$10,000 of Free European Travel – Go Curry Cracker!

December 18, 2016 - Comment

  by Go Curry Cracker “You guys are going to Europe for 4 months?! That sounds wonderful, but… isn’t Europe expensive?” “How are you going to work the higher cost of European travel into your budget?” “Will you have to miss out on some amazing European restaurants and eat more peanut butter and jelly?” Since

cycling in paris

Cycling in Paris

 

by Go Curry Cracker

“You guys are going to Europe for 4 months?! That sounds wonderful, but… isn’t Europe expensive?”

“How are you going to work the higher cost of European travel into your budget?”

“Will you have to miss out on some amazing European restaurants and eat more peanut butter and jelly?”

Since sharing our big 2016 travel plans a few months ago, various forms of these questions have been sent our way.

I prefer strategic lifestyle design to tactical spending plans like a budget. We aren’t going to limit our European gastronomic experiences with an artificial spending ceiling. (Thank you United States Congress for the inspiration!)

Certainly Europe will cost more than budget destinations like Thailand or Guatemala. So how will we pay for it?

The short answer is: I don’t really intend to.

First things first, we have to get to Europe from Asia. That is a 14 hour direct flight to a regional European hub, plus connections.

Alas, business class flights for two, plus lap carry infant (10% of adult fare), were more than $5,500. One way!

Fortunately we knew this day was coming, and had been accumulating airline miles since even before we left the working world (just another asset class in our portfolio.)

By signing up for an airline credit card (with signup bonus), flying a few times, and using the rewards card as our daily spender for a short while, we were able to accumulate 180,000 frequent flier miles.

Instead of $5,500, we paid the reduced fare of $200.08 ($28.54 for each of the adult tickets, plus $143 for our son.) Technically not free, but I’m not complaining.

Over the past 6 months we’ve added several new credit cards to our financial arsenal. Every hotel program has their own credit card: Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, IHG… and they offer generous signup bonuses.

Cycling in Paris (photo credit)

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