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Earlier this week Southwest Airlines released their summer booking schedule so you can now make your summer 2018 family travel reservations using points or dollars via Southwest through August 6, 2018. I’ve been playing around with Southwest.com a fair amount over the weekend and frankly, I’m a little blown away with how attainable they are making international family travel, even during the busy summer months.
How attainable? How about flying nonstop from Houston – Cancun and back in June 2018 starting at just 4,608 points + taxes of $70.81 per person. There’s really nothing you can do about the reality of taxes when flying internationally, but being able to fly to another country for 4,608 Rapid Reward points per round trip is simply insane. This is an even better deal than the Spirit 2,500 mile award flights for their co-branded cardholders. With Southwest, you can choose your own seats at boarding, get two free checked bags, a full-sized carry-on bag, an onboard beverage, and more.
If you are short on Southwest Rapid Reward points you can transfer them in 1:1 from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and cards like the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred and lock in a cheap international family trip next summer starting at less than 5,000 points per person!
Amazingly, the Houston – Cancun international route example is not the only one you can find for just a few thousand Rapid Reward points next summer. Here are a few other examples of very good deals for international summer family travel that jumped out at me in some recent searches.
- Baltimore – Cancun starting at 4,356 points each way
- Ft. Lauderdale – Cancun starting at 2,880 points each way
- Ft. Lauderdale – Nassau starting at 2,880 points each way
- Ft. Lauderdale – Grand Cayman starting at 2,520 points each way
- Los Angeles – Puerto Vallarta starting at 6,408 points each way
- San Diego – Puerto Vallarta starting at 5,760 points each way
- Houston – Cancun starting at 2,304 points each way
I know family travel can be expensive and tough with lots of moving parts to consider, but at these prices, it is very, very attainable for a wide variety of families. It becomes a matter of if you want to do it, not whether or not you can afford to do it.
Airfare prices are so good from Houston to Cancun, that we are seriously toying around with using the Hyatt credit card sign-up bonuses that Josh and my mom both got from getting the Hyatt card before the bonus changed from two award nights to 40,000 points for a return visit to the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun as shown above as it was such a fantastic experience for the whole family. We could also check out the new(ish) Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen and/or the Andaz Mayakoba Resort while in the area.
If you want to stay on points in one of the Southwest destinations mentioned above, in Grand Cayman, the Westin Grand Cayman is a great choice and in Nassau, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar gets big thumbs up from us. With even a tiny bit of strategy and access to points that you can easily get from a rewards earning credit card or two, you can put together an amazing international trip for next summer.
If you find some Southwest flights that will work for your family for Summer 2018 travel, I recommend going ahead and locking them in now. With Southwest Rapid Rewards you can refund your Rapid Rewards points without penalty or simply reprice your award if you notice that the points price has dropped.
Whether you get your points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards or a Chase Ultimate Rewards card that offers the feature to transfer your points to Southwest, you can make your dreams of taking your family beyond the borders next summer for much less than you might have thought.
I’d love to hear what flight deals you have already secured for your family for next summer!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.