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Sounds like a pretty innocuous and simple question, correct? For many, it’s quite a lot to think about. Given my frequency of travel thanks to miles and points, I often get asked about how I plan where I want to go. So I thought it would be a apt to write a short article about my approach.

Where to travel to next?

Due to Covid-19, global travel had taken a massive pause. It was a good opportunity to sit back and plan travel for the future. Also, given a long break that Covid-19 ushered it, it helped me prioritize my trips going forward even more.

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Venice: One of my bucket list items, ticked in Feb, 2016

Travel rewards: Tail wagging the dog

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The Maldivian overwater villa experience!

Very often in our miles and points community, there’s a tendency of the tail wagging the dog. Look, there’s a 30% Amex transfer bonus! Look, there’s a sweet deal on United flights to New Zealand. However, these deals often entice us to take those trips.

It’s vital to be cognizant about where YOU want to go to. So instead, I focus more on following a clear order of steps:

Step 1: Where do I want to travel to next?

Step 2: Now that I know where I need to go, which miles and points do I need?

Step 3: Now that I know which miles and points are required, which credit cards do I need to apply for in order to earn the required currencies?

CPP/CPM Obsession

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Approaching the Lake Palace on a sunny afternoon

Sometimes, people in our community obsess over CPM (cents per mile)/CPP (cents per point) valuations. While getting a 5 CPP value on a business flight is awesome, it shouldn’t be a driving factor in selecting your next travel destination. For example, let’s say I’m getting an awesome deal to fly from Dubai DXB to San Francisco SFO in Emirates Business class using miles.

Would I go? Probably not. Why? Because I’ve been to SFO multiple times for work and leisure and don’t see in gaining anything new out of that trip. I’d rather spend my miles on exploring other parts of the US or going to another city in North America.

Conversely, I visited a place on my bucket list in 2022 which probably wasn’t the best use of my points from a CPP perspective. So what? I had a huge stash of Amex Membership Rewards points but it helped me book a once-in-a-lifetime trip by staying an iconic palace built in the 18th century.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Deciding on a travel destination can be tougher than most can imagine. However, in my case, I simply follow the steps outlined in the article and then make sure that I have a yearly plan to attain those goals.

How do you plan your travel? Do you ending up in a situation where the tail’s wagging the dog instead of the other way around? Tell us in the comments section.

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