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2016 is coming to an end in less than two weeks. I am sitting here sipping my morning latte in the beautiful lobby at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and looking out to this gorgeous view, I cannot help but feel how fortunate my family and I have been this past year (and the years prior).

gorgeous-view

We were able to take on a few big trips in 2016 for considerably less money thanks to the miles and points we have been collecting – including my solo trip to Asia on Cathay First Class booked prior to the AA devaluation, and several domestic trips to tour colleges with my oldest daughter who is currently a high school senior.

A few years ago we decided that we will try our best to visit at least one new destination each year. In 2016, we added several: Singapore, Macau, Boston and Seattle! We saw the Blue Angels flying in front of us right on the top of the Space Needle! 2016 trips were fun, and we have more to look forward to in 2017, with Osaka/Kyoto adding to our list of “this year’s new places”:

  • A quick long weekend to Disneyland, just me and the girls, and believe or not it will be our first time (I am really not into theme parks). Santa will tell the girls on Christmas Day!
  • A 10-day trip to Osaka and Kyoto with my youngest daughter. It is her turn for the six-grade trip I take with each girl. We will be staying at the St. Regis Osaka which I booked prior to Starwood’s 2016 category adjustment,
  • Easter weekend in NYC with my little one just for the Hamilton show (yep we got tickets)!
  • Two weeks in Hawaii during the summer to celebrate girls’ graduation from their current schools.
  • A surprise visit to NYC for my oldest daughter, including the Hamilton show on the day she turns 18! (READ MORE: 4 mistakes my Dad made in New York City)
  • A send-off to the college my daughter decides to be at for the next four years.
  • Holiday in Disney World followed by Christmas at the grandparents’.

With the exception of College send-off and the Christmas trip, all other trips are booked, using a combination of points, miles, and cash. My vacation is fully maxed out at work, which is a good thing as I just read the 50 best places to visit in 2017 by Travel and Leisure and some of those places are really tempting! Thanks to the strong US dollar, your money can go far in many of the overseas places mentioned in the article, such as Europe, Australia, and especially Mexico where one dollar will get you more than 20 pesos!

Have you booked any trips for your family for 2017? If so, where are you heading and how did you plan it? If you haven’t booked anything, do you have something in mind? Perhaps go see penguins in the wild?

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