Pam’s 2022 Travel Hacking Recap

Pam

2022 was a very good year for me, with points and miles! Here is my 2022 travel hacking recap. I definitely use miles for my business-class seats, but I often don’t use miles or points for cheap seats. 2022 found me enjoying a nice lay-flat seat on all of my international trips- something that wouldn’t have happened without this hobby!

 

January

I started the year off slowly because I had to have back surgery in January so I could make all my other travels. No trips this month. But don’t worry,  I made up for it!

 

February

I started my travel adventures with my trip to Tanzania for a safari and then on to Zanzibar. Incredible experiences are made better using points/miles to dramatically decrease costs.  We traveled in business class seats which really made the trips easier. Part of the trip was in United Polaris – the best part. Unlike other business class seats, I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethiopian Airlines, but lay-flat seats are always nice!

 

Lion resting on a large rock

Up close and personal experiences with wild animals made this trip magical!

 

March

Part of my Africa trip continued into March. I then went to Alex’s for babysitting duties so she could go to the Maldives. That is her best travel hack – having a mom who babysits! 😜

 

April

In April, Alex and I took her oldest son, Eli, to Washington, D.C., for a birthday trip. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington using free night certificates.

 

Boy and grandmother on subway

Riding the subway in Washington, D.C.

 

May

My four daughters and I try and take a yearly points/miles trip. This year it was to Croatia, and we LOVED it! It is a cross between Greece and Italy to me, so who couldn’t have the best time? Our favorite city was Hvar, and we would 100% go back! I stopped off in London for a few days to visit family after our Croatia trip.

 

 

Four women standing in square of town

My four beautiful girls in Hvar, Croatia.

 

June

Croatia was followed by a trip to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun – one of our favorite all-inclusive resorts! It was so much fun watching grandchildren enjoy unlimited treats and fun!

 

Hyatt Ziva poolside drinks

These boys loved the endless poolside drinks!

 

August

My travel hacking started ramping up in August with the first two trips to Maui. We always take grandchildren to Hawaii each year, and using airline companion passes really helps keep the costs down.

 

woman with two boys at a table in restaurant

Grandma enjoying two cute grandsons!

 

August continued with a points-and-miles trip to Huntington Beach Regency for our first-ever THM retreat. This was right after Jess joined our team; we loved the hotel. This is a great location, and the food was great, too – can’t beat a Globalist breakfast!

 

three women under pier

Huntington Beach is a great place to meet!

September

Besides my annual mom/daughters trip, I have an annual sister’s trip and an annual trip with a close friend. I did this back-to-back this year. One occurred in Maui, and the next was on the Big Island. Both trips were made cheaper with points/miles. In fact, I was actually able to book with Turkish Airlines for an incredible deal!

 

Two women on plane

15K Turkish miles and $11.20 in taxes and fees got my sister and me to Maui from Denver.

 

Large resort near palm trees and blue water

My friend and I enjoyed the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island.

October

Fall was busy! I started with a trip to Paris, London, Abu Dhabi, then the Maldives – insane, right? Using points and miles for business class seats and some nice hotel stays made it truly memorable! Sharing it with two of my daughters made it even better! But the magic adventure was flying in Singapore Suites from JFK to Frankfurt to start this trip! That is one experience that I would never have had without this hobby!

 

Woman sitting in lounge chair

I’m all smiles on my Singapore Suites dream flight!

 

girl sitting in front of window with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

You can use only 15,000 points/night to book the Hyatt Regency Etoile in Paris!

 

woman standing on wood bridge iover turquoise water

My cute daughter, Lindsey, in the Maldives.

 

Wow, that was a busy month!

November

As if two times to Maui and a trip to the Maldives weren’t enough tropical travel hacking, I also went to Bora Bora!  Alex, my daughter Kasey, and I had a great stay in French Polynesia. It was definitely more expensive than the Maldives, so you are probably wondering which one was best. Read our post, Maldives vs. Bora Bora.

 

3 women on bikes in front of overwater bungalows

Bora Bora was a dream!

December

Time for one last trip – another THM retreat to make plans for 2023 and celebrate reaching a milestone. Alex, Jess, and I met at the Andaz Mayakoba Hyatt in Cancun.

Andaz Mayakoba pool

Andaz Mayakoba pool

 

 

Cards I Applied For

It wouldn’t be a travel hacking year without applying for many new credit cards and getting new welcome offers for further travel. Here are the new cards my hubby and I signed up for this year:

We really concentrated on business cards as we were trying to get under 5/24 status. We are both under 5/24 now, so this coming year, we could get personal cards again.

Altogether, we earned about 1,000,000 points for travel this year on welcome offers. There is seldom a time that I am not working on a minimum spend. We use our cards to pay our taxes, which is a huge expense for us as we are both self-employed.

 

Cards Cancelled, Downgraded

I canceled or downgraded the following cards:

  • American Express Delta Gold Card (mine-canceled)
  • American Express Gold Business Card (husband’s – downgraded)
  • American Express Business Platinum Card (my husband and I each canceled one because we received new offers this year with no lifetime language on them)

Plans For Next Year

I’ve already started planning and booking for 2023, and these trips include (so far):

  • Japan, Australia, and New Zealand – 3-week trip
  • Grand Cayman
  • Scotland
  • Maui and Kauai
  • Costa Rica
  • Kauai #2
  • Cabo
  • New York City

Bottom Line

Never, ever did I think that this would be my life – travel is my passion, and the ability to travel so much for so cheap is unbelievable. My 2022 travel hacking was crazy – I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!

 

Overwater villas in Bora Bora

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