Award travel / Cruising / Delta / etc.

Our Recent Mediterranean Cruise in Miles, Points, and Cash

Mediterranean cruise

  Back in August I found this Mediterranean cruise itinerary for a great price.  We were looking forward to several months of intense daily babysitting and decided that we would need a relaxing break during our next travel opportunity.  We just took this cruise over Thanksgiving and this is how we put it together using airline miles, hotel points, and unfortunately, cash. The Cruise We decided to book a 7-day round-trip out of Venice on Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas.  There were two reasons we chose this cruise–great itinerary and great price.  Bruce had not been to Venice

Award travel / Hotel Rewards / Marriott / etc.

Pretravel Checklist–Part 2–Confirming Hotels

I’ve checked my flights to make sure that I still have reservations, seat assignments, and that no horrendous schedule changes have taken place.  Now it’s time to check on hotel reservations that I made several months ago. In August, I made reservations for one night both pre- and post-cruise in Venice using Booking.com.  I always make totally refundable reservations.  The pre-cruise hotel is right in the heart of the action in Venice, near the train station and near, but not on, the Grand Canal.  I wanted to be near the Piazzale Roma, where the bus drops you off from

American Airlines / Award travel / Delta / etc.

The Year So Far in Miles, Points, and Trips

Here’s how we’ve used our miles and points so far this year: ♦ January—Crete–120K United miles in Economy for two round trip Atlanta to Heraklion.  Killer 5 legs on the outbound. Thankful for Star Alliance lounge access!  Used 20K IHG points for Holiday Inn in Vienna on layover back to Atlanta. ♦ January–25K American Airlines miles round trip in Economy for one plus a lap infant Montreal to Atlanta.  Flew my grandson and his mom for a visit to see us. ♦ February–Road trip Atlanta to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to carry grandson, his mom, and their dog, who had been

Award travel / Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising / etc.

I’m in the Process of Dropping the Ball on my Chase Free Night

I have a free night certificate with IHG hotels that I need to use by the end of next month.  The free night is a perk of the IHG MasterCard issued by Chase.  Several years ago when I was applying for every travel rewards credit card under the sun, I got this one for myself and  my husband. The bonus points are long gone (actually we got 80K bonus points), but I pay an annual fee of $49 to keep the card because I get a free night at any IHG property, even the swanky InterContinentals.  So it really

American Airlines / Award travel / Cruising / etc.

Case Study–Cruising for $39/night! Finding it and getting there

As I am looking on the Vacations To Go website for cheap cruises, this is the kind of pricing that attracts my attention! (See my post http://www.plane2port.com/cheap-cruise-clinic-part-1/ on how to search for cruises for price per night). I am going to use this $39/night cruise to show you some of the steps in how to make this cruise happen!  I did the research for this cruise back in February, so the example shows a cruise from April of this year. The process still works, however! Here are the particulars on this $39/night cruise on the VTG website. Yes, this looks

Georgia / Hotel Rewards / Hotels / etc.

Kids Weekend in the Mountains–Playgrounds, Trains, and Rivers

We took one last getaway before the academic schedule starts again– A four-day weekend in the North Georgia/North Carolina Mountains, with an emphasis on kids’ activities. This is something we would do more often if we didn’t need to drive through Atlanta to do it.  But we steeled our nerves and just decided to deal with the traffic and go on the trip.  It’s still pretty warm at night, so instead of camping, which we like to do in the mountains, we spent all of our nights in hotels that I had booked for free on points. All of