Hawaii is our own special gateway to the exotic world of Polynesia. Because it’s part of the United States, we don’t have to pack our passports or worry about communicating with locals in a foreign language. It’s a tropical paradise right in our own backyard, and every island in the archipelago is special. That’s why so many frequent flyers want to use their miles to fly to the islands. We’re going to let you in on four of the best values to get to Hawaii on the cheap.
Egypt Is Surprisingly Inexpensive
With its ancient history and beautiful beaches, Egypt has low prices that seem unbelievable for a major tourist destination. Five-star hotels in Cairo start at under $100. All-inclusive seaside resorts are equally affordable. The Hilton Shark Bay Resort on the Red Sea is currently charging $93 for two people and $123 for four—food and drinks included.
A Luxury Weekend in Chicago for $5
Before I discovered the world of points and miles collecting, planning a weekend trip with a friend required some serious budgeting. I needed to start saving months in advance, and even then I was always shocked by the final cost. Back then, more often than not, my trips were short and local—and far from luxurious.
Japan: Land of the Rising Sun
When you think of Japan, budget travel is not what comes to mind. It may not be cheap to visit, but it is not extravagantly expensive either. And you only have to pay the taxes to fly to Japan if you are using miles. Here is how you do it.
Seeking the Northern Lights in Iceland
Many travelers to Iceland feel that no trip there is complete without marveling at the spectacular Aurora Borealis. You can see the Northern Lights in the city Reykjavik, but in order to increase your odds of witnessing the spectacle, you should rent a car or join a tour of lights seekers.
Bali: The Island of the Gods
Bali is a tropical island in Indonesia with beautiful landscapes. Mountains, beautiful beaches and world-class diving make it a paradise for many travelers.
The Best Routes and Miles to Get to Israel
There are many ways to get to the Holy Land using miles. Just about all of the major airlines fly there, with the exception of American Airlines. But you can still use your AAdvantage miles to fly to Israel on merger partner US Airways or one of American’s alliance partners.
Quebec City for Paris Ambience Close to Home
If you’ve always wanted to visit France but have little time or a limited budget, there is an alternative on this side of the Atlantic. Use your miles to fly to the capital of French Canada, where you’ll find a smaller, less crowded Paris.
Munich with a Side of Salzburg
If you’re going to Munich, Germany, you should consider a stop in Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg, Austria. The travel time between the two European cities by rail is only two hours so it is easy to see both in one trip. You could also rent a car if you want to try the legendary Autobahn, which, contrary to popular belief does have speed limits.
No Shortage of Options for the Long Flight to Australia
Traveling to the worlds smallest continent to dive the Great Barrier Reef is not beyond your reach. You don’t have to spend $1,500 for a plane ticket to Australia. There are plenty of airline programs that will get you to the land down under with miles.
Getting to Canada’s West Coast on Miles
Vancouver, British Columbia, is nestled between snow-capped mountains and the warm beaches of the North Pacific. This cosmopolitan city was named one of the Top 5 Cities in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler. Trip Advisor calls it the top destination in the country. Its also very accessible from the lower 48.
Award Flights to the Bahamas
The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is not a budget trip by any stretch of the imagination. The least expensive room will set you back at least $200 a night. These rooms are very basic. But you’re not going there to stay in your room. You are there to play in the water park or swim the private beaches and lagoons filled with tropical fish.
The Magic of Disney on Miles
Disney World is not one of those exotic destinations we usually write about, where you can reap huge savings on airfare by using frequent flyer miles to get there. The tickets to Orlando don’t cost an arm and a leg, and most airlines serve the destination so it’s not difficult to get to.
Russia and St. Petersburg Accessible from Three Alliances
Most travelers to Russia go to Moscow. Because of its proximity to the Russian capital, St. Petersburg is a great destination to add to your itinerary. Redeeming miles for a flight to Russia is not difficult. Airlines from all three alliances fly to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other parts of Russia.
Spain on an Award Ticket
Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in Europe. It’s modern yet ancient, Spanish yet Catalonian, with architecture so unique and breathtaking that you’ll be in awe.
Getting to the Pink Sands of Bermuda
Bermuda is a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard. Because it has a subtropical climate, many people think it is part of the Caribbean. But it actually lies north of those islands. This British territory is perfect for a short getaway from east coast departure points. It’s just a two-hour flight from New York. Late spring or early fall are the best times to enjoy this archipelago.
Steal Away to Jamaica
I don’t know anyone who didn’t want to steal away to a Caribbean island at some point during the past few months of bad winter weather. When you have a stash of miles and points, its easy to do just that. Here’s how my husband and I spent four days in Jamaica for just a few dollars.
Getting to Peru’s Fabled Machu Picchu
The beautifully restored ruins of Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan capital in the Peruvian Andes, were voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. An iconic destination for tourists from all over the planet, it is not an easy destination to reach.
Using Miles to Study Abroad
I’ve always regretted not taking a semester to study overseas when I was in college, so when my daughter said she wanted to take advantage of her study-abroad program in Paris, I was thrilled. The cost would be the same as a studying here, except for the airfare. As soon as her departure date was set, I wanted to lock in her award flights. But I wasn’t sure if she would be staying on after her program ended or even if she might be coming back from another city.
Book New Year’s in Hong Kong Now
I decided to take my own advice and book an award flight for the 2014 holidays. I just scheduled a week in Hong Kong culminating in the New Year’s Eve celebration.