Belle Chatter

Where would you keep returning to?

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…and do you use a frequent flier programme?

The Travel Belles discuss saving money while spending miles and share their favourite places around the world.
 

Weekly Question #16: Which place would you return to again and again?

Isola Bella, a place some of the Travel Belles dream of returning to.

Isola Bella, a place some of the Travel Belles dream of returning to.

Greece, France, Italy and the Middle East – lots of places have lodged themselves in the Travel Belles’ hearts and draw them back again and again. But there’s also a constant dilemma of whether to spend the time and money going back to a much-loved place or visiting somewhere new.

Margo’s heart belongs to France. “I love how you can fly into Paris and shoot off in pretty much any direction and be in a different region of the country with its own unique landscape and culture in less than a few hours,” she says. It’s the South of France in particular where she feels most at home.

Justine is nostalgic, as so many of us are, for the vacation spots of her youth: “I return to the Mornington Peninulsa here in Victoria (my home state) constantly. I spent so many lovely summers there when I was younger,” she says. But she also feels a draw back to a region which had a profound effect on her: “I had a life-changing time while visiting Syria, Jordan and Egypt so I would love to visit more Middle-Eastern countries.”

Amanda is drawn back to the Greek Island of Ithaka by a mythical mystery which would tantalize anyone: “For me it’s Ithaka, Greece, where I first visited with a team of archaeologists in search of the palace of Odysseus. When the palace was never found, I was lured back, like Odysseus, over the following decades.

Andrea feels a deep connection with Italy, and thinks it will take a lifetime to explore: “I feel like I would need to live in Italy and travel frequently to ever fully grasp, taste, and experience all this country has to offer. The food is my favorite, and I’m confident I couldn’t tire of it during multiple visits. Also, my great grandmother immigrated from there, so it feels like connecting with a part of my heritage in a way I never got to while she was alive.”

Generally, Brittany would rather explore new places, but she does enjoy returning to large, multi-faceted cities and relaxing beach destinations: “The east coast of Canada and Florida get me on repeat holidays again and again.  Otherwise, it’s exciting cities like New York, London, or Paris, because as a tourist, you need repeat visits to such cities in order to get a tiny grasp on the place!”

So do you have a place full of fond memories, or a life-changing destination you’d love to revisit? Let us know!

Weekly Question #15: Do you use a frequent flier programme?

Free flights - the dream of many a Travel Belle.

Free flights – the dream of many a Travel Belle.

Some of our canny Travel Belles had great tips for maximising airmiles, whether using them for less popular routes, or searching for the best schemes, such as with credit cards, where the miles can add up without you even noticing.

Amanda suggests traveling off-season to make the most of your miles: “To get the best use I travel off season where you don’t have to redeem as many miles as in high season — and we have chosen destinations simply because there was availability!”

Kimberley agrees – she puts her miles to good use on family trips: “My husband’s family lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and it’s not a great hotspot. The tickets are sometimes $700 a piece, yet I can use only 25-30k miles round trip to fly each of us there, and there are rarely any restrictions. I mean who wants to go to Winnipeg?”

Kimberley and Justine also suggest connecting your airmiles account to a credit card as a good way to build up the miles in the first place: “Some cards pay double miles if you use them for certain things, like gas or groceries, so read the fine print. “

About the author

Originally from Salisbury in the UK, Katy Stewart is an itinerant freelance writer. She indulges her passions for travel, film and literature at her blog, Starry-Eyed Travels. You can follow her on twitter @SEtravels.

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