Google Flights: Our Favorite Tool To Find Cheap Flights And Why

Hi Travel Bugsss! Consider this post a guide on how to find the best pricing for flights using the greatest search engine on earth! I am OFTEN asked "What is the best site to book cheap flights to X?". This should answer that.

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

Google flights is the most user friendly flight search engine there is. When you input a search from location A to location B, when looking at dates, the calendar is updated with the prices in real time. This is probably my favorite thing about Google Flights. 

Imagine yourself wanting to go from Chicago to Atlanta round trip and you are flexible with dates and you input the origin and destination and as you go to select your departure date you are met with a bevy of prices for the entire month that is updated with each selection you make. For example, select April 1st as a departure date and the calendar will update to show pricing for return dates after the 1st with all the cheapest dates highlighted in green. 

 

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Now, let's select a departure date and see what happens.

 

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I selected April 4th and sure enough, the rest of the calendar updated accordingly with updated return flight information. The cheapest fares are highlighted in green. 

According to this feedback, a roundtrip flight from Chicago to Atlanta departing April 4th and returning April 13th should be $102. Let us see if that holds true. 

 

 

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There you have it! The flight is in fact $102 round trip on Spirit Airlines. Now, whether or not you should actually BOOK a Spirit Airlines flight, is a discussion for another post! That is is for google flights for now! Let us know if you have any questions regarding using it! Also be sure to check out our article on how to get price alert notifications here

That's it for now! Later!

How We Use Google Flight Tracker To Help Us Find The Best Fares For Our Favorite Destinations

Hey Travel Bugsss! Sorry for the somewhat lengthy absence! We have had SO much going on, including a big move! More on that later. Now that things are a wee bit more settled, I want to get into something I was thinking about earlier this week that I kind of brushed off as ordinary and then realized that for many of our readers, it might be VERY new and useful information. 

Hopefully by now, most or all of you are familiar with Google Flights. It is the flight search engine we rely on the most as it is provides one of the most user friendly interfaces and most current flights and pricing. Simply put, it is the most reliable...in my HUMBLE opinion. If you are NOT familiar with Google Flights, check out this article. 

The rest of you, follow me. 

 

First, enter destination and dates as usual. Danielle and I LOVE Thailand and we go back in March of 2018. Needless to say, it is one of our top tracked destinations. Let's go with that.

 

 
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As you can see above, we selected a round trip itinerary for one adult leaving Boston on April 1 2018 and returning April 27th of the same month. This will populate flights available from BEST flights prices low to high first and then ALL flights low to high as usual. What we want to pay attention to here is the line item directly ABOVE the BEST flights box. See image.

 

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"Track prices" is a feature that will notify you of any and all changes to the pricing of this itinerary. They will appear in your email and have the previous price along with the new price. I have included an example from a different itinerary here.

Simply click the slider to the "ON" position while logged into Chrome/Google and you will be notified. It is as easy as that!

Let us know if we left anything out or if you have any difficulties with the process. Also let us know if it works out for you and you're able to score some sick savings! 

Cheers!

 

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Explore Less Touristy Areas When Abroad

Travel Bugsss! We are back! This time we are here with five reasons why you should explore less touristy areas when abroad. I am sure you ask yourself all of the time, should I venture out to the country side of a foreign place? Or should I play it safe and stay within the highly populated areas. You know for my safety. Well I have 5 great reasons to take the risk and experience something you have never ever imagined experiencing, In fact I dare you. 

5. YOU ARE ALREADY THERE SO WHY NOT?!

Look at it this way, you have most likely flown thousands of miles and hours away from home. So why not take advantage and do what you really came to do? Explore something that millions of other tourist do not dare to experience because they let their fears get the best of them. In most cases the stories you create of the unknown in your head are a lot worse then reality. 

4. WHAT ARE YOU REALLY AFRIAD OF? 

Please sit back and really think, what are you really afraid of? What are the risk you are actually taking that you do not face at home? For countries with higher risk, there are precautions you can take to reduce your risk.  Lets face it, if someone wanted to harm you, they would whether you are in a highly populated area or not. 

