As I have mentioned, my immediate family is in the midst of planning for next year’s winter getaway. Given the generous American Airlines stopover rule, we are flying to Kauai for free as part of our return ticket from Scotland (I wrote about this here). Our trip is pretty low key given that we will be travelling with a 3.5 and a 1.5 year old. We will be spending 7 nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai where we stayed in early 2008. We fell in love with the island and hotel and can’t wait to go back!
So, given the little time required to finalilze our travel plans, I’ve hopped on board helping my sister and her family with their Hawaii trip. We’ve encountered several obstacles in getting them what they want, but in the end, I think they now have a fantastic trip planned. They will be flying from Boston to LA, spending a full day in LA seeing the sites and then will be continuing on to Maui. They will spend 4 nights in Maui and will then fly to Honolulu and spend 5 nights at the new Disney resort on Oahu (they are Disney fanatics!).
I asked my sister to provide me the cost of the (almost) free items on their trip to share them here. In short, they will be spending 1 night in LA, 4 nights on Maui, and 5 nights on Oahu for $1675 in total. This trip would have cost them $15,093 if they had paid for it and not utilized hotel points or airline miles. Of course, these totals do not include things like rental car, food, or excursions because this is something that they would have paid for whether they used points/miles or not. And, of course, they would not have taken this trip if they had to pay out of pocket as this simply would not have been feasible! When all is said and done, I imagine they will have spent approximately $2500 out of pocket for everything.
I also would like to note here that they have chosen to stay at the swanky Fairmont Maui for approximately $400 per night. This hotel is located in the nicest part of Maui and their room will be roughly 800 square feet. This will allow them to spread out and enjoy the best Maui has to offer. They would not have chosen this hotel if the vast majority of their other expenses were not covered.
|Flights:||Miles Used + Taxes||Cost of Ticket/Hotel without Miles/Points|
|4 Tickets BOS-LAX-OGG (AA Miles from Scotland Ticket)||0 +$40||$1468/Ticket or $5872 total|
|4 Tickets OGG-HNL (2 tickets using miles from credit card, 2 tickets free using points from other credit card||– 2 Tickets: 15,000 Hawaiian Airlines Miles + $10
– 2 Tickets free using Citi Premier Thank You Points
|$81/Ticket or $384 total|
|4 Tickets HNL – PWM (UA Miles)||20,000 Miles/Ticket + $5
80,000 Miles + $20 total
|$1328/Ticket or $5312 total|
|1 Night Westin LAX||3,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Points +$0||$125/night|
|4 Nights Fairmont Maui||~$400/night, $1600 total||~$400/night, $1600 total|
|5 Nights Disney Aulani||Disney Vacation Club Points Used||$450/night or $1800 total|
|Out of Pocket Total:||$1675||$15,093|
I hope stories like this give you the motivation to utilize your great credit score to acquire hotel points and airline miles to help your family take once in a lifetime vacations! Please let me know if there is any way I can help!
Enjoy these pictures from our trip to Kauai in 2008!