Thank You Notes – 2019

Last year I started the tradition of Thank You Notes on my blog. Since we just ended another year, I wanted to share my travel highs and lows for 2019.  To do so  I would like to offer up some Travel themed Thank You Notes.  

In my 2018 Thank You Notes, I had a lot of travel rough patches to poke a little tongue in cheek fun at. But 2019 was a pretty freaking amazing travel year, so most of  these ended up REAL Thank you Notes.  Wow.

 

The Lows

Cab Driver

Thank you Cab Driver in Honolulu for not killing us while driving us from our hotel in Waikiki to the HNL airport.  You had not 1 but 3 electronic devices going and were using all of them (instead of watching the road)  as you drove way too fast through the heavy Honolulu traffic.  I must say my travel anxiety was pinging at the top of the charts during this ride.  I think you even scared Mark a little bit and he’s pretty fearless.  Yikes!

 

Hilton Hotels.

This was the first year that we explored Hilton hotels.  Since we signed up for a Hilton Honors card and would be getting 12 points per dollar back, we decided to give your properties a try.  Both properties we stayed at (Embassy Suites/Dallas and Hilton Oakland Airport) were very dated and really didn’t meet our overall expectations based on the rate we paid.  We booked the Hilton Airport due to an overnight layover on our return fron Hawaii and it offered a free airport shuttle.  After waiting 20 minutes for the shuttle at midnight, it was too full and we had to wait for another 20 minutes for the next one.  We will give Hilton another try this year and hopefully have a better experience.

The Highs

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card

Thank you Southwest Rapid Rewards for tempting me in January with your Companion Pass sign on bonus.  After signing up,  I was able to have my daughter fly free with me to Oregon, and my husband flew free with me to both Texas and Hawaii.

You also included enough sign up bonus points for me to add to those I had already earned and cover my own airfare to Hawaii! So we both flew free ($55 total in taxes/fees).  It even landed me A-List status for 2020 which means free priority boarding, hooray!   I had not planned to sign up for your card, but this offer seemed too good to pass up and it really helped me have a great travel year.

 

Hyatt Hotels

Thank you Hyatt. You were a new hotel chain for me and I was super impressed with both of my stays this year. We had a lovely stay at Hyatt Place in Portland Even though we ran into a billing issue during our 3 day stay, your Manager handled it like a pro and I was happy when I left.

I Especially loved my Penthouse level reward stay at the Hyatt Centric in Waikiki!!! This was one of the best hotel stays I have ever had. The hotel was amazing and the staff were so knowledgeable, friendly and helpful . We will be back!

Looking forward to trying out your new partner SLH hotels in Europe during our 2020 travels!

 

Autoslash

Thank you Autoslash for saving us a lot of money on our 3 car rentals this year. This was my first year using the service and I was especially over the moon with our 4 day rental in Portland for $75!!! Unbelievable. You also tracked our booked rate on our Hawaii trip and we were able to rebook later at an even lower rate of $105 for 3 days. You always have our back, and your service is (wait for it) FREE!

 

Hilton Honors Surpass Card by American Express

Thank you Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card by American Express for the great sign on bonuses of 130,000 points and a Free Weekend Night certificate. I Can’t wait to stay somewhere fantastic with that like the Conrad Algarve in Portugal or The Waldorf Astoria Versailles in France. Ooh la la!

We think you will be a great card for us with your 6 points per dollar spent categories on groceries, dining out, and gas! But the Priority Pass Lounge access was a really nice touch!

 

American Express

Thank you American Express for including 10 Priority Pass Lounge visits per year on our Hilton Honors card. What a life saver during our long flight delay out of Detroit in September. We were able to relax, have a bite to eat, charge our devices and enjoy a few drinks while waiting out the delay!

Originally we were not able to take advantage of the American Express Gold Card’s Dining Credit because none of the restaurant options were near us. So I love that you added the ability to earn the $10 per month Dine Rewards credit on my purchases at Boxed.

 

Your Mileage May Vary

Thank you Joe and Sharon at the Your Mileage May Vary website for another year of fabulous travel knowledge and some snickers! There are a sea of Travel blogs out there to choose from and I read quite a few to gain varied perspectives and differing insights. Some sites are very high level and a bit stiff, but your posts are always relatable and often dotted with Sharons wry sense of humor (love it).

The YMMV site is the first place I search through when I am looking for specific answers. I never would have gotten this far with points and miles without the easy to understand style of which you present the concepts that have helped me succeed. I have upped my game considerably thanks to you!

 

Wrapping it all Up

Thank you 2019 for being an amazing travel year and I only hope that 2020 will be just as good if not better.  It’s always fun to look back at what went wrong as well as what went well.  I think it is a good sign that I really had to think to come up with some situations that were less than perfect.

I hope you all have a fabulous travel year in 2020!

 

Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!