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.
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!
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?
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?
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.
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!