Dollar Dollar Bills, Y'all

Marketing Disclosure

Wanderlust Wednesday - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Have you found yourself in a Christmas rut? Are you dragging yourself to 2 - 5 Christmas dinners in the same day to visit your various parent and parent-in-law households in a 24 hour window? Not only is this going to leave you bloated and exhausted, we all know that all you really want to do is spend time with your version of family and relax. Need a trick to help you get out of 5 dinners without feeling guilty? Take a vacation, and start your own holiday tradition. Here are 5 reasons why you should find your own version of a white [sand] Christmas escape.

1. Sand is super annoying, but we will take sand in our shoes over snow in our shoes any day of the week.

2. The closer you get to the equator, the more Christmas you get to celebrate in the sunlight. More sunlight = more Christmas. Science.

3. Every tropical drink ever made in the history of mankind > eggnog.

4. Sandmen > Snowmen

5. If you're not home for Christmas, you don't have to put lights up outside. Project owner of households everywhere - you are welcome.

Here's how to spend a week in Puerto Vallarta for Christmas. Enjoy a stress free week at the beach. Facetime your family with your toes in the sand to enjoy the comforts of home, but do it with a swim suit and a Mai Tai. Aside from the beach relaxation and party scene that Puerto Vallarta offers, you can also get your adventurer on and visit the Marieta Islands. Just look at this hidden beach. This is your present. Hike with a Christmas tree and set it up in this cove and take it all in.

Award flights can be tricky depending on your departure airport, but right now you can score a round trip flight from Chicago to Puerto Vallarta on American Airlines for 30,000 miles round trip as of 12/12. Barclays is offering 60,000 miles on their airline credit card, getting you and one other lucky traveler free flights to your beach front Christmas (plus taxes and fees) You can never escape taxes and fees. AwardHacker is a great tool to use to find flights that match your preferred award program.

Unless sleeping on the beach is your thing you should probably find a hotel room. The Westin Resort and Spa has reward nights available for the 19th-26th of December for 6,000 points a night, or 42,000 points total. Starwood offers a 35,000 point bonus on their hotel credit card once or twice a year, leaving a 7,000 point gap that is fairly easy to achieve through everyday spend over a couple of months. Starwood is also a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program, or a transfer partner of Marriott if you find yourself needing to top off your current Starwood balance. You can also funnel points to Marriott through Chase's Ultimate Rewards Program thanks to the Marriott/Starwood merger.

Signing up for credit cards to get cheap travel isn't for everyone, but with smart shopping over the course of a year you can earn enough points to supplement your travel budget. If you're interested in learning more about flexible travel rewards, check out our post on Chase's Ultimate Rewards program.