Thursday, March 07, 2013

Taking Inventory

One of the first parts of my travel planning is always to take inventory of my travel points whether it's hotel, flight, or auto points.  It's helpful in shaping my overall travel plan.

Since Delta has a hub in Memphis, they're usually my first stop.  Unfortunately, due to my traveling streak in 2012 (hello Denver, OKC, and LA), my mileage balance with Delta is pretty low.  I'm at a little over 5 thousand miles which is not even close to enough to get a ticket anywhere.  I started looking for other Delta options and found that if I sign-up for the Delta credit card, I will receive 35K additional miles.  Together, this would probably equal one trip within the US.  Although this is nice, it's not quite the trip I had in mind.

Next, I remembered that two years ago, I signed up for an American Airlines credit card to get some "big" (whatever that means) mileage bonus.  I almost never use the card, so my initial assumption was that I had either very few miles or the miles were lost altogether.  In fact, I didn't set up a frequent flier account when I signed up, so I had no idea where the so-called-miles might be.  After a few phone calls though, I tracked them down.  To my surprise, I had over 84K AA miles!  This was definitely enough to make a little dent.

But, what if I wanted to go farther than these miles would take me?  I had heard about this plane ticket that will allow you to circle the entire globe on one big Euro-Rail-Pass like plane ticket, a
Round-the-World ticket.  These tickets are a bit of a mystery, so it took some research on my end to nail down how to get one and how they work.  Here's one of the better blog posts I've found on the topic, How to Buy a Round-the-World Plane Ticket (That Kicks Ass).  This could be a great option.
In the end, I paired up my AA miles with a number of individual tickets.  It turned out to be even cheaper than the super cool round-the-world ticket.  Since I booked the trip a little last minute, I was concerned that my options would be limited, but it has really come together.  I booked quite a few different flights for my upcoming adventure.  I'll post about them along the way to keep you wondering about what's next.  
Stay tuned...

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