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Ben

Reader Reviews: Trips & Tips Milestone Birthday Extravaganza

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by MidSouth Skier, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    I'll jump in.

    Last year I had a milestone birthday, you know, one of those that ends in a zero. I'd started reading blogs about 2 years prior and set last year's birthday as a redemption target.

    I had signed up for several cards and then BA had the 100K offer. My dad had also offered up his AA miles and armed with that, I was able to book the following:
    Qantas First DFW-SYD - used BA miles (transferred MRs to top it off)
    Qantas Business SYD-MEL-ASP-AYQ (Ayers Rock) and AYQ-ASP-MEL
    Fiji Air Economy (I know!) MEL-NAN
    Fiji Air Business NAN-LAX
    AA domestic First MEM-DFW and LAX-DFW-MEM

    I went ahead and paid the fuel surcharges for the BA flight. When the AA booking window opened up I did think about trying to drop the seat and then grab it with AA miles but I was too chicken. Also, I had two friends working on their own tickets/routing and didn't want to risk losing the seat and screwing up everyone's timetable.

    I would have been fine flying economy for the intra-Australia flights but there weren't any economy seats flying to Ayers Rock/Uluru. There were only 2 seats on the leg from SYD (which I let my friends use) and I took the long way around. There were only 2 seats period on the flight back to Melbourne so one of my friends bought an economy seat.

    Likewise there were only 3 award seats flying to Nadi, Fiji so we were just glad to have them. It's a 5 hour redeye from MEL so it wasn't a huge deal.

    For hotels I transferred UR points to Hyatt and used my 2 free nights from the Hyatt credit card to get the three of us a room for 4 nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney. There are no chain hotels at Uluru so I used Arrival Plus points for that and the car, mostly from manufactured spending. More UR/Hyatt points for the Park Hyatt Melbourne for 2 nights and then Hilton points for a 2 BR condo in Fiji for 3 nights. The Fiji Air flight lands in LA too late for me to get back to MEM the same night so I spent a few more UR/Hyatt points at the Hyatt Regency on the DFW airport property before catching my final flight the following morning.

    I also used Arrival Plus points for shuttles to & from the airports in SYD, MEL and Fiji.

    Two weeks in Australia and Fiji that would not have been possible without points & miles. Huge thanks to Ben and other bloggers who take time to answer questions from newbies and post all the valuable info that they do. Though I don't get to do but one big trip a year, this hobby has opened up the world to me.
     
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  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    @MidSouth Skier Nicely done! Sounds like an amazing trip. Also, Happy Belated!

    I think @Tiffany's intention was for readers to start a new "question" using the "Trips & Tips" question/thread type instead of just posting here.
     
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  3. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Damn Lea!
     
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  4. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Also, I meant to say more last night, but was just stunned by the redemption -- this is a really impressive trip, even if you weren't using miles!

    Do you have any pictures for us to drool over?
     
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  5. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    It took forever to get written & posted but you can see my photos at 2btraveling.net

    I suppose if this were my job I could get the trip reports done more quickly but it amazes me how fast y'all get things posted. It always takes me months to get it done!
     
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  6. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Whoa... you have your own blog? Cool!
     
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  7. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    It's just a baby of a blog compared to this one and it's mostly for my friends. Other than trip reports all the info comes from other blogs but, yeah, it's mine.
     
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  8. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    I'm not picky, I just wanted to see non-marketing pics of Fiji Airways :)

    Ben is a machine, but trip reports are very very very hard. Each segment typically takes me at least 10 hours, once you factor in all the photo editing and captioning and writing.
     
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  9. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    As you'll read in the Fiji Airways segment, I got selected for extra screening so my photos of their business class were quite hurried so they're a little blurry since I was trying to get settled in my seat.
     
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  10. PhatMiles

    PhatMiles Active Member

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  11. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Yup, and thanks to the mention here yesterday it received its most views ever. Of course that means 30+ views! :p
     
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