Hacking a 41-Day Vacation: Airfare Cost

Hacking a 41-Day Vacation: Airfare Cost

You may recall that we’ve got a 41-day vacation planned this summer. You can read about the planning process and backstory here.

For those of us who like maps, the final version of the trip looks like this (route colors don’t mean anything in particular):

Map of flights between cities listed below.
Image generated with Great Circle Mapper.

Here’s the breakdown for all our flights (and one international train ride) for our party of 4:

Flagstaff to Chicago

United Air, economy: $764.70 and 24.5k United miles

Cash savings: $254.90

Chicago to London

British Air, World Traveler Plus (premium economy): $1,014.80 and 104k Avios

Cash savings: $11,357.20

London to Paris

Eurostar, “Premier” class: $360.00

Paris to Porto

Air France, economy: $738.12.

Santiago de Compostela to Dublin

Air Lingus, economy: $349.92 and ~34.4k Capitol One points.

Cash savings: $344.00

Dublin to Reykjavik to Chicago

(Includes a 5-day layover in Iceland)

Iceland Air, 3 business class tickets and 1 economy: $36.20 and ~400.7k Capitol One points.

Cash savings: $4,070.00

Chicago to Denver

Southwest Air, 3 economy tickets: $485.94

Denver to Everette

United Air, 3 economy tickets: $346.20

We also paid for one economy ticket Chicago to Seattle, becasue C is flying solo again so he can spend extra time with his grandparents, like a boss: $300.00

Seattle to Flagstaff

American Air, 3 first class tickets and 1 economy: $184.80 and 75k AA miles.

Cash savings: $1,256.70

Out-of-Pocket Total

Our total for airfare and that London-Paris train ride: $4,580.68

That includes 4 people, 7 airlines and 1 Eurostar ride (all one-way tickets, which tend to make things more expensive), 6 European countries, 4 U.S. states, and upgrades to premium econ, biz, and first where we could do it.* Not half bad, in my mind.

Our total cash savings using points and miles was $17,282.10, most notably (per usual) on the upgraded international seats. Let’s all appreciate that that’s after tax cash savings, since our friends at the IRS don’t tax point and miles (yet).

Keep following along for info on lodging, car rental, and food costs, and to find out how much we’ll regret taking a toddler and a teenager on a month-long international trip.

*Our teenager volunteered to fly basic economy whenever we wanted to upgrade in exchange for extra spending money on the trip. This is why you’ll see a couple notations of 3 upgraded tickets and one econ. I thought the idea was very entrepreneurial of him and it also saves me lots of points and money, so I wholeheartedly support it.

child sleeping on plane
Ready for adventure! (Photo courtesy of Cluster Fuss Travel.)

4 Replies to “Hacking a 41-Day Vacation: Airfare Cost”

    1. Obviously! You’ll watch my kids for the Portugal portion of the trip, right Denise? 😀

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