ruin your day or you can accept it and make it work.
What would you say to folks looking to plan a similar trip? Or to those who haven’t taken a miles & points trip yet!
Plan your trip as far in advance as possible. You will have many more options for award flights than if you wait. Our round-trip flights to South America were 60,000 United Airlines miles each. We booked ~9 months in advance. Our friends who joined us on the trip had to spend 90,000 United Airlines miles for similar flights even though they booked only 2 months after we did!
Want to Share Your Story?
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)