Along the way, I flew on some of the world’s best airlines and shared my thoughts on the ground and in the air. The cash cost for the airfare alone would have been well more than $17,000. Using miles and points, however, I knocked the cost down to around $500. Learn how to travel like I do with PointsAway: The Definitive Guide To Free Flights & Nights.
If you check in on the site daily, you’ve probably noticed it’s been awfully quiet here this week. That’s because I’ve been busy planning something big.
As you know, the PointsAway Book is now available on iBooks, PDF and Kindle. In fact, if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime, you can even borrow it for free as part of the Kindle Lending Library system.
When I announced the book, I explained why I haven’t done much world-traveling of my own just yet. After my first few big trips using points and miles, I felt compelled to share what I’d learned with others. PointsAway.com lets me do that through reader trips that show how points and miles can work for specific situations. Rarely, however, have I followed up with the results of these theoretical exercises.
It’s Not Just Theory
I’ve received many emails from readers who’ve put what we discuss here to use in their own lives to put their own dream trips in reach, but I know for many people, it still just seems too good to be true. The personal examples I’ve written about here, aside from my trip to see the Jaguars play in London, have been trips that aren’t too out of the ordinary.
I went to DC and Philadelphia and spent almost nothing, have spent quality time in Vegas on multiple occasions, made my way to Portland on a shoestring, went to the NFL Draft in New York for a couple bucks and so on. I keep an award odometer up to date showing the distance of free air travel I’ve booked for myself, friends and family using points and miles that’s over 90,000 miles now.
Out Of The Ordinary…WAY Out
Using points and miles effectively hasn’t saved me thousands of dollars. Using points and miles has made possible trips that simply wouldn’t have happened without them. And now, I’m using points and miles to concoct what will far and away be my biggest trip to date. I’m going to circle the Pacific, visiting Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan in one trip, flying in Upper Class seats with seven different airlines, and I’m starting next Wednesday.
This trip has not been in the works for a long time. I first started getting the itch for a big international trip after introducing the Kindle version of PointsAway a few weeks ago, but the original idea was maybe a simple roundtrip to Japan or somewhere in Europe I haven’t visited.
Only in the past 10 days or so have I been plotting out something much larger. On Wednesday, I pulled the trigger on all the necessary flights and hotels. Yesterday, I started work on ground transport and what I want to make sure to see at each stop. I’ll be moving at breakneck speed throughout the journey, but the opportunity to weave so many destinations into one trip was too much to resist.
Here’s where I’m heading:
- Orlando to Los Angeles on American, First Class.
- Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji on Fiji Airways, Business Class.
- After an overnight stop, Nadi, Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand on Fiji Airways, Business Class.
- Auckland to Sydney on LAN, Business Class.
- Sydney to Hong Kong via Bangkok on Thai Airways, Business Class.
- Hong Kong to Osaka on Cathay Pacific, Business Class.
- Osaka to Tokyo on Japan Airlines domestic Economy.
- Tokyo to New York on Japan Airlines 787 Business Class.
- New York back to Orlando on JetBlue.
This is what that looks like:
I won’t be able to come up with a final number until after the trip, probably, but here’s what I know for now: I paid $630.94 in taxes and fees for all of those flights. If I’d booked them with cash on Wednesday, June 25th – the same day I booked them using points and miles – they would have cost a total of $17,021.45.
Like I said before: using points and miles effectively hasn’t saved me thousands of dollars. Using points and miles has made possible trips that simply wouldn’t have happened without them.
I can’t wait to share this adventure with you.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more about my rapid planning process, my experiences on each of these different airlines and at a dozen exceptional airport lounges, at a variety of fine hotels and what I get to see at each stop.
This is the boldest trip I’ve ever planned. I’m hoping it will spark your imagination, help you see the incredible things that are possible with a little bit of know-how and effort and bring your dream trip closer to reality.
Welcome to Project Pacific Circle.