January 1, 2017

2016: The Year In Review


2016 was a great year of travel for me. It's such a blessing and a great opportunity to be able to utilize miles and points to visit several countries, fly premium classes, access airport lounges, stay at nice hotels & resorts, and check off some bucket list along the way.

Banff National Park Had Been Just A Dream To Look At Until The Year of 2016!

Countries Visited - 10 Total

Asia:

  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February, 2016)
  • Hong Kong (End of February 2016)
    • Hong Kong Disneyland

Europe - (May 2016)


Better to See Nyhavn in Copenhagen Once Than to See Photos of It A Thousand Times

North America:

It Was Unreal To See The Giant Sequoia At The Redwood National Park

Pacific:

  • New Zealand (March 2016)
    • Christchurch
    • Greymouth
    • Punakaki
    • Arthur's Pass
    • Castle Hill
    • Picton 
    • Wellington

Cruise:

  • MSC Divina (October 2016), port of calls:
    • Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Island
    • Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
    • Puerto Rico, US Territory
Bucket List Checked: Waterslide On The Cruise Ship! Had A Blast!

Airlines Flown & Lounges Access

Economy Classes:

  • American Airlines to Tucson, used $100 voucher that benefits from being a Barclay AA Aviator credit card holder. 
    • American Admiral Club access in Phoenix, benefit from Citi American Airlines credit card.
  • DragonAir from Phnom Penh to Hong Kong, redeemed 60,000 British Avios miles for 4 round trip tickets. 
    • Plaza Premium Lounge with Priority Pass Select Membership in Hong Kong airport, benefit from American Express Business Platinum credit card. 
  • American Airlines to London to Oslo, redeemed 20,000 AA miles before it devalued. 
    • American Express Centurion Lounge access in Dallas airport, benefit from American Express Business Platinum credit card. 
  • Alaska Airlines to New Orleans, used $99 companion ticket that benefits from having Alaska Airlines credit card. 
    • American Express Centurion Lounge access in Seattle airport, benefit from American Express Business Platinum credit card. 
  • Delta Airlines to Minneapolis, redeemed 15,000 Delta miles for two one way tickets. 
  • Alaska Airlines to Hawaii, used $99 companion ticket that benefits from having Alaska Airlines credit card.
    • The Plumeria Lounge in Interisland Terminal in Honolulu airport with Priority Select Membership, benefit from American Express Business Platinum credit card. 
Fantastic Food At American Express Centurion Lounge At Dallas Ariport

Business Classes:

  • Asiania Business Class A380 from Tucson-LAX-Korea-Cambodia, redeemed 78,000 Lifemiles.
    • Star Alliance Business Class Lounge in LAX
    • Asiania Business Class Lounge in Incheon South Korea airport.
  • Thai Airways Business Class from Phnom Penh-Bangkok-Auckland-Christchurch New Zealand, redeemed 60,000 United miles for two one-way business class ticket for me and my mother. 
    • Singapore's Silver Kris Lounge in Bangkok airport. 
    • Two Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounges, complimentary foot massage in Bangkok airport. 
  • Lufthansa Business Class from Stockholm to US, redeemed 63,000 Lifemiles 
    • Lufthansa Business Class Lounge in Frankfurt airport.
Finally Flew In Lufthansa Business Class Cabin - Single Seat On The Plane Too!

Hotels

Choice:

  • Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Olso Norway, redeemed 16,000 Choice Points for 1 night. 
  • Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm Sweden, redeemed 40,000 Choice Points for 4 nights. 
  • Quality Hotel Airport Arlanda in Sweden, redeemed 10,000 Choice Points for 1 night. 
Beautiful Room - Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Oslo Norway

Club Carlson:


Finally Got To Check Out Mall of America and Free Stay At Radisson Blu Inside The Mall

Hilton:

  • Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a DoubleTree by Hilton in Hilo Hawaii, $99/night deal 1 night stay and earned additional 5,000 bonus points.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay in Kauai Hawaii, redeemed 48,000 Hilton Points + $195 Cash for 3 nights, plus earned additional 5,000 bonus points per stay. 
Bucket List Checked: Submarine in Kona on the Big Island Hawaii!

Hyatt:

  • Hyatt Place St. Paul/Downtown, redeemed 2,500 Hyatt Points + $50 Cash before tax. 

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG):

  • StayBridge Suite West Edmonton by the mall in Edmonton Canada, redeemed 5,000 IHG Points during points break promotion for 1 free night stay. 
  • Astor Crowne Plaza - New Orleans French Quarter, paid stays for 4 nights :( cheaper than using all my points. 
  • Candlewood Suites Idaho Falls on our way to Grand Teton National Park, redeemed 5,000 IHG Points during Points Break promotion for 1 free night stay.  
  • Holiday Inn Resort The Lodge at Eagle Crest in Redmond Oregon on our way to the Oregon Coast, redeemed 10,000 IHG Points for 1 night stay. 

Non Chain Hotels:

  • Regal Hong Kong Hotel, paid stays using Orbitz 15% off coupon and Orbucks for one room that can sleep 4 adult people. Also earned cash back from cash back site as well. 
  • Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island Hawaii, paid stays using Orbitz 15% off coupon and Orbucks. Also earned cash back from cash back site as well. 
Finally Got To See New Orleans's Bourbon Street


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