The number one reason I love the points and miles game is because it allows you to plan trips basically on a whim. Got points? Let’s travel! Because of that, Nick and I are headed back to Europe in March!
We had wanted to take a trip to Florida or the Caribbean in March for Nick’s spring break, but the last thing many of those places need is tourists sucking up valuable resources (if you can, donate to an organization supporting disaster relief), so we decided we’d head back to Europe for our week-long trip.
Here’s what we’re planning to do!
Clearly we can’t stay away from London! To us, there is just something so magnetic about this city, we can’t stay away. Every time we go, we discover new things and make new memories. Oh, and we walk. We walk and walk and walk until we can’t stay awake any longer! Last time we were there, we walked the equivalent of 3 marathons!
When we head back in March, we have a few things we want to do, including an AMAZING looking exhibit at the V&A about ocean liners. If you know anything about me, this is RIGHT up my alley.
To get to London, we’ll be flying Norwegian Airlines, a long-time player in the European low-cost segment, but a relative newcomer to the US. We could have used miles to book this portion of our trip, but our tickets were only $179 per person! That’s crazy! It could have been even cheaper, but we both wanted to check a bag, which added $40 to each of our tickets, so the total came to $219 per person.
While we’re there, we’ll be staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Kensington, which will set us back 44,000 Hilton points a night, or 132,000 points total and no cash. This is a really centrally located hotel–only 10 minutes from the V&A! Thanks to the really high sign-up bonus on the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, we were able to cover the cost of our London hotel, and have points left over for our Amsterdam hotel!
After a few days in London, we’ll hop on a British Airways flight to Amsterdam. Again, we could have used 4,500 Avios to fly from London-Gatwick to Amsterdam, but the price was only $48 per person! Using points would have been a not-so-great use of British Airways Avios, so we decided to pay cash.
Neither of us has been to Amsterdam before, so we’re really looking forward to putting our walking shoes on and really getting a great feel for the city! We’re also looking forward to biking around the city–apparently it’s the best way to see Amsterdam!
We have a few ideas lined up: the Rijksmuseum, the Maritime History Museum, and the Kattenkabinet (obviously!). Any suggestions are very much welcomed!
While in Amsterdam, we’ll be staying at the Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Centre East, it’s not in an amazing location (sort of far from the central part of the city–4km from the Rijksmuseum). It’s going to set us back 54,500 Hilton points a night, or 218,000 points total and no cash.
To get home, we’ll be flying Delta Air Lines from Amsterdam to New York via London — Amsterdam to London in KLM European Business Class and London to New York in Delta’s Delta One business class. This part of the trip will set us back 70,000 Delta SkyMiles and $314 in taxes per person. We were able to make this portion of the trip happen by both applying for the American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles.
|Item||Points/Cash Used||Money Saved (total)|
|2x Norwegian tickets – Economy with checked bag||$219.90 per person||$0|
|DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Kensington||132,000 Hilton points and $0 in taxes||$719.45|
|2x British Airways tickets – Economy||$47.60 per person||$0|
|Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Centre East||218,000 Hilton points and $0 in taxes||$996.29|
|2x Delta Air Lines tickets – Delta One Business Class||70,000 points and $314.62 in taxes||$9,991.18|
|TOTAL||245,000 points and $582.12 per person||$5,867.81 saved per person|
We’re spending $1,164.24 on a trip that would normally cost $12,899.86–that’s a savings of 90%! Additionally, flights back to NYC are about the price as the taxes on our flight, BUT those flights are on budget carrier like WOW and Norwegian—for the same price, I’d rather spend 8-10 hours in Business class!
And in terms of points earned? We used the following cards to pay for the items below:
|Item||Card Used||Points Earned|
|2x Norwegian tickets||2,200 American Express Membership Rewards Points|
|DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Kensington||n/a||n/a|
|2x British Airways tickets – Economy||The Platinum Card from American Express||480 American Express Membership Rewards Points|
|Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Centre East||n/a||n/a|
|2x Delta Air Lines tickets – Delta One Business Class||American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles||1,260 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles|
We’re excited to head off to London and Amsterdam in a few months–let us know if you have any “must sees” in Amsterdam!
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