Just wondering. I Started filling in my 2017 Calendar and its filling up. Between gymnastics and Baseball its going to be a reward filled 2017.
Atlanta twice - Once for Passion Conference for Church and once for Perfect Game Showcase
Panama City Beach - A week of Baseball
About 5 Weekends in various spots in Mississippi for Baseball and gymnastics.
A week in Vicksburg, MS for Miss Mississippi Pageant.
I am up to 30 reserved nights in 2017... If we choose to stay at Marriott and not on property for Disney World vacation it will be more. Kids got us running in 2017.
How is everyone else looking?
benbuck6 , I am well on my way too.
I'm awed how quick reward points stack. I'm at the brink of 70,000 in 6 months. These 30 nights in 2017 will easily be another 40,000 not counting bonus points and promotions. Plus I like to shop through the "Shop My Way" sight. I could hit the 160,000 points to redeem Dream Reward in less than a year...after I will be working on the airlines miles portion with the stays.
bejacob, how do you get to Hawaii? Which airline, and do you use points or pay and do you go economy or first class? I've only taken DL to HI and it was fine, but always looking for options. Routed thru LAX and SEA on various trips. We used miles for one trip, and I paid for the other and got a very reasonable fare on DL.
Last time I went to Hawaii, I cashed in airline miles for the flights and MR points for the hotels. This time, the hotels will be on points, but I'm paying for the flights. With my newly minted Alaska MVP Gold (just waiting for the most recent flights to post to put me over the top) I'll be taking advantage of the ability to upgrade to FC on AS for a substantial discount. The price for and upgraded fare is slightly more than a standard coach fare, but bumps you up to FC. The other option is to hope for the free upgrade. On this route, I don't want to take the chance of not getting it.
At the moment, I'm looking at a morning from SAN to LIH on AS, so then it's just a matter of getting to SAN from CMH the previous evening. AA seems to be the best option right now, though I'll keep watching. Being as AS FF, I like to stick with them or their partners (they partner with both DL and AA). This is not my only option, just the one that seems like it will work out best (based on the days I plan to travel).
Coming home, I booked DL FC overnight from HNL to JFK and then on to CMH the following morning. The key for me was the lie flat seats on the 764 for the 9+45 overnight flight. There are only a few routes from HNL that offer lie flat seats (DFW, MSP, ATL, JFK, might be a couple more) so that limited my options. Anyway, that's how this plan has come together.
I love the B764, actually the UA two class B763's have been reconfigured with the lie flat seats so either is good just so it's the two class birds. Of course IAH-HNL is still being flown on the old piece of something UA domestic B772 that I refuse to fly on with the domestic first class seats....for 8 plus hours, no thanks.
bejacob, thanks for the info. If you fly AA to SAN, then fly AS from SAN-LIH, will AA/AS link your reservations since they are partner airlines? I worry about piecing together an itinerary on different airlines because if airline #1 doesn't get you to the first stop on time to connect with the second airline/flight, then airline #2 doesn't have any obligation to get you to the second stop, right? I suppose if you get to SAN the night before, you are leaving yourself plenty of time and don't really need to worry.
That won't be an issue since I'll be staying overnight in SAN. If it were a same day connection, it could be a problem because the reservations would not be linked. Even worse, if I were to check luggage, I'd have to claim it and then recheck. Any delays on the first part could really screw up the rest.
Part of the reason, we're looking at breaking up the trip is that getting to Hawaii would be about 9 to 11 hours flying (depending on the route) and involves 5 or 6 hours time difference (depending on the time of year). That's tough on the body to do in one day as we found out a year ago. It worked, but if there could be better ways, those are worth exploring.
Looks like a trip across the pond might be in the cards for 2017. My mom has her heart set on visiting Wales. She no longer travels alone and as the only one of my siblings with the interest and available time, it looks like I'll be the one accompanying her. Oh, go on, twist my arm.
No details yet, but late spring seems the most likely time. Might look at flying into Manchester and then hiring a car. If that turns out to be the plan, I'll have to drop in on brightlybob before heading home.
bejacob, we loved Wales. It's a beautiful, underrated country. While you are in the UK, do you have time to swing by Edinburgh and/or the Lake District? If so, it's worth the time and effort, IMHO
If you've done Edinburgh maybe no need to go back this time. We did all the major touristy stuff in Wales: Cardiff, Llangollen (if you can pronounce it correctly, they'll make you an honorary Welshman but sounds as if you might be a real one if your mother wants to go there ), Tintern Abbey, Horseshoe Pass, parks, gardens, beaches, etc. I am sure you can find plenty of stuff to do there. Although....have you seen Chester on a prior UK visit? If not, it's worth a visit and right across the border on your way from Manchester. Lots of great old tudor architecture, Roman-era city walls, etc. Sorry to go on and on. I love the UK and could talk about it all day. We did England-Scotland-Wales one year during late May and early June, and it was the perfect time of year. All of the roses and flowering trees were on full display, and the weather was wonderful.
