Except for one remaining activity, everything is set for our trip next spring! Hotel rooms, activities, tours, car and airline tickets have all been taken care of, and for the most part, paid for. Several of these things will pay back dividends that we can use for future travel. I reserved a car through Hawaiian Airlines (the same car at the same low price we would have paid through Costco Travel), so we will earn additional mileage for that. Two of three hotel reservations were done through Expedia, which means big Swagbucks earnings after we complete the trip (because Swagbucks was awarding four times every dollar when I booked the rooms). We have gotten and will be getting more rewards from our credit card.
I am thrilled that I was able to find our airline tickets at the price I wanted. With airline tickets it’s either buy early or buy late for the best price, and I bought early this time because Hawaiian Airlines had tickets at the price I was looking for. I know the price could go possibly go lower between now and when we leave, but then again, as someone I know who works in the industry always says . . . it might not. His advise is to decide how much you want to pay for tickets, and if you find that price go ahead and get them (and then don’t check prices again).
And, as I wrote in an earlier post we are getting three times the rewards from this ticket purchase: Swagbucks from booking through Expedia, Hawaiian Airlines miles, and rewards back from our credit card.
So, what’s left to do? I need to make reservations for one more activity/tour, but other than that all that we need to do is wait until next spring and in the meantime, save, save, save. So far it’s all coming along well though:
- Rebates, rewards & gifts: Our travel savings is now $0, but our airline tickets and some hotel reservations for the trip (and Brett’s ticket for this fall) are paid for. We do have a regular savings allotment set up that goes into our account every month that will cover remaining expenses by the time we travel. Our credit card reward balance is up to $255 and some change. I’m thinking though that we won’t need to use it toward this trip, so will keep growing the balance for future travel.
- $1 bills & change: We have nearly $800 saved so far. I am starting to think that we won’t need to use this bit of money either for the mystery trip, so we will just keep saving our $1 bills and change for Brett and my future travel.
- Christmas money: We had transferred $900 of this into our savings account so it was used for the airline tickets. We will continue to contribute this to savings.
- Swagbucks: Between Brett and I we have already earned nearly $900 in both Visa card rewards and Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks. And it’s only the end of June! I think we will be able to give the girls, our son and his family a very nice Christmas this year (Brett and I aren’t going to exchange gifts). Besides using Swagbucks for Christmas, I hope to earn enough in Amazon gift cards to buy a new camera before we travel.
- Hawaiian Airlines miles: Not sure right now of what all our total miles are combined, but it’s getting up there. Brett’s trip in the fall will add more, as will the trip next spring. Later this year we will sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines mileage credit card which will give us a whole lot more miles (35,000 for signing up). By the time WenYu heads off to college we will have more than enough for at least two and maybe more round-trip tickets for her and Meiling.
Finally, here’s another clue on our mystery destination: it’s in the vicinity of somewhere that can be reached on Hawaiian Airlines!