Reader Marsy Booked a Family Adventure to Europe AND a Surprise Honeymoon With Miles & Points!
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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!
Marsy 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 her for sharing her family’s story!
1. What’s your name and how long have you been involved in the miles & points hobby?
My name is Marsy Rodriguez, and I have been involved in the miles & points world for quite some time. I started off collecting American Airlines miles! I liked flying for free, but my knowledge was basic until I started educating myself.
2. What was the goal of your trip?
I had 2 travel goals! I wanted to travel with my 3 children, mother, and husband, to London, Paris, Barcelona, Venice, and Rome. And I wanted to plan a surprise honeymoon for my husband to Singapore and Japan.
3. How long did you collect miles and points for your trip?
For the trip to Europe, it took a little over a year. And for the honeymoon, it took ~10 months.
4. Which points did you save to take your trip?
I booked the trip to Europe with American Airlines miles. But I used Singapore Airlines miles and United Airlines miles for the flights for our honeymoon.
5. Which cards would you recommend to open for a trip like yours?
I would recommend getting either the personal or small business version of the Starwood Card from American Express, because you can transfer Starwood points to airlines, like Singapore Airlines. And get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred!
I also earned bonuses from the Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard and the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.
6. How did you search and find the award flights?
I was on the waitlist for the Singapore Airlines First Class Suites for ~12 months. But luckily, award seats opened 5 days before our date of travel!
It was nerve-wracking waiting. I called Singapore Airlines a lot, and I let them know it was a surprise honeymoon.
7. How did you find your hotel accommodations?
I used the Hilton and IHG websites to find and book our hotels.
8. What was the most challenging part about planning your trip? How did you solve it?
The most challenging part was not knowing if the First Class Suite awards to Singapore would open up. But I made reservations in coach just in case the First Class Suites didn’t work out.
9. Give us a few recommendations or tips for what to do at your destination. Parks, restaurants, hidden gems, etc.
In Europe, we took the train everywhere and it got annoying for the children. So if you want to visit different places in Europe, limit the number of trips and consider planes as well.
10. What did you learn about yourself on the trip?
I learned that I’m obsessed with collecting miles and points. And nobody can stop me. When I’m on a trip I’m already planning my next one!
11. What would you say to folks looking to plan a similar trip? Or to those who haven’t taken a miles & points trip yet!
I would say educate yourself on which points you need to collect according to your desired destination. And then plan ahead!
Want to Share Your Story?
If you’d like to be considered for our reader success story series, please send me a note! Emily and I would love to hear about how you travel with miles and points!
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! :)