Last-Minute New Years Travel Ideas
If you still don’t know where you will be ringing in the new year, then you need to read this article now. Here are a few last-minute New Year’s travel ideas to not only nail down where you’ll be for the final countdown of 2016 but also some tips on how to make the most of your miles and points during your visit:
The JetBlue airline has a new flight from Newark to the island country of Barbados. To celebrate the launch of the new route they’ve put many paid and award seat tickets on sale. You can stay at the Radisson Aquatica or Hilton Barbados for 44,000 Club Carlson points or 70,000 HHonors points respectively. Hobnob with A-listers such as native Rihanna on the Caribbean island. You could also stay at Sandy Lane which offers it Leaders Club members automatic bonuses such as free breakfast, room upgrades, and welcome gifts.
Charleston, South Carolina
Enjoy the mild, sunny weather and the reportedly burgeoning food scene there. Do next year’s Christmas shopping at the city’s eclectic variety of stores, art galleries, coffee shops and more. There are several places to stay and redeem points near center city including the Autograph Collection, the Embassy Suites, and the Renaissance. There are also charming small inns and boutique properties too. One of the trendiest new places is the Spectator Hotel. It’s got an art deco touch and a near hip cocktail bar that is complete with a 1920s speakeasy setting and special cocktails. The rooms are large with locally-stocked minibars, large marble baths with C.O. Bigelow toiletries. There are also Nespresso machines and everyone gets a free breakfast. While you can’t redeem miles or points to stay there you can earn them. Just book your room via Rocketmiles.com or PointsHound.com and you’ll score miles with several airlines based on the room rate.
A ticket to Hawaii is one of the most popular ways to redeem frequent flyer miles. It’s better to book nine months out but between now and the end of the year there may very well be some days where the bookings are actually low. On those days airlines could put seats up for redemption. Some experienced travelers suggest a stay at The Royal Hawaiian which will be throwing a gala on New Year’s Eve. The Pink Party will have celebrity chef food stations as well as open drinks from the Mai Tai bar. You can pay for the night’s stay with 20,000 Starwood points. You can also stay at the Sheraton Waikiki which will be having a New Year’s fiesta. They also accept Starwood points as do the Westin Resort & Spa, the Moana Surfrider, and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. If you wish to stay further down Waikiki Beach, check in to the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, which will cost you 40,000 Marriott points per night. Don’t forget that these properties are all presently part of the Marriott portfolio so you can actually transfer points between the hotel brands. Be ready to do some math, though, folks. For example, a night at the Royal Hawaiian will cost you 20,000 Starwood points which are actually 60,000 Marriott points after you do the transfer.
No matter where you decide to spend New Year’s Eve, you might want to select a restaurant that is a part of one of your fave airline’s dining rewards programs. If you’re going to shoot the works on a nice, fancy dinner and apropos champagne, you might as well be smart about it and rack up some more miles, right? Happy New Year!
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)