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img_0047Weather has been absolutely fabulous this past week in Cabo San Lucas, where my family is spending the Christmas holiday. Every morning we enjoyed our breakfast on the balcony, soaking up the sun and watching boats chasing whales in the far distance.

A lot happened in 2016 in the points world and the travel industry, it was an exciting year – the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card bought premium cards to Main Street, forcing American Express to enhance its Platinum Card offerings; the mega purchase of Starwood hotels by Marriott; the unlikely merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America; American Airline’s drastic devaluation; Alaska’s new and reduced award redemption, and so on. The list is simply too long to mention all.

img_0070Thanks to the points and miles we have, this past year I was able to visit my parents in China and spent a week traveling in Southeast Asia with my brother. We took our oldest daughter around the country in search of the perfect college that lit up her eyes. My husband was able to fly out at moment’s notice across the country to say the final goodbye to his mother. We were able to send our nephew half way across the globe to start the new chapter of his life teaching English in rural Japan, and then helped him get home for the holidays! We wrapped up the year with week-long vacations in Hawaii and Mexico, spending quality family time together without any stress of college applications (yep December 31 deadline is right around the corner)! With my help, many of our friends were able to use their points and miles for family vacations to Disney World, Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico, even as far as Asia and Europe.

Next year will be an exciting year for our family! Aside from trips we have planned, our three girls will graduate from their current schools and move onto the next chapter. Our oldest daughter will be leaving home for college, and I bet our miles and points will come in handy when she gets homesick!

Last but not least, I am grateful for the opportunity that Dan has given me to join PWaC as contributor. It feels like a dream come true! I look forward to not only to learn from all of you in the new year, but also to share my knowledge so that more and more family can take that trip that they have always dream of, and we can all travel more for less!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

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