All of our Sunday Success Stories serve as a living example that all of us average Americans can, indeed, see the world at prices we all can afford. We can do this by working together and sharing our stories. Send your story to me at email@example.com. Include your first name and last initial, along with your occupation and a photo, if you wish. - Rick
First of all, thank you! I would never be able to travel on our budget if it hadn’t been for you! My family of 5 lives in Fort Worth, TX. We do travel every year, we go to visit my husband’s family. I’m very fortunate that they live in such a beautiful location (Kalispell, MT). Unfortunately, it is expensive to get to every year and therefore, we don’t have any extra money to take a vacation with just our little group of 5 elsewhere. Growing up, my father worked for Braniff International and we traveled all over the US and I LOVED every minute of it. Our family was very close, and I believe in part, it is because of the time we spent together on vacations. It’s been hard for me not to have that opportunity with my family (until now)…
I found the blog by accident two years ago when I was wanting to do something really special for my husband’s 40th birthday. I have a friend with Boston Red Sox season tickets. He told me if I ever wanted to go to a game to let him know. That was when I started thinking about taking my husband to Boston for his 40th. Luckily, I found your website. I got an AA Citi card for 50K points and a Marriott card. I don’t remember the points on the Marriott, but it covered our stay in a Fairfield Inn for the 4 nights we were able to go. I was able to completely surprise him and take him on HIS dream vacation of a Boston Red Sox game, with a trip to Cooperstown thrown in (which I made sure I was signed up with Hertz during a special and earned points there too).
Needless to say, I became hooked! Last year, we took our annual trip to Montana. We flew into Seattle, used points for a free Marriott night and rented with Hertz again during a promotion and received double points and drove from there to Montana. Our flight home was oversold, so I checked in at the gate and told them we would bump and they took the offer for 2 of us. We received $800 in vouchers.
This year, we used our vouchers to pay for a one way ticket to Spokane, WA. We used Hertz points to rent a car, and then flew back to DFW using our miles. Total cost out of pocket $230; and on the way home, our connection from PHX back to DFW was cancelled … so we used our free Marriott anniversary night and the next day 3 of us voluntarily bumped for $900 in vouchers.
Next year, I’m attempting a trip to Hawaii with the use of my British Airways 100K and those $900 in vouchers.
I’m sure there are lots of people who would have used their miles differently, but when you are a family of 5 traveling on what one person can get in credit card bonus, I think we’ve done pretty good!
Colleen, tremendous job using those tips and tricks. Some credit card points, free hotel nights, and bumps … quite the trifecta! Fabulous story, keep it up. -Rick