A Long Trip Report

We got back from a 25-day vacation three weeks ago.  We’ve already lived in three places since, so sorry for the delay.  It was great, but it can get tiring living out of a suitcase.  It was quite the luxurious adventure, but it didn’t cost a fortune, because the flights were on points.

Part 1: Japan

We took American Airlines Business Class from Dallas to Tokyo.  It cost 140,000 AA miles and $50 in fees for two.  It was nice to use AA miles because we still have a bunch of them.  I didn’t have high expectations for an American airline, but it was really good, in fact, one of the best on the trip.

Tokyo can be an expensive place if you stay in hotels.  For our last two trips to Japan we used a Marriott 7-night package and SPG Nights & Flights for 5-nights.  However, earlier last year I heard of Roam and wanted to try it out.  With the referral it was $600 for 7-nights.  They describe it as co-living, but it is similar to a apartment with a share space to cook and hang out.  It was nice, but it wasn’t quite as community as it portrays itself to be.  Admittedly it is not an easy thing to do and we weren’t hanging out there all the time.

We walked around 10 miles a day in Tokyo even though we took the subway frequently.  One day we did a trip to Hiroshima.  That was 9,000 British Airways miles.  It is crazy to consider that an atomic bomb was dropped there.

Part 2: Hong Kong

To get to Hong Kong we used 40,000 British Airways miles to fly Cathay Pacific business class.  It was a good experience with great food, but the seat wasn’t special since it was a regional flight.  We stayed in the hotel where the room was the size of two beds.  Throughout the trip we booked on Hotels.com in order to get a free night after 10 nights.

Part 3: Singapore

Another 40,000 miles to get to Singapore on Cathay.  The hawker food there is so delicious and and very cheap.  Laksa, satay, and sugar cane juice are some of the items you can get for under $5.  I also went gambling at Marina Bay Sands!  Crazy you may say and I’d agree.  However I do because there is one fewer number in roulette, but I limit myself to $75 of losses.

Part 4: New Zealand

We used 116,000 Singapore Airlines miles and paid $94 in fees for business class.  I thought it was very comfortable with a pull down bed and had the best service.  We took 11 days driving around.  We stayed in the South Island because we didn’t want to overdue it with driving.  It was a bit expensive however because there aren’t many points options for hotels there, especially in the smaller cities.  We did rent an older car and didn’t need insurance since it was covered through our credit card. We also did a few excursions: jet boat, glow worm caves, and canyoning.  Canyoning was SO FUN, but it was $250.  Overall New Zealand is super pretty and I’d recommend it, however it didn’t always seem like a foreign destination.

Conclusion

We used 160,000 United miles to fly United Polaris Business Class.  We even got pajamas!  The vacation was quite the luxury and it was fun so much in one trip and go from winter to summer.  I know I didn’t write much about the destinations, so if you have questions please ask in the comments.  No matter what, start or continue building your points balances so you can look forward to discounted or free travel.

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