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Need help planning a vacation

Need help planning a vacation

Old May 7, 14, 11:34 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: BA Gold, AA Platinum, SQ Gold, Marriott Titanium
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Need help planning a vacation

First of all thanks to the members of the forum for their useful advice on my past queries.

Myself and my wife are trying to plan a vacation using our miles. We don't have a preference of destination. We are based out of Boston so we will like to fly out of Boston (or any New york area airport).

We want to take about 1 week of vacation and be back in USA before our daughter turns 2 on 8/16/2014.

Our miles look like:
US Airways (my): 215,000
US Airways (dw): 80,000
BA: 90,000 (family)
Virgin Atlantic: 30,000
United: 20,000
AA: 20,000
Southwest: 60,000
Miles available to transfer from chase/amex: 115,000

We will prefer if we can fly business. Can you please help us craft our vacation?

Some destinations we have in mind are: Australia / New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan (may be + Korea).

If we could combine 2 destinations using a stop over or something that will be even better.

If this query sounds silly, I apologize in advance.
vishalgupta22 is offline  
Old May 7, 14, 11:56 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 179
You have many options

1. Use 200,000 miles for roundtrip to Europe on US Airways miles. US airways allows one stopover OR one open jaw so one possible route could be BOS-JFK-MAD(stopover)-CDG(destination)-JFK-BOS , you can pretty much pick any two european cities to visit.

2. Transfer 5k miles from wife account to yours or somehow obtain 5k more USAir miles for a total of 220k and you can do the same thing as 1. only to asia instead, however I would really got first first class tickets as it is only 120k vs 110k for the same redemption. e.g. you could do BOS-SFO-NRT(stopover)-PVG-(destination)-DFW-BOS

Those are probably your best options given the amount of US airways miles you have.
ktkw is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 8:36 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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On the first option suggested by ktkw, you could eliminate the change at JFK by taking IB BOS-MAD. I have no experience using US miles, but I think that you would need to phone to check availability and book award flights using IB.
JPG3392 is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 9:03 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I would focus on Europe as Asia is a long way to go for a short trip like that. If it were me, I'd save the points and fly coach to Europe. Not that long of a flight from the East Coast.
farbster is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 12:07 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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As has been pointed out, with only a week, I'd definitely stick with Spain, no question.

You mentioned doing this trip before a your kiddo turns two, so I'm guessing you intend to bring her along as a babe in arms. If that's the case, then I'll double my vote for Spain.

Of course, the issue you face is trying to get this booked as an award during the already mostly sold out, peak USA-to-Europe summer travel season. So you might want to explore other possible destinations within an 8-ish hour radius.
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Old May 8, 14, 12:51 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ktkw View Post
You have many options

1. Use 200,000 miles for roundtrip to Europe on US Airways miles. US airways allows one stopover OR one open jaw so one possible route could be BOS-JFK-MAD(stopover)-CDG(destination)-JFK-BOS , you can pretty much pick any two european cities to visit.

2. Transfer 5k miles from wife account to yours or somehow obtain 5k more USAir miles for a total of 220k and you can do the same thing as 1. only to asia instead, however I would really got first first class tickets as it is only 120k vs 110k for the same redemption. e.g. you could do BOS-SFO-NRT(stopover)-PVG-(destination)-DFW-BOS

Those are probably your best options given the amount of US airways miles you have.
2 definitely looks like a good option. We can transfer/buy some miles. I will look to see if we can find tickets for this routing or something similar.

Thanks
vishalgupta22 is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 12:54 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by aBroadAbroad View Post
As has been pointed out, with only a week, I'd definitely stick with Spain, no question.

You mentioned doing this trip before a your kiddo turns two, so I'm guessing you intend to bring her along as a babe in arms. If that's the case, then I'll double my vote for Spain.

Of course, the issue you face is trying to get this booked as an award during the already mostly sold out, peak USA-to-Europe summer travel season. So you might want to explore other possible destinations within an 8-ish hour radius.
Thanks for your time.

You got it right, we intend to take her as 'infant in lap' and that's also why before she turns 2.

I understand it may be difficult to get Europe tickets, do you have any other option in mind in about 8 hours radius?
vishalgupta22 is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 1:22 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I'll rephrase that... I'd probably be focused on finding destinations served by non-stop flights to keep travel time to a minimum, and ease the actual travel process. And, you're at the mercy of award availability, so I'd be very open-minded!

Spain popped out at me because of the relatively short non-stop flight, leaving plenty of time on the ground, etc.. That said, Tokyo usually has good award availability and, even though it's a 14 hour flight, it can be done without connections so might be appealing (if you don't mind losing pretty much a full day getting there).

Obviously, you are the only ones who know your travel style and what your child can tolerate. But in my own personal experience, having only one week for lots of flying and connections/stopovers, especially with a baby in tow, tends to feel unnecessarily rushed and exhausting. My kids were all fantastic travelers and flyers, but I still hated making connections when they were very little and required a lot of extra stuff.

Again, only you know what works for you and yours! Have a great time whatever you decide on!
aBroadAbroad is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 1:27 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I am assuming you know that the lap infant is not free on international travel, and on most programs costs 10% of the full fare for the cabin in which you fly. The exception is BA where she would require 10% of the miles. +1 to flying anywhere but limiting connections as much as possible - if we waited until we had 'enough' time we'd never go!
KennyBSAT is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 2:54 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by KennyBSAT View Post
I am assuming you know that the lap infant is not free on international travel, and on most programs costs 10% of the full fare for the cabin in which you fly. The exception is BA where she would require 10% of the miles. +1 to flying anywhere but limiting connections as much as possible - if we waited until we had 'enough' time we'd never go!
I know the airlines charge me 10% though that's still better than all the fees BA charges + British Mileage requirements are much higher.
vishalgupta22 is offline  
Old May 8, 14, 4:05 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Is there any flexibility on the exact length of your 'week'? There are business class seats CLT- BCN 6/2 and 7/6, PHL-LIS 6/29, LIS-CLT 7/17, BCN-CLT 6/11. A couple of 9-11 day possibilities in there, all on US metal. Points required might make you prefer to use US miles, but these have no surcharges with Avios.
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Old May 8, 14, 6:29 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by vishalgupta22 View Post
I know the airlines charge me 10% though that's still better than all the fees BA charges + British Mileage requirements are much higher.
10% of First Class/Biz ticket adds up pretty fast....
I always get a seat for my kid as well even though he only uses it to sleep. Rest of the time he will sit with Mommy or Daddy...

Long distance flight with a nearly 2 year old on lap is not fun...
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Old May 9, 14, 9:29 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by iqbalt80 View Post
10% of First Class/Biz ticket adds up pretty fast....
I always get a seat for my kid as well even though he only uses it to sleep. Rest of the time he will sit with Mommy or Daddy...

Long distance flight with a nearly 2 year old on lap is not fun...

Last time we were on a BA flight from BOS-LHR we got the 2 rear facing business seats in the middle thinking that they will be good for 3 of us. What eventually happened was, the baby took 1 bed; myself and my wife were cramped on other bed.

My wife said it's like first class for the baby, coach for us.
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