We just returned from an amazing trip to Northern Europe and, surprise, surprise – it didn’t break our bank account. How did we do it?
Transferable frequent flier miles
When we fly, we usually use one airline so our frequent flier miles are easy to use. But, our first destination was Copenhagen and our favorite airline doesn’t fly to Denmark. Lucky for us, the airline was in the One World Alliance so we were able to transfer our miles to another airline to receive free flights – we only paid the taxes.
We earned extra miles just by eating out and shopping
Our airline has a dinning program so you can eat out at participating restaurants to earn miles. The program is free. You just need to register your credit or debit cards. The shopping program works great for us. When we shop online, we start at their shopping website. Then use their links to access popular retailers. Between flying, eating out, and ordering online our frequent flier miles really add up.
We used our hotel points
Our flight got us in to Copenhagen a day early, so we had time to explore and meet up with a good friend. We stayed at a hotel and our lodging points covered the cost of both nights. Even better, we used extra points to upgrade to a room with access to a hospitality suite that served breakfast and late afternoon snacks.
We used timeshare points for the cruise
As some of you know, we like to take cruises. So, when we found a cruise that visited the Baltic regions of Northern Europe, we were really excited. Neither of us had been, so it was a first. We were so happy to find that we could trade our timeshare points for the cruise. All we paid were the taxes and port fees. We sailed to Tallinn, Estonia; St Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Yes, it took a lot of coordination and advanced planning…
But, our travel, lodging and cruise were covered – we only paid taxes (which were minimal). Of course we spent money for some of our food, entrance fees to museums, the tours themselves and souvenirs. But we saved money by walking, taking public transport, or tour transports where the only cost was the tip for the guide.
So, that’s my experience and my expert advice. You can travel without killing your budget!
That’s several more countries checked off our bucket list. Where would you like to go?