How I’m taking my family of six to Colombia for $574

It’s impossible to write this without a wide grin.  I feel a little like an infomercial host… and while I’ve always abided by the principle that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” this is one case that defies its veracity.

In November of last year, my fellow wanderluster brother directed me to frugaltravelguy.com.  There was a post for a credit card that Citibank was offering with a 75,000 American Airlines frequent flyer mile bonus once you spend $1500 0n the card.  The first year fee was waived, and there weren’t any more catches, so I did what any other wintersick wanderluster would do – I applied for it… and had my wife apply for it… and hell, I also applied for one in the name of my business.

I proceeded to pay for all of my regular expenses  over the next couple of months with my shiny new AAdvantage cards and before long I was flush with flyer miles.

A friend of mine spent some time in Colombia and had everything good to say about the once drug-torn country.  Medellin, they say, is the city of eternal spring, which sounds about perfect to someone who comes from a place that could easily be referred to as the city of eternal cold-ass blustery wind.

Initially, I was tempted to turn a peaceful, relaxing, family getaway into an extreme adventure, complete with a 3 day sailing trip from the walled city of Cartagena to the serene white sand and tall palm tree beaches of the San Blas Islands off the eastern coast of Panama (yet another previous hit that I’ll touch on in a future post).  Yet, when I carefully considered the needs of my young children, I reconsidered.  Alas, we’ll have to spend a few weeks in Antioquia, Colombia, the former home of notorious drug king, Pablo Escobar, and present home of what may be the world’s largest flower festival.

Once I had my itinerary confined to Medellin and the surrounding area, I booked my tickets, opting to use my AA miles rather than the 180,000 I had accumulated at Delta in the meantime.  Because my youngest is only 15 months, we didn’t even have to spend frequent flyer miles on a seat for her, and the collective balance for fees and taxes was a measly $574… almost cheap enough to soften the pain of the $440 cost of passports for my four children… if anyone knows of a way around that, please let me know.

I’ll keep our avid readers apprised of our adventures and hopefully some of you will feel inspired to through your own caution to the cold-ass blustery wind and join us in a family travel adventure.

Wanderlust with us.

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