The goal of collecting points and miles is to travel for either a discount or at no cost. Playing your cards right can take you on new adventures and bring you back to places you’ve already been to. This post discusses places that I want to return to.

Sometimes, people return to places that they have been to for a plethora of reasons. It can be for business, visiting family, visiting a magnificent landmark, or visiting a fun attraction.


South Florida

South Florida is the most obvious place that I want to return to because that’s where I’m from. I have countless memories growing up and living there until my early twenties.

I want to return to South Florida to visit places that I did not get to see when living there. For example, I want to visit Miami to watch a live Miami Heat game, eat authentic Cuban food, and go to the beach, among other activities. Miami was a two-hour drive (one way) from my hometown and getting there was tough with the traffic from Interstate 95.

Sometimes, life gets in the way and it’s easy to ignore the beauty that’s right in your backyard. This is especially true when you move away and remember what you had.


Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix metro area is one of my favorite places to travel to. It was also the subject of my most recent vacation when I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch with my family. I most recently went in the spring of 2019 to visit extended family and get away from life in California for a few days. That trip was my fifth so far as I have been visiting the area since childhood.

In the summer of 2018, I also went to the Phoenix Area and stayed at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. This was just before the SPG-Marriott merger when the resort was still with SPG. My family and I liked this resort more than the Hyatt Regency and we keep talking about going back.

Fortunately, Phoenix is a six-hour drive from Southern California, so I don’t need to use any points or miles towards airfare. Furthermore,


New York City, New York

The Big Apple is a special place for me, despite being the most populated city in the United States. My family is originally from there and it would be nice to visit again. New York has so much to offer in the way of food, art museums, monuments, and history.

I last visited New York in the summer of 2012, a few months after I graduated high school. When I was there, I visited the Guggenheim Museum, the Nintendo Store, Central Park (and many of its monuments), Coney Island, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Furthermore, my parents showed me where they grew up and other significant places from their lives. My family and I were there for about five days and there was only so much to do within that time period.


San Jose / San Francisco, California

San Francisco is another cool place in California with lots to do. Luckily, it’s six to eight hours away from Southern California by car. Returning here would help me save points, miles, and money because I would not need airfare.

I last visited in 2011 when we stayed at the Marriott in downtown San Jose. After an hour drive to the city, my family and I got to visit Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and drove down some of the steepest streets I had ever seen so far.

We also visited the largest Monopoly board in the United States in San Jose. The board was at a park that was just up the street from our hotel. I was thrilled to be there as a lifelong Monopoly fan. We also visited some of the local restaurants and sights in San Jose, making it an authentic experience for a former teen from Florida.


Honorable Mention: Disney World

Being a kid from Florida, Disney World was a three-hour drive from my hometown. I have been to Walt Disney World countless times throughout my childhood and made lots of memories. However, trips to Disney became much less frequent into my teens because I wanted to travel elsewhere. Nonetheless, I would like to visit the world’s most famous theme park as a young adult.

The reason is perspective. You will always get a different perspective visiting a place at different times throughout your life. Disney World is an honorable mention because I might not like it as much today as I did in my childhood. However, it’s the perfect example of me gaining a different perspective returning to a place as a young adult.


Final Draw

This post dives into my personal history as I presented five places that I want to return to. Writing this post was a nice change because it brought me down “Memory Lane”. I got to remember where I traveled before I knew anything about points and miles.

Furthermore, thinking of returning to these places again gives me motivation to keep earning and collecting points and miles. Traveling for free or a discount is the whole point of this blog and this post helps to bring that home.