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I don’t plan to write a big heart-drenched article about the 8 most romantic places to spend Valentine’s Day (though I guess kind of did already for creditcards.com), but I do think the ‘Day of Love’ is good inspiration to talk about a few places that I would love to visit in the coming years. The world is big, schedules are tight, and like most parents, I don’t frequently get to just hop on a jet and explore somewhere new for a few days. Even though I have some miles and points in the bank, I have to be pretty thoughtful about where I really want to go in order to make it happen. Otherwise, destinations I would love to visit get lost in the shuffle in favor of easier or more familiar places.
From the West Coast to the other side of the planet, here are ten places I would love to visit using my miles and points.
Iceland has become a trendy destination, but that doesn’t make it look any less appealing. In fact, being popular has actually made it much easier to get to with United kicking off flights from Newark, American starting flights from Dallas, and even some low-cost carriers operating flights from the Lone Star State. In the coming years, I would love to visit Iceland and hike, see glaciers, waterfalls, soak in the hot springs, and explore. Serious bonus points if we can throw in some Northern Lights, too!
This is the only lower 48 destination on my Top 10 list of places I’d love to visit, in large part because we had a whole trip planned and ready for takeoff when Hurricane Harvey had other ideas last summer. Drinking coffee listening to the wavers, heading out on a boat, kayaking the caves, biking around town, and eating big, delicious, burritos sounded lovely then, and still does today.
Mexico City is only a little over two hours by air from Houston, so this one seems simple enough, but it just hasn’t happened yet. The architecture, food, history, riverboats, and art in Mexico City are calling my name and I look forward to one day answering that call. Hopefully, I can take along my mom who was a Spanish teacher and visited Mexico City many decades ago. This would be a great destination to explore together!
I’ve actually been to Oslo and skied in Norway, but I want to return with my family, this time to the area around Bergen to see the charming towns, fjords, and relish in the very long summer days. Scandinavia, and even specifically Bergen, is known for being very family friendly with pop-up playgrounds all over the place, so I think my crew could fit in quite nicely for a little while.
Continuing the theme of beautiful outdoor landscapes and adventures, New Zealand is another destination I would love to visit that we once had 100% booked, only to lose it to the realities of life. It became the right trip at the wrong time. Two years later, it’s still the wrong time, but on the bright side there are now nonstop flights to Auckland and Sydney directly from Houston, so if I wait a little longer maybe we can just teleport there. Frankly, I’m okay waiting a little longer for this one until both of my girls can appreciate the gift of being able to experience somewhere so far away that most people from around here will never get to see with their own eyes.
I love to ski, and thank goodness my daughters seem to be heading in that direction, as well. A place where I would love to ski with them in the coming years is Mont Tremblant, located about 90 miles northeast of Montreal in Quebec. Montreal itself is a charming slice of Europe right here in North America, but based on what I have seen online, Mont Tremblant appears to take that up a notch. It looks like a storybook European village complete with ice slides for the kids in the middle of the streets. Oh, and there’s good skiing and points-friendly hotels, too. What’s not to love?
I’ve been to Kauai a couple of times, but it remains one of my absolutely favorite spots on earth. I’m actively working on a 2019 return summer trip to the islands, but this time I want to rent a house (or at least a condo) on the northern shore of Kauai and stay for a little while in our own quiet corner of paradise. While we are there, we may again visit a couple of the great resorts like the St. Regis Princeville or Grand Hyatt Kauai, but I would love to just pretend we live on Kauai for at least a week. I want to listen to the girls play outside in the perfect weather, roll out to the beach in the afternoons before naptime, shop at the farmer’s markets, cook dinner, and then head out for shave ice and watch the sunsets in the evenings.
We had penciled in Banff for a visit this summer, but unfortunately, it has been crowded out by other things. While we won’t get there as soon as I hoped, my desire to take this trip to Canada, slip into the hot springs, and gaze out on breathtaking Lake Louise hasn’t diminished at all. As with most of these outdoor national park type adventures, waiting just a little while longer until my youngest is school-aged will likely improve the trip experience for everyone since she will be a better age for hiking and adventuring.
Isle of Skye
Last but far from least, I would love to take my family to the Isle of Skye in Scotland. We adored our time with the girls in Scotland a couple of summers ago, but we just didn’t have the time to make it all the way west to Skye on that trip. Skye is home to fishing villages, medieval castles, and breathtaking landscapes. I’d love to visit the Fairy Glen, swim in the fairy pools, explore Dunvegan Castle, take the Quiraing walk, see the Neist Point lighthouse, eat local fish and produce at the cozy Three Chimneys, and take about a billion photos at everywhere in-between.
Spending the time to earn miles, monitor credit cards, and learn award chart sweet spots sure is easier when you think about all the places your miles can take you. While these were ten places I would love to visit in the future, in honor of Valentine’s Day, tomorrow I plan to talk about ten trips I loved that are already in the scrapbooks.
Now that you know my top ten, I’d love to hear all about the spots that are calling to you!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.