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Surprisingly I ended up flying over 40,000 miles on 30 flights this past year.

Our big trip to the Maldives almost didn’t happen but we got lucky.  My daughter and I also took advantage of the Southwest Companion Pass to visit a bunch of colleges last spring.

I was also able to put my newly minted Hyatt Globalist status to good use along with visiting a new country (Costa Rica).

Here’s a look back at our 2021 adventures:

On New Year’s Day, we flew back from Aruba – staying at the Hyatt Regency.  I loved Aruba – can’t wait to go back.

Later in January, my girls and I headed on our annual ski trip – this year we headed to Vail and stayed literally steps away from a lift at the Grand Hyatt Vail.  I used Hyatt points for this 3 night stay.  We liked it so much, we are headed back there soon for another ski trip.

Unforntunately our February ski trip to Beaver Creek got cancelled – I had an awesome 2 bedroom suite all set up at the Wyndham in Avon, CO.  We were on the Southwest plane ready to take off then the ice storm rolled in, we sat for 2 hours before they unloaded us and cancelled the flight.

In March we made the first of many college visit trips – my daughter and I flew to Detroit to visit Michigan State University.

For spring break in late March, we headed to Costa Rica – staying at the Andaz which was a rebook from 2020.  The Andaz was great – especially with the suite upgrade I got with my Globlist status.

In April, I got invited on a golf trip to Pinehurst.  I got to play #2 for the third time!

April saw us head on two more college visits – we flew to Manchester, VT to see UMass, then flew to Columbus, OH the same day and back to visit the Ohio State University.

We had a bunch of free night certificates from Hyatt & Hilton with no plans to use but we ended up booking a summer trip to the Floriday Keys.  We flew to Miami (using Southwest Companion Pass) and stayed a few nights at The Confidante.  This Hyatt is always mentioned as a great use of category 1-4 free night certificates earn with the Chase Hyatt credit card.  

After a few nights in Miami, we drove to Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo to use 5 Hilton free night certicates.  The resort was nicely renovated but we got bored after a few days and took a roadtrip to Key West.

After having my finger on the cancel button for our August Maldives trip, I reached out to my state’s senator’s office if they could help with my passport renewal which was sent in 4 months prior.  It paid off and I got my passport the day before our trip – whew!

It was a good thing too because I didn’t realize I would have not been able to get a refund of the TravelZoo voucher I bought since you have to cancel the reservation 14 days prior.

We also got to fly Qatar Q-Suites including the 4 person family pod!


The Reethi Faru resort we stayed at was beautiful but unfortunately the service was not great like our experience at the Park Hyatt Maldives or Conrad Maldives.

Still I can’t complain at how cheap it was – only $1610 for a 7 night stay in an overwater villa including daily breakfast and dinner and a one-way airport transfer.


I was able to sneak in one more golf trip in November – this time to Streamsong Resort which is about an hour from Tampa, FL.

I got to play all 3 golf courses which are all ranked in the top 50 in the US!  


Our final trip of the year was to Baha Mar in the Bahamas.  We initially visited when they first opened in 2017.  They have since added a waterpark along with a bunch more new restaurants which I reviewed here.

It was a great trip as we traveled with my sister’s family.  I highly recommend Baha Mar!  


I have a bunch of trips planned for 2022 with the biggest being a return trip to Hawaii.  My first ‘travel hacking’ trip was to Hawaii back in 2014 – this year we are staying at 2 different islands – I can’t wait!



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