Picking A Travel Destination For Award Travel
There is no doubt that picking a destination for award travel can be daunting. Planning a trip fueled by points and miles is akin to opening Pandora’s Box. The possibilities are endless, but it can be an all consuming task trying to determine where to go. Point and miles can truly take you anywhere in the world. And, if you're anything like us, the allure of exploring new places while scoring an award is a thrill that never gets old. If you’re standing at the crossroads of wanderlust and indecision, then in this article, we'll delve into the art of selecting the perfect travel destination using your hard-earned points and miles.
Assess Your Points Portfolio
Before setting your sights on a specific destination, take stock of your current points and miles arsenal. Hopefully, you are accumulating transferable points through credit card welcome offers. But perhaps you have some points and miles saved in airline or hotel loyalty programs as well. Knowing what you have and how you can use them is crucial. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses, so consider the redemption options and transfer partners available. The more diverse your portfolio, the greater flexibility you'll have when choosing your destination. If you have some time before booking your trip, you may consider opening a new card from our ToP card offers list for the welcome offer.
Define Your Travel Goals Before Picking A Travel Destination
Travel means different things to different people. Whether you're chasing vibrant cityscapes, tranquil beaches, or cultural immersions, defining your travel goals will help narrow down your options. Are you seeking relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both? Understanding your preferences will guide your destination selection and ensure your trip aligns with your desires. Create a list of all the places that you want to go; call it your wish list. This can be your baseline to guide where you intend to use your points and miles to take you.
Flexibility is the key to maximizing your points and miles when picking a travel destination. When researching award flights, a good rule of thumb is being flexible in at least one of the following categories:
- Travel dates
- Departure times
- Class of service
- Route (including connecting vs nonstop)
By being flexible in at least one way, you greatly expand the chance of scoring your ideal award flight. You can stretch your points further and potentially score business or first-class seats as a saver award.
Review Transfer Partners When Picking A Travel Destination
One of the greatest advantages of transferable points such as Citi ThankYou points or American Express Membership Rewards is the ability to transfer them to different loyalty programs. Evaluate what programs you can use to determine where to run your award searches. These transfer partners can be used to book award travel, and remember that the best option may not be the one you are familiar with. Review our partner transfer tool to see what programs are available to you.
Search for Availability
We've said it before, but I'll say it again. You have to run award searches in order to find award flights. The best way to get a sense of what is possible is by actually running some award searches. Most award programs open up their award calendar between 330 and 365 days out. By running some test searches you can get a sense for availability on a given route and availability patterns. Searching early and searching often will give you the best chance of success and help you immensely when picking a travel destination!
Check out our ToP 10 Tips for Award Bookings for some more helpful award travel tips.
Stay Updated on Award Promotions
The world of Travel on Point(s) is dynamic, with promotions and bonuses changing frequently. Make sure to join our Facebook Group and ensure you have notifications turned on for all posts. We are frequently breaking news on great award deals that could help picking a travel destination. Being in the loop will help you capitalize on limited-time promotions, maximizing your points and miles for a one-of-a-kind opportunity. The same goes for transfer bonuses, which can help you stretch your points even farther. We keep track of all transfer bonuses on this page.
Picking A Travel Destination: ToP Thoughts
In the world of Travel on Point(s), the possibilities are endless. Choosing your dream destination with points and miles is an art that combines strategy, flexibility, and a dash of adventurous spirit. As you navigate the exciting landscape of booking your award travels, keep in mind that the best time to burn those points is now! So, pack your bags, redeem those points, and get ready to explore the world – one destination at a time. Happy travels!