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A few months ago when discussing my retirement plans, a friend told me that I could’ve traveled around the world several times with the nearly 3 million combined points and miles that I had obtained mostly in the last few years from multiple frequent flyer, hotel membership and credit card rewards programs, promotions and signup bonuses. “I am,” I replied “but I’ll still need somewhere to lay my head down!”

Travel ain’t cheap but courtesy of all of those points and miles, I’ll be living off the fat of the land for the next 3 months practically free of charge. Yes, you read that right. Almost every flight and accommodation for the next 3 months was paid for with my points and miles.

Special shout-out to AwardWallet for creating a great tool to gather all that data, otherwise I might have missed the big picture. And I wish I had taken a screenshot of total points and miles before I went on a spending spree in 2017 but I promise to post the cost of miles/points for each flight, accommodation and/or tour as I go.

First stop, Sydney Australia!

Image of Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia pic found on Azamara Club Cruises website

On the day of purchase, a round-trip ticket JFK-SYD-DCA from January 30, 2018 to April 29, 2018 was $1,639.  However, only 140,000 total American Airlines AAdvantage miles and $112 taxes and fees were required to book it.

Unfortunately, all Qantas flights were operated by American Airlines, so no chance to try out new metal. Nonetheless, I saved $1639! American was also running a special bonus with the credit card I used so I got 10,000 miles credited back to my account!

In addition, I’m currently Platinum status on American so instead of the regular Economy seats booked I’m actually sitting in Main Cabin Extra seats on all flights and enjoying a little more legroom.


The journey continues in Park Hyatt Sydney – incomparable.


Follow me on Instagram or Twitter as @DaniLew_1 to see the places I visit.



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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe


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