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Christmas 2016 - Germany and France

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written a blog post! The fall semester has been crazy. Even with all the madness of a two-teacher household I've been busy chasing miles and points and have managed to accumulate almost 500K since August. I acquired two new credit cards - the Chase Sapphire Reserve with its 100K bonus and the American Express Business Platinum Card which also awards 100K upon the completion of a somewhat hefty minimum spending requirement. On top of those two cards I also delved deeply into gift card reselling and became a bulk seller with a gift card broker. November and December were VERY lucrative with all the holiday sales. I was able to leverage those sales into another 300K or so points across various currencies. My AwardWallet balance is looking pretty nifty right now! Even though I spent some points on a January trip to NYC and have almost completed planning for our summer 2016 trip I am still sitting on 900K with no plans as of yet.

Time to get busy!


Where to next?

On Sunday David and I leave for our much anticipated trip to the Christmas Markets of Germany and France. We fly AA Business Class into Frankfurt and then take the first of many train trips to Mainz. After two nights in Mainz, we travel to the fairy-tale town of Colmar, which will serve as our home base to explore the markets and wineries of the Alsace region of France. Then on to Strasbourg - the home of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe - and finally on to Paris for three glorious nights.

Eiffel Tower - November 2015 Colmar at Christmas

I planned our trip almost a year ago, before American Airlines' Business Class award seat availability to Europe disappeared. It would be next to impossible to book this trip today. Although I have a fair amount of AA miles stashed I believe I will save them for a premium redemption to Asia or New Zealand. THAT'S going to take a hefty mileage balance!

Here's the breakdown for this trip:

December Trip Totals

We spent 282K points/miles plus $1064 out of pocket for a trip that retails for $30,840. I also used two free nights from my Hyatt credit card bonus and one free anniversary night from David's Hyatt card. One GIANT factor in our favor this trip is the strength of the dollar against the euro. As I type this post they are almost one-to-one which is EXCELLENT. I plan to do more shopping than usual this trip. Lucky you if you make it onto my list!

Merry Christmas, dear friends. I plan to post while we are abroad...but I may be having too much fun. We'll see. As always, please contact me with questions since I am happy to help you begin your own miles/points journey or book your trip. Happy Travelin'!

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