We have begun full-fledged preparations for our trip to Europe this summer so I thought I would lay out our expenses and logistic details so that we again can see how much this newest adventure will cost us in terms of miles, points, and cash. This first post will discuss the details of the logistics – flights, hotels, and transportation within Europe. I will then share more details about our plans in each country – Germany, Austria and Italy.
As usual, this type of trip would normally be out of reach for us if we had to pay for all of the flights and hotels. The flights alone would be more than $1000 each. For a family of 4, that is more than we would be willing to pay. But because of credit card bonus signups and spending, we had enough points to cover most of our flights and hotels.
BOSTON-DUBLIN = 12,500 British Airways miles plus $30 in taxes per ticket on Aer Lingus
DUBLIN-MUNICH = we paid for these flights on Aer Lingus. The cost was about $100 per ticket.
VENICE-LONDON = 7,500 British Airways miles plus $27.50 per ticket on British Airways.
LONDON-DUBLIN = we paid for these flights on Aer Lingus. The cost was about $90 per ticket.
DUBLIN-BOSTON = 12,500 British Airways miles plus $90 in taxes per ticket on Aer Lingoes
TOTAL PRICE FOR FLIGHTS FOR FOUR: $1350 (vs. $4000)
Munich = We are staying at the Residence Inn in Munich. We chose this hotel because it is in the Marriott family, provides larger than standard European rooms with enough room for 4, is in a good location and provides a free breakfast. We will be here for 3 nights and will use 75,000 Marriott points (25,000 per night) to stay here entirely free (to get these Marriott points, I signed up for the Chase Marriott Visa and got 72,000 points after spending $2000 in 3 months. I transferred the remaining 3,000 from my Chase Ultimate Rewards stash.). If we had to pay for this hotel, it would be about 867 Euros (currently $1192 dollars!).
Berchtesgaden (outside of Salzburg) = We are staying at the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden. We chose this hotel because we had read such great reviews and we really do enjoy the Intercontinental Hotels we’ve stayed at in the past. The location is supposedly beautiful so we’re very much looking forward to this part of our stay. We have reserved this hotel using our two free nights that both my husband and I receive each year for paying the $49 annual fee on our Chase IHG card. If we had to pay for this stay, it would be about 514 Euros ($700 dollars).
Innsbruck = We are staying at the Hilton for 1 night. We chose this location mainly because we had a plethora of Hilton points and the reviews indicated families of 4 are allowed to stay in one room. This room is 30,000 Hilton points for 1 night. This would have been about 130 Euros ($178 dollars) if we had to pay for this stay.
Venice = We are staying at the Hilton Molino Stucky for 3 nights. We chose this hotel mainly because we had lots of Hilton points, but also because it is supposed to be one of the nicest hotels in Venice and has received excellent reviews. I have Hilton Gold status from my Hilton Citibank Reserve card so hopefully this status will give us a few “perks” during our stay! This stay would have been 860 Euros ($1181 dollars) if we had to pay for this hotel.
London = We are staying at the Plaza on the River in London for 2 nights. We chose this hotel because it was centrally located in London and is one of the nicer London hotels in the Club Carlson hotel family. There are other London hotels that are nicer, but the rooms are much smaller and we needed a room to accommodate our family of four. It also has received excellent reviews. I got our two nights at this hotel by using the “second night free” benefit from the Club Carlson credit card. So for the two nights we used 50,000 points (now 70,000 points) of the 85,000 points I received for signing up for the credit card and spending $2500 within the first 90 days. This card has a $75 annual fee. This hotel would have cost 508 British Pounds or $851.
TOTAL PRICE FOR HOTELS: $173 in Annual Fees (vs. $4102 in what the hotels would have cost)
There will be additional travel within Europe that we’ll be paying for. We’ll be taking trains from:
– Subway in Munich (about 50 Euros or about $68)
– Train to Neuschwanstein (about 25 Euros or about $34)
-Rental car from Munich to Berchtesgaden to Innsbruck (228 Euros or about $309)
– Train from Innsbruck to Venice (78 Euros for the 4 of us or about $106)
-Rental car in London (112 Euros or about $152)
We’ll also be getting around Munich on the subway and using boat transportation in Venice.
TOTAL PRICE FOR MISC. TRAVEL THUS FAR: $669
That about covers the logistics piece of this trip. We’re hoping that this 12 day trip totals less than $2500. I think we’ll be pretty close!
Next up, trip plans for each country, starting with Germany!