3 tips to make your dream trip a reality using visualization and positive thinking

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Travel is a goal. Not a dream.

Many think of travel as a dream. It is not. Travel is a goal. It’s something that you must focus on, strategize to achieve, and the more you treat it as such, the more it will reward you.  Like any goal, you have to educate and discipline yourself for success. The first step in all of that is believing you can do it.  I’m a BIG believer in visualization, positive thinking, and aligning your energy with what you want to get out of your life. The law of attraction, if you will.  If you maintain travel as a dream, it will stay just that, a dream. If you treat travel as a goal, you will set forth in achieving it, because you believe you can. And you will.

Amongst my other travels, last year I went to Tokyo, London (twice), Beijing, and Shanghai all for long weekends. We flew business or first on points, stayed in 5 star hotels mostly on points, and loved every minute. It’s a series I’m continuing this year called WeekendWarrior. I’m not rich, and I took these trips in part because the people I was traveling with didn’t have a ton of “free time,” and hopefully it, combined with my 3 tips, will help you achieve some travel dreams goals of your own.


Step 1: Activate your subconscious. It’ll start working FOR YOU.

Ever notice when you want to buy a new car and suddenly you’re seeing that new car everywhere?  Or you really want a puppy and suddenly puppies are on every corner? Welcome to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Your conscious mind said ‘I want that, and triggered something subconsciously inside you to prioritize it when you see it again’. See that new car a few times and suddenly you’re telling yourself…this is no coincidence, I’m meant to have that car. Hello, confirmation bias, nice to see you again. We all do it. Now trick your subconscious into working FOR you.

Surround yourself with travel.


Follow as many instagram accounts that focus on travel as you can. Subscribe to blogs on your feedly, bookmark them, etc. If you want to travel, surround yourself with travel.

This is exactly what happened in my life. Several years ago, I stumbled upon BoardingArea, Flyertalk, TPG, MMS, etc and I couldn’t devour their posts fast enough. I started seeing all the places, cabins, lounges, and resorts time and time again.  One day you will wake up and think…I can do this too. You may even think you can be a blogger 😉

I mean, I’d never even dreamed I could be flying Singapore Suites a few years ago, but it was everywhere on the blogs, and sure enough, it seemed like not only did I want to do it, I had to do it. And I did. With my entire family. All with points.

Step 2 ) The heart wants what the heart wants. And that’s your goal. Set it.

You’re immersed in travel. You’re doubletapping left, right and center. But something keeps happening…

You can’t stop thinking about visiting one place. It pops up everywhere.  This isn’t a mistake it’s a sign. Follow it. You don’t know why you can’t stop looking at Royal Wedding photos, but you can’t. In fact, truth be told all you want to do is fly to England and have Afternoon Tea where Megan got ready for her wedding to Harry, and walk the streets where they had their horse drawn carriage procession and waive to the crowd like they did. Gosh, they’re so in love aren’t they?! I promise I’m still talking about you here. Not me 😉

Whatever you “can’t stop” is where you need to go. That is your goal. Subconsciously you know it, now put it into conscious action.

Keep talking about it, reading about it, and sure enough, you will start to learn how you can do it.

Miles Big Ben London

Step 3) Discipline yourself to achieve the goal. Watch the Universe align itself for you.

Most people lack the discipline to achieve their goals. It’s that simple. Don’t be like them.

Opportunity meets preparation. Amazing things happen when you decide you are going to achieve your goal.  When you’ve set your mind to making something happen, open yourself up to possibility, and you work hard, it is incredible what the Universe will do to help you. But you have to be disciplined in your work ethic – this is the difference between dreams and goals.

  1. Learn which points you need to fly
  2. Learn which hotels fit your style and need and how you can get points to stay there
  3. What credit cards will help you accumulate the points you need, status for upgrades, or lounge access
  4. Consistently immerse yourself in information
  5. Make sure every dollar you spend is getting you closer to you goal

Here’s where the Universe has aligned itself for me so many times over.

The more I learn. The more deals I participate in. The more I resolve myself to achieving a goal. The more the Universe has put things together to help me.

Whether it be a destination, status, miles flown in a year, or just starting up a blog, a path has always cleared for me. Availability opens up on a route I newly discovered, or I learn when and how to look for availability at just the right time. It’s truly uncanny how many times these things have happened to me. I don’t believe these are accidents, but signs that continue to lead me down a path because I focus my time and energy on them. This isn’t to say that things always pan out as I had planned, but when I look back at how many things have had to fall into place to put me where I am right now, as I write this, it’s extraordinary.

A few years ago I started to focus my time and energy on traveling the world. And now I do. And so can you.

You either will or you won’t. It’s that simple. London, Singapore Suites, the Maldives are all there if you want them. You don’t need to be rich. Or have tons of vacation time ( that’s why I put weekend warrior posts together).  The first and most important step is truly believing that you can do it.  That is a choice. That is an attitude that will change your life, not just with aspirational travel experiences, but with everything. Once you’ve resolved that belief, you’ll surprise yourself at what you can achieve. You’ll also be a force for good, and an example of what a strong positive attitude, and hard work can achieve.

A quote by Charles Swindoll that I aspire to live by.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts…. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes



Affiliate link via CardRatings


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


  • Sil July 27, 2018

    Hear, hear! As Herbert would say, “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” End of the day, it’s all about the pursuit 🙂

  • taryn July 27, 2018

    Great post, thank you for the the inspiration. I’ve been in the game since 2012 and have had some amazing trips. I got discouraged with all the devaluations and 5/24 stuff and started dipping my toe into cash back cards. Those were so unsatisfying and downright boring. I’m ready to get back to it and continue my dreams. It doesn’t hurt that I just got the 60k ThankYou offer!

    • Miles July 27, 2018

      Taryn – thanks! And go conquer the world 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.