How I booked our father & daughter trip to Europe for $245 (after using points)

It’s summer 2018 and we’re heading back to Europe again, this time it’s just me and Madison, my 14-year old. In our typical DaddyTravels fashion, our miles and points that we’ve earned with points-earning credit cards have made it possible for us to plan this return trip to Europe, and I’ll show you how I booked this.

What about the rest of the family

Planning a summer vacation these days for our family had been quite difficult the past couple of years. Our kids are ever so busy with activities over the summer that made it an impossible task to bring six of us together. I knew this was going to happen again. This was the reason why we made sure to bring six of us on a couple of vacations early this year – our trip to Washington DC and New York City this past winter, and most recently, our Spring Break vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii. I knew a family vacation this summer was going to be a challenge.  Before Nancy and I left for Peru last April, I decided to book this summer vacation back to Europe with me and Madison.

Washington, DC – December 2017
Machu Picchu, Peru – April 2018
Big Island of Hawaii, April 2018

Where are we going

In a nutshell, Maddie and I will visit 3 different countries. There is a perk with United Airlines called United Excursionist Perk – a perk that I’ve used a couple of times in the past.

  • 2015 – Los Angeles to London to Budapest to Prague then back to Los Angeles
Lennon Wall Prague
  • 2016 – Los Angeles to Lisbon to Barcelona (to Madrid to Paris) then back to Los Angeles
Mercado San Miguel – Madrid, Summer 2016

This time around, here’s where Maddie and I will be going:

  • 2018 – Los Angeles to Porto to Rome to Manchester to London then back to Los Angeles

It’s a roundabout way, a crazy itinerary that will give us a good taste of different cities and countries in Europe. As you can see, this is not our first rodeo. We’ve always gone to many different cities during our vacations. Madison has been to Europe before. We brought her and Ethan to Milan, Venice, Florence, Lake Como, Pisa, and Paris in the Spring of 2015. She can still vividly remember our crazy itinerary, and she knows that this new trip is just as crazy adventurous.

Ethan and Madison’s gondola ride in Venice (April 2015)

$245 for two to Europe?

Yep, $245, but I have to give a lot of credit to the miles and points I’ve earned with my favorite credit cards. For this trip, I used 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per person + roughly $120 in fees. So for me and Maddie, I ended up using 120,000 miles + $245 total. Those 120,000 points came from our Chase Ultimate Rewards account, and I was able to transfer them to United Airlines. If you’re new to the credit card points game, earning 120,000 points  may seem like a difficult undertaking, but if you plan accordingly, you could easily earn a big chunk of these points by signing up for a couple of points-earning credit cards such as the:

There are many other credit cards out there, but for this trip, I relied mostly on points that I’ve earned with our Chase credit cards.

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My receipt for our summer airfare to Europe after using points

What about hotels?

I’ll write a separate entry on our hotel stays, but I’ll just go on record now by saying that, of course we used points for all our hotel stays. That’s for sure. I made sure that we didn’t have to worry about our accommodations, and used our hotel points wherever possible.

I’ll end it here right now. I’ll write a little entry as to what you could do if you only had 8-12 hours in New York City. Thanks for following our journey.

Outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre – June 2018

3 Comments

    1. Thanks, man! I’m glad to be able to spend this time with her. She had rough 2nd semester at school, but ended up well. So this is a way to remove that stress.

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