Well in terms of big plans for 2017, I'm planning an Orlando fortnight at the end of Feb and a fortnight in China in the middle of July, so a late Spring meet up in Wales, or Manchester for that matter, should be good.
Flying into the UK from the US is easy if you want to end up at Heathrow. There are over 20 US airports with direct flights to Heathrow. We are way too dependent on that airport. However transatlantic flights are offered to Birmingham which is in the Midlands 100m north of London, to Manchester in the Northwest 200 miles north of London and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. Of these Manchester and Birmingham are your best choices for Wales.
Manchester is by far the bigger airport of the 2 and has the Manchester Airport Marriott. On the drive over to Wales you could choose to stop off at Chester or Liverpool. Chester is great for its Tudor city centre and Liverpool has some excellent tourist spots. Don't expect to maintain your Marriott status in Wales however, Marriott only has 2 hotels in Wales and both are in the South, Swansea and Cardiff. And Wales is about so much more than those 2 cities! Wales is about the rugged coastline, craggy peaks and glorious castles and an hours drive from either Manchester or Birmingham airport will find you on the edge of the marches and the 8th century Offas **** sprinkled with an array of more "modern" medieval fortifications! Plunging deeper into Wales will find narrow winding roads and beautiful villages gathered around babbling brooks. Then it's to the breathtaking coast cliffs, inlets, small beaches. And all the time look up to the nearest hill. You'll be surprised how many castles you'll find perched atop!
Whilst the United States is a Union of Republics and States, the United Kingdom is a Union of Kingdoms (historically ruled by Kings, Principalities (Princes) and Duchies (Dukes). Wales is a Principality and the Prince of Wales is nowadays the first in line to the English throne. The Prince is traditionally crowned, not in the capital, but at Caernarfon in the North of the Principality, and that very small city and its wonderful castle is one "must see" on any Welsh tourist visit. Aberdovey is beautiful and St Davids, the burial place of Wales' patron Saint and its nearby monastery should be on the list.
Finally unless you like long motorway journeys or are on a lengthy holiday, I wouldn't advise visiting both Scotland and Wales in the same break.
**** Bollocks to that auto censor, Offas D-yke is NOT a profanity, it is the proper name for the 8th century earthenworks dug on the orders of Offa of Mercia, an English king, along the border with what was then the Kingdom of Powys. Bollocks on the other hand IS a profanity and refers to testicles!
Good info. Thanks brightlybob. I'll look into Birmingham as an airport option, though Manchester does look like a reasonable choice.
I anticipate a week to 10 days, so visiting the north and south of Wales shouldn't be a problem. I'm a castle person, so I'm looking forward to that aspect. My mom is more fascinated by neolithic settlements, barrows, standing stones, etc. We had a great visit in Cornwall few years back, as well as similar sites in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) and Scotland (in 2009 and 2007 respectively).
As for Marriott, I'll take advantage of the hotel(s) in the south. We might also visit Bristol again, which we barely saw on the last trip. Thinking about driving to the south first and ending with the castles in the north. Lots to consider.
We will be going to NYC in January to stay at the Waldorf once more before it is closed in March for a complete remodeling and conversion to condos and a few hotel rooms. My wife had conventions there for 25 years so this till be a trip full of memories.
Most likely a trip back to Ft. Myers, Florida, late January to late February and a trip to Phoenix tossed in early February.
There will be more in early spring most likely to the Caribbean just not any confirmed dates yet.
2017 Travel Plans So Far
The plans are beginning to gel for Q1, and I'm anxious to get going. A few of those early trips will likely hit before the January 15th end to the bonus.
nationwide Sounds good on the masters, we are also trying to get in a nascar race as well north of charlotte. Masters tickets are hard to come by and we got the lottery this year so will be there on the Wednesday practice round. Let me know when u are there and we will hook up.
Wednesdays are great! The par 3 tournament is that afternoon, which is a whole bunch of fun to watch. I witnessed my first ace at the Par 3 a few years back by Graeme Mcdowell. It's also fun to watch the symphony of mowers cut the course one final time that afternoon before tournament play the next morning. You couldn't pick a better day to be there, as you can still have your camera during the practice rounds (no phone though). We will definitely connect.
It is unusual for me to not have my entire next year of travel mapped out by now, yet that is where I presently find myself. Though the dates are still nebulous, I have firm plans for the following:
The past two years, I've managed to get to my two favorite cities, Paris and WDC at least once each year. I can't imagine not going next year. Also really need to get over to Hawaii. I keep saying that. Just need to do it. Maybe we need to head there in Feb. Thinking Maui and whales. Yes?
Hawaii is booked!!! Big Island bound, with a Honolulu stopover, to check in with Island, Aviation and Culinary Royalty (the kharada's!)
Thanks psudad. I stayed in Dublin on a work assignment two Novembers ago. My stay was at a no name hotel (a very nice no name) but I also walked by and stopped into the Shelbourne many times. I'm pumped up to give it a go from the inside!! Thanks for the pub suggestion.
