Our Friday family vacation to Punta Cana is a reader success story from Jess, who began her points and miles journey following our Jess! She took her adorable family of six to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on points and miles. Here is her story:
As a family of six, travel can be expensive! I started the credit card points game in early 2022. I had followed Jess in her PWR journey (an exercise program), so when she transitioned to travel hacking, I followed her, of course.
My goal was to book my family’s 2023 spring break trip all on points. I started with the hotel and chose Dreams Macao Beach, a Hyatt property in Punta Cana, because we could get all four nights for free – and we needed two rooms. Also, I knew the water slides and all-inclusive dining were a must for my four energetic boys. I transferred our Chase points to Hyatt, getting most of our points from the 60,000 Chase Sapphire Preferred promo and the 90,000 Chase Ink Business Cash promo.
I was then able to book our flights on points as well. We already had the Citi American Advantage card that we use for our routine spending, but I gained an additional 52,500 points by opening a Citi Savings account that required a $10k balance for 3 months. I also opened a Bask Bank savings account, and while there was no opener promo for that, I enjoy earning American Airlines points instead of interest income on our savings.
Our stay was FANTASTIC. We took part in ziplining, tennis, the arcade, and, of course, plenty of swimming and unlimited dining. Turns out my kids loved the freedom of feeding themselves and the swim-up bar more than the water slides! The entertainment was fabulous as well. There were daily pool activities for both the kiddos and the adults – I won the upper body female challenge (go PWR!), where I held up a water jug the longest. The nightly entertainment was also great and included DJ dance parties, Cirque du Soleil-type shows, and silent disco roller skating!
It was so much fun that we didn’t want to leave, so we didn’t!!! The morning we were supposed to leave, I realized that flights home two days later were fewer points than what I had paid. I quickly called American and pushed our flights out two days and got some points BACK! We had to change rooms at the resort and pay cash for the two additional nights, but the last-minute rates were reasonable, and the look on our kids’ faces when we told them we were staying was priceless. Here we are all smiles after getting our “new” room.
Thank you to Jess and the Travel Hacking Mom team for showing me that I, too, can travel hack successfully! Our family’s travel hacking story has just started – Spring Break 2024 to Maui is already booked – and on points, of course! Where to next?
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