The most exclusive travel experiences you can book with points

In the world of travel rewards, points and miles are often associated with luxurious flights and hotel stays. However, did you know that your rewards can also be used for exclusive experiences like stays on private islands and even trips to space? These unique travel experiences not only offer incredible opportunities but also provide a good value for your points. In this article, we will explore some of the most exclusive travel experiences that your rewards can buy.

One of the most unusual redemptions you can make is a drawing to win a trip to space with Virgin Galactic. The price for this once-in-a-lifetime experience is 2 million Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, which will only be deducted from your account if you win. The trip includes a three-day experience with flight preparation and a two-hour space flight, including at least five minutes of weightlessness. While Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a transfer partner of major transferable points programs, there is a major restriction for eligibility into the drawing. Only points earned on Virgin Atlantic flights qualify, and you cannot transfer points from other members’ accounts. Considering that ticket prices for Virgin Galactic space flights start at $450,000, you would be getting an incredible value of 22.5 cents per point.

If a trip to space isn’t your cup of tea, you can also redeem 540,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points plus $5,400 for a four-night stay for two at Richard Branson’s Necker Island. This 74-acre private island oasis in the British Virgin Islands offers luxurious amenities such as infinity pools, elegant dining spaces, and water sports. However, bookings are restricted to those with Virgin Atlantic Silver or Gold status, although you may be able to status match from another airline or hotel program.

For those who appreciate luxury in the air, Etihad Airways offers first-class “Apartments” on its A380 aircraft. These spacious apartments include a wide armchair, a separate couch that converts into a bed, and even an onboard shower. You can book these Apartments using American Airlines AAdvantage miles for 62,500 miles on the shorter London route or 115,000 miles on the longer New York route. Additionally, Etihad’s A380 features a three-room megasuite called the “Residence,” although this cannot be booked with points and miles.

If you’re sitting on a large stash of Marriott Bonvoy points, you can use them to stay at the North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort in Seychelles. This resort offers a two-bedroom villa covering nearly 5,000 square feet, along with amenities such as complimentary breakfast, an island buggy, and morning yoga. Award nights at this resort cost more than 385,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, with a four-night minimum stay requirement. Although this rate does not include the cost of a helicopter transfer, which is 814 euros ($889) each way, it still offers great value considering cash rates can exceed $7,000 per night.

Hyatt loyalists can redeem 35,000 to 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night to stay at the Calala Island resort. This all-inclusive, private-island resort in Nicaragua accommodates just eight guests at a time in its four beachfront suites. With room rates regularly exceeding $2,000 per night, redeeming points for a stay here is a steal.

While private jet travel may not be accessible through points and miles, Emirates first class offers a luxurious experience. With gold-studded suites, onboard showers, and bars, Emirates’ first class on its flagship A380 aircraft is a top choice for luxury travel. You can book these awards through Emirates Skywards, Qantas Frequent Flyer, or Air Canada Aeroplan.

Air France’s La Premiere first class is another exclusive experience available on select 777-300ERs. With just four seats across a single row, this cabin offers elegance and privacy. Booking La Premiere awards with miles is limited to Air France-KLM Flying Blue elite members at the “flex” level, with a minimum of 220,000 miles required for a one-way ticket between the U.S. and Europe.

Singapore Airlines’ A380 suites offer an impressive 50 square feet of space, including a separate bed. If you’re traveling with someone, you can even combine two suites to create a double bed and have up to 100 square feet of space. Singapore Airlines doesn’t release first-class award space to partner airlines, so you’ll need to book through Singapore Airlines’ own KrisFlyer program.

In conclusion, your points and miles can unlock incredible travel experiences beyond just flights and hotels. From trips to space with Virgin Galactic to stays on private islands and luxurious flights with renowned airlines, your rewards can provide you with exclusive and unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or a luxury traveler, these unique travel experiences offer both awe-inspiring opportunities and a good value for your points.

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