Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

After over a year of Stateside travel adventures, we are finally allowed to get a passport for Baby J! Naturally we’ve lost no time in trying to book some trips abroad. But we also bought a house and moved this summer, so we are really tired of spending money.

I’m happy to say that even though I think Maui will take the travel-hacking cake this year, we’ve been able to work a little magic to send 2018 out with a bang!


Our first international trip as a family of four will be a short cruise to the Bahamas for Thanksgiving.

Airfare for all 4 of us to Tampa will not be particularly cheap because it’s Thanksgiving week and because everyone wants to go to Florida in the fall. But we’ll be able to get there for the cost of about 1 round-trip ticket thanks to Southwest points and the always-helpful Southwest Companion Pass… and the fact that Baby J has the sense to not turn 2 for another 6 months.

We’ll be spending a few days with family on the Gulf Coast and driving ourselves over to the Atlantic coast. Rental car will be $0 via Chase UR points.

islands at sunrise with clouds


Christmas and New Year’s Day

Our second international trip will be to Switzerland for about a week during our Christmas break. Tickets to Atlanta are costing us nothing thanks to Southwest. From there we will be on British Air to London (“economy plus” bulkhead row for the win) and then on to Zurich, covered almost entirely by Capital One Spark points and costing us $351.94 out-of-pocket for our family of 4. The baby does cost money on these flights even though he’s under 2 years old due to the international taxes and fuel surcharges and blah blah blah.

Update since publishing: we did an upgrade to business class for our outbound (overnight) flight for all 4 of us. The cost was a bunch of Avios, a few Capitol One points, and some cash for taxes and fees. Once again, the ticket for the baby cost money because international flight reasons. That all comes out to a little over $200 per person, round-trip from Atalanta to Zurich, outbound in business class and home-bound in economy plus. Worth it. 

the matterhorn

Hotels will be covered by Marriott points, and we will also be staying with friends because you should always say “yes” when friends invite you to visit.

We have the Priority Pass via one of our AmEx cards, so that when we inevitably get stuck in Atlanta or Heathrow (or both) due to fog at O’Hare, we’ll be able to hide out in the Fancypants Lounge and not have to pay for our food and drinks.

Cost of train tickets and a bazillion pounds of Swiss chocolate TBD.

Me and my husband in Christmas sweaters with the baby in red and green
Yes, we had a Christmas celebration in September. And we looked fabulous.

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