Live Blogging: 4 Trips, 5 Months 11/14/17

When I took my new job in August, I had no idea how exhausting it would be to have four fewer hours to get work done in a day. Ack. And so here I am blogging ahead on the weekend… Can't I have a Sunday afternoon nap?

Anyway, backstory, for those of you new to this series: In August I began a new job that provided me with a lot of vacation time for the rest of the year but very minimal vacation time for next year. In an effort to make the most of it, I'm planning four trips in five months (now, two) with updates weekly on how the planning process is going.

With trip #1 out of the way, I am left with:

Trip #2 – New York City, Trip #3 – New Orleans, and Trip #4 – ?!?!

Here's what I accomplished this week…

Trip #2

Luckily, thanks to TripIt, I realized that I was not just one night short on hotels for NYC but two. So what to do? 

* I had a coupon for SPG: Buy one get one for 40% off, but I don't have status with SPG. 
* Then there was an offer for Marriott: stay 9 nights, get status. 
* I already have status with Hilton, which I'm losing this year, but I knew staying with them would get me free breakfast and potential upgrades. Only problem – I wasn't actually interested in any of the hotels they have in NYC. :-/
* And then there was IHG which was offering 3,000 points to stay for two nights in NYC and 28,000 points for staying with 3 different brands within their chain before December. Despite rarely getting upgrades and free breakfasts, I knew their Intercontinental branded hotels are some of the best. We were using one free night for the Intercontinental Times Square, so maybe it would be worthwhile to also try the Intercontinental Barclay?
* Finally, there is Hyatt, where I could book a $900+ room for 30,000 points. Heated bathroom floors and a tv display inside the bathroom mirror for the win?
* We won't even talk about boutique hotels with their rooftop views, and large tubs.

Long story short, I booked the Barclay. It was better to have a quick decision without much thought and guarantee we would have somewhere to sleep than to spend hours navigating the pros and cons of each. Because there are a lot of pros and cons to each. And it gets overwhelming… Especially when you consider how big NYC is.

I still have one hotel to book unless we decide to do as my husband suggested and sleep in the airport our first night there. (That doesn't sound too fun to me.)

Because we are leaving on Thursday night, this weekend (the weekend in which I'm blogging ahead), we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We had a party on Saturday night, and we are currently making sure to clean everything, get more of our travel plans in place, charge our batteries, pack, make sure we are ready to handle Thanksgiving and Christmas when we get back, do all of our laundry for the week, etc, etc… 

To put it lightly, I am stressed.

Of course, NYC is the easy, fun trip. The idea is that we will do what we want, when we want to do it, and not worry. New Orleans is the one that I'm really worried about…

Trip #3

About all I've done this week to prepare for New Orleans is (re)book a hotel in dollars rather than points. It's a good thing too, though, because apparently when I booked the hotel with Chase points, the transaction didn't go through. It is highly probable that had I not tried to cancel and rebook I would have found myself in New Orleans without a place to sleep!

Anyway, I have so much more to do in preparation for this trip! Right now I have a thrown together Visit A City itinerary, but it's what they suggest rather than things I've picked out. Plus, the itinerary is for three full days when we will only be there for two and a half days. Argh. I hope that's enough time. (My husband really disliked New Orleans last time he visited; can you tell?)

Trip #4

I set up Hopper to keep me updated for flights to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I am so late planning for this trip that I am probably going to end up paying crazy rates. Of course, the alternative is just staying home for the holidays.

I guess the good news is that we are ticking off our holiday chores. We have a gift for my in-laws, a gift for my parents, the beginnings of a gift for multiple friends, and my mom's birthday present… Only a few more gifts to buy this year. Like 10? Maybe. Which, now that I write it out, sounds and feels like a lot, but hey! At least I've started? And it's not even Thanksgiving yet!


I am beyond grateful for the life I lead. I realize I am crazy lucky to be able to travel as much as I've been able to in the past few months. I know that I should count my blessings. Not everyone has a reliable job, family and friends to spend the holidays with, good food on the table, and a place to call home.

But sometimes.

all of my blessings stress me out.

Isn't that normal?

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful, joy-filled week. May your blessings … not stress you out. ;) And thanks again for reading and commenting. It means more to me than you know. :)

P.S. I may not post next week since my husband and I will be out of town from Thursday through Tuesday and then again next Thursday to Monday with Thanksgiving in between. If not, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those of you celebrating) and/or a wonderful week. <3.

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