Recently, a friend asked me to help her in planning a trip to Orlando with points and miles. After helping her with the steps I usually use, I thought our readers might be interested in the process I used with her. This is what I do to book domestically but if I am looking at an international flight, I often use Juicy Miles to point me in the right direction because of the complexity of using partners, etc.
My friend is going to Orlando with her spouse and two kids and wants to go in March. She also has a huge stack of IHG points she wants to use. Can we find flights and a hotel for her to make it a cheap travel hacking trip?
I like to just see the cost of flights so I know what might be the cheapest flights and if I should use miles or just pay for the flight. Because I like to save my miles/points for international travel usually, I often opt to pay cash for domestic flights. My friend has a lot of miles and wants to use some to pay for her flight.
I looked up Google Flights for her approximate dates and found the following:
She has United miles and was interested in nonstop flights. We checked on what was available on United and found that she could use 7,000 miles each way. Now that is a great deal! Usually, United flights are 12,500 miles each way.
She also has Southwest miles so we checked that out too. This is what we found:
Again there are some nonstop flights for a good price redemption. The timing of the United flights worked better for her so that is what she went with.
Now on to an IHG hotel. She has over 300,000 IHG points so she should be able to find something easily. I reminder her that if she books a 5-night stay, she will only have to use 4 nights of points as that 5th night is free. Checking out the IHG hotels, we found this (partial view):
Another choice for using IHG points in Orlando is the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort. The resort offers two-bedroom units with a kitchen for 40,000 points a night. This is a great option for a family!
She was interested in a hotel that had suites because it would give them more room and, possibly, a kitchen. I encouraged her to look at those that were interesting, read reviews on them, and then decide. There are many more options for her to choose from than shown here. When we closed our conversation she was really excited that they can have a trip to Florida so cheap. They will be paying $11.20 per person for taxes and fees for flights and their hotel stay will be on points! Not a bad way for a family of four to travel. Travel Hacking is the best!
Disneyworld and Universal Studios tickets are pricey! Especially when taking a family. One way to save on your park tickets is to purchase your tickets from a travel agency like, Get Away Today, using a Capital One Venture card. With the Capital One Venture card, you can apply your points to essentially erase travel-related purchases. It’s important to purchase your tickets from a travel agency so they code as travel and you can apply your points. If you purchase directly from the park, you won’t be able to use your points. The Venture comes with a bonus of 60,000 points worth $600. There is a $95 annual fee so you’ll save just over $500 on park tickets.
You too can travel as a couple or a family with points you earn through travel hacking. If you have questions or need help, contact us to help you with your planning. Planning a trip to Orlando with points was easy – hope they have fun!!
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