3. LESS EXPENSIVE

Remember high touristy areas will always jack up their prices because they know that people will still buy it, because who leaves the touristy areas right? thats right you do! When exploring outside of the touristy area of your destination, you are almost guaranteed to find prices AT LEAST 30 percent cheaper than just a few miles away at that famous monument everyone is dying to see. Don't get me wrong there are somethings with high tourism that is worth checking out but do not let it be your main attraction. 

2. CROWDING

As most of you already know it can get quiet busy and overwhelming in high touristy areas due to high tourism. Move away from the tourism and the crowds, really get a chance to experience your journey without dodging people and things! 

On the left was at Uluwatu Temple in Bali, as you can see very beautiful. But a lot of crowding, makes it hard for a photo op or getting a chance to really take in the true beauty of the temple. On the right is The Green Bowl Beach. We basically had the entire beach to ourselves and basked in the beauty of a cave right on the beach. You can see more photos in our Bali Gallery.

1. CULTURE

Most importantly to us! CULTURE! We love culture. Not the dressed up culture either, the real and raw culture that you can only really truly experience away from the hustle and bustle. I promise you there is nothing like it. Speaking or communicating with the people, living and experiencing what they experience every single day is so surreal. There is such an immense amount of different people, different places and different ways of living in this world. Almost like temporarily living in a movie, it is the most unbelievable experience. 

With all of that being said. When you come across a tourist in your home country or city, show them and give them information that would change their stay there. Advise them on where they can go to see landscapes not many tourist go to, or that hole in the wall restaurant you love. You could possibly be changing there entire visit while there. It can only benefit the person you are sharing with and the city you live in. Hope you guys enjoyed this read, and hope it has pushed you in experiencing all the wonders this world has to offer.

 

 

Just Booked Two Round Trip Tickets From New York To Bangkok For Free Using Points

In the words of one of my favorite guys, Marshawn Lynch, "You know why I'm here." Or maybe rather, I know why you are here. Can't really pretend that the title of this article does not elicit all kinds of tingly sensations, and at the same time, skepticism. I hear you. So now that I have your attention, allow me to explain.

First off, it is true that I paid zero dollars at time of booking. That's $0.00 for the folks in the back. I booked this trip using Chase UR. If you do not know what those are and want a more detailed write up about their value, check THIS article out available in our "Guides" section. To summarize, these are the points earned from spending on most of Chase Bank's credit cards which can be redeemed for travel and other goods.

At this point, you are probably either thinking "Well, I have a stash of Chase points, HOW MANY DO I NEED?" or "Well, I don't have any Chase points so this post probably won't help me." Well I am sure the following will please both parties. Here are the details.

Air China is currently running an INSANE promotion from New York to Bangkok for travel between now and April 2018. Whether you have Chase points or not, you can book fares for as LOW as $564 roundtrip! Also, with Air China, you get 2 checked bags free on international flights and a free meal. This is not a low cost carrier upsell! This is a bonafide travel STEAL.

Now for the ansty folks who are already logged into their Chase UR portals by now, time to address the real elephant in the room. How many UR is this going to cost you? Some of you may be aware that we spend a total of 160k UR for the two of us to fly from Boston to Bangkok using United's award program. Well hold onto your seats if that blew you away because we crushed that deal.

This itinerary cost us just over 76k UR. Less that HALF what we spent on our redemption last year. Now don't get me wrong, that itinerary had perks that this one does not as we were able to take advantage of United's stopover and open jaw rules on award travel which can be very lucrative. BUT, you simply can not deny that spending 76k UR, which has a cash value of $760 on not one but TWO rt tickets to Thailand can rarely be beat. We are talking a cash value $380 per ticket. That's usually barely enough to get you to LA! 

HOW TO BOOK

If you will be using cash, Simply use Google Flights to search flight dates and prices. When selecting your departure destination, choose NYC (All nearby airports) as this will give you options of flying out of JFK, EWR or LGA. When you find the dates you like, simply follow the link provided that will take you through booking on Air China's site.

