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October 2015 – 5 countries in 20 days
I cant remember when I stumbled on this blog but I do know that it was sometime in 2014 and I was quickly OBSESSED.
Prior to this, all of my travel was in economy, except for three times:
Once in 2009 when I was op-upped to CX J in 2009 (their hold herringbone product – good, cramped but I was fascinate), once in 2013 when I used someone’s AMEX points to fly CX F (via transferring to AsiaMiles – before I knew much about AAdvantage) and lastly in 2014 when I paid for Premium Economy to fly AF JFK-CDG (stopover)-HKG, CAN-CDG-JFK.
Fast forward a little and October 2015 was when reading this blog made it all worth it. I planned 3 trips within a 20 day period with different people on each trip. My parents (and friends) thought I was nuts but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Sorry for the lack of photos and I apologize in advance if I ramble on but here goes:
[I][URL=’https://www.flickr.com/gp/dwu531/589MX9′]Milan[/URL] & [URL=’https://www.flickr.com/gp/dwu531/0654Xu’]Dubai[/URL] for a week:[/I]
EK had a great fare deal to Dubai where it was $1300 for 2, round trip. Being based out of JFK and knowing that EK has a JFK-MXP 5th freedom flight, I played with dates a bit. $1380 later, I was booked EK Y JFK-MXP (stopover)-DXB-JFK for my sister and I. It would be my sister’s first time on an A380! For all the flights, service was great, food was edible and overall enjoyable enough for Y. On the return from DXB to JFK, we each had a row of 4 seats to ourselves so we stretched out and slept almost the whole way home!
We had 3 nights in each city and from reading this blog, I knew that the Chase Hyatt card came with 2 free nights. We booked 3 nights each at the Park Hyatt Milan and the Park Hyatt Dubai. Originally I wanted to use 3 free nights at the PH Milan but there was no award availability for the 3rd night. The phone agent told me that there was points and cash awards for a Junior Suite though, so I transferred over some UR points and booked. The other two free nights went to the PH Dubai and the 3rd night there was also via cash and points. We enjoyed both hotels very much as well as our time in each city.
[I]4 nights in [URL=’https://www.flickr.com/gp/dwu531/5U2iK6′]Cancun[/URL][/I]
A day after I got back from Dubai, my best friend and I headed to Cancun for a few days. Neither of us had ever been, we wanted to go SOMEWHERE and ended up choosing Cancun. We booked AA Y LGA-MIA-CUN-JFK. Flights were relatively short, quick and boring and fine by me. We stopped by both LGA and MIA Amex Centurion Lounges, which we fantastic. I really hope that when LGA is completely renovated, the Amex Centurion stays and is enlarged and moved airside. I booked the Hyatt Zilara Cancun all inclusive resort for us. The hotel had a 55% off promotion going so I booked that rate via CitiPrestige and got the 4th night free. Made the hotel much cheaper than it normally is, which is wonderful. I had a great time in Cancun and if any readers are looking to go, I’d recommend it, as well as planning an excursion to XPLOR and Selvatica!
[I][URL=’https://www.flickr.com/gp/dwu531/4385m2′]Amsterdam[/URL] & [URL=’https://www.flickr.com/gp/dwu531/z11e01′]Copenhagen[/URL][/I]
Apparently at some point during the year I had promised 2 other friends I’d go with them somewhere. After landing from Cancun on a late Sunday afternoon, I flew to Amsterdam the following morning. I used AMEX MR points to book myself TK J JFK-IST-AMS and OS J CPH-VIE-JFK. However, that’s not what I ultimately flew – LH F space opened up so in the middle of my Cancun trip, I called Aeroplan and rebooked myself for LH F EWR-FRA-AMS and LH F CPH-FRA-JFK. EWR-FRA would be on the 747-8, and FRA-JFK would be on an A340. It had been so long since I flew a 747 and was super excited to fly the newest version of her. The flights were FANTASTIC but short. I loved every bit of LH F and it only made me more excited to fly them again on the return. There wasnt enough time during my connection to get to the FCT so I wandered around the terminal a bit. The 747 up close is really breathtaking – there were quite a few! On the return, after getting off the plane from CPH, I hightailed it to the FCT. A year or so ago I didnt even know it existed, but here I was! I think I was in shock or something because the time just flew by. I had a meal, lounged a bit, showered, grabbed a duck and it was soon time to be driven to the plane. What an experience! The return was slightly longer and just as enjoyable, if not more. Both my LH F flights were full but service was attentive and the crew was lovely. I cant wait to fly them again!
I had a fantastic 3 week period, crazy as it was. Its one of my most memorable trips ever, made even better by applying what I learned from reading this blog. Thanks so very much!!!
That ia a crazy 3 week itinerary. Still wonderful.
Aww, that’s great! Thank you for sharing, and wowzer — those are some great deals!
[QUOTE=”David W, post: 17742, member: 29″]Apparently at some point during the year I had promised 2 other friends I’d go with them somewhere.[/QUOTE]
My life in a nutshell!! :p
I uploaded some photos to flickr and I linked it to each city in the original post. I’m not the best or the most prolific photo taker but I hope you guys enjoy all the same! I also have a thing for tall buildings and food. 🙂