Colorado Trip Recap


We went from the east to the west.

First stop – denver – Denver museum

Second stop – glenwood hot springs, Shoney white water rafting

Third stop – Mesa Verde

Fourth stop – Great Sandune

Fifth stop – Colorado Springs – Garden of the Gods

Denver and Home

Travel hacking. I signed up for a credit card, after spending $3000 in three months, then I’ll get 40,000 points. Instead of buying an airplane ticket, I get reimburse for hotel stay. A saving of $400.

There were nine of us, so we booked 2-3 hotel rooms with 2 queen beds. It worked out we spend about $250/person for the trip.

This was the close to perfect vacation for my sister. OMG, the lady like to move from place to place. Almost everyday we have to travel 200-300 miles. The great thing was my brother-in-law likes to drive. I was happy to be the back seat driver haha. There was some intense moments but we generally tolerate each other very well.

I enjoy doing all the booking and planing. Her two younger boys learned to swim on this vacation. I bought them the snorkeling gogles so the water won’t be in their eyes or nose. But they were a bit shy. I saw a little girl, and asked her to teach the little guy to swim. She was very effective. I guest from her perspective, swimming is very simple. First practice cycling the arms. Then flap the feet. Last putting it together, cycling the arms and flapping the feet. Voila! The older nephew was laughing at the younger one, but he also listened to the little girl and started swimming. That’s pretty much the highlight of the trip. Book a hotel with swimming pool, or go to places that we can swim.

By day 2 on the trip, they know who to go to to go somewhere or do something, hahah. The niece is a teenager, so she’s into the urban lifestyles – she wants to try sushi and Mexican food. I also worked in the museum, because she wanted to visit one. Denver museum was awesome. There was kids activities that I could spend half a day there without getting bored.

The hot spring was perfect, because we needed two days to get used to the altitude. And I have to remind myself and my sister, we are on vacation, we need to relax. No need for a competitive vacationing, hahah.

Colorado has many national parks that are relatively close together. We hot most of the highlights. It was a once in a lifetime trip that I won’t ever get another chance to see it again. Overall, Coloradan are friendly and welcoming. The food was exquisite if you know where to eat. I’d recommend a family vacation here even during the summertime.

I’ve completed my goal of travel hacking this year. I might get mr. To sign up for a hotel bonus credit card and between the two of us, we will get enough point for the next caribean trip this winter for airline ticket and for hotel we will just have to figure out the food and excursions.

What are your travel hacking stories? Have you done any road trips?


  1. Colorado is so beautiful! I have been to Garden of the Gods once, and it was stunning. Your pictures are great. I, too, went white water rafter. What a thrilling experience.

    The credit card bonuses can be really nice and useful for trips like these. My partner and I have used the bonuses to generate points for future trips. We used about 100k from a bonus from Amex to fund travel between our apartment in Texas and Gainesville. They can be handy.

    • Do share the pictures from the garden of gods. We had many, many. 🙂

      It’s cool that we were in the same place at separate occasions. Even though my sister and I were at the same place, her views and her pictures were much different from mine like day and night. Our experiences with the cameras were different, it was very cool after we compare notes. (My sister and I used to have the same thoughts when we were looking at the same object, we were that close).

      Life is truely a gift.

      • It is pretty remarkable, that we can be in the same place, at different times, and then run into each other on the web, and then somehow connect on that experience. What are the chances? I suppose they are higher than usual, considering CO and attractions there are pretty well traveled, but it is cool, nonetheless! I will have to see if I can find the pictures from my trip.

  2. Looks like a great trip. I loved Colorado when I visited years ago. It’s always nice to be able to use credit card bonuses to help out paying the trip. 🙂

    • I was struggling to spend $3000 in 3 months on the credit card. I have every bills on automation. And I’m not a consumerist. I didn’t hit the $3k until I ask my sister to let me pay on the credit card. 🙂 this game of points and miles is definitely for the organizes folks, or folks with lots of time on their hands. It’s good that you guys manage to get the bonuses. 🙂

    • We volunteer in St. Paul one year, they have a rowing competition. Minneapolis-St. Paul has plenty of water sports – water surfing would give the same rush. 🙂 but who need the fake rush when your background is military, I’m sure the army (navy or any branch)) would train you and you’d get plenty of action. My dad was in the military, I once thought I’d join.

      Also in less than a year, you’d call it quit from your fulltime job, 2-3 weeks of vacation on an RV! You can see most of America. I thought about it when we drove with a group of RV people on the freeway. 🙂 do share your adventure when you go on that extended vacation!

    • We must have. 🙂 we get off the pool pretty late, around 11am, by then, most companies are done for the day. I found a companies that take people at 2pm (the water was cold, I was glad we pick the afternoon when the weather got back to the 80s. Our tour guide was superb.

  3. Hi Vivianne

    Solid adventure there. Colorado will be in my new modern travel list to do now.

    I’ve been to all the West, East and midwest but just not colorado and denver. Gonna be here some time.

    • B, Colorado is one unique place. The people are definitely tourist friendly. With many national parks are closely located together, you will definitely enjoy the trip.

      Be sure to rent a car or travel by bus so you can actually see the mountains right next to you. Especially the drive from Glenwood springs to Mesa Verde was very interesting. They literally carved the mountain to make freeways. We drive around the edge of the mountains, instead of driving at 25, 30, 40, 80 MPH on a regular freeway, we were only going at 14 MPH.

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