For my fellow points connoisseurs, you must first be holding a premium chase card which is needed to have access to and book from the Chase Travel Portal. These cards are the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred and the Ink Business Plus. This means if you are carrying an annual fee free card such as the Freedom, you are out of luck this time around. 

Now, log into your chase account and under your credit card click "Go to Ultimate Rewards". Once there, you should see a drop down menu on the top left labeled "Use Points". In the drop down you should find "Explore and Book Travel". Now once here, you will find a search engine where you can input your destination and dates much like in google flights. 

 

Once populated, hit enter and you will be brought to another page with flight information. The Air China flights should be at the top as they are listed from least to most expensive. Select your flights, continue through booking as you would through any other booking site except here, you will have the option of using points for a portion or all of your trip. So if you wanted, you could save some points and use some excess cash to combine with the points or you can use your points to pay the entire balance. We used points to book the entirety of the trip which is why this trip was "free".

You can also call the Chase Travel line at 1-855-234-2542 and have an agent book it for you in a step by step process once you have found the flights you want. You may have to do this as I had issues booking through the portal but was successful over the phone. Chase will email you the itinerary and it will also be available to you in your portal under "Trips". Hope you all found this useful! We are really excited to return to Thailand and we REALLY hope some of you can take advantage of this deal. Please shout us out if you do! Happy travels!

It's Amazon Prime Day And These Are Our Favorite Deals

If you haven't heard, it is Amazon Prime Day where Prime members can find exclusive deals on the website. If you are not already a member, you can sign up for a free trial HERE in order to take advantage of Prime day deals! 

Now, the reason I am here is that since Prime Day first arrived in 2015, it debuted to lackluster appeal. Many saw the deals as mediocre at best. While there is no doubt that Prime Day has made progress this time around, it is still difficult to find deals really worth signing up for. I am here to help you decide! Here are our favorite Prime Day deals for travel and we will do our best to update this list as new deals become available! But remember........

PRIME DAY ENDS TODAY AT 6PM EST

1. Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive

Backup all your travel memories on this massive hard drive.

List Price:$239.99 

With Deal:$153.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members 

You Save:$86.00 (36%)

2. Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 QC Portable Charger

Keep your electronics alive while on the road with this powerbank that will charge your iphone 6s up to 7 times.

Price:$99.99 

With Deal:$35.99 

FREE Shipping (5 days) for Prime members 

You Save:$64.00 (64%)

3. SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC

Upgrade your Gopro or cellphone storage capacity so you don't have to worry about missing a moment.

List Price:$39.99 

Price:$22.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members

You Save:$17.00 (43%)

4. Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask

Take snorkeling to the next level with this full face mask that comes Gopro ready.

Price:$109.99

Sale:$79.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members

You Save:$30.00 (27%)

5. SEMOO Water Resistant 5 Person Tent

Save big on this high quality 5 person tent for your next big outdoor adventure. 

Price:$118.99 

With Deal:$58.39 FREE Shipping for Prime members 

You Save:$60.60 (51%)

6. Coleman North Rim Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag 

Beat the cold campground nights with this extreme weather sleeping bag. 

Price:$66.99 

With Deal:$47.59  

You Save:$19.40 (29%)

 

 

Check back for more as we update this list. Also, don't hesitate to let us know if we missed something! Cheers!

 

When Flying, How Do I Get Lounge Access?

Ok. So maybe you don't know what an airport lounge is or that they existed. Allow me to give you a quick rundown on these "sort of secret" oases.

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An airport lounge in an enclosed area within an airport that is not open to the general public and generally requires paying a fee or having some type of status to get in. More on that later. Inside these spaces you can usually find food & beverage, comfortable seating, high speed wifi, cable television, a business center equipped with fax and phone and sometimes, much much more (like showers. Yes. Showers) all inclusive in the price of admission.

"SOME LOUNGES EVEN HAVE SHOWERS."

Lounges are scattered throughout airports all over the world. There are probably around 2000+ and counting and you will always find one at any major airport. There are several apps that can help you locate lounges, one of the most popular being LoungeBuddy.

