What I’m Excited for in the Second Half of 2017

*This is a sponsored post by Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Visions of Vogue.

Blue maxi dress in Krabi, Thailand.

A few weeks ago someone threw me a real curveball over on Instagram and asked me what I was looking forward to most in the second half of 2017. Now that we’re 6 months into the year (and a little beyond that), it only makes sense that we should do a check in. Right? It took me a few minutes to figure out what I was most excited for. Usually, I’m so focused on getting through today or this week that I don’t really stop to look a month out or even through December. So here’s what I’m looking forward to most.

If the photos in this post tell you anything, it’s that I love to travel. I recently built out the menu options here on Visions of Vogue to make travel content even easier for you to find! It’s one of my biggest passions and I am honored that I get to share it with you guys. Have a trip coming up? Just hover over the menu bar and you’ll find destinations sorted by region. If I’ve been there, I’ve probably created a travel guide of tips on where to go!

Thatch Caye Resort, Belize

From Belize.

sunset in tampa florida maxi dress

From Tampa.

Our friends often tease us for how much we travel. Kidding that we are never actually in Chicago. While we do get to travel a lot, we have enjoyed spending the summer here at home – there are only so many days of nice weather here! But the truth is that anyone can travel. It doesn’t matter what your budget is or where you want to go, you just have to do a little planning ahead (and sometimes a lot) and find out how to work the systems. It’s nice to reward yourself a little, right?

One of my favorite tips is our Chase credit card. We happen to have both the Chase Freedom and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. We are that loyal to Chase. When I was shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, the girls at the counter looked at me like I was crazy for not using my Nordstrom card. Guess what card I was using. My Chase Freedom. I kept having to explain how the rewards are so good! I love that you can use them for more than just one place too (see below). I hate being restricted on what I can use my hard earned rewards toward!

colorful buildings of cuba

From Cuba.

Before deciding to get both, we did a ton of research. The other banks had either fees that didn’t fit our lifestyle or rewards programs that didn’t seem relevant to us. Staying loyal to one airline also didn’t seem practical since we are only loyal to whoever has the best low fare. So, we opted to go with Chase. And honestly, I’ve never looked back.

Jenna Colgrove wearing a teal high neck floral dress by Topshop.

From Asheville.

Cute pink building in the San Francisco Marina district.

From San Francisco.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forrest, Kyoto Japan

From Japan.

Let’s talk a little about the good stuff (the rewards). While we have two different cards (Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred), I’m going to focus on another great card with Ultimate Rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card.

  1. No annual fee. When you’re younger and still on a budget, a card with no annual fee is a good option.
  2. New cardmember bonus. If you spend a $500 amount in your first 3 months, you get a $150 bonus. That’s a 30% discount! You can also get a $25 bonus for adding another user to your card – no spending required!
  3. Customer Service. As a cardholder since the early 2000s, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with customer service. Some things may take a little longer but those are typically extenuating circumstances (like when Matt and I had to merge our accounts after our wedding). Their fraud protection is amazing and if you ever do find yourself in a situation where someone has stolen your card, the claim process is pretty painless.
  4. Ultimate Rewards. This is what Chase calls their rewards program. They have tons of ways that you can spend your points from travel to cash back to gift cards across various categories. You can use gift cards offered through Ultimate Rewards toward spas, electronics, restaurants, and travel (to name a few). Their latest promotion offers Gap Inc. gift cards at 20% off! Hello value! Just don’t wait to redeem because there is a limited supply of Gap, Inc. cards at 20% off and the promotion is only good while supplies last! You can use in store or online at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Athleta.

cinque terre italy

From Italy (before I started blogging)!

a weekend in charleston

From Charleston.

My favorite way to spend points is on travel. Hence the inspiration for this post! Matt and I always save up our points to book flights, hotels, or car rentals through Chase. It’s really similar to any other booking service but when we use rewards through our Chase Sapphire Preferred card, our points are worth 25% more! If you’re using your credit card for everything like we do, you can rack up a ton of points in a year. This is how we maximize our spending! The system is really flexible so that you can pay with your card, with your points, or with a combination. Options? As a consumer, that’s exactly what I want!

Beach coverup and a wide brim hat in Tampa, Florida.

From Florida.

blue striped maxi dress in tulum mexico

From Mexico.

All this to say, I’m looking forward to traveling most throughout the last half of 2017. We have a few big trips coming up to Greece, Dubai, and the Maldives (which we will no doubt be booking hotels for through Ultimate Rewards)! If you have any recommendations for any of those places, please let me know! I also want to squeeze in a few weekend trips to NYC and maybe Florida once the weather gets cooler here in the midwest. Fun fact, we’ve used our Chase credit card on every single trip in this post!

What’s your favorite vacation you’ve gone on before? Have you tried Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program to book it?


27 thoughts on “What I’m Excited for in the Second Half of 2017

  1. Omg I love all these photos!!! Also you are so fricken informative about every single subject….thank God for Jenna C.
    Can you do a post on your favorite maxi dresses!??! I’m obsessed with the ones in the Mexico photo and the Tampa photo. I want to find some like that for when I go to our beach house but don’t know where to look!!

    Thanks Jenna :)

    1. Great idea!!! I will do one at the end of the month (they’ll probably even be on sale then)!!

  2. We have the CSR card too and LOVE it. They definitely have the best perks! We are going to Vancouver and Whistler next week and now I’m already thinking about where we should go next! Haha

  3. Y’all have traveled to some amazing places recently!! And YES to Chase!! I love their CCs!!

  4. This post is giving me the travel bug! You’ve done some amazing traveling this year babe! Gorgeous photos!

  5. All of these travel photos are just stunning and it’s a goal of mine to do more traveling, too! Cheers to seeing the world!

    xo, Sara

  6. these are beautiful photos! we were looking into getting another credit card, so I will tell my hubby to look into this one! thanks for sharing :)

  7. These pictures are stunning!! I definitely want to travel more during the next 6 months as well. Chase is the best bank!

  8. Love all these travel inspiration photos! You have such gorgeous style! We have had the Chase Rewards card for years and love that they have the best rewards!

Let me know what you think!