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Last month, I shared how I booked my family of five on flights to Europe and back in business class using miles and points. It was a huge accomplishment, and it will be our first time enjoying lie-flat seats. I also already booked apartment rentals for us in Paris and Switzerland.
Since I booked the trip, I’ve been thinking about our accommodations. Our Paris flat has room for six people, so we could fit one more guest. And, our chalet in Switzerland has even more space. Why not give someone else the opportunity to travel with us? Obviously, I’m a huge fan of travel, and sharing my love of travel with others gives me great joy. That’s why I continue writing on this blog!
So, my husband and I talked about it in depth. We went back and forth on whether or not it would be a good idea to fill that space with an extra person. In the end, we decided that European travel is such a cool experience that we can’t NOT invite someone else when it wouldn’t cost us anything extra.
We discussed a short list of possibilities, and we decided to first extend an invitation to our niece. She is in her early 20s, so it’s not like she’s another child we have to supervise. She excitedly accepted our offer. I told her I may be able to reduce her cost of flights by using our miles and points for one or maybe both directions, but we’d have to see how things work out.
Using Miles and Points for Flights
I wasn’t too worried about booking her flights because it’s cheaper and easier to book a flight for just one person. She lives in the Houston area, so I figured she would fly in and out of Houston.
However, she felt uncomfortable flying internationally for the first time by herself, which is understandable. So I decided to look at the flights my family was already on.
First, I found a seat in economy class for the flight home from Zurich to Chicago. She would be on the same flight with my husband and sons and could go through customs and immigration with them in Chicago. I booked it for 30k United miles +$55.
About a week later, I decided to look at the flight again to see if any business class seats opened up. Much to my surprise, United had released more business class seats on the same flight. I canceled her first reservation and re-booked her a business class seat for 60k miles.
For her flight to Paris, I had to wait until my Flying Blue miles hit my Air France account. I planned to book her on our same flight from Dallas to Paris but in economy or premium economy.
Shockingly, there was one more available seat in business class. Ah what the heck, she may as well fly business class all the way. It cost 57,000 points + ~$200 cash. In total, the flights are only costing her around $250 cash for round-trip business class seats to Europe. She does still need to book her own flight from Dallas to Houston and then from Chicago to Houston, but those won’t be that expensive.
Travel While You’re Young!
I’m a firm believer that people should travel while they’re young and not wait for retirement or the perfect time. I hope our niece loves Europe as much as I do and that the experience cultivates a love of travel in her.
Will she see the worst side of my family on this trip? Probably. We can get testy when we’re tired and jet lagged. Oh, who am I kidding, it doesn’t even take those conditions for my kids to squabble.
But, hopefully this will be a great trip for all of us. Now we just need to cross our fingers that Covid doesn’t ruin this travel opportunity!