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2017 was another year with crazy travel and work schedule for my busy family of five. Now that the year is over, I am actually feeling relieved and looking forward to a slower pace in 2018.

Looking back at 2017 travels

We took some big trips and made a lot of wonderful memories, thanks to airline miles and hotel points.

  • My first trip to Kyoto with my youngest daughter in Japan Airlines first class and business class. I loved our five-night stay at the St Regis Osaka and will definitely return!

[See: My 6 favorites from 3 days in Kyoto ]

[See: JAL First Class SFO to HND and JAL Business Class HND to SFO Review ]

[See: St. Regis Osaka Review ]

  • Two weeks in Hawaii during the summer to celebrate my girls graduation from their schools. We split a week on Maui between Grand Wailea and Westin Nanea Ocean Resorts, following by a week in Kauai near Poipu Beach.

[See: Grand Wailea Maui Review ]

[See: 5 Best Use of Hilton Points ]

[See: Westin Nanea Ocean Villas Maui Review ]

While girls and I have been to all Hawaiian islands, this trip was my husband’s first time to Kauai and he loved it. Kauai is my favorite island and perhaps I can convince my husband to retire there someday.

  • A surprise weekend in New York City for my oldest daughter for her 18th birthday, along with tickets to the broadway hit Hamilton on her birthday.
  • Two weeks in Florida over Christmas holiday. We spent a week in Orlando area at the Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort, where you can booked a two-bedroom two-bath units with full kitchen and living room for 35,000 IHG points.The resort is huge and very nice, and also very close to DisneyWorld.

[See: 6 Best Use of IHG Points ]

We spent Christmas week at the grandparents who live in Bartow, right between Tampa and Orlando. There is nothing there other than cows and horses. My girls played a lot of Uno and Monopoly with their cousins from New Jersey, one of them even flew back from Japan. It was a great time for everyone.

And there were several trips back and forth visiting my daughter’s college and moving her into the dorm. Yes 2017 was a crazy year and to some extend I am relieved that it is over!

Looking forward to 3 trips in 2018

In May 2017 I planned our family’s summer trip for 2018 to Caribbean.[Read Sorry Hawaii, Aloha Caribbean].  I booked our flights just a week before hurricane Irma came and wiped out the island of St. Martin. With airport closed and resorts damaged, out of safety concerned, I cancelled our trip. I was able to get all my delta miles refunded to my account and retained a travel credit with American Airlines for our return flight. But now, we don’t have a summer trip planned, which is OK since I can’t seem to have my girls on board of anything! (Do you ever have that problem with your teenagers?)

The girls don’t want to go anywhere doesn’t mean I have to stop going places.I have only three trips booked for 2018 and I am really looking forward to each one of them:

  • Celebrating Chinese New Year in China in February. This will only be the 2nd time I am able to spend Chinese New Year in China during the past 30 years. Last time it was 2015 and i took my middle daughter so that she could experience her first real Chinese Lunar New Year.

I will be flying Cathay Pacific first class there, and coming back in Singapore Airlines first class from Hong Kong. While I have flown Cathay first class more than a few times, this trip would be my first time flying Singapore Airline. Neithelress to say, I am excited. Not to mention, I will be adding another adorable Cathay soft animals to my collection!

a group of stuffed animals

  • My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in May. We decided to head back to Vegas since we got married 20 years ago in the Sin City. Being a Mlife Platinum member, I took advantage of the special discount on Black Friday and booked a one-bedroom Fountain View Penthouse Suite at the Vdara for five nights in May. I am looking forward to the view from my bedroom, and hopefully it doesn’t disappoint!
  • Over Labor Day weekend I will be heading to New York City with two girlfriends. I booked four nights at the Park Hyatt New York using two free-night award certificates and 60,000 points. This will mark my most luxurious hotel stay ever, as the nightly rate is over $700 per night.

I have those AA travel credit that I need to use by May. I will need to figure out what to do with those credits. I am sure I will be on the look out for deals, especially mistake fares in business class heading anywhere to see if I can put a spontaneous trip to somewhere. But at the meantime, I am happy of what I have planned. What about you? Where are your family heading to in 2018?

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