Need ideas

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by boondr, Jul 31, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Looking for IDEAS for a short (4 day/3 night) trip next year for an anniversary trip for my wife and I.

    Basics:
    -Leaving DC area would prefer early morning departure and red-eye or late night returnability (is that a word?)

    -Flights aren't really the issue, between UA MP miles(lot)/ UR points(more)/ US and AA (some)miles I can get there.

    -We have done Napa/Sonoma and like it but want a new experience.

    -Want to keep it in North America just due to the short time frame.

    -Open Jaw is a possibility and might be preferred because we like driving vacations

    -at least 1 night would need to be in a luxurious hotel bookable by points (Hyatt first choice, SPG, next then Hilton/IHG) We have the points/ free nights available for all those. Rest of nights in points bookable hotels from that group in any category is fine.

    -Scenic is key, preferably some mountains.

    Just looking for ideas, not necessarily a hard itinerary, past experiences would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    SEA/YVR get's my vote
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Fly into ABQ, rent a car and drive to Santa Fe. There's a very nice Hyatt Resort and Spa with local Native American roots and character, including and Indian culture museum just off the lobby. Tamaya (spelling?) is locaated on the outskirts of ABQ so that you could use at the beginning and end of the trip. Unfortunately the hotels that I know in Santa Fe aren't members of any chains.

    What time of year? Colorado is relatively empty in the fall and has nice leaves. You could fly to Denver and then drive a loop through Colorado Springs, Aspen, and Vail. However, I don't know of chain-affiliated luxury hotels along this route.

    Portland has The Nines (SPG) and San Diego the U S Grant (also SPG), both of which you would like. San Diego also has W and Andaz if you're party people, albeit perhaps not quite as well located.

    Another idea would be Minnesota. The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis has been recently redone and is nice. For SPG, downtown has the Ivy (LC with a wonderful spa and health club in the hotel), LM (fantastic suites but standard rooms are small and sparce, also an art gallery in the hotel and lots of comtemporary art on the walls), Westin (new and good but large), plus a nice new Westin attached to an upscale shopping mall. For variety, you could drive to Duluth (less than three hours, about 140 miles) and spend the night in a lake view room at a nice Sheraton, where the suites have fireplaces and whirlpool round bathtubs.
     
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  4. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I was thinking this same thing. Though, I have not been to Vancouver but would very much like to go.
     
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  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Van is my fav North American city. Love it
     
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  6. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    A blend of relaxing and adventure in Arizona or Utah -something different to consider

    Miraval in Tucson was great luxury getaway for me and there were couples, exec retreats and solos -good mix of people/ages- I didn't do spa treatments (I can do home) so I could relax and focus on activities/experiences- hiking, rock wall climb, cooking demo, boot camp etc. food was good and there is a bar so nothing is limited except cell phone coverage (there is one spot that the Silicon Valley folks and Exec retreat guys were crowded around). I wrote about my Miraval stay on my blog http://philatravelgirl.com/tag/miraval/

    On a similar note, Red Mountain spa in St. George is more laid back and the drive from Vegas was so pretty. Activities were more ala carte (Zion, Bryce, etc) depending on what you want to do and skill level. some people sat at pool all day, others busy.
     
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  7. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What time of year? What do you want to do during the day?
     
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  9. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Time preferably would be May/early June but not hard set least like the hot summer months simply for availability of time off.

    We'd like to do touristy stuff but not anything kitschy. National Parks, historical sites etc.
     
  10. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Looks beautiful but....
    Points thing is critical because We are saturated (nice problem to have) and I want to use some of them, I've been hoarding too much. We have the little guy and the truly aspirational trips will be a little later when we can leave him for extended periods or he is old enough to appreciate the experience.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    That time of year and those activities I'll agree with the prior posts that Vancouver is a viable option. Banff and the surrounding area might also work well. Mexico City is another option with good hotel choices on points, plenty of history and an easy (long) weekend trip.
     
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  12. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    That's a great time of year to visit the Asheville area. You can visit two national parks - Great Smokies and Blue Ridge Parkway, and I know lots of special spots off the beaten path.
    Of course, as others have mentioned the pacific Northwest is also beautiful, especially at that time of the year after the rains have stopped and everything is lush.
     
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  13. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    We live in Va so NC/TN are driving destinations for us, we do quite a bit of that.
     
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  14. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    There's loads to see in southern Alberta. You could fly in to YYC and drive to a variety of interesting places. You've got mountains and badlands, and an international park. Dinosaurs (we were just down at the Royal Tyrrell Museum last weekend).... UNESCO World Heritage sites..... Banff has already been mentioned, as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Thanks all, I am thinking the SEA/YVR idea is quite appealing, although there are a few more I am researching. I appreciate the time.
     
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  16. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I treated my parents on a trip to San Francisco which we enjoyed for a couple days. Then took a side trip the Yosemite, we stayed at the Ahwahnee Hotel in the park. Amazing trip.
    www.yosemitepark.com/the-ahwahnee.aspx

    While I like the idea of SEA-YVR, there is soooooo much to do in & around both cities that one would be missing out with only a 3/4 day open jaw trip. Pick one or the other if these cities interest you.
     
  17. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Going in the vein of YVR, fly to jfk and get the Cathay pacific flight JFK - YVR in first using your AA points. I would fly direct rather than dealing with SEA, it’s a fairly long drive (more than a few hours) up and it would be more worth it to just save the SEA area for another trip.
     
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  18. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    If you pick Seattle look at the San Juan Islands -I was there a few weeks ago and have stayed on Orcas Island in the past. kayaking, boating and relaxing.
     
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  19. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    Montreal. Hopefully American will keep the Reagan to Montreal direct flight. Went for Memorial Day weekend and had a great time even in the rain.
     
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  20. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Montreal is my nemesis. My truck was broken into, by the authorities, so nobody would break into my truck.

    Yes you read that correctly, maybe I will have more time to tell the story another time.
     
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  21. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    I was looking for that flight, AA is not showing it all during that time. I did find availability on the AC B77L flight from YYC-YVR(-SYD) in an Executive First Suite via MP miles
     
  22. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    You can not see cathay space on AA, to book you would need to call in.

    Generally people create a British Airways account to search for AA/One World space so they know if there is avalabilty, prior to calling in.
     
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  23. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    I have a BA account so that should work. Thanks.
     
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  24. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Also make sure you scope out AA availability to JFK, which would be another deal breaker. Depending on when you want to go it may be hard to get and require leaving a day earlier (or paying).

    In our upcoming Feb trip I ended up just paying the $100 each to fly DCA - JFK for a normal connection. Rather than go early and stay with family so we could get the free connection to our CX flight
     
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  25. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Thanks, just did that in fact. Quick question, is the premium worth the upgrade from Biz to First for a ~5.5 hr flight. I have the miles, just curious, especially since Biz seems like it is more available.

    Thanks
     

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