Hours of operation vary. Sometimes, if you have a really early (say, 5AM) flight, you may not have access to any lounges as they may not open until later. There are some 24 hour lounges around the world but most of them will have a closing period. 

Why visit an airport lounge? Why not? Think about anything from long layovers, expensive airport food, crowded waiting areas, long travel days and think about having a space that can provide an abundance of comforts you won't find anywhere else in a busy airport. I mean some of the have SHOWERS for crying out loud. Can you imagine having a shower during your long layover between US and Asia? I can. 

Now that you have been caught up on what a lounge is, you are probably anxious to know how to get in. Well, there are three ways.

 

PAID ENTRY

Fastest, most cut and dry way to get into one of these is to pay for a day pass. Not all lounges sell day passes but many of the do and you can find out which using the app we mentioned earlier (Loungebuddy). This will cost you between $25-$60 depending on the lounge. It is up to you to decide whether or not it makes sense for you to enter for the price. Generally, if you aren't spending at least 1.5 hours in there, skip it.

 

 

FLY BUSINESS OR FIRST

Generally speaking, airline lounges are much better than independent airport lounges. They are owned and run by the airlines and offered as an incentive or perk for being a loyal customer. Access is typically restricted to flyers who hold a business or first class ticket for that day. A hefty price to pay but don't forget what else that ticket gets you, often times, a layflat bed in the sky! Just enter the lounge which will be in the same terminal as your departing gate and present your ID and boarding pass. 

 

PRIORITY PASS

We have already posted a comprehensive article regarding Priority Pass and the many ways to gain access. Check it out HERE

 

Have any questions or concerns? Please leave a comment below as we would love to hear from you. Happy travels!

Snapchat Spectacles Unboxing And First Impressions

What's up Travel Bugsss! So, Danielle and I are always trying to come up with better ways to share our perspective with our readers and followers. We are always adding/upgrading new equipment to better serve our recording and image capture capabilities. Well we have just made another purchase that we feel some of our users may be interested in themselves. Last one was the Gopro Karma drone which we have yet to release our review on, so keep a look out for that. 

"SHARE YOUR WORLD IN FIRST PERSON WITH SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES!"

We got our new Snapchat Spectacles in the mail today and if you don't already know what they are, they are snazzy sunglasses that also record and let you upload directly to Snapchat! They are designed with style in mind and to allow you to go hands free while giving your viewers a first person perspective of your world! We are extremely excited about them!

We got ours in black but they also come in teal, and red. Check out the unboxing video and be sure to check back for our review once we have taken them for a spin!

 
"AVAILABLE IN RED, TEAL & BLACK."

Is Jet Lag a Dealbreaker or Not?

Hey Travel Bugsss! Danielle here, In November 2016 Ferns and I took our first big international trip to Thailand. We are based out of Boston, Thailand is 11 hours ahead of us. What a HUGE time jump! Then from Thailand we hopped over to Singapore and then to Bali. Between the time zone difference and all the traveling you can bet jet lag hit us hard. Here is our story on how jet lag affected us and how we would do it all over again!

What is jet lag? 

All I have to say is exhaustion, just kidding! Jet lag is extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones. So if you are traveling and feel sick do not panic, you do not have some rare form of a disease or going to die (joke). It is not that bad, it is just jet lag and it will go away. Here is a quick story of our experience with jet lag. 

What our travel day(s) consisted of.

On Friday November 18th 2016 AT 8:30PM EST we boarded an overnight Lufthansa flight to Munich, Germany. We landed at 1:35PM (7:35AM our time), as you can tell already a pretty large time zone difference. I remember dozing off in Munich waiting for our connecting flight to Bangkok. When we arrived to Bangkok that is where it had really hit us, both Ferns and I were exhausted. Both were feeling nauseous and fatigued. We could not believe that we had to yet again board another plane and were not heading to bed. Finally from Bangkok we were off to our final destination.

Bangkok Airport. See more photos in our gallery!

Bangkok Airport. See more photos in our gallery!

How we felt once we arrived! 

