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Six SEXY Weekend Escapes Using Travel Hacks

I prefer to use my AVIOS to book long haul trips in business class which cost less than economy class flights. However, I do occasionally use them to book short-haul travel hack weekend escapes with fixed taxes. Some would argue this isn’t worthwhile for Brits playing the travel hacking game, but my post Long haul v Short Haul found it was not as simple as that.

Monaco weekend travel hack
Monaco weekend escape

Travel Hack weekend escapes

Of course, for travel hackers based in the US, the outlook looks much rosier with ample opportunities to bag bargain bucket travel hack weekend breaks. I’ve been picking the brains of a number of savvie travellers, and am excited to share their stories of mileage weekend escapes, so you can find some travel inspiration for your miles.

Jackie from The Globe Trotting Teacher

I used British Airways Avios to fly from New York City to Montreal for a ski weekend in gorgeous Mont Tremblant. BA Avios are great for short haul flights like this in North America. The flights are operated by partner American Airlines, and BA does not impose fuel surcharges on AA flights within the Americas. What’s more, the cash price for a short haul flight from NYC to Montreal tends to be quite high compared to the miles flown.

Mont Tremblant is consistently rated as a top ski resort on the east coast of North America. The slopes were long, well-groomed, and offered spectacular views of frozen Lac Tremblant, nestled between a forest of evergreens.

I stayed at the base of the slopes in Mont Tremblant Village, a pedestrian-only zone, where most visitors are in ski in/ski out range. The village has no shortage of apres-ski restaurants and bars to match everyone’s budget and tastes.

It was a terrific no-hassle ski weekend with great powder and no crowds, all set within a quaint and colourful village.

Anne: I can only agree with Jackie. We narrowly missed being in resort at the same time (small world, hey?).

Courtesy of The Globe Trotting Teacher
Courtesy of The Globe Trotting Teacher

Connect with Jackie on Facebook.

Lee of Bald Thoughts

Because my wife doesn’t have much vacation time, the majority of our family travel is at the weekend.  Recently, we visited the Kimpton Canary Hotel in the wine country of Santa Barbara, California.  We love visiting wine country because we were married there, and it brings back great memories.  Quick getaways rekindle the romance that can get put on the back burner when you have young children.

Anne: aw, isn’t Lee a sweetie?

Normally, a hotel of this stature costs $400 a night, but rather than pay cash, we used rewards to get the night for free.  Because we have top-level loyalty status, at check-in we were upgraded to a King Suite that’s $500 a night.  Knowing how your preferred loyalty program works allows you to receive incredible benefits, and experience memorable mini-vacations, without breaking the bank.

Weekend travel hack destinations
Here’s Lee with the super-cute Scarlett – Photo courtesy of Lee of Bald Thoughts.

Anne: I love the way Scarlett does not seem to be appreciating the pool area as much as daddy!

Connect with Lee on Twitter

Zach from Monkey Miles

In 2015,  I was home for Thanksgiving and did something a little sneaky. My dad always takes me to the airport when it’s time to leave, and as an early Christmas gift, I had a plan to surprise him with tickets to a Colts game in Charlotte.

The problem was that flights were nearly $500 and hotels were very pricey as well. Luckily, I was aware of using Avios for AA flights and booked tickets for both of us to Charlotte for 5,000 points each. In addition, I was able to book the Hyatt Place for 5,000 Hyatt GP. Both of these are transfer partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Once I had the flights and hotels sorted, I had my mom pack a bag for my dad without him knowing. When we left for the airport, I told him that the extra bag was just stuff I wanted to take to LA, and that I’d like for him to come in with me because I wanted him to see a new trick to checking in. This was one of my favorite parts!

Surprise, surprise

We got to the airport and he helped me carry “my extra bag,” not knowing it had all his stuff in it!!!! Heh, heh, heh. I took him all the way to security and said ‘ok, let’s go on through‘. He looked at me quizzically, and then I pulled out his boarding pass and said, “you know that bag you have…it’s yours. I planned a surprise trip for us.”

The look on his face was priceless. He was excited, confused, and I’m pretty sure he peed his pants…or maybe I did. Whatever, we were excited! It ended up being an incredible trip, and one we’ll never forget. BYAH!!!!! Without points I never could have afforded to do it, and it just fed my addiction even more.

Travel hacking to charlotte
Zach and his dad in Charlotte – Courtesy of Monkey Miles

Anne: I love this story from Zach and was smiling from ear to ear as I read it and only wish I could have been a fly on the wall to witness that moment!

