My first trip ever using miles and points for travel was a fantastic European Adventure with my best friend, “G”. We were so excited to be able to do a 2 week trip to New York, London, Paris, Venice and Florence. We traveled in style on First and Business Class flights and stayed in 4 and 5 star hotels.
Here is the lowdown on how we did it…
Our flights were on American Airlines (Business class domestically and First class internationally) and we used 120,000 AA miles each (240,000 total and about $600 in taxes/fees) to fly from LA to NYC, NYC to London, and London to LA via Chicago. AA miles had been accumulated from a combination of Citibank AA Visa sign up bonuses and spend, Bank Direct Mileage Savings, and miles from flying on AA.
We spent 2 days in New York at the Andaz 5th Avenue (G’s 2 free nights from the Hyatt Visa Card), 2 nights at the May Fair in London (50k Club Carlson points and a free night using my Club Carlson Visa Card benefits), 2 nights in Venice at the Hilton Molino Stucky (G’s 2 free weekend nights from Citi Hilton Reserve Card), 2 nights in Florence at the AC Firenze Marriott (using 50k of my Marriott points), 4 nights the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome (using 88k of my Hyatt Gold Passport Points), and one more night in London at the Andaz Liverpool (using 22k of my Hyatt Gold Passport Points).
As a Diamond member of the Hyatt Gold Passport program, we received beautiful complimentary breakfasts at the Park Hyatt in Paris and the Andaz in London. We also received these breakfasts in Venice since G was a Hilton Gold Status member with the Hilton Reserve Card.
When I looked up these flights online, they were going for about $12,000 per person. If we hadn’t used points and free nights at the hotels we stayed at, it would have cost about $8,000. We also received a value of about $600 in free breakfasts. So basically, we paid $600 for the flights and hotel for this trip – a trip which would have retailed for about $32,000. Ok, I’m not including costs for local transportation (taxis, buses, flights, trains), food, shopping and museum entrance fees, but you get the picture – we had an amazing trip for pennies on the dollar.
I will add details about our trip (cities, hotels) in future posts… so stay tuned!
Anyone with good credit and who is willing to spend a little time organizing and planning can do a trip like this too. If you don’t know where to start, then start dreaming up a trip, and then sign up for the Air and Hotel programs that can get you there. Start accumulating miles and points. Before you know it, you will have enough to go on your very own dream trip!