We finally landed in Krabi, Thailand on Sunday November 20th at 2:35pm. Phew! We made it. Here is the big question. After a few days of travel how did we feel? Did it ruin the first couple days of our trip? The answer is *drumroll please* NO, as soon as we got there yes we were tired but we were in a new foreign place with a lot of excitement and adrenaline, which helped wake us up enough to stay up to get settled in and able to explore Krabi. I am sure the Thai Massages we got that evening helped a little bit as well. But one thing is for sure we slept really good that night and adjusted just fine the duration of our trip.

How we felt when we got back home.

After an adventurous trip through Thailand, Singapore, Bali and a long couple days of travel back home. We were exhausted. This is when jet lag really took a toll on us. It took us a good couple weeks to adjust back to our regular sleep schedule and get back into the swing of things. We did not feel nauseous or sick but very tired and could not seem to get the days straight. We highly suggest that you reserve a couple days after your trip to pull yourself together. We also recommend not sleeping until your regularly scheduled "bedtime". But do not worry! You will get back to your day to day routine in no time. 

We have been told the more you travel the less you will feel side affects of jet lag, So hopefully that will be some motivation to travel more! I know we will be traveling more and we will be sure to keep you updated. Jet lag can affect everyone differently, just try to keep a positive mind set. No jet lag will stop us from experiencing all the wonderful things traveling the world has to offer. As always thanks for reading Travel Bugsss. 

WHAT ARE MY POINTS/MILES WORTH? CHASE BANK EDITION

What are your points and miles worth? Can they get you from the states to Asia? Europe maybe? Or can you redeem them for a $500 statement credit because you may not be able to afford to pay off your card at the end of the month and risk paying interest? Or maybe you can turn that $500 into a one way ticket in First Class to Hawaii. Let's find out. 

 

First off, you need to know the difference between points and miles. Points are what you earn from credit card issuers that can typically be transferred into airline miles. I say typically because all points are not created equal and some, depending on the issuer, may NOT transfer to miles but merely a statement credit. But generally speaking, points can get you miles which in turn can be used towards airfare.

 

"You can transfer points into airline miles which in turn can be used towards subsidized airfare"

Next we must tackle issuers. These are the banks and institutions that offer the rewards programs associated with the points you will be earning on their respective cards. Depending on the reward program, each point earned within will have dollar values specific to said program. Here is the list of all major issuers and their programs.

TIER 1

Issuer                                                 Program

Chase                                                 Ultimate Rewards (UR)

American Express                              Membership Rewards (MR)

Citi                                                       ThankYou Rewards (TYP)

TIER 2

Issuer                                                 Program

Bank Of America                                BOA Rewards

Capital One                                        Capital One Rewards

Discover                                             Discover Rewards Program

 

You are probably wondering why the tiers. Or maybe you have assumed correctly that the top tier, tier one, includes the more valuable rewards programs. To put it plainly, there are two classes of rewards programs, elite and everyone else. This does not mean that if you do not hold a tier one rewards card that your points are worthless, but that they are simply not as valuable as the top 3 titans of the industry. I have split up the post into two sections (tiers 1&2) and 6 subsections (Issuers) and will be discussing and posting Chase Bank of tier 1 first. Be sure to check back later for tier 2A American Express.

 

TIER 1A: CHASE

 

 Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase UR ranks at the top of tier one for us due to the points value, flexibility and ease of use. Ultimate Rewards has 11 transfer partners and UR points transfer to all of them at a 1:1 ratio meaning 1 UR gets you 1 point/mile when transferred to any of their partners. In order to get a better grasp of what your points would be worth when transferred, we have to look at who their transfer partners are and then take a look at their respective award charts where available. Before we do that, let us look at the other redemption options available to you if you are holding Chase UR.

 

Cash Back: 100 Points = $1

Comes in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit and you must redeem a minimum of $20.

1 point = 1 cent  

1000 points = $10.00

10,000 points = $100.00

Gift Cards: 100 Points = $1

Choose gift cards from hundreds of vendors through the Chase portal and redeem to a gift card. We recommend NOT doing this over cash back as the ratio is the same and cash is more flexible.