I am also totally impressed he managed to keep it a secret. When I booked surprise tickets to take my mum on her dream trip to Niagara Falls, I managed to keep it secret for all of about fifteen minutes.

Connect with Zach on Facebook.

Elena of Muslimtravelgirl

One of my favourite ways to use my Avios is for last-minute weekend escapes. I recently moved to Doha and flights with Qatar Airways are much more expensive from their hub airport. The best thing is that they are a Oneworld partner and using Avios with them is super cheap.

Recently, I escaped to Bulgaria from Doha, about a 4 hr flight, and saved so much money. A cash flight on Qatar airways cost about £600 round trip, but on Avios it’s 20,000 points and £70 taxes.

Considering that I stay with family there, and I get to cuddle my adorable nieces, it is one of the best redemptions in my books. If you are looking for hotel options, Sofia also offers some great five-star properties from as little as £70 a night.

Connect with Elena on Instagram

Tim of Points to be made

weekend in MIlan
Source: Pixabay

British Airways’ Reward Flight Saver has been a brilliant addition to their Executive Club. I tend to book weekend trips just a few days in advance so I can track the weather. The last thing I want is to have horrendous weather when I am on holiday!

Unlike normal cash tickets, which increase in price right until the moment of the flight, Avios flights are the same price whenever you book them. For instance a London-Milan trip I made last summer, cost £270 a week in advance, but cost me just 9000 Avios (which I value at about £90) plus £35 in taxes.

This was made even sweeter by the fact that I received those 9000 Avios for nothing, by taking advantage of promotions through Shell, Tesco and American Express on purchases which I had to make anyway.

Travel hack weekend escapes
Tim enjoying a meal on his travel hack weekend escape

Hotels at the time were sufficiently cheap that I did not need to use points, which is a reminder that you should always compare the cash price vs. points price rather than seeing all points redemptions as ‘free’.

Connect with Tim on Facebook.

Jason of Traveltheglobe4less (aka my hubby)

The best thing about living in Europe is that there are so many places we can jet off to for the weekend. We’ve used points for Monaco, Sweden and most recently for award flights to Berlin. It’s worth doing some number crunching to ensure it’s not a blatant rip off, but this can be a really cheap way to bag a bargain weekend break.

We celebrated New Year drinking champagne on the docks of Monaco, have watched the Stockholm half marathon and immersed ourselves in the history of Berlin, using AVIOS reward savers.

Berlin Reichstag
Fabulous Berlin Architecture

British Airways have even recently added some new destinations from Manchester giving us more weekend escape options. Mykonos here we come!

Your sexy weekend escape

So there you have it, your sexy weekend escape awaits you. All you need to do is start building your balance and choose your destination.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. So many great escapes! Love seeing how people us travel hacking to their benefit. It’s such a great way to travel and save money! Really enjoyed all the stories, but especially the one about Zach from Monkey Miles surprising his dad–so nice!

  2. Zach had an amazingly sweet story. I m gonna go and get a Chase Ultimate Rewards as well now.

  3. Great travel hack stories! 🙂 This reminds me now to start using more of my Avios points. Who wouldn’t want to have free flights etc. Thanks for reminding me! hahaha!

  4. I earned many avios during my world tour that probably are lost by now (usually I travel with sky team). A pity I did not read this post a couple of years before (but I will check my BA account just in case). Bookmarking this for the next time, thanks!

  5. I don’t know what Avios is and I don’t get in to the points things. But I do use tricks like flying on a cheap flight to a hub city, then booking a flight from there. I’ve saved literally thousands on airfare by doing that. And I always make sure my miles account is attached to my flights. I fly so much, I rack up miles pretty easily.

  6. I simply loved Zach’s story…and relate to it completely. That reminds me that I should use some points too and plan a trip with my mom 🙂

  7. Last year we started using BA to visit a lot of European cities we’ve never been to before including Krakow, Vienna, Berlin and Budapest. So just started building up our points.

  8. I am looking upgrading my avois card so I can get more points. As Jackie says you can get good business class deals with it and with the companionship voucher each year makes it a good deal when two people are travelling.

    • Hi Katherine, there are different companion vouchers in the UK which I covered in this companion voucher post. I personally think the AMEX cards are better than the AVIOS cards – see best credit cards as the earnings rate is better. We also had huge problems with the AVIOS card not applying points which was badly managed. If you do decide to go ahead and upgrade, please use the referral link in my post. You will earn an extra 1,000 to 2,000 points for satisfying the sign up bonus requirements.

  9. Oh wow, I love Zach’s story. That was really nice. I wish I could pull that off for my dad too. And great hacks you’ve got here.

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