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Showing posts from September, 2015

HWGH: Florence

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Casperia to Florence was an easy-ish ride on the local train service and Italo Rail (though we would recommend booking the tickets on Italo in advance to save $$).  Florence was a must-see on our list this summer and we wanted to stay with locals rather than another luxurious hotel.  On Airbnb we found a cheap apartment that was centrally located for $62.00 a night ($138.00 total after service fees).  Once again, we wrote this off on our Barclay Arrival card for 13,800 points (12,420 after the 10 percent back).  



So for 8 nights in Italy, 4 in Airbnb (all written off), 2 in Hilton using points, and 2 in a local Bed and Breakfast using cash.   

Phew! That's a lot of math! But, it hopefully gives you a bit of insight into our process and…

HWGH: Casperia

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Casperia is a small village northwest of Rome, so from Sorrento we just took local transport back to Naples and bought another ticket on Italiarail from Naples to Rome.  The tickets were 24.00 again (48.00 total) and I wrote them of using the Capital One Venture card.  



Once in Rome, we just used some local trains and a bus to travel our way up Casperia.  We are staying two nights at La Torretta Bed and Breakfast.  This place was only 80 Euros per night (around 180.00 USD for 2 nights). We paid for our stay in cash, so no points used there!


Phew! That's a lot of math! But, it hopefully gives you a bit of insight into our process and how we figured out this leg of our trip!
--E&R

HWGH: Naples

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Getting from Athens to Naples was a little more difficult--We needed to fly to Rome and then connect via ItaliaRail to Naples.  

I found a flight directly through Ryanair.com to Rome Ciampino Airport for $49.74 per person ($99.48 total).  I used a different credit card to write off this travel expense--the Barclay Arrival Card offers 40,000 points upon meeting minimum spending requirements and offer 2 points/dollar on everyday purchases.  I used 9,948 points to write off this flight on Ryanair and with Arrivalcard, you receive 10 percent of your points back, so 994 points were deposited back into my account.  So I really only used 8,954 points.  



Once arriving in Rome, we booked tickets on ItaliaRail one way to Naples, for $24.00 dollars a…

HWGH: Sorrento

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Naples and Sorrento are only around 56 km apart, so we didn't need to plan any elaborate travel.  We just used the local ferry line to get to our hotel--tickets on Alilinea cost us 25 Euro total, which we had to pay in cash. It was easy to just walk up to the window and buy tickets for the boat we wanted, the morning of. 



While in Sorrento we wanted the luxury hotel experience again, so we booked the Hilton Sorrento Palace at 60,000 Hilton points a night (120,000 points for 2 nights).  Hilton points are easy to earn with multiple credit cards, through either Citibank or American Express.  


And, with automatic Gold Status from the Citi Hilton Reserve card, we get free breakfast and room upgrades at a gorgeous property!






Phew! That's a…

HWGH: Athens

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Getting to Athens is pretty simple from Crete--I booked a flight on Priceline again for $41.00 a person on Aegean Airlines ($82.00 total).



We used topcashback to earn $5.00 per ticket, reducing the costs to $72.00.

Next, I used 7,200 points to write off this expense on my Capital One Venture card.  

While in Athens, we wanted to stay in a more luxurious hotel. We booked 2 nights in the Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Athens. This hotel chain is a part of the Club Carlson hotel family, and you can earn their points using the Club Carlson credit card. The Club Carlson Visa Signature card can get you 85,000 points after meeting minimum spending requirements.



We used 38,000 points to book two nights here. This card previously offered buy one night, get…

How We Got Here: Crete

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!

Leaving Istanbul, we needed the quickest and easiest way to Crete.



I chose a flight from Priceline.com on Aegean Airlines.  We needed to connect through Athens, and then go on to Chania Airport in Crete.  Priceline offered the flight for $109.30 per per person ($218.60 total)

Again, checking topcashback.com, you can see that they will offer you $5.00 back per flight booked.  So we have knocked our total cost down to $208.60.  

As my last post stated, you can use the Capital One Venture card to write off travel purchases.  I used 20,860 points to write off this Priceline purchase, effectively making this trip free.  


While in Crete, we decided to stay out in the country at a secluded Airbnb property.  It was only $52.00 a night, and after ser…

How We Got Here: Istanbul

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We are hoping to do a series of posts for our destinations, sharing a bit more in depth about how we used points and miles to get here. Since Rick is the expert in all things points related, he'll be the one explaining how all of this works! Enjoy!


The Barclaycard company offers a Lufthansa credit card sign up bonus for 50,000 points after $5,000 dollars in spending within 3 months. I signed up for the card and after meeting the spending requirements, we booked 2 separate one-way flights from San Fransisco to Istanbul (no layovers).  



It was only 25,000 points per one-way flight, so the bonus was perfect to book both of our trips to Istanbul.  Each flight has $175.60 in taxes, so we really booked two of us to Istanbul for $351.20.  Keep in mind these flights would have cost a couple thousand dollars each if we had paid with cash only.  

Now obviously, we needed to get to San Francisco to catch our first flight; so we booked a quick Southwest flight from LAX for $46.10 and with the Co…

EuroAdventure15: London

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(posted by Emily) 
Thank you all for your understanding and your patience as we get caught up on our summer posts. There comes a point on every trip where we start to feel a bit burned out and tired--but we still want to share with you! So, even though we are a few weeks delayed, here is the rest of our trip!
17 to 28 July, 2015 London, England
After Switzerland, it was off to spend time on our floating home!

We took a British Airways flight from Zurich to London City airport.

When we arrived, we hopped on the tube and eventually the train to head out to Roydon, where the boat is moored. It felt like coming home--a familiar environment, and we had really missed it!
The next morning, we embarked on our journey. The plan was to take the boat to Little Venice, in the heart of London. Since we've never done anything like this before, we were allowing about 3 days for the journey. We had a few checkpoints in mind, but decided to just enjoy ourselves along the way. Rick did a lot of the drivin…