1 point = 1 cent  

1000 points = $10.00

10,000 points = $100.00

 

Those two are your only options unless you have a premium chase card (one that carries an annual fee). You need to be carrying one of these cards in order to access the Chase UR Travel portal. Each one comes with a bonus on points of up to %50 when redeeming for travel. They are as follows:

Chase Sapphire Preferred  25% Bonus

Chase Ink Plus 25% Bonus

Chase Ink Preferred 25% Bonus

Chase Sapphire Reserve 50% Bonus

Now let's look at what your Chase UR are worth when booking for travel.

25% Travel Bonus: 100 points = $1.25

1 point = 1.25 cents  

1000 points = $12.50

10,000 points = $125.00

50% Travel Bonus: 100 points = $1.50

1 point = 1.50 cents  

1000 points = $15.00

10,000 points = $150.00

As you can see, booking travel through Chase using your points will yield a higher return than redeeming for cash or gift. This is not to say that the cash back option holds no value, but merely that it is a less lucrative option.

"Redeeming for travel will always yield a higher return than redeeming for cash back." 

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Now to get into the most rewarding and lucrative redemption option which is transferring to travel partners. Bear with me as I attempt to break this down into the most easily digestible format (It took me months to "figure this out" myself). 

As I have mentioned before, Chase UR points transfer to each of their 11 travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. You must have a rewards account open and active with the respective party before you can transfer points but this is a simple, free and quick process done on the partner website. Below, you will find an up to date list of all Chase travel partners.

 

TRANSFER POINTS

The tricky thing about transferring points is that each program has unique values for their points. What you are going to want to do is familiarize yourself with all the programs award charts. An award chart is a key published by the award programs owner meant for members to use to decipher how many of the programs points they need to get to a destination. It is important to note that not all programs publish an award chart, such as Southwest and Air France for example. So it won't always be easy finding your best redemption. Many times though, there are blogs that do a fantastic job of producing a fairly accurate mock award chart such as this one for Flying Blue. When you can't find one on the website, try a quick google search and you may get lucky.

"Unfortunately, not all travel partners publish and award chart."

I am going to again stress that you really need to take some time getting to know the nuances of each award program, but to help get you started, I will give you a few redemption examples using three different award programs. Two for airfare and one for hotels. For your convenience, regarding airfare redemptions, I will be using one with a published award chart, United's MileagePlus, and one without, Air France's Flying Blue. For the one hotel example, I will be using Merriot. All Hotel programs have an award chart. For each example, I will assume we started with an available 50,000 Chase UR which has a cash back value of $500.

 

UNITED MILEAGE PLUS

 

 

 

 

So since UR transfer at a ratio of 1:1, we will have a potential 50,000 United miles to work with. Here are some examples of flights you can book with 50K UR/UM at your disposal according to United's award chart assuming the point of origin is within the lower 48 states.

Round Trip in Business Class to 48 States for 50,000 Points

Round Trip in Economy Class to Caribbean for 35,000 Points

Round Trip in Economy Class to Hawaii for 45,000 Points

One Way in First Class to Hawaii for 50,000 Points

Round Trip in Economy Class to Mexico for 35,000 Points

One Way in Economy Class to Europe for 30,000 Points

One Way in Economy Class to North Africa for 40,000 Points

"50,000 Chase UR can net you a $2000 one way flight to Hawaii in First Class when transferred to United."

 

As you can see, 50,000 UR points can take you a LOT further than $500 in cash will. A one way ticket from Boston to Honolulu in first class STARTS at $2000 flying United. That is 4x the cash value of your 50K in UR. It is also just a little less than 3x more valuable than the $750 your points would be worth when used towards booking this same flight through chase with the Sapphire Reserve. Next.

