Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

28-year old guy who hasn't traveled much (on vacation) - where do I go?

28-year old guy who hasn't traveled much (on vacation) - where do I go?

Old Jul 24, 19, 6:03 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 111
28-year old guy who hasn't traveled much (on vacation) - where do I go?

Okay guys/gals - this is kind of an awkward post and not sure if this is the right sub for it, but here goes.

I'm a 28-year old guy living in Dallas, Texas currently (grew up here) and have also lived in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and Florida during college. I've visited LA/SF/NYC/Chicago/Denver, etc. Outside of the country, I've been to Dubai and India.

But most of that was before I turned 22. I have not much done traveling at all personally since then (LA/Chicago/SFO/NYC trips were all mostly for work).

My mom has been telling me to travel for over 3 years, and I'm finally taking her advice now. I've been earning 6-figures since I was 25 and also in a intense job/role, so never did much traveling even though I had the money for it. It's a somewhat unstable job, so I've always been nervous to have more fun in my personal life.

I picked up skiing earlier this year and went to Colorado once and Utah twice - this was a big travel milestone for me. Second personal vacation I'd taken in over 3+ years. I leave Texas otherwise only for work 4-6 times a year (NYC).

I want to follow my mom's advice of traveling/taking a vacation for at least 3-4 days every quarter of the year and maybe even more. My job, while stressful, offers me a lot of flexility (I have almost 100% control of my schedule - they don't keep track of my PTO or anything.). So I'm trying to have more of a life now and get out there haha.

I've racked up the following miles/points from churning credit card signup bonuses, starting a year ago:
  • 179,306 AAdvantage American Airlines miles
  • 460,624 AMEX Membership Rewards Points
  • 273,986 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 186,099 Delta SkyMiles
  • 1,106,430 Hilton Honors points
  • 411,222 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • 60,000 Southwest Airlines RapidRewards miles (won from a TPG contest)
​​I have to reinvest a lot of what I earn back into my job (I'm an investment manager for a wealthy manager), so I'd prefer to not go crazy on out of pocket spending for travel, at least while I have all these miles and points.

I'm fortunate enough that my job allows me to fly first class and stay at 5 star hotels for work trips domestically (one reason how I hit the minimum spend on all those cards so fast lol), so I've kind of had my fill of that. I'm okay with staying at 3-star hotels, etc. when traveling personally and flying economy domestically (but would prefer first or business class internationally using points and miles).

Places/things I'd like to see and do (currently on my mind):
  • Japan/South Korea/Taiwan
  • Vietnam/Malaysia/Indonesia
  • Spain/Italy/UK/Germany/Switzerland (kind of cliche from an American but w/e lol)
  • Denmark/Sweden/Norway
  • Israel
  • more skiing - bought an Epic Pass so I will be headed to Colorado and Utah next winter again
My only question is, is there some guide for finding high value redemption options for miles/points? I don't have the time or mental energy to do this. I also have no idea how to figure out where I should go. Skiing is a start (lol). I'd prefer to do some shorter travel first - with my job flexility, I could easily do fly out Thursday night, fly back Monday, multiple times a month if I really wanted to.

What are some good trips to go to flying out of DFW/DAL? A few people mentioned Toronto and maybe every single major US city for Thursday-Monday trips.

I just don't know where to go, and as a single guy who already does a lot of life alone due to the nature of my job, I felt that I should hold off on using a lot of these points till I got a girlfriend or wife (or go with friends, but it's impossible matching up work calendars, and none of them churn or care about credit card bonuses lol), and it would be more fun to travel that way....but I've had a lot of people on here and other forums encourage me to solo travel, so I'm thinking about it more now lol.

Thoughts?

