You probably didn’t notice because I had pre-written posts scheduled to appear daily on this blog, but I was away for over a month. The main focus of the trip was to attend the world’s top parrot conservation conference in Loro Parque, Tenerife – VIII International Parrot Convention. This amazing conference is held every 4 years and I had been to the 2010 one and loved it! For readers coming from the miles & points community think of it as FTU on steroids with people coming from all over the world!
Since we were traveling all the way from Australia to Europe in business class, I wanted to maximize the time we were over there so I had a pretty convoluted flight schedule booked. I wanted to visit Israel since I hadn’t been there since the mid-80′s and my husband had never been there. Since most of our trips are birding/eco-tourism type trips, I wanted to do something different so we took a Mediterranean cruise after the conference. Since the cruise didn’t stop in Monaco, I used miles to slot in a 2 day stop-over in Nice before the conference. None of this would have been possible without the extensive use of miles and hotel points!
I will be elaborating in further detail on how I booked everything and how I maximized my miles and points after my Tasmania series is finished but for now, here is a synopsis of the trip. Since the Israel, Europe & cruise parts are off-topic for this blog, I won’t be elaborating on what we did and saw there but just covering the parts that pertain to miles and points as it shows how you can take a business trip and maximize it.
BNE-BKK-IST-TLV business class – outbound leg of US Airways award before they left Star Alliance for OneWorld.
2 nights Crowne Plaza Jerusalem – IHG points
2 nights Park Plaza Orchid, Tel Aviv – Club Carlson points with 2nd night free
TLV-IST-NCE economy class – one way award using United Mileage Plus
2 nights Radisson Blu Nice – Club Carlson points with 2nd night free
NCE-MAD-TFN economy class – one way award booked with Iberia Avios
5 nights at Hotel Botanico, Tenerife as part of conference package, paid cash (actually Chase Ink)
TFN-MAD-VCE economy class – one way award booked with Iberia Avios
1 night Comfort Inn Diana – Choice Rewards points
12 Day Grand Mediterranean NCL cruise – booked with United Cruises to earn points, also some minor manufactured spending is possible on cruise ships.
BCN-ZRH-FCO-PEK-SIN-BNE business class – return leg of afore-mentioned US Airways award) This one got pretty convoluted as it was hard to find space in business class and I was trying to get a 12 hour layover in Beijing on the return for a quick trip to the Great Wall.
As one might expect with any trip booked so far in advance (I was pretty much right on top of it at the 330 days mark), there were dramas, schedule changes and world events that threatened to wreak havoc on my carefully planned trip. Did all go as planned? Tune in after a month or so when I start blogging this trip in detail!