Monday, January 24, 2011


Curtis and I are extremely lucky.  His company offers him a 1 month sabbatical every 5 years he's with the company. (and no, they're not hiring at the moment)  Considering how demanding his job is, this is a wonderful breath of fresh air every few years to keep the employees happy and avoid getting burnt out.

So, what would you do with a full month off?

Of course, we're traveling every day of it!  After explaining how rare of an opportunity this is to my bosses, and knowing I can work from just about anywhere, I'll be working from around the globe come the month of June.  The time change will make it challenging in terms of getting answers to emails quickly but when a month long trekk is dangling in front you, you take it.  Always.

Originally we talked about going to Europe and visiting Paris, Champagne, Monaco, Croatia, parts of Italy, etc. but after our Fijian experience, we decided to go west.  Asia Pacific.  With Europe being so easy to get to (about 8-10 hours of flying time) we wanted to maximize our time in an area we can't pop over to for a week. 

We begin in Hong Kong, fly Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, train to Singapore, fly to Bali, Indonesia, fly to Cairns, Australia and finish in Sydney, Australia.  Quite a trip!

How do two 20-somethings book a trip of this caliber?  We use miles of course! (And Starwood points; stay tuned for that post) We started looking into itineraries and during one of the 35 hours Curtis spent on the phone with American, he learned a valuable piece of info that changed everything.  When booking an open jaw flight (meaning you arrive in one destination and depart from another), in business class, all stops between your arrival destination and departure destination are included.  That meant that if we booked a flight, in business class, we could fly to Hong Kong, depart from Sydney and all stops in between were included, all in business class.  They are not included when you book a coach ticket.

Let's think about this shall we?  Our options are:  a) book a coach ticket to HK for 100k miles, for an open jaw, and leave Sydney.  Anything in between that would be anywhere between 10-20k miles PER STOP.  b) fly business class on two of the top airlines in the World (through One World alliance with American) to as many destinations as we can handle for 150k each.

I know, no brainer.  Not only am I beyond excited for this trip, but the idea of flying business class excites me most right now, haha!  We flew to China once before, Beijing and Shanghai, in coach and it wasn't until I started clicking around on the website did I realize how "the other half lives."  Coach was great, the staff makes it wonderful and all booze is free.  (that might has swayed how I felt about the 2" of leg space)  But for this particular trip, it didn't make sense. 

So come June, we will be flying to Hong Kong and in July, flying home.  Here's a little taste of the seats!  Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airlines.  :)  I can't believe we'll be flying like this for FREE!!!

Cathay Pacific

Qantas Airlines

How we did it:
150,000 American Airlines miles each, 300,000 total (used AA One World Alliance for the airlines)
Cathay Pacific Business Class ticket for one: $6,086 from LAX to Hong Kong
Qantas Business Class ticket for one: $7,045 Sydney to LAX
Saved over $26,262 using miles!!!!!  And that's just on tickets to and from the States!
Might be our greatest feat yet... :)

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