A Beachfront Villa, a Tour of Istanbul, and Crystal Clear Beaches Made This Anniversary Trip a Success!

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A Beachfront Villa, a Tour of Istanbul, and Crystal Clear Beaches Made This Anniversary Trip a Success!

Million Mile SecretsA Beachfront Villa, a Tour of Istanbul, and Crystal Clear Beaches Made This Anniversary Trip a Success!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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!

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

Success Story Tristans Anniversary Trip To The Seychelles
Last Sunrise on Silhoutte Island

What’s your name and how long have you been involved in the miles & points hobby?

My name is Tristan, I have been collecting miles & points for ~2 Years.

What was the goal of your trip?

We wanted to enjoy a beach destination for our anniversary.

How long did you collect miles and points for your trip?

It took us ~1 year to collect the miles & points needed for this trip.

Which points did you save to take your trip?

We saved Chase Ultimate Reward points and Hilton points.

We transferred 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my wife’s United Airlines account.  She already had some United Airlines miles, as well.  Then we redeemed 160,000 United Airlines miles for 2 round-trip partner award tickets from San Francisco to Seychelles on Turkish Airlines.

We were also able to explore Istanbul on our return because Turkish Airlines offers tours of the city for passengers with a 6+ hour layover!

Success Story Tristans Anniversary Trip To The Seychelles
This Was the Beach Behind Our Airbnb

I also used 160,000 Hilton points for 2 nights at the Hilton Labiz Resort & Spa.  Because I matched my IHG Platinum status to Hilton Diamond I was able to get upgraded to a beachfront villa with plunge pool.

Which cards (max 5) would you recommend to open for a trip like yours?

I recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  The free Priority Pass Select membership & $100 Global Entry credit that come with the card were handy on this trip.

Also, the Chase IHG Card was helpful, because it comes with IHG Platinum Status.  And I was able to match that status to Hilton Diamond.

Success Story Tristans Anniversary Trip To The Seychelles
The Beautiful Anse Georgette Beach

How did you search and find the award flights?

I found and booked all of our flights on the United Airlines website.

How did you find your hotel accommodations?

Because of my Hilton Diamond status, I looked strictly on the Hilton website.  I was able to get upgraded, which saved us $1000+ during our stay at the Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa!

Success Story Tristans Anniversary Trip To The Seychelles
The Hilton Labriz Beachfront Villa With Plunge Pool

What was the most challenging part about planning your trip? How did you solve it?

The most challenging part was planning intra-island travel, because the Seychelles is composed of lots of islands.  The Hilton Labriz is on its own island, so we had to take a boat.  The only other option was flying on a small plane between islands.

Give us a few recommendations or tips for what to do at your destination.  Parks, restaurants, hidden gems, etc.

Check out the UNESCO World Heritage site Villa de Mai nature reserve on Praslin Island.

Anse Georgette is my favorite beach even though it is located by a private hotel.  For those who are not staying at the hotel, you’ll need to call in and reserve a spot for free.

Success Story Tristans Anniversary Trip To The Seychelles
Island Hopping on the Air Seychelles Plane

What did you learn about yourself on the trip?

I learned the importance of planning ahead.  If an award flight pops up at a great value, book it and plan everything else around it.

What would you say to folks looking to plan a similar trip?  Or to those who haven’t taken a miles & points trip yet!

Get involved.  You can save thousands, and see so many new places.

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!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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! :)

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You stayed at an Airbnb and Hilton? How long were you there?

2 nights at hilton la briz & 3 nights through airbnb on 2 different islands (mahe, praslin). 5 nights total

Amazing beach front hotel. I’m drooling. The memory will stay with you for a long time.

Did you have to pay a fee to transfer the points from Chase to United Airlines? Also could you have also transferred to American Airlines?

Million Mile Secrets

You don’t pay a fee to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to any of their partners. But they don’t transfer to American Airlines.

For future reference, here is a handy chart of which points transfer to which airlines:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/which-points-transfer-to-which-airlines-handy-chart-for-converting/