Summer 2022 Travel
I will now say what some may consider controversial. It is not quite yet summer. It’s still the spring; summer begins on 21 June. Understandably, some unofficially consider it “summer” when their kids get out of school. That seems to be earlier and earlier in May for some. My family is on the flipside of that. Our kids don’t get out until mid June, and they don’t return until the day after Labor Day. May that never change! But I digress. Since it’s still, factually, spring, I’m taking time today to gather our summer 2022 travel and points goals. Here we go!
I Shall Road Trip Better
The vast majority of our family travel the last few years has been via road trips. We just finished probably our best Disney World trip ever (not recency bias) and enjoyed stopping at every Buc-ee’s along the way. Separately, we’ve periodically traveled to see extended family. The “better” I’m referring to above is that we’ll be more efficient in combining the “want” and “need” trips together. Our first effort will be a trip through the Carolinas to visit family, but also one of my favorite places in the States – Asheville. I went there solo last fall, and we look to a family adventure this summer amidst the mountains.
I Shall Listen To Audible Content
I’m a staunch defender of the Amex Platinum. If you disagree with me, that’s fine. Just come up with another term than “coupon book.” It’s one of the more tired, overused phrases out there. Don’t be a hack; get creative and come up with a different term to insult the Platinum.
We have plenty of Platinums, pay lots of annual fees, and it makes total sense for us. Consequently, we have a ton of digital entertainment credits, leading to a rather considerable virtual stack of Audible content. I’ve listened to some, but I’m still in the midst of finishing Dan Carlin’s Blueprint for Armageddon from iTunes. Audible content will take priority once I finish that.
I Shall Travel Solo, Briefly
In past summers, I’ve completely shut down solo travel. That’s worked out fine, especially in earlier parts of the pandemic. But I’ll embrace solo travel this summer, particularly last minute, short trips. I’ve done a bit of that recently, and it’s worked out great. I’ll try to keep the streak going!
I Shall Establish Limits
I’ve done a good job limiting my on the street hobby activities the last several months while staying plenty active. This summer, I need to do a better job limiting the at-home activity. In the recent past, “I’m hopping upstairs to the study for five minutes” has turned into “I might as well check for a retention offer on EVERY Amex card via chat” or something similarly extensive. There’s no doubt it’s often nicer to take care of hobby matters at home, but it’s more dangerous from a time perspective, too. At least for me. In addition to setting limits, I’ll shift to do more at night, leaving additional time for family activities during the day.
I Shall Arrive at the Beach Earlier
Given our access to local beaches, I prefer visiting them during low season. I don’t like completely cutting out the summer months, though. We are early day beach people by nature, but I’ll need to recalibrate to show up even earlier during tourist season. The less touristy beaches we visit provide a bit more room for error, but not much. Of course, this means going to bed earlier the night before. Doing that during the summer – egads! I guess I’ll have to do a better job telling the Amex chat rep that it’s my bedtime (see above).
I Shall Speculatively Hoard This Currency
Cash back is my favorite rewards redemption and will be for the foreseeable future. But Citi has given me ample reason to hoard a different currency. I’ve done a bit of this, but I’ll jack up the hoard rate even higher over the summer. The Citi to Choice Hotels transfer rate is still 1 to 2, and I consider it the best permanent transfer ratio for our current situation. Indeed, Choice isn’t for everybody. Quality varies widely, and some don’t care to put the time in to find the hidden gems. But we continue to find excellent value and distinctive properties which align with our travel goals. Couple that with the transfer ratio, and I’m comfortable doing something I rarely pursue – transferring bank points to a travel currency that I have no immediate plans to entirely use.
Those are my primary moves for the summer. Other stuff will pop up along the way, and I’ll be happy to tweak my plans throughout. I don’t foresee anything eliminating my pursuit of the above goals, though. Also, I have a few secondary goals on the radar: whittling down our Amex pay over time card portfolio, revalidating Chase redemption goals, and increasing activities with mid-tier card issuers. I look forward to updating all of you along the way!
What are you summer 2022 travel and points goals?