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.
To Dublin and Back for 25,000 Miles
A roundtrip award ticket to Europe from the United States usually costs an average of 50,000 miles in coach or 100,000 in business class. There are some exceptions, like a 40,000-mile American AAdvantage off-season award ticket to Europe. There is also a way to fly to Ireland for only 25,000 miles. You just have to use a distance-based program rather than a regional one.
Easter Island is Far Away, But Worth Going the Distance
Easter Island is part of Chile, but its located way off the coast in the southeastern Pacific Ocean at the southernmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. There is nothing close to it for hundreds of miles. When I saw Australia in the corner of the plane monitor, I realized just how far I had flown.
Miles Can Get You to Popular Hotspot: Costa Rica
Costa Rica has rainforests, miles of unspoiled beaches, volcanoes, and all kinds of lodgings from budget to ultra-luxury. Add friendly English-speaking locals, and you’ve got a clear winner. But the secret is out, and it has become a popular travel destination.
Thailand to New York via Hong Kong
After my stay on Koh Samui, I took Cathay Pacific to get home to New York. The airlines six-seat first class cabin comes complete with gourmet food, top-shelf drinks, and over-the-top service. The carrier gives the word pampering a new meaning. Its first class service always ranks high on surveys that rank those kind of things.
Points Earn a Stay at Hiltons Top-Ranked Koh Samui Resort
I flew Bangkok Airways to my second stop in Thailand: Koh Samui. It’s the country’s second-biggest island and a major tourist destination. It’s served by Samui International Airport (USM), a facility dominated by Bangkok Airways.
Affordable Bangkok: Worth the Cost of Getting There
After Siem Reap on the first leg of my Southeast Asia trip, my next hop was to Bangkok. Just like the next two stopovers (Koh Samui and Phuket) it was a flight on Bangkok Air, which has the best economy class of all airlines I’ve ever flown.
Cambodia Without Breaking the Bank
Most people go to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see the temples of Angkor Wat–the largest religious monument in the world. The Buddhist temple complex draws half the visitors that come to the country.
Last-Minute Awards to the Caribbean
With temperatures hitting record lows, you might be wishing you had a Caribbean island getaway planned. You may be lamenting that you missed out, but you haven’t yet. There are still plenty of seats on flights to Caribbean islands that you can snag with your miles.
How I Booked a Free First Class Award Flight to Cancun
I just got a free one-way ticket to Cancun in first class. I paid zero for it in cash or miles. I just used an airline stopover rule in an unorthodox way. It’s perfectly legit.
Dominican Republic: A Resort Stay on a Budget
I love to travel on miles and points. I’ve been fortunate enough to find great values and visit places I wouldn’t be able to afford were it not for frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs.
Ski Trip to Lake Tahoe at 20% Off
My husband is an academic, which means he’s invited to conferences in truly awesome places all the time.
Skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Spain coupled with a tour of Alhambra in Grenada, the tapas capital, anyone? A week in Tenerife in the Canary Islands? Or perhaps culture capitals like Barcelona, Budapest, and Beijing?
French Polynesia for Free
It is not all that easy to get to Papeete, Tahiti. Very few airlines fly to the capital of French Polynesia, so using miles to make this trip can be quite tricky. But not impossible. When I first decided that I wanted to visit the Society Islands, I did some research on which airlines could get me there.
Fall Travel: It’s Not Just for Leaf Peepers
Though it’s not available anymore, many travelers fondly remember JetBlues “All You Can Jet” Pass. For $599, you could take unlimited flights on JetBlue between September 8 and October 8. It was so popular that in 2012 they created the “GoPack,” a set of 10 one-way flights for travel between September 13 and December 19.
Black Sea Coastal City: Regional Airline Partners Can Get You There
Domestic carriers don’t always have the most luxurious birds in the sky. If you want an exceptional first class experience, fly Singapore Airlines or Emirates. Enviable in-flight cuisine, even in coach? Try Air France, British Airways, or Turkish Airlines.
The Maldives: It’s Worth the Time it Takes to Get There
Collecting frequent flyer miles is all about one thing: aspiring to travel. That may mean saving up enough miles to visit your family in the Midwest, heading to Paris for Bastille Day, or going even farther afield to an exotic destination like the South Pacific or one of the islands in the Indian Ocean like the Seychelles or Maldives.
Hawaii is Always a Good Idea, Especially Using Miles
One of the first “fancy” vacations my husband and I ever took fancy meaning a bit higher end than a getaway to Walt Disney World or a rustic cabin in Maine was to Hawaii for our 12th anniversary in 2006.
Sign-up Bonus Funds Bahamas Getaway
Going away for my anniversary is always tricky. It usually falls on or near the Columbus Day holiday weekend, the last chance for many to soak up good weather before winter sets in.
South American Capitals: Sandy Beaches, Juicy Steaks and Fine Wine
I recently took a weeklong trip to South America where I visited Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. The first part of the trip was paid for with cash, but earned a good amount of miles toward the next free trip. The return was in first class on American Airlines using miles and surpassed any expectations I had of what that experience would be like.