We just returned from the best family trip to Maui! Mitch and I have been to Maui twice without the kids so we thought we’d take them this time. This was a first for us, we have never taken the kids (besides taking my oldest when he was 1 year old) and it went better than I could have expected. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about taking my family of 6 with 4 boys ranging in age from 9 years-8 months. Thanks to low expectations (the key to happiness, lol), the perfect resort, and having my parents with us, we had an amazing trip! The best part about it was that we did this Maui vacation on points and paid just $55 total for our flights and hotel. Let’s go over how we did that.
To get started with our family trip to Maui on points, we had to book our flights! We booked our flights to Maui with Southwest Rapid Rewards. We earned these points when my husband signed up for both the Southwest Plus card and the Southwest Business Premier card. At the time, both cards were offering a bonus of 60,000 points. Currently, the bonus on personal cards is even better at 65,000 points! Usually, the Southwest personal cards offer 40,000 points as a signup bonus so this is much better. In opening both of these cards we earned 125,000 points and also the Southwest Companion Pass.
The Southwest Companion Pass is my favorite! Once you earn 125,000 points in one calendar year, you earn the pass which allows someone to fly with you for free for the rest of the year in which you earned the pass and all of the next! Because my husband had earned the pass, my flight to Hawaii cost zero points and just around $11 in taxes and fees.
We had to purchase 4 flights, one for Mitch (my husband) and three for our older boys. The baby was free since he’s under two and mine was free because of the companion pass. The cost per roundtrip flight at the time was 34,000 points (I’ve seen them for more and for less). This was from Salt Lake City. In total, we had to use 136,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards.
Our signup bonus plus meeting minimum spend was 125,000 points. We earned the other 11,000 from a referral bonus and spending on the credit card. We also could have transferred 11,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards to our Southwest account if we were short. Along with the 136,000 points, we had to pay $55 in taxes and fees for the flights for our Maui vacation on points.
In the flight section above I said that our flights were $55. Our hotel stay was zero dollars! Well actually, I think we had a like a $5 tax, but that is it! We did pay a large chunk of points, but that was earned through signup bonuses and everyday purchases that I had to make.
For our Maui vacation on points, we stayed at the Hyatt Residence Club Maui. We stayed in a 2 bedroom unit which cost us 48,000 points a night. We stayed for 6 nights so the grand total was 288,000 Hyatt points. Mitch had 56,000 Hyatt points already. We transferred 232,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt to make up the difference and then booked directly with Hyatt.
Like I said before, part of the reason our Maui vacation on points was so great is because of the resort. The location was amazing! The resort is located right on Kaanapali Beach. We were able to snorkel right there and saw so many turtles and fish! The kids loved playing in the waves too. This was so great for us because we didn’t have to load up and head out in the car very often. We simply took the elevator down, walked a few steps, and we were at the beach! This was so nice with having the baby. Plus, whenever we get into the car my kids love to fight so spending less time in there was wonderful! lol.
The resort is also a short walk to Whaler’s Village where we ate out and did a little shopping. Ululani’s Shave Ice is located around the corner from the resort, which is our favorite shave ice place on the island.
The condo unit was perfect. It had two bedrooms so my parents and Mitch and I each got a room. The baby slept with us, my 5-year-old slept with my parents on a little pull-out sofa bed, and my other two slept in the living room on the pull-out sofa. There were also two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a washer and dryer. My favorite thing about this place though was probably the view! It had the most incredible ocean view.
There are many pools here to enjoy and we definitely did enjoy them! There is a splash pad area and shallower pool, a slide for the kids, a couple of other pools, and an adults-only infinity pool. What’s really great is that guests here can also use the pools over at the Hyatt Regency which is right next door. The kid’s pool area over there was really fun and it had a bigger and faster slide.
I would without a doubt stay here again! We’ll be back again someday!
Want to do a similar trip? Here is how you can get the points.
To get the points for the flights, you may want to look into getting the Southwest Companion Pass and earning a bunch of Southwest Rapid Rewards through their credit cards. If you don’t want to go for the whole companion pass, still click on that link above and you can learn about all the Southwest credit cards. I feel like Southwest is such a family-friendly airline and their points can go really far. They also have the Companion Pass….it’s tough to beat that in my opinion. There are a lot of ways to fly to Hawaii on points though so if Southwest isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options.
Getting the hotel points for your Maui vacation for the whole family is a little more work. I went big here with the 2 bedroom unit. We could have spent just 30,000 points a night and got a 1 bedroom unit (but we wouldn’t have been able to bring my parents). If it was just Mitch and me without the kids, we would have stayed next door at the Hyatt Regency which is a gorgeous hotel for 25,000 points a night.
The reason that I tell you this is so you know that you can do this trip for fewer points if you would like. As you can see, the more people you bring along, the more points you’ll have to spend. Which is why we haven’t brought the kids to Hawaii until now lol. Although its a lot of points, you can do this! I actually got the idea of doing this trip from one of our readers!
If you want to duplicate this trip, the World of Hyatt Card is a good card to get. Both Mitch and I have one. Whenever you do get this card, I recommend referring your spouse or partner to this card as well so you can get a referral bonus and get the bonus twice. What I like even more than the World of Hyatt card are Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards.
Where you can really get a lot of points towards your hotel stay is by opening up Chase Ultimate Reward cards. These include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Unlimited, Freedom Flex, and Freedom Unlimited. You can’t hold the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve at the same time, but you can hold one of those along with all the others. That is a lot of Ultimate Rewards up for grabs! Refer your spouse, friends, and family to these cards and you can really earn even more!
If you haven’t gotten started yet, then I highly recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card first.
In my family, we each have the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Cash. I also have an Ink Business Unlimited, Freedom Flex, and Freedom Unlimited. Mitch also has the old Freedom card which is no longer offered. Between the two of us, we have eight cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
These are my favorite type of points so when I am not working on meeting the minimum spend on a card I am using these cards to earn more points. If you want to learn even more ways to earn points, check out this post.
Flights and hotel for this trip would have cost me about $10,000. Thanks to travel hacking, I was able to take a Maui vacation on points for just $55! Do you want to learn to take a trip like this but are still a little overwhelmed with where to start? Email me your question and I can help.
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