When we were first started looking into where to fly into, we had considered Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, amongst others.
Obviously, budget was a big consideration. Then I remembered I had accumulated a decent number of miles from my work trips up to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. After checking my profile, I found that I had enough points for two one-way tickets from Los Angeles to Kona, Hawaii. Woot woot!
This pit stop would provide us with several benefits. First, we’d get to discover Hawaii, to which neither of us had been. Second, we’d get to use my miles! There’s a good chance that we wouldn’t be using those miles before they expire otherwise. And third, it would break up the long-haul flight, reducing fatigue and some jet lag.
But best of all, we’d get to go to Hawaii!
So there it was, the very first leg of our trip was planned and booked. (In case you’re wondering, it takes about 45,000 points for two one-way tickets from LAX to Kona on the Big Island.)
If you do your homework and use all the benefits from things you already do (like use your credit card, sign up for mileagle plans, or look for coupons and referrals to new services), you can get some pretty good deals. Thanks to:
- the mileagle plan from Alaska Airlines, we were flying to Hawaii for free
- the referral code from our friends for Airbnb, we got $25 off our first booking, bringing out nightly rate to about $40 per night at a super cool house on the east coast of the Big Island (by the way, if you sign up using the link, we each get $25!)
- the bonus points and cash back from our credit card (see Chase Sapphire), we would be saving literally hundreds of dollars on our other flights (they give you a generous 40,000 points when you sign up, which is good for $500 worth of travel!)
What do we plan on doing while we’re there?
Our flight departs from LAX on June 3rd, landing in the city of Kona, on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. From there, we’ll take a rental car (hurrah for corporate rates!) and head over to the east coast city of Hilo.
After four days, we’ll head back over to Kona on the west coast of the island. As a beer lover, I’m really excited to go to the Kona Brewing Company Brewery!
Do you have more suggestions for things to do or see on the island? Send us a message or add a comment below!
–Featured image of Kamoa Point, Kona, Hawaii found on Wikimedia. Photograph taken by W Nowicki (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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