How We Afforded A Side Trip

2 min read
Published 7 years ago by Julie

While we had known that the main Asia trip was coming up this summer, we had also planned a side trip in May so that I could visit Carlos in Brazil. This was only my second time to the beautiful country and after visiting places like this my first time in Brazil, I was pretty excited to go back:

Julie at Praia do Matadeiro, her first time in Brazil.
Julie at Praia do Matadeiro, her first time in Brazil.

But how did we afford another international trip, WHILE saving up for 1 year of non-stop traveling? (Especially since it was World Cup year in Brazil?)

No, we didn’t win the lottery (I wish!).

The answer is simple: lots of miles and rewards!

Mileage and reward programs are an amazing way to afford traveling without having to spend loads of money. Covering from flights to hotel rooms to car rentals, they make traveling easy and cheap. We had both accumulated miles and rewards from traveling regularly in the past few years since neither of us live close to our families. Plus some extra mileage earned through our everyday purchases, we were fortunate to have so many miles at our disposal. (We learned from the tons of websites out there teaching you how to earn miles faster and how to better use them!)

Below is our detailed flight and hotel expenses for my trip to Brazil:

Table 1

*Note: hotels are usually not the best use of flight miles; however, in this case, I had enough miles with one airline to get hotels, but not enough to get flights. I also had no plans to fly with this particular airline in the immediate future, so I figured I might as well use the miles for something.

To wrap up, there were 8 flight legs (2 international, 6 within Brazil) and 2 nights at a beachfront hotel in Florianopolis. We spent 76,300 miles + 7,000 Expedia points + $245.60. The average cost of the flights + hotel would have been almost $2,000.

Mileage programs saved us about $1,700 and made this trip possible while saving up for our main Asia trip.

Some highlights from this trip include trekking to a secluded beach and visiting Carlos’ hometown!