Despite regularly booking dream trips for clients, I am constantly awed by how little vacations can cost when you leverage miles and points acquired exclusively through signing up for credit cards. As a result, I have asked a few of my clients to share with me their experiences of trips I have booked for them to help my audience see how inexpensive it really can be. Below is a client’s trip report from St. Martin.
After a loooonnnggg winter, I desperately longed for a few days on a Caribbean beach. I confirmed with my friend, Kim, that she was available for a Saturday to Tuesday girls weekend and then asked Jen what options we might have in a quick weekend trip to the Caribbean. She gave me some great options and once I told her what we preferred, the trip was booked!
I flew on JetBlue with points from Portland to JFK and then on American using British Airways Avios from JFK to SXM (Kim flew Tampa to Miami to St. Martin).
Although we just hung around the hotel on Saturday and Tuesday, we had some grand adventures on Sunday and Monday!
We went to Pinel Island for the day. It is a small island right off the coast of the French side of the island. We had a great day relaxing there.
Sunday’s Cost Breakdown (per person)
-$5 taxi from hotel to Pinel Island ferry
-$10 ferry to Pinel Island
-$10 Guavaberry Colada (YUM!)
I have wanted to see Anguilla for a long time, so we decided to spend the day on the beach there. We had to take a taxi from the Radisson to Marigot to catch the ferry and then we found our way to Rendezvous Beach. It was heaven and had everything I desire from a beach – seclusion, shade, and great for swimming.
Monday’s Cost Breakdown (per person)
Taxi = $15
Ferry Marigot to Anguilla = $15 + $5 (tax)
Beach chair = $5
Taxi Anguilla Great House to Blowing Point = $7
Ferry Anguilla to Marigot = $15 + $8 (tax)
Taxi Marigot to Radisson = $15
Total = $85 each
The trip was worth every second. Three free nights at the Radisson were wonderful. It is a beautiful resort with an incredibly friendly and accommodating staff. Unfortunately, it has recently been sold and will no longer be a Radisson (and available to book with Club Carlson points) as of June 1, 2014. Although the Radisson will no longer be available with points, there are other hotels around St. Martin that can be booked with points, so a trip like this is still achievable!
Here are the totals for this trip (per person):
-$10 (JetBlue taxes for frequent flyer trip between PWM and JFK)
-$71 (taxes for AA with British Airways miles between JFK and SXM)
-$78 water taxi splurge from airport to Radian
-$42.50 for day trip to Pinel Island
-$20 for one dinner (we brought lots of food with us to save on food costs!)
-$85 for day trip to Anguilla
-$25 for taxi from Radisson to airport
GRAND TOTAL: $331.50
I also used 20,000 British Airways per round trip ticket, 17,000 JetBlue points and 100,000 Club Carlson points for 3 nights at the Radisson Blu St. Martin.
Although I am not sure I will be back to St. Martin for an overnight stay any time soon, I hope to find my way back to Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla. It is the most beautiful location in the Caribbean that I have had the pleasure of visiting…