Happy Holidays MileValue Readers!


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus… whatever you may celebrate–or boycott–at the end of the year, I hope you celebrate it well with loved ones. I wanted to send a quick thank you to all of those who support this blog, whether that be through credit card applications, the Award Booking Service, or just by being an active reader and commenter. We wouldn’t be here without you!

And a big thank you for your continued support and patience during this period of transition for MileValue. As previously mentioned, Scott Grimmer founded MileValue in 2012 and at the very end of 2017 he sold the blog to me. Expect some big changes in 2019 with the look and feel of the site, your email newsletters, an increase in content, and various other aspects of MileValue. As always, please feel free to share your opinions with me in the comments of blog posts or by emailing sarahpage@milevalue.com. I may not always respond but you can be sure I’ll read what arrives.

I’m in my second home for the holidays: Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s 80 degrees and you’re hard pressed to find christmas decorations anywhere. Instead, the streets light up with fireworks at midnight on Christmas and New Years Eve. I was happy to spend Christmas Eve last night dining with my closest Argentine friend’s family.

The city empties out around this time of year as locals evacuate to the beaches of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil while the tourist flood gates open. I’ll be traveling for a long weekend in January (Futaleufú in southern Chile), a couple weeks of February (Rio and Buzios, Brazil), and the first week of March (back to southern Chile, to hike the W circuit in Torres del Paine), so my little family decided to stick close to home for the holidays to avoid travel burn-out.

Me, Withers, and Omar in Uruguay a few years ago. Photo by Sarah Page Maxwell
Me, Withers, and Omar in Uruguay a few years ago.

Where are you guys for the holidays? And where are you going in 2019?

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  1. We are traveling to Seattle and San Francisco for the holidays. Upcoming travel in 2019 includes Barcelona/Provence/Milan in February then Costa Rica in April. I’ll be booking trips for 2020 soon, which may include Hawaii, the Galapagos, and Morocco. Having second thoughts about Morocco.

    • That all sounds great. If you go to the Galapagos, consider a stop in Papallacta, Ecuador. I have not visited myself but heard from a fellow traveler recently that it’s a beautiful place with natural thermal springs, a peaceful pit stop en route to the Galapagos.

      • If I can add to that recommendation, I highly recommend checking out Mindo and/or Baños if you have time for a side trip of a day or two from Quito. Both beautiful places (the scenery in Baños is more dramatic and there are a lot of activities there, though it’s also more touristy). Lots of fun stuff to do in either place (cable car, zip lining, cycling, go-karts, hiking, etc).

        For quiet scenic beauty, Quilotoa is amazing.

        Papallacta is closer to Quito than any of those other places, but my personal opinion (which you can take with a grain of salt) is that it’s worth the additional time to get to Baños, Mindo, or Quilotoa if you can (though none of those places have hot springs, so you’ll definitely want Papallacta if that’s the experience you’re after).

        I somehow spent 9 months in Ecuador without ever getting to the Galapagos. I look forward to getting back there for that someday :-).

        @Sarah Page: Congrats on the undertaking here. Look forward to seeing what comes in 2019!

          • :-).

            Btw, my wife just reminded me that Baños is called Baños because it surely does have hot springs also. lol. Doh! Am I that far removed from speaking Spanish? I guess so.

            So allow me to append what I wrote by saying that you can also enjoy hot springs in Baños, albeit with a lot more other tourists. Not that it probably matters to most reading these comments, but I figured I’d let anyone going to Ecuador know :-).

  2. Staying home for the winter break after a great week in London over Thanksgiving. 2019 will include using miles to go to Houston, Orlando, Maine, Israel, Jordan and Switzerland.

  3. Staying home in San Diego.

    2019 will include Cancun, Maui, Austin, Florida, Bahamas, Scottsdale, Cabo San Lucas and Bologna, Italy.

    Who knows what else?

    Merry Christmas to all.

    • I like it! Wish we had spent a little time in Bologna this past summer in Italy. I hear it’s some of the best food in the country.

      • I’ll be there sampling the cuisine and touring the Ducati and Ferrari factories before heading to Rimini for the MotoGP race.

        • If you own a Ferrari, you need to apply for the real factory tour well before you leave. Otherwise you can only access the front. The dealership needs to do it for you.

  4. Home in Columbus for the holidays. 2019 plans include Singapore, Thailand, Seattle, Hawaii, Kentucky, Madrid and last but not least, BA for the Cow DO. Will I meet you there?

  5. Home in San Diego for Christmas but going to Palm Desert for New Years. Then we’re off to Vietnam and Thailand in January, Puerta Vallarta in February, Paso Robles in March, and not sure about the rest of the year. Wishing all a very peaceful, healthy, successful New Year.

  6. I must have missed the selling of the blog information, but I certainly wish you well. You add a more personal element to the blog than I saw previously, although I’ll miss Scott’s ability to hunt up sweet spots in airline programs. Thanks for giving some insight about what’s in the works.

    • Thanks Christian. You’re not the first to say they miss sweetspot posts, so it’s certainly a goal of mine to publish more of them. Learning to juggle running my own business is a (first time) challenge, but also why I chose this path. Im starting to get a handle of things, so you can expect more quality posts in the near future!

  7. Just back from a winter cruise in the Caribbean. 3 cities in Cuba during mid April. Ireland and Iceland for 3 weeks in June followed by a cruise along the French, Spain, and Croatia coast. Nothing beyond that.

    Happy Holidays

  8. I am looking forward to reading your new blog, congrats! we are just returning from Aruba, which was sunny and beautiful exact opposite of Ohio this time a year! Going to Greece this summer and will visit Boston ( college daughter there) a few times in the spring- always looking for suggestions for Boston restaurants or hotels for when we go!

  9. Good luck Sarah,
    Wish you well. Fellow point chaser, Raghu
    Started in 2012
    Exploits so far. FirstClass on Cathay . 2014

    SFO-> HKG-> MAA (Visiting family)
    MAA-> SIN-> NRT-> SFO First Class in JAL (Awesome salmon)

    SFO->LAX->HKG->SIN->TRV A380 Suites in Singapore
    MAA->DXB->SFO Emirates A380 First Class with Shower

    Wife and Son on Emirates First Class

    Wife and Daughter on Business Class Cathay Pacific

    Return Business class on Singapore
    MAA->SIN-> SFO

    Thank you all so much, would have never done it without the communitys help and encouragement


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