The Colony Tour. That’s what we were calling our trip, but it sounds like something Coldplay or the Queen would do. Just last week I was telling you how there were many things which I had spent big money on that I didn’t regret. Well, there was a tinge of regret on the after graduation trip, so now plans have changed! I’ll take you through my decision and why I decided to modify the trip.
On the tour we were to see the United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. See the colonies? We were to start and end in America, so maybe add that to the list. The plan was sparked by having a lot of British Airways points and a Travel Together ticket that was burning a hole in my pocket. The huge catch of this “benefit” that is earned with the British Airways card is that you have to pay the fees for the both tickets even though you only need to pay the points for one. Wanting to maximize it I did a route from the US to London first class, seven days later London to Singapore economy, then on the way back it was Hong Kong to London economy, and London to the US first class. Pretty snazzy right? I’ve never flown first class although I did business class once with points. On top of this we had business class flights and from New Zealand. Pretty swanky right?
I was excited for the trip, but I wasn’t too thrilled about going to London for a week. The only reason we were going was because in order to use the Travel Together ticket you have to fly on British Airways and all routes pass through London. And then there were the taxes and fee. Not only did I drain 227,250 miles, I had to pay $3,504.88. I put the price tag out of my mind for the summer, but then after I was thinking about it and this is a TON of money to go anywhere, especially to a place I’m not thrilled to visit.
I booked the trip with points knowing I could cancel things for a fee if needed. I still wanted to go to the other places, but I thought of what I could do instead. My wife loves going to Japan and we were able to in 2015 and 2016 and so I asked her what she thought of switching London for Tokyo. The answer was yes. After confirming I could get to Tokyo with miles I cancelled the British Airways flight and got my points and money back. I had to pay $160 in cancellation fees, but I’m still over $3,000 better off. I will likely cancel the leg from New Zealand to Hong Kong as well and have to pay $175 to get my American Airlines miles back.
Now the plan is Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and finish in New Zealand. We even have more time because we don’t have to fly around the world and back again, we can simply across the Pacific Ocean. It will be cold in Tokyo, but it would have been cold in London as well. However, it will be summer in New Zealand and fun to see it. We don’t have any first class legs, but we are still going to keep it classy with some business class ones.
I definitely feel like I made the right choice. It would have been cool to fly first class, but I feel much better off with $3,000. We have nearly a million points, mostly in airlines, so we should try to spend those over cash. It looks like our Japan streak is going to continue for 2017 and 2018 as we are going to be there over New Years. It looks like I’ll need to pay over $300 on cancellation fees, but just like an investment, you sometimes have to make a tough choice and cut your losses.