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Why my first post-pandemic flight will be to Little Rock, Arkansas

Feb. 28, 2021
6 min read
Why my first post-pandemic flight will be to Little Rock, Arkansas
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As another vaccine becomes available and we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, a lot of us are planning our first post-pandemic getaways. For some, that will look like a two-week vacation to your favorite tropical locale. For others, it might mean finally checking off one of the destinations on your bucket list. But for me, it will look like a two-hour flight and an hour-long drive back to my hometown in Arkansas.

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Like most people, the coronavirus pandemic put a serious wrench in my travel plans for 2020. But as a single, 20-something year-old-woman who lives approximately 800 miles from my entire family, the pandemic didn't just mean canceling my trip to South Africa or putting a hold on my plans to see the northern lights — it meant not seeing family and friends from back home.

 

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Almost three years ago, I moved across the country for a job. I knew no one in Charlotte, and I'd never lived anywhere but my small town in Arkansas. And while I've never once regretted that choice, it has meant seeing my family and childhood friends only a select few times a year. Staying grounded in 2020 meant canceling my yearly girls trip with my best friend since junior high. It meant missing the baby shower for the person who's been by my side since birth (literally — our parents were best friends, so she was at the hospital with her mom when I was born). It meant not seeing my Lola. The only times I did make the trip back to Arkansas, I made the 12-hour drive (24 hours round-trip) instead of flying to avoid airports.

And I know I'm not alone in this. So many people missed birthdays, weddings, holiday gatherings and more in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

For the first time in a long time, I'm really excited about the prospect of exploring the state where I grew up. (Photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy)

The funny thing is, I used to absolutely dread the flight from CLT to LIT. There are only a handful of nonstop flights between the two airports, and they are all American Airlines flights on CRJ-900 aircraft. Overhead space is minimal and legroom is nonexistent. But after over a year and a half, I'll be grateful for the flight even if it's not the most glamorous. I'll be ecstatic to see the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in all its brown-carpeted glory.

Sure, I have a number of drool-worthy points redemptions on my list for the next couple of years once I'm vaccinated and the CDC lifts its advisories on nonessential travel (hello, Seoul). But the first destination on my list is the Little Rock, AR, airport. You know what they say — there's no place like home.

Bottom line

My first post-pandemic trip won't be to a tropical island resort or a high-rise hotel. Instead, I'll be spending time on a fishing boat with my mom, hiking the Ozarks with friends and playing Mahjong with my Lola and the rest of my dad's side of the family. But I have a feeling that this low-key trip back home will still be just as memorable as the bucket-list destinations on my list — especially after not seeing some people and places for so long.

I'm in the last group eligible to be vaccinated here in Charlotte, NC, so I've still got some time before I'll be able to book that flight back to Arkansas. But I've never been more excited for such a short flight to such a small airport.

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Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023