So, our year of crazy travel continues! It seems like we are just getting back from the vacation of a lifetime in the Maldives and now we’re getting ready to head off to Costa Rica! I would be lying if I said that all this planning is a breeze! There is so much that goes into planning any trip, but when using credit cards, miles, and points, there is a whole new level of complexity added. But, I love it!
So, in preparation for our trip, I thought I would lay out our plan and then report how everything ended up when we get back. Our general outline is as follows:
You may recall that Ainsley and I added our round trip flights to Costa Rica to our return from Honolulu back in December. So we spent 27,500 United miles per person for our round trip first class flights from Boston to Liberia and then San Jose to Boston. Normally it is 35,000 miles round trip in coach or 60,000 in first class so we really got a great deal here. This is a complicated topic that I won’t delve into here. Please feel free to contact me for a consultation or award ticket booking if you’d like to do something similar. The total taxes for our flights were $47.88 per passenger or $95.76 in total.
In order to maximize our miles, we booked Ken and Lachlan in coach (35,000 miles per person, 70,000 total). They will fly in our seats on the way down and we’ll fly in first on the way back in order to be fair. Their taxes were $50.38 per passenger or $100.76 in total.
Airfare Total: $196.52
- Two nights at the Andaz in Papagayo – These two nights are free from using the two free nights received by signing up for the Chase Hyatt Credit card
- Three nights at The Springs Resort totaling $977.45. Approximately $954.60 will be offset by the sign up bonus my husband and I each received from the Barclay’s Arrival credit card. That leaves $22.85 out of pocket for this hotel.
- Two nights at Tulemar Bungalows totaling $514.80 entirely offset by Capital One Rewards received from signing up for the Capital One Venture card (bonus no longer available).
- One night at Holiday Inn Express San Jose airport – This one night is free by utilizing some of the IHG points received by signing up for the Chase IHG card.
Hotel Total: $22.85
We are doing a variety of excursions while in Costa Rica, including hikes through rain forests, an animal rehabilitation visit, waterfall rappelling, and a vacation buggy ride to various waterfalls. Our total excursion cost is $674 for the four of us for everything. This is much more than we usually spend on activities while traveling, but Costa Rica is one of those places you want to do everything that you can!
Excursion Total: $674
This expense is unavoidable and expensive. We could offset it with our Barclay’s card, but we’re using the bonuses from those cards at The Springs Resort.
Rental Car Total: $269.78
I obviously don’t know our gas, food, and miscellaneous expenses yet, but our total out of pocket costs to date are: $1163.15
That means we have a rough budget of $336.85 for these remaining expenses (based upon my desire to keep our trip expenses to $1500 out of pocket). It’s going to be very tough to stick to that, but we’ll do our best. Of course, I’ll report back afterwards to see how we did!