We all talk about it constantly, at dinner parties, the gym, in the office: the trip of a lifetime. Whether it’s island hopping in the South Pacific, trekking the Andes, or golfing at St. Andrews, we all have a dream vacation that we never get around to taking. 

Money always seems to be the prohibitive barrier because dream trips don’t come cheap. By signing up to suitable loyalty rewards programs and collecting points diligently, your dream trip may not be the impossibility that you always thought.

Endless possibilities

“The popular places for Canadians to use their points are sun destinations, like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii, but Europe is also really popular in the summer months,” says Patrick Sojka, the Founder of Rewards Canada. “You can also use rewards to travel to Africa, Asia, and Australia, although those places do require a lot more points.” 

Your rewards points are good to use at any time of year, regardless of whether it’s a popular travel period or not. Have you been dreaming of a summer vacation to Brazil or a Christmas flight to Europe to surprise your family? It’s all possible if you collect enough.

It also might be your dream to travel in style and leave those economy seats behind. “There are times of the year when redeeming for business class flights is easier, because there are less business travelers,” says Sojka. “That tends to be in the summer, and on certain days of week, like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.”

How to rack up the points

As well as only focusing on only a few rewards programs (one airline, one hotel, one shopping), you should always be looking to take advantage of any bonus mile offers because, as Sojka puts it, “they are an easy way to work your way up to that reward you want to redeem for.”

Sojka also advises to pay for everything with a credit card that is tied into a loyalty program. “This is by far the easiest way to rack up miles outside of actual flights with the airlines or stays with hotels,” he says. “Put everything that you buy on your credit cards, right down to the chocolate bar from the corner store.”

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t pass up any opportunity to boost your points. “Every mile counts, no matter where or how you earn it,” says Sojka.

Joe Rosengarten