I heard the story once of a lady who was the happiest lady on Earth. She smiled at everyone and was polite as well. One gentleman asked her what it was that made her so happy. She explained to him that she had taken a vacation ever six months of her life. Not all of the vacations were extravagant, but they were always planned. After a week of being back from a recent vacation she would already begin planning her next vacation. At 70 years of age she had taken many vacations. Giving herself something to look forward to has brought her extreme happiness in her life.
The itch to travel has gone too long without being scratched. Last year was pretty sad as I didn’t even get the chance to visit a new country. My only two trips out of the country were to Costa Rica and Canada. Both of which I’ve already visited in my life. Let’s be honest…both of the trips were awesome, but I’m feeling like I need to get my travel on.
Tripping to Tennessee
With loads of AA miles in my pocket we decided to send my wife to visit her aunt in Tennessee. With the Citicard Reduced Mileage Awards it is so hard to resist. They only charged us 17,500 miles for the trip. Luckily we were able to get a flight out of Jackson, Wyoming, which is only 2 hours from home instead of the 3 hours that Salt Lake is from home. The drive is much more scenic, but hopefully we don’t get caught in a snowstorm on the way there.
New Allegiant Flight to San Francisco
Allegiant Airlines is a LCC, or a low cost carrier. They don’t offer many services, but their flights are cheap. You can hit weekend deals to Vegas for $60 sometimes if you time it right. Almost all of their flights are direct, so you don’t have to hassle with nasty layovers in airports.
They just recently announced a new flight from my hometown of Idaho Falls to Oakland California. I noticed that the prices were awesome $100 (each) round trip, and I couldn’t resist. My wife and I booked a summer getaway to the Bay area. We are going to be using our points from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to stay in the San Francisco South Four Points by Sheraton. They only use 3000 points per night on the weekends!! The SPG card offers a bonus of 25,000 miles after spending $5000 in the first six months. That would give you 10 weekend nights at this hotel. Since my wife and I both got this card we have oodles of Starpoints.
We’re excited to see the Napa Valley, the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and all the rest that comes with the Bay area. This flight is short and we will be taking our little boy with us. After all, he only has two years that he flies for free, then we will either have to leave him or pay for an extra seat.
With the fear looming that American is going to devalue their AAdvantage miles as a result of their bankruptcy we are interested in putting these miles to use. We’ve debated for months now about the trip that we are going to take. American doesn’t have too many European gateways: London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfort, Zurich, Rome, and Milan. My wife keeps drooling over the Neushwanstein Castle that is located in Southern Germany. I think that our trip to the Biltmore Mansion has only worsened her condition of wanderlusting castles.
Brad and I discovered a great way to use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to travel in many hotels across Alpine Europe. Read our post about the whole loop and some of the stops along the way.
Gelato, Crepes, Brats, and
Beer await us in the distant land. Our desires to travel are insatiable, but at least we are working toward visiting new places all the time. The famous Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
There is much more to come on my European itinerary.