How Much Did it Cost to Book Our Homemade Around The World Tickets?

There’s been a few dissenting voices over the life of this blog. Folks who think the stuff I’m teaching is a scam. Folks who think that I’m just trying to set up a trap for you so I can make a profit.

Ask my friends. This is stuff I love to talk about. It seriously gets me excited.

Why?

Because I’m able to travel much more than my salary should ever allow.

Today, I’ll prove it to you. I’m going to show you how I’m using my miles in 2012!

Phuket, Thailand to Toronto, Ontario

  • 2 economy class tickets flying on Asiana Airlines.
  • Redeemed 32,500 United MileagePlus miles per ticket. Total 65,000 miles.
  • Spent $104.20 in taxes and fees (includes the phone booking charge). I’ve since learned that I could have saved $50 if I transferred my points to Continental and used their online award booking search that includes partner airlines.

Toronto to Budapest, Hungary

  • 2 tickets. Traveling over in business class and return in economy. Flying British Airways (BA).
  • Redeemed 70,000 American Airlines miles per ticket (50,000 biz going and 20,000 economy offpeak returning). Total 140,000 miles.
  • Spent $250. *We would have been hit with $500ish per person in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharge if we originally booked with BA. However, when American stopped flying to Budapest, we were transferred to BA flights.

New York to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

  • 5 tickets in economy class flying on LAN.
  • Redeemed 20,000 British Airways miles each for a total 100,000 British Airways miles.
  • Paid $220 in taxes, fees, and phone booking charges.

We later found out that Argentina has expensive tourist visa ($140 for US citizens and $75 for Canadians). That was certainly an unexpected expense!

San Carlos to Bariloche to Honolulu (was Cheyenne)

  • 5 tickets in economy class flying on LAN and American.
  • Redeemed 20,000 American Airlines miles each for a total of 100,000 miles.
  • Paid $350 in taxes, fees, and phone booking charges.

We had originally planned to travel to Cheyenne, Wyoming, but changed the flights to Hawaii when American stopped servicing Cheyenne.

Denver to Dallas Fort Worth

  • 5 tickets in economy class flying on American.
  • Redeemed 4,500 British Airways miles each for a total of 22,500 miles.
  • Paid $12.50 in taxes and fees.

We had to get back to Dallas to pick back up with our flights to Hawaii.

Honolulu to Quito, Equador

  • 5 tickets in economy class flying on American.
  • Redeemed 15,000 American Airlines miles each for a total of 75,000 miles.
  • Paid $25 in taxes and fees.

Quito to Toronto

  • 5 tickets in economy class flying on Copa.
  • Redeemed 20,000 Continental One Pass miles for a total of 100,000 miles.
  • Paid $212 in taxes and fees.

Toronto to Chicago

  • 1 ticket in economy class flying on American.
  • Redeemed 9,000 British Airways miles.
  • Paid $57 in taxes and fees.

Oh, and we haven’t booked anything with them yet, but I did get my Southwest Companion Pass! That means until December 31st, 2013, anytime I fly on Southwest someone can fly free with me.

Now, the million dollar question is how did I get all those miles?

Am I a road warrior who earns millions of frequent flyer miles by flying each year? Nope. I’m a guy who does the exact stuff I talk about on this blog.

Between my wife and I, we earned enough points for all this travel by applying for 12 credit cards. If you’re worried about my credit score, you can see the latest changes here. Of course, we did apply for more cards, but those were to earn points for free hotels. And yes, we still have a lot more miles left over, and after taking a long break, we may want to travel again some day!

Comments

  1. says

    Craig – I can clearly see that you continue to struggle with your blog life and God’s Will. As you wrote, traveling brings you great excitement. I’m guessing that traveling also keeps your family close. Bonuses and credit card rewards are simply tools for you to reach one of your goals and live a more fruitful life for you and your family.

    I don’t think I ever read an article where you tried to scam anyone, told someone to get a specific card, or instructed anyone to “live like me”. You’re illustrating (teaching) one of many ways life can be more rewarding if you have your personal finances in order.

    While I don’t know you nor ever met you, you appear to be honest, helpful, and faithful.

    Keep teaching the way you are.

  2. says

    Excellent, Craig! I can vouch for your advice working as well. As of right now, my wife and I have our tickets from Philadelphia to Honolulu and back, 9 nights of hotels (Marriott and a bed & breakfast), a 9 day rental car, and our flights from Honolulu to Kona and back for a total cost of $75! All of this would normally cost about $3,500. On top of that, we still have leftover miles. We used part of them to book a night at a very nice hotel in Baltimore that would normally cost $229, and we still have over 50,000 miles left. Thanks for all your advice and help!

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