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So I’ve posted a lot about my recent trip out to the Family Travel for Real Life (#FT4RL) conference in Washington DC a few weeks ago. If you want to read about the conference or what went on there, you should definitely check out the links in the sidebar – I live-blogged the speakers there and I think that it gives a pretty good feel for what the conference was like. It was a great time, and in addition to the speakers, it was great to meet other like-minded travelers.
I did want to give one last report – the actual TRIP there and back. I’ll try not to go into a TON of detail, since I’m sure there aren’t THAT many people DYING to know how the pretzels were on my regional jet from CVG-DCA, but there were a few things that some might find interesting
US Airways flight CVG-DCA
Because I had decided to fly there and back all on the Saturday, I had the first flight of the day, which unfortunately necessitated a 4:30 a.m. wakeup. I always have trouble sleeping when I have to wake up early for something. The whole night I just toss and turn, worrying that I’ve overslept and thinking “Is it time? What about now?!”
Got to the airport without a problem. Normally I will do a “park and ride” deal where I pay $3-4 to park at a local hotel and take their shuttle but since it was just the one day – I decided to “splurge” on the $8 long-term parking at the airport (big spender, I know….)
Because I booked the tip through British Airways with Avios, I originally had my travel information come in from BA. Even after I called to get my US Airways confirmation number, my traveler information came out weird, which resulted in my boarding pass saying MILLER/DANIELMR. I was nervous that because there wasn’t a slash between my name and the MR, that I’d have a problem.
As those of you who are frequent travelers probably are saying, this was completely NOT a problem. I waited in line for the US Airways gate agent, who laughed at me and told me it would not be a problem, and the TSA agents did not give it a 2nd glance…
I took the time to create my very own Instagram account and take my first picture
The flight was normal – about a 1 hour flight, though we got a good view of the sunrise as we flew east. I sat next to a pilot who was a simulator trainer. He was flying back to Providence (via Washington) after spending some time doing instruction this week. He was intrigued when I explained how I booked our flight for only 9,000 Avios, when you’d spend 25,000 US Airways miles to BOOK THE EXACT SAME FLIGHT!
Renting a car to go from DCA to IAD
I had looked at a few options for how to get to the conference, which was at the Hyatt House near DULLES airport, whereas I was flying into Reagan National (DCA). There’s no (easy) public transportation between the 2 airports, Uber is $66 one way and I’m sure a cab wouldn’t be any better.
I ended up renting a car, and after I finally got Avis to stop trying to screw me over, it was a very pleasant experience. My Avis Preferred benefits were added on to the reservation, and when I walked past the Avis counter into the garage, my car was already there waiting for me!
I had forgotten that there would be tolls on the way there, but that ended up adding $7 plus the $3.50 rental car toll “convenience fee”. Adding the $7 or so of gas I put in and the $30 rental car charge, it was definitely the cheapest way to do it.
Hyatt House Dulles Airport North / Sterling
The Hyatt House Dulles Airport North / Sterling, where the conference was very nice too, and fairly new. It was also only a Category 1 (!), so only costs 5,000 Hyatt points to stay. A pretty good deal from what I could tell (though I did not stay there overnight).
It was unclear whether as members of the conference we were “allowed” to take part in the breakfast buffet that was ongoing when I got there. Some people said it was part of the conference but I felt a little weird so just drank some water.
The lunch was catered and very good, sandwiches, chips and such, and some MONSTER-sized cookies that my friend PJ would have been proud of.
Although the after-party raged on (
I was a little nervous that I would somehow get on the wrong plane, but managed to successfully get back home to CVG, where I deplaned and arrived back home around 11pm. All in all a very fun and successful day – and I felt like quite the jetsetter doing a same-day turn!!!
Ever done a same-day turn before? What was it like?
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