March officially welcomes in spring break season, but don’t lose help if you’ve procrastinated on making plans. Here’s a few spring break ideas using frequent flyer miles and hotel points to get you started without having to pay premium prices.
For Adventurers: Panama
If you want to spice your trip up a little but don’t have time to get too far from home, Central America is a good solution. You’ll find opportunities for ziplining, hiking, horseback riding, river tubing, rafting, scuba diving, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, and more.
How to Get There: Redeem 35,000 miles with United, who has lots of award availability through Star Alliance into Panama. There is a close-in ticketing fee of $75 if you book less than 3 weeks in advance, waived for elites, but Panama is cheap enough that you should stay in budget overall.
Where to Stay: Save your points – even the Waldorf-Astoria in Panama City is under $200/night, so you can live it up if you want. However, adventurers probably aren’t going to want to stay in the city too long, so check out local properties in other destinations.
While You’re There: Take advantage of affordable spa prices to help your body recover from your adventures. As long as you avoid the mega hotels, you’ll find prices around $25/hour for treatments.
Read More About Panama –> 8 Totally Random (But Totally Useful) Tips for Panama City
For City Lovers: Tokyo
There are a million cities in this world worth a visit, but Tokyo is a great one in early spring to see cherry blossoms, enjoy good weather for walking through different neighborhoods, and join in on festivals.
How to Get There: Redeem American Airline miles for travel on AA or Japan Airlines. I was surprised how many days still seemed available for trips over the next six weeks.
Where to Stay: Hotel availability seems much sparser than airline seats this time of year, so look for rooms with any and all programs you have points with. If all else fails, there’s always a pod hotel…
While You’re En-Route: Get more bang for your buck by adding a FREE 23-hour stopover on your ticket. Depending on your starting point and award availability, try for sunny spots like San Diego or Honolulu…or check out Osaka, Japan.
Spring Break For Beach Bums: Miami
Yes, Miami is the quintessential getaway this time of year, but for good reason. South Beach is warm and inviting, the atmosphere is lively, and there’s a good balance of things to do and options to do nothing.
How to get There: Redeem British Airways Avios for travel on American Airlines. BA doesn’t charge any last-minute ticketing fees and tickets start at just 15,000 Avios round-trip in economy, dependent on distance traveled.
Where to Stay: While you’ll find hotels from all chains imaginable, two good options to use up points are the Z Ocean Hotel (IHG) or The Bentley Hotel (Hilton). That said, I tend to use Priceline!
While You’re There: Check out the Florida Renaissance Festival if you get sick of the ocean.
For Snow Bunnies: Anchorage
The Rocky Mountains get bombarded by ski crowds, but Alaska’s remoteness keeps crowds somewhat at bay. Pack your skis or a board and head just outside of town for a day on the slopes then warm up with some hearty meals.
How to Get There: Redeem Delta Skymiles for travel on Delta/Alaska Airlines, with a surprising number of seats available. There are no last-minute ticketing fees and tickets are only 25,000 miles round-trip in coach.
Where to Stay: You’ll find Hilton, Marriott, IHG and SPG properties in town, giving you lots of options.
While You’re There: Take a breathtaking drive down to Seward and spend a night at the Holiday Inn Express there so you can enjoy a fresh seafood dinner.
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