Last edited by idkmybffjill; Jul 24, 19 at 6:11 pm
idkmybffjill is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 7:21 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,204
Originally Posted by idkmybffjill View Post
<snip>
My only question is, is there some guide for finding high value redemption options for miles/points? I don't have the time or mental energy to do this. I also have no idea how to figure out where I should go. Skiing is a start (lol). I'd prefer to do some shorter travel first - with my job flexibility, I could easily do fly out Thursday night, fly back Monday, multiple times a month if I really wanted to.
<snip>
Getting premium class flight awards can be hard work: time and perseverance And need flexibility on dates/routes and destination
Those ff miles - credit card points - hotel points will devalue over time. Use them before they are worth cents in the dollar (relative to now)
Consider these Award booking services - a list and some reviews

Credit card transfer links
Yoshi212 likes this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 9:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,635
Originally Posted by idkmybffjill View Post
Okay guys/gals - this is kind of an awkward post and not sure if this is the right sub for it, but here goes. <snip>

Thoughts?
First things first, don't cross-post:

https://www.flyertalk.com/help/rules.php#crossposting

When unsure which forum is best to post for your questions, you can always read the forum description first then choose the one that serves you best. Even better, you may check with forum MODs who will certainly point you the right direction. Linky


I just don't know where to go,...
That indeed is a big ask. If I were you, I would start asking myself what I enjoy most, such as culture, architecture, scenery....etc, then go from there. Folks enjoy different things while traveling. Since you only mention skiing, famous skiing spot/resorts that fit your budget/schedule/criteria might be a good starting point until you expand your horizon outside of Colorado and Utah.

Good luck!
lin821 is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 9:36 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
That indeed is a big ask. If I were you, I would start asking myself what I enjoy most, such as culture, architecture, scenery....etc, then go from there. Folks enjoy different things while traveling. Since you only mention skiing, famous skiing spot/resorts that fit your budget/schedule/criteria might be a good starting point until you expand your horizon outside of Colorado and Utah.

Good luck!
I think that’s the problem - I don’t know what I enjoy most in that sense. I love food and trying out different types of food. Architecture tours could be cool. What falls under ‘culture’?

What are some easy places I can go in the USA or nearby for a 4 day weekend type trip? Toronto?
idkmybffjill is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 10:17 pm
  #5  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,744
You've got plenty of points to go more than once, so don't let that stop you. Get going. It gets easier the more you do it.
If you're looking for Thurs-Monday trips, I would not suggest crossing an ocean.
Look on Wikipedia under the Airport name, then look up "Passenger Destinations" That's your list of non-stop flights from your local airport. Non-stops will cut down the actual travel time you spend, since the flights are direct.
Use an Award Booking Service if you don't want to spend the time or effort to maximize your value. Generally, booking domestic non-stops aren't considered difficult bookings, so you can probably do those type of trips without paid assistance.

Good luck.
StartinSanDiego is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 10:39 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 111
Also, taking your advice, I’ve been looking at all the resorts on the epic pass, and these are the places I’d like to ski for sure next year:

Vail, Breckenridge, Whistler, Telluride, Sun Valley, Heavenly, Crested Butte, and possibly something in Japan.

Now I need to figure out how I’ll get here and how to use points preferably ��
idkmybffjill is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 10:53 pm
  #7  
Community Director
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 29,558
Originally Posted by idkmybffjill View Post
What are some easy places I can go in the USA or nearby for a 4 day weekend type trip? Toronto?
There are lots of places for long weekends.
  • New Orleans
  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Albuquerque/Santa Fe/Taos
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Portland
  • Seattle
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • NYC
  • Washington DC
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Savannah
  • Mexico City
The list goes on and on.

I suggest that you use a program like Evernote. Every time you read something about a place that appeals to you, write it down and what it is that you want to see/eat/do there. Keep the list sorted by USA/Canada/Mexico and Central America. Keep a separate list for Asia/Europe/South America/Africa. I've traveled for decades, had a career that kept me in the air all over the world and have traveled extensively for fun. I still maintain a travel list. It's a great help to keep track of where I'd like to go. I'm working on my 2020 travel plans now. 2019 is all put to bed and has been for some time.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 10:59 pm
  #8  
Community Director
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 29,558
I've merged your two threads into one. Cross posting makes folks cranky when they find the same query in multiple forums. This way, all the responses can be found in one place.

Enjoy planning your travel.

