Family Vacation Friday to the Slopes


We love using credit card points and miles for all types of vacations! Family trips, couple trips, girlfriend getaways, luxury trips, staycations —you name it, we’ve done it! Because so many of our readers want to book family travel, we will start a new feature—Family Vacation Friday!

On most Fridays, we will share either a trip we’ve done, a reader success story (please send yours our way), or a plan for a family getaway. We will concentrate on a family of four since that is easiest. Just know that you will need more points for more children. Alex has four children, so many of her stories will show the trips she has done for her crew.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t LOVE winter, cold, or short days. However, I know that many of you do like one thing about it—skiing (or snowboarding). Here’s a plan for four to travel to Vail, Colorado for a family ski trip on points and miles.



Denver International Airport is the airport that you will want to fly into, and it is serviced by many different airlines, so using points and miles will not be difficult. For our family of four, we are using Southwest Airlines and assuming you have the Southwest Companion Pass. This is the perfect airline for a family ski trip, as luggage flies free!

Let’s say you want to go in February, you will look at the 30-day calendar to pick the cheapest weekend. Let’s say you are just going for a long weekend,  and hopefully the children can miss a couple of days of school if need be.


Screenshot of 30 day low fare Southwest calendar


Oh, look at the weekend before Valentine’s Day! Looks perfect! And CHEAP. Leaving on Feb 10th and return on the 13th, giving 2 full days of fun on the slopes. I’d pick the nonstop options, so they are a little more but you could save and have a stop. Three tickets plus the Southwest Companion Pass means it will cost 64,434 Southwest miles and $44.80 for flights. You can get these miles with a Southwest card or by transferring from one of your Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards to Southwest.


screenshot of Southwest options Houston-Denver



You can book a reasonably priced hotel for 3 nights at the Grand Hyatt Vail using the same Chase credit card or a World of Hyatt card. It will require 87,000 points to book this stay. Just so you know, you will want to book this before winter starts for the best availability.


Screenshot Hyatt hotel in Vail, Colorado prices

The Landmark, A Destination by Hyatt Residence is another option with more room, but it costs more in points.



Credit Cards for This Trip


Bottom Line

A family of four can go to Colorado and have a nearly-free ski vacation by opening up 2-3 credit cards. Unfortunately, ski lift tickets usually code as entertainment, so being able to have them coded as travel and erasing them through Capital One won’t work. However, you can use a card to pay for them and earn more of your favorite points or miles.

Family Vacation Fridays get kicked off with this family ski trip. Obviously, there are many, many flights and hotels that will work for this trip. This is just an idea to get you started—let us know if you find this useful!

Skiers on snow-covered mountain

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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