Spring is here, so make use of all the travel rewards you’ve accrued and do something fun.
From sandy beaches to international adventure, here are some great spring getaways you can book with points and miles.
The country of Japan offers a plethora of great tourism opportunities for those willing to take the plunge. Mid-March through April marks the bloom of Japan’s iconic cherry blossom trees. You can also visit the iconic Mt. Fuji or one of the many Buddhist temples, or reflect on the history of World War II at Hiroshima.
Booking tip: Traveling to Japan is expensive, so it’s a great time to combine the free Global Entry credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® with all the points you’ve been earning on the card. Redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® for 50% more value toward your trip.
2. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is a top destination for college students looking to escape frightful weather for warm beaches. The numerous all-inclusive resorts in the area offer luxury accommodations just a short hop from the beach.
Booking tip: This could be a good time to cash in those hotel rewards points you’ve been racking up. Use your World of Hyatt points earned from your The World Of Hyatt Credit Card to stay at the Hyatt Zilara adults-only resort, or if you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, enjoy Marriott’s Cancun Resort.
3. Panama City, Florida
Don’t want to leave the country for your beach fix? Then head down to Panama City. Enjoy the sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and partake in some of Florida’s best seafood. Or if the crowds are too much, drive along the coast and visit one of the many beach towns from Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach.
» Learn more: Why Clearwater Beach should be your next vacation
Booking tip: Stay beachside by booking through Orbitz.com with your Orbitz Rewards Visa Card. Cardholders get an extra 5% back on Orbitz bookings. There are tons of hotels to choose from, so it’ll be easy to find one that’s within your price point.
4. Las Vegas
If you still want a party atmosphere but want to avoid the beach, it might be time to check out Las Vegas. It may be known as the destination for gamblers, but there are so many other activities to check out if you can pull yourself away from the pool. Musicians, comedians, acrobats, magicians — you’ll be able to attend a different show every night. Or head to one of the top-tier restaurants and enjoy high dining.
Booking tip: Vegas is the perfect destination to cash in some of those IHG Rewards points you’ve been banking. Stay on the Strip by selecting either the Palazzo or the Venetian.
5. Utah’s national parks
Home to five national parks — Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion — Utah’s natural splendor offers hikers and nature fans an experience they won’t forget.
» Learn more: How to save on your next national park trip
Booking tip: Save by cashing in your Southwest Rapid Rewards on flights into Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. Frequent Southwest flights to these locations make it easy to find one that fits your schedule.
Whatever your speed, Iceland offers something fun to explore. Reykjavik has been ranked one of Europe’s best cities for eating out, and you’ll be able to relax afterward in one of the area’s thermal spas. Experience the beauty of the aurora borealis or go ice climbing on a glacier.
Booking tip: Book your tickets with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® and redeem your points for travel credit. Make sure to pack this card to take advantage of its international chip and PIN for use at self-service terminals and no foreign transaction fees.
Spring trips should be a time to relax and recuperate, and what better way to do that than by enjoying a multi-day cruise. Bask in the sun on the deck or enjoy the many dining options available while you sail to a destination of your choice.
» Learn more: 7 tips for getting the best deal on your next cruise
Booking tip: United’s MileagePlus program members can redeem their miles for full cruise trips for as little as 22,500 miles. All of the major cruise lines are available, including Disney Cruise Line, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, so you’ll be able to find the right trip for you.
8. New Orleans
Enjoy some of the best cuisine the country has to offer in New Orleans. Gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish — whatever your preference, New Orleans has it. Start your day with a beignet before exploring the Big Easy and entertaining your palate. Enjoy iconic Bourbon Street and end your day with a drink and some jazz.
Booking tip: With all the traveling you’ll be doing, don’t worry about transportation by using your Uber Visa Card and redeeming your points for Uber Cash. And you’ll be earning 4% cash back on all of your food purchases.
9. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital might not be a traditional spring break destination, but it’s one that offers many options for intrepid travelers. It’s easy to get to, with three major airports nearby, and there are hotels everywhere, as in any big city.
» Learn more: How to find cheap things to do in any city
Booking tip: Washington, D.C., boasts the Smithsonian museums, all free to visit, and the many monuments along the National Mall. But if you get bored, more adventure awaits just a short drive away. Redeem the miles from your Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for a car rental and visit places like Colonial Williamsburg, eat crab at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, or learn about the battle of Gettysburg.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Tap your credit cards for spring break savings
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
7 ways to save on your next national park trip