With our last major trip concluding in November and our next one not starting until May, we decided to bridge the gap with a last minute booking to Miami for 4 nights.
Our last visit to Miami was in 2015, and we had a fantastic time enjoying South Beach, and going to the zoo, and we ended up extending our trip to travel to Orlando for Disney World.
This time we knew we wouldn’t be able to extend our time, but we also wanted a more relaxing type trip.
Last Minute Trip to Miami: Intro
American Airlines SMF-PHX-CLT-FLL First Class Review
Hyatt Centric South Beach Review
Hyatt Regency Miami Review
Miami Area Recommendations: Zoo Miami, the Everglades, and More!
American Airlines MIA-CLT-SMF Economy Review
With the trip being so close out, our options for flights weren’t as extensive as we would’ve liked, but between researching United awards and paid flights and American airlines awards and paid flights, we were able to find reasonable accommodation. We ended up booking a red-eye from Sacramento to Fort Lauderdale via Phoenix and Charlotte on American Airlines in First Class using 50,000 American Airlines Miles. For the return we booked an economy flight from Miami to Sacramento via Charlotte on American Airlines using 42,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There were other options for the return at a cheaper redemption, but this fit better convenience-wise for our trip. While certainly more expensive than the 25,000 points it would’ve cost at the Saver-Award Level, it did save us a close-in booking fee of about $80 per person.
For our hotels, we decided on the Hyatt Centric for the first night with our annual free night award and the Hyatt Regency Miami for the last 3 using points+cash. After remembering our mediocre experience at the Regency Miami a few years back, I did search for other options, but nothing met our budget or award requirements.
The only other planning we did was to renew our local zoo membership, as doing so not only gets us access to our zoo for a year, but gives us reciprocal discounts at many zoos across the nation, including ZooMiami.