{Disclosure: We receive a commission from some of the links in this blog. We always write about the best deals, whether they pay a commission or not. If you decide to use our links we appreciate it, thank you!}

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Holiday Report US West Coast: Part 2 - Las Vegas to San Francisco

Bindi and I have been able to see lots of places that we could never have afforded to, if it were not for using points, or at least defraying the cost by searching for bargain fares on flights or hotels. 

We've been spending some time in Panama of late.  So we started our trip from there.

In September we converted Delta 35,000 points each, to travel up to visit my family in Ohio, and then from there to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary by driving and touring the US West Coast.  

Our Upgraded Room

Delta allows you to have a stopover at 1 location, and then another flight to an entirely different destination, when redeeming award tickets.  Effectively, you're getting 2 trips, for the price of 1 redemption. 

So we flew from Panama to Ohio, then later to California, and finally back to Panama at the end.  All for 35,000 points. 

We had decided to visit Las Vegas, the Napa Valley, and drive south along Highway 1, since these are places we've always wanted to see.

Holiday Report US West Coast: Index

Las Vegas to San Francisco

We set off early from Vegas and drove along the inland highway, which was faster to get to Northern California.  We planned to take our time as we drove South later along Highway 1.  Since we'd never been through this part of the California, we loved getting to see all the produce and orchards in this part of the state.  It was very sparsely populated, but beautiful.  

While traveling, we decided to stay at some Holiday Inn hotels along the way, in small towns.  Prices were reasonable, and it allowed me to qualify for my needed stays in order to get my Big Win promotion points.  Since I have Platinum status with IHG, it meant better rooms and other perks as well.

I was targeted for 90,000 points if I completed all my stays.  Spending the ~$400 or so I needed to to qualify for 90,000 points is well worth it since I try to redeem these for PointsBreak nights, which could cost ~$2,000 in cash, instead of using 90,000 points. 

We've stayed in PointsBreak hotels a few times and plan to do it more.  They are a great bargain for 5,000 points.  Before I realised how valuable they were, and went I began learning about the value of points, I purchased points to make my stays more affordable.  Since then I've built up points with credit cards and promotions like the Big Win.

Now we have +200,000 points so we'll be using those for some future trips we have coming up.

We took 2 days to drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco.  But we enjoyed the slow place, and getting to actually drive, and see the countryside.  Since we usually fly, when we have the chance to drive and see something, we like to if we have the time to spare.

No comments:

Post a Comment