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In roughly a month I leave on a $100k trip of a lifetime celebrating my mom
I’m an only child and I’m especially close with my family. My mom is having a big birthday this year. I won’t mention the exact number, but it’s one that warrants an incredibly special and grand celebration. But how to celebrate? A party didn’t really seem like something she would particularly want. But, a trip? A trip would be the perfect gift. We would have shared experiences, memories, and pictures that will last forever. So that was it. Over a year ago my dad and I set out planning a secret, surprise trip to honor all of the incredibly wonderful moments, time, and love that she has given us. We booked our first flights nearly 10 months ago. My Dad and I have had an absolute blast picking out spots, flights, and secretly putting all the ducks in a row. It’s hard to believe that in roughly a month we leave on a trip of a lifetime to celebrate and honor my mom.
She has no idea where we’re going – only that it’ll last 3 weeks and fly her across many bodies of water 😉
She likes to plan things too. So over Christmas my Dad and I presented her with a photo album a few months before her birthday. This way she could wrap her mind around what was coming shortly after her real birthday. The first 2 pages contained a riddle explaining the concept of the trip, it’s magnitude, and the level of comfort she’ll enjoy. Here’s an excerpt:
It wouldn’t be a surprise if you knew many specifics
But at least once we’ll cross the pacific
I know what’re you thinking…how will I pack?
You’ll have weather reports to take care of just that
The rest of the book will be filled with family memories from the trip. My mom deserves the best and she’ll get it. Aside from a couple short positioning flights in regional premium recliners, she’s in for first class treatment on the world’s best airlines. We’ll stay in 5 star hotels from start to finish. My Dad and I, at worst, will rough it in business 😉
Nearly every single place we’ll go to has been paid for with points. I haven’t calculated every last bit, but the retail value is easily $100k+.
I should really be thanking Miles and my bad back for this trip. Without having a back surgery at the end of 2014 that put me on bedrest for 3 months I wouldn’t have had the time to dive deep into the rabbit hole of points and MILES – ahhhh Miles – he came into my life shortly after that. It’s been a phenomenal lesson to me: sometimes what first appears as a hardship is actually an opportunity to learn and develop….a blessing in disguise. This blog was birthed from hardship and this trip probably never would have happened without surgery and time away from acting.
There are a few little bits and pieces that still need to fall into place, but right now we’re at roughly $1600 a person and most of that is being spent on getting to and staying in one aspirational hotel that doesn’t accept points. The price will go up as we pick sights to see and obviously a lot of dining isn’t included.
We’ll be using roughly 750k air miles and 900k hotel points for 23 nights and many flights. My routing will put me at just short of 30k miles flown.
Most of the points we’re using were accumulated through sign ups, targeted promotions, and timeshare banking. We’re also booking 2 rooms or suites everywhere we go so the points start to add up and is why I started
Here’s a pic of my mom and dad enjoying British Airways First Class on our trip to Africa in 2015. It only gets better from here, mom 😉
Needless to say…I’m very excited to celebrate my mom’s birthday