My Last Minute $4,000 Trip
I really love the miles & points game and what it makes possible. Right now I am on a plane to Kauai on a ticket that was booked last night! So much flexibility!
With a baby on the way, this blog and my work over at another, I haven’t really been able to travel much over the past couple of months. Travel is a part of my DNA. I just have to do it.
My wife and I had left this weekend open for a quick late Valentine’s/early Anniversary trip. We were originally just going to drive to San Diego, but as much as I love that city, I just wanted to go somewhere else. Somewhere slightly more aspirational.
So I looked at various cities in Texas (not really aspirational) and on the East Coast, but with the weather being how it is lately, there weren’t many great options.
Then I thought, why not just go to Hawaii? So I went to Twitter and asked if it was crazy to go to Hawaii for just a three day weekend. Of course my Twitter feed is stacked with other crazy travelers who supported my crazy idea.
@milestomemories if I can fly to Singapore for dinner, three days in Hawaii sounds like an actual vacation!
— Jetsetters Homestead (@jetsettershome) February 20, 2015
Thanks to miles and points I was able to secure the plane tickets which would have cost about $900 each for nothing more than the cost of the 9/11 security fee.
Additionally we will be staying in the $519 per night + tax Grand Hyatt Kauai for three nights. Are we paying $1800+? Nope. Our only cost is Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt. And don’t forget about the 20% rebate and the added value from my Hyatt Diamond status.
The final piece of our trip was a rental car. While the last minute prices weren’t too good, my Barclay’s Arrival Plus (my review) points will cover the $150 cost of that as well.
I love leaving flexibility when traveling. It has certainly caused me problems in the past, but there is no denying that it worked here. If I had planned out my trip, I would be driving to San Diego right now instead of flying to Kauai.
In the future I will have a more thorough breakdown of the trip including retail costs, points costs and the cost to acquire those points, but for now I am happy to report this last minute $4,000 trip is only costing me about $23 out of pocket.
Do you like to meticulously plan every detail of a trip months ahead of time or do you value the flexibility that miles & points give you? Let me know in the comments. Have a great weekend!