Meaningful Travel with Family, Friends and Harry Potter

January 2013

© 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

What is meaningful travel? The term means different things to different people, but I think most of us would agree to define meaningful travel as a kind of journey that matters deeply to the person who is experiencing it. It touches you; it is an experience you will relive over and over again in your mind. It is something that you will speak of often to family and acquaintances (whether they want to hear it or not!).

Meaningful travel to me almost always includes travel with friends and family. At home we’re wrapped up in the chaos of our daily lives, and at times, it’s hard to connect to the people dear to your heart. I find travel can be a way to bring loved ones closer; we can re-knit the bonds that hold us together without the distraction of work, chores and smart phones. Travel also has the potential to change us for the better, we learn more about each other, as well as other cultures. It also strengthens our relationship with this lovely blue planet called Earth.

So yes, meaningful travel is something I love to do, and it is one of the many reasons why I’m happy about my recent partnership with Scotiabank. I am exploring ways of using the bank’s new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card to earn those precious travel moments sooner and more often. I believe the new travel rewards card will be a valuable tool I can use to maximize my travel budget. Also, Scotiabank understands meaningful travel; it is woven into the thread of their ad campaign for the new card.

A couple of months ago, Scotiabank (via their PR company) asked me to try out the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. As part of our sponsorship agreement, the company wanted me to apply for the card, try it out and then to report back to them and my readers about my experience.

I applied for the travel card online and the process was easy – see my first post to find out more about the many travel benefits I liked and why I decided to try it out as my very first travel rewards credit card.

Once I received my card; I immediately put it to work. I soon discovered three key benefits that really worked for me:

  1. Being able to earn extra points on everyday purchases such as groceries and gas (entertainment and dining will earn you four times the points too). Receiving the card right before Christmas was a big plus, as we were traveling to Florida to spend the holidays with family. Gas purchases and Christmas grocery shopping meant racking up x 4 the points whenever I used the card!
  2. I used my Scotiabank Gold AmEx Card to purchase Cathay Pacific Airline tickets for a girls’ getaway trip with my sister to Bangkok and Bali – my first meaningful travel trip of 2013! I don’t have an airline card for Cathay, using the card for the ticket purchase of one of my preferred airlines meant I wouldn’t have to forfeit the opportunity to earn points. Another big plus, these points NEVER expire.
  3. Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my kids

  4. Before having the Scotiabank Gold AmEx Card I would need to take the additional step of buying travel insurance for any international travel. Now with the exceptional travel insurance coverage provided by my new travel reward card, I save time and money.

Sarah casting a spell: Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal StudiosI also used the card for one very important purchase while in Florida. We bought tickets to take my kids to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. A huge Harry Potter fan, my daughter Sarah has wanted to wave her wand around the village of Hogsmeade since the attraction opened in 2010. We had a wonderful day – we spent hours exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it was thrilling to watch the literary world of JK Rowling’s book unfold before her eyes. Another meaningful travel experience, something we all will cherish for many years.

I’ve had the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card for two months, and I’ve collected plenty of points, just by using it for my everyday purchases and travel. More points means more meaningful travel in my future. What a wonderful combination!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Scotiabank or American Express.

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