Probably my favorite few pubs in Dublin were the International Bar off Grafton, near Trinity College, and Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland. The latter has music every Sunday evening - and their food is pretty good, too. The Church, on the north side of the Liffey, is also a very cool spot. A very old Protestant church, with all the tombs in the walls, and a great bar down the middle. Good food, good drink.
Thanks. I just did the work, and it's definitely AA for us, however I am now fit to be tied... The mother wants to do a Tauck or Back Roads type of tour, but she is dragging her feet, and by the time she/we get all of the participants on this side of the family in agreement with dates, etc., (these are not travel savvy people), we will be into the new year, looking to book for Spring. This is too late in my mind, and even if not, will result in a huge loss in savings. I have 2 RT tixs on the screen at the moment, on a brand, shiny new triple seven, fabulous premium economy cabin config (have flown this puppy a couple of times now between LA and London - it is "on fleck") for the bargain Black Friday weekend sale of $767pp.
Hey Pained, you might want to have a look.
I am sooo excited, the flights to Dublin are booked!! I used my Alaska gold status and everyone in my entire entourage was immediately upgraded to premium economy on the wonderful AA 77W aircraft, for free, both ways!! That's over $500 in real savings. So cool. RT from Los Angeles for $767/pp. Totally, totally awesome!
(Hmm, after my good fortune with AA's and AS's cyber Monday sales today, do I dare mention Marriott's - um, Black Friday "sale?")
Having the good fortune (and so far health) to schedule months in advance has allowed me to get some excellent deals. Occasionally I need to revise (like when I had to alter my Brussels trip after getting terrific info from Insiders like psudad and pluto77) and this year is no different. I was planning a megatrip to Hong Kong next year and all set to get the scoop from clebert when one of my adult children's best friends slapped a November 'destination' wedding on me, so I'll have to scramble (maybe VRBO).
This is mostly a North America year in pursuit of vineyards, breweries, and my newest hobby - distilleries.
January - Park City - Summit Watch (just a normal visit - I did Sundance once, it was a blast) in January (don't ski, but love to eat - yeah baby) and Los Angeles
Feb - Miami Beach - Stanton (if it remains resort free, if not Marriott Marquis)
March - Asheville, NC , I call it the southern Vermont in terms of goodies
April - New York and Philly (my first Starwood stay in Arlington the night before the bus to NY)
May - Ottawa (will be checking in on peymanagement's expertise)
Edinburgh and St. Andrews - (don't golf, buddies do - but distilleries, yeah baby)
June - Orlando - old farts fratboy reunion
July/August - TBD, usually some east coast beach time
Sept - thought I was going to St. Louis - what's up with those Cardinals? I've been watching the Marriott St. Louis Grand for weeks. They've blocked weeks mid-Sept thru Oct. They must think they're going to the World Series!
Hope to get to New Orleans next Christmas season - for like six years in a row the Marriott on Canal St. drops its rate to less than $100 for several nights (not initially, but usually from late summer on). This is a tremendous value, especially when you include what I think is one of the very best M Lounges (I've eaten dinner there, it was that good).
Laissez les bon temps rouler for all of us Insiders for the entire year!
erc a man after my own heart yet again! The V,B and D road is a wonderful one to follow as you know. Appears most of 2017 you will be out and gone with some grand plans there......if you take me along with you to Edinburgh I'll let you caddie for me.
erc, let me know when/if you do book HK. I will send you pics/recommendations. I am going to go again in 2018 with Spouse and kids and maybe do a stop over in Tokyo as we will probably fly ANA next time. Trying to talk spouse into a few days in Beijing as well, but not getting a lot of love for that idea. Might do Singapore next year for work as well.
erc when you get to the planning stage for Ottawa, let me know. I have probably stayed at all of the hotels in the city at sometime. With the mergers with Delta and SPG it also opens up some additional nice properties.
What we know, at this point:
Boston - one weekend in the spring, possibly a week in July/August or at least a long weekend.
San Francisco - nearly a week, early spring.
Augusta GA - I landed tickets for a practice round at the Masters!!!
Two weeks in central/eastern Europe: Prague - Czech Republic; Nuremberg, Kelheim, Regensburg, Passau, Engelhartszell, Grein Germany; Spitz, Tulln, Vienna Austria; Budapest Hungary.
psudad, please post some pics and comments after you do the Europe trip. I loved Nuremberg and Regensburg but didn't make it any further east than Vienna (loved that, too). Would really like to see Prague and Budapest someday. Great granddad came from Prague.
This is looking like an unusual start to the year. No work travel fixed yet, so it's all leisure:
Feb - Orlando theme parks with son, 3 nights Universal, 6 Disney and 3 International Drive
Mar - Paris with mother-in-law via St Pancras Ren & Eurostar
June - China, with teens, Shanghai, Xian and Beijing, redeeming points for hotels
Oct - Boston in the fall, redeeming miles for PE flight & IHG points for hotel
Hey mustanggt, gotta be picky, there is no "E" after the "M" in Ft. Myers.