 

AIR FRANCE FLYING BLUE

 

 

 

 

Just like with United and ALL of the other Chase partners, UR transfer 1:1 so we will be dealing with a potential 50,000 FLB points. They do not publish an award and instead will  have to go through their websites miles calculator to price flights. What you do is plug in your origin airport, mine is Boston Logan, so I will go with that, and then choose your destination and class (Economy). Lastly, choose whether you want a one way or return ticket. The calculator totals the points needed, so rest assured that when you choose "return" that the number shown will be the total amount needed for both legs of your trip. Here are some examples:

 

Round Trip in Economy Class to Hawaii for 30,000 Points

One Way in Business Class to Hawaii for 30,000 Points

Round Trip in Economy Class to Paris for 50,000 Points

Round Trip in Economy Class to Italy for 50,000 Points

One Way in Economy Class to Egypt for 40,000 Points

Marriott rewards

 
 

Hotel rewards are priced by, you guessed it, how fancy the hotel is. Marriott chooses to separate their properties into 9 categories with category one properties being the lowest and least expensive and category 9 being the most prestige. Check out the award chart and category links below.

 

Pretty easy to see what your points get you here. With our 50,000 UR we can redeem 1 night at a category 9 hotel like the JW Marriott Hong Kong, 2 nights at a category 5 such as the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, or take advantage of Marriott's 5th night free when you redeem 4 nights and stay 6 nights at a category 2 like the Moxy in Milan.

 

That's it guys! This is a wrap for the first section of "What are my points/miles worth. Hopefully after reading, you have a much better understanding of how points and miles work and how much they are worth. Please leave us your feedback and or questions in the comments section below! Cheers!

BASK IN THE NORTHERN LIGHTS INSIDE OF A CHIC & UNIQUE GLASS IGLOO ROOM AT THIS FINNISH RESORT

Whats up Travel Bugsss? We recently posted about a secret (but not so secret) Balinese hideout resort in the middle of the Bali jungle. In this post, we take you to the opposite end of the spectrum to show you how you can get the perfect view of the Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as The Northern Lights, from under the glass ceiling of an igloo in this exclusive Finnish resort.  Do we have your attention yet?  Good because that is not all they offer. 

The aptly named Kakslaunttanen Arctic Resort in, you guessed it, Kakslaunttanen Finland offers igloo rooms made out of glass, to give you the opportunity to fall asleep under the stars and get the best views of the Northern Lights that money can buy.

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere. Protons cause faint and diffuse aurora, usually not easily visible to the human eye. You can experience this spectacular event 8 months out of the year.

How do I get there? 

The closest airport to Kakslauttanen, Finland is about a half hour drive to Ivalo Airport (IVL). Kakslauttanen Arctic resort does offer a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. From Boston, MA (BOS) to Ivalo, Finland (IVL) you can currently score a round trip ticket for about $633 USD round trip per person in September. We found these prices using Google flights, which we always recommend when researching any travels to find the best deals and dates. 

How do I book and how much?

The resort has seasonal activities and accommodations. The glass igloos are only available during the Northern lights "season" beginning in August running through the end of April. You can only book through their website. Check availability here. Prices seem to increase by about 100 Euro/night during the times the Northern Lights are most often sought by adventurers since the chances of seeing one are highest (January to March). For a small glass igloo it will be about $461 USD per night and for large glass igloo about $540 USD per night in October. 

We recommend booking with one of the following cards to maximize rewards: Amex Platinum (5x)Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x)Citi Prestige (3x)Amex Premier Rewards Gold (3x)Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x).

 

What else do they have to offer? 

Besides the igloo rooms, they offer other accommodations such as log cabins, snow igloos, and suites. Again, when you want to book you must visit their main webpage to make a reservation.

They also have many activities such as the husky safari, ice fishing, aurora hunting, horse safaris, hiking and ATV. A lot of cool adventures to be had at this resort, depending on the season. They have excursions specifically for Winter, Summer and Autumn. Their website clearly outlines which activities are available during their respective seasons.  Remember, research research research!  If you are looking for a unique "once in a lifetime" kind of experience this resort should definitely be on your bucket list. As always Travel Bugsss, happy travels! 

Husky Excursion available in Winter & Summer

Husky Excursion available in Winter & Summer

As always Travel Bugsss, happy travels!