MILES MOMMA UNITED KINGDOM ADVENTURES – APRIL 2013

Finally the planning has almost come to an end and the adventure is about to begin for our family!  I’ve been working on a month long trip to the United Kingdom for about a year now.  I’m very please that I’ve paid for our entire trip on miles and points and accompolished the goal I set.  A month in Europe for a family of four is not cheap but with miles and points it’s absolutely affordable.  I’ve managed to get us free flights, free hotels, transportation and even cash for spending money.

We fly from California to London to begin our adventure.  I’m super excited about our trip and so our my little ones.  My youngest is three and will turn four a few days before we leave.  My oldest son is eight and will have his ninth birthday in Ireland.  A birthday to remember forever!  He is pumped!  So am I!  It is so cute listening to my youngest try to say “Ireland”.  It comes out super sweet!

We will be visiting England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  We are flying American Airlines, Los Angeles to London non-stop (Economy).  Yes, you read it right, Economy!  I surely have the miles to fly us First Class but I’m much to frugal for that.  It costs 125,000 x 4 = 500,000 miles for Milesaver First Class Roundtrip on American or 100,000 x 4 = 400,000 miles for Milesaver Business Class Roundtrip.  Milesaver Economy is only 60,000 x 4 = 240,000 miles (peak season) Roundtrip or 40,000 x 4 = 160,000 miles (off season) Roundtrip.  I think I’ll opt for another few vacations.  I booked our tickets for Milesaver Economy off season which is a steal of a deal.  I could get 13 domestic tickets instead of flying First Class (500,000 – 160,000/ 25,000).  Now if you are single or just a couple, of course grab those big cushion seats and kick up your feet up.  Nothing wrong with that!  I’ll be doing that someday but not for this Momma right now.  I have too many adventures I want to go on with my family.  To me First Class is just a waste of my miles.  I don’t care about status or elite whatever!  I just want to see the world with my little ones before they are off to fly their own wings!

So I’m writing this post for a couple reasons.  First, I would like to share with you how I am actually paying for this adventure with miles and points.  Second, I’d like to get your input and suggestions if you have traveled to the locations we will be visiting.  I love getting reader suggestions and tips before I go on a trip.  I really appreciated all the tips last year for my Czech Republic trip and our East Coast Adventure.  We went to many places that were suggested by you all and had a fabulous time! Many thanks!

So here how I’m paying for it and how it all breaks down in my mile and point budget!

FLIGHTS

FLIGHT AIRLINE MILES PER PERSON PASSENGERS TOTAL MILES REQ. TOTAL TAXES
LAX – LHR American Airlines 20,000 4 80,000 $208.00
DUB – LAX United Airlines 30,000 4 120,000 $20.00
      TOTAL MILES & MONEY 200,000 $228.00

 

 

 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

COUNTRY CITY/TOWN NIGHTS HOTEL PROGRAM HOTEL NOTES
ENGLAND London 2 HILTON HONORS Hilton London Dockside BOOKED – 1 double, 1 single,
1 sofabed (Family room)
ENGLAND Stratford Upon Avon 3 PRIORITY CLUB Holiday Inn Stratford Upon Avon BOOKED – 2 double beds
WALES Conwy 3 ULTIMATE REWARD POINTS Glan Heulog Guest House BOOKED – Family Room – 1 double,
1 single, 1 child bed
SCOTLAND Edinburgh 4 HILTON HONORS Hilton Dunblane Doubletree  BOOKED – King w/extra bed
SCOTLAND Ayshire 5 STARWOOD Turnberry Resort BOOKED – King w/extra kid bed
IRELAND Galway 3 CLUB CARLSON Radisson Blue Hotel & Spa Galway BOOKED – Family room, extra 20,000
points @ checkout
IRELAND Cork 3 CLUB CARLSON Radisson Blue Hotel & Spa Cork BOOKED – King Bed & Single Bed
IRELAND Dublin 1 CLUB CARLSON Radisson Blue St. Helen’s Hotel BOOKED – 1 King with sofa bed

You can see that we are staying in a variety of different properties from the high end Turnberry Resort in Scotland to the Holiday Inn in Stratford-Upon-Avon, to a nice little B&B in Conwy, North Wales.  So we are going to get to experience it all!  A little luxury, a nice B&B and just a good old-fashion Holiday Inn crash pad!  The kids love those!  I picked these particular properties for location, point redemption value and properties with rooms suited to accommodate families without charging high outrageous points or requiring you to book two adjoining rooms.  I also picked these properties for the central location as a base for day trips to the desired sites we want to see.

Below you will find the point redemptions for these rooms and properties.

NIGHTS LOCATION HOTEL MILES/PER NIGHT NIGHTS REQ. MILES NOTES  
2 London Hilton                 37,374 2                 74,748 Family room – 1 double, 1 single &
1 sofabed
3 Stratford Upon Avon Priority Club                 25,000 3                 75,000 2 double beds  
3 Conwy, Wales B&B/Ultimate Rewards  $             428.00 3                 42,000 Use Chase Sapphire points or
Thank You points
4 Dunblane, Scotland Hilton                 29,750 4               119,000 King room w/extra bed 
5 Ayshire, Scotland Starwood                 12,000 5                 54,000 5th night free option – King bed &
extra child bed
3 Galway, Ireland Club Carlson                 29,750 3                 89,250 (One free bonus night) Family room – extra 20,000 points payable at checkout
3 Cork, Ireland Club Carlson                 38,000 3                 76,000 One free bonus night from having
Club Carlson Visa
1 Dublin, Ireland Club Carlson                 38,000 1                 38,000 Family room  
24 TOTAL                

So you can see there is quite a bit of miles and points being spent here right!  But I didn’t earn this over night, I earn these miles/points consistently each year.  It’s like a savings account that is always there when you need it.  I just wrote about my first quarter app party where I secured a 100,000 more American Airlines miles.  I didn’t wipe my AA account out for this trip.  It’s at 133,000 roughly but I want to always add to it when the right bonus opportunities present themselves.  I also have 30,000 American Airlines miles that should be coming in soon from a Citi checking account bonus offer and that will nicely rebuild the miles I’ve spent and some.  So as you burn, you just continue to earn!  Burn and earn!  Don’t sit on those miles and points, otherwise what in the world is the point!

Okay!  So now if any of you have been to these properties or have some great tips you’d like to share for certain regions/countries we will be visiting, I’m all ears and would greatly appreciate any tips you might offer.  Maybe you discovered a little jem of a town or a great restaurant you’ll never forget, a special tour you went on that was amazing; and suggestions would be wonderful!

I will be of course blogging about our adventures.  If all my devices work properly I’ll be tweeting and uploading pictures to my various social media sites.  Follow me on Twitter or Facebook today if you aren’t already!  I’m also on Instagram and Pinterest if you like these social media outlets.  They are fun for travel pics!

So stay tuned in April for updates from my adventure!  Thanks again for reading!  If I can ever help you with your travel goals, don’t hesitate to email me.  It would be my pleasure!

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