Carol/SanDiego1K
Community Director
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 11:27 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Programs: Marriott Titanium; WN A-list; UA Silver
Posts: 143
Originally Posted by idkmybffjill View Post


I think thatís the problem - I donít know what I enjoy most in that sense. I love food and trying out different types of food. Architecture tours could be cool. What falls under Ďcultureí?

What are some easy places I can go in the USA or nearby for a 4 day weekend type trip? Toronto?
Mexico City is a surprising short flight from Dallas. It is possibly my favorite city in NA.
Montreal is also great.
Both of these are amazing food cities. Mexico City is obvious, but even living in a border state, there is so much more variety and flavor than you get. Everything is really affordable. The hotels are also generally a good redemption value as they tend to be at the lower levels. Note that I'm not sure it is the best points spend for flights unless you need to fly F/J for a 3 hour flight for some reason. The Mexican LCCs are not that bad and really cheap.
Montreal is has the French influence plus smoked meat and the best bagels (come at me New York). Flights to Canada make me cry price wise, so you might do better with a redemption if you can find a good one.
nmpls is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 1:49 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 1,630
Not sure if itís been mentioned but Miami is good for architecture, plus you could perhaps head down the keys as well
MSPeconomist likes this.
nancypants is online now  
Old Jul 25, 19, 2:15 am
  #11  
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: CGK
Programs: FlyingBlue | Krisflyer | SPG | HHonors
Posts: 760
Since you are into skiing, there are some nice places in Canada like Whistler (near Vancouver) and Mont Tremblant (near Montreal) that you can combine with visits to those cities as well for a decent 4 day trip. Both of these resorts have hotels operated by Hilton and Marriott as well where you can book on points.

Switzerland/Austria/Japan offers plenty of great skiing opportunities as well but I doubt they are that nice to do for a 4-day trip from N. America since the travel time takes about 2 days in itself.
nancypants likes this.
quirrow is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 2:53 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: NAP
Programs: United Gold, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 43
For Vietnam, I highly reccomend the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. It's my favorite Marriott property that I've stayed at so far. There's a ton to see and do on the island and a lot of it is very inexpensive. They also have one of the tallest and longest cable cars in the world just down the street.

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...esort-and-spa/

It's a Category 5 and somewhat expensive, so a good value for your Marriott points. Also, there are some pretty good upgrades to be had.

Here's a blog post that I did on the place:
https://planestrainsandrvs.com/2018/...ay-resort-spa/
junglematt is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 6:32 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 537
Vancouver. Vancouver. Vancouver.

It's like San Francisco done right. And you don't have to be certifiably insane to live there.

Clean. Wonderful food. Lots to do. Great shopping. Best urban park in the world.

Easy jump to Whistler for skiing.

Or take the Harbour Air seaplane from Coal Harbour to Victoria and visit Butchart Gardens. SF has cable cars. YVR has seaplanes. Seaplanes are 1000% better.

We were invited there last year by friends and the place simply knocked our socks off.
MSPeconomist likes this.
HomerJay is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 6:37 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: California Ohio Florida
Programs: WN A+, CP, HH Diamond, National EE
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
Not sure if itís been mentioned but Miami is good for architecture, plus you could perhaps head down the keys as well
Yes! But forget Miami, go to Key West. Be sure to stay in Old Town. Lot's of Restaurants, music, bars, water activity. Mostly lot's of fun!
Taco Tuesday is offline  
Old Jul 25, 19, 6:43 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 1,630
Originally Posted by Taco Tuesday View Post
Yes! But forget Miami, go to Key West. Be sure to stay in Old Town. Lot's of Restaurants, music, bars, water activity. Mostly lot's of fun!
awww I went for the Art Deco (so Miami Beach I suppose rather than Miami per se). Agree not hanging around the whole weekend

as an aside, OP, part of travelling is having a bit of time to relax and enjoy places. I know itís tempting to try and shoehorn in a weekend away in Paris or whatever but flying from the US I feel (and iím sure others would agree) itís a recipe for misery and turning you off travel for good
jiaogulan likes this.
nancypants is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread