Miles and points have really saved my bacon on a number of different occasions. They’ve also allowed my family to travel in ways that we would have never been able to without them. One way that miles and points have helped our family is opening up the ability to take last-minute “fake vacations“. Most of my travel is booked fairly far in advance. I am a planner by nature, so it’s pretty rare that I leave my travel plans to the last second. But recently I had the chance to take a last-minute trip out to Utah to both visit my son who is in college out there and watch my alma mater (the University of Cincinnati) play in an NIT basketball game. I didn’t find out that they would be playing in Utah until late Sunday night, so I booked travel Monday morning for a Wednesday to Friday trip. Here’s how I did it with miles and points
Roundtrip Flights to Salt Lake City
First, I concentrated on my flights. I figured that would be the most important part to get done. I was actually fairly surprised that I was able to find flights at a fairly reasonable price, even booking only a few days out
- 9,000 American AAdvantage miles for CVG-SLC with a stop in Dallas / DFW (where I got to check out the amazing Capital One lounge)
- 10,000 Frontier miles for SLC-DEN-CVG – I was FINALLY able to redeem my Frontier Airlines miles
Taxes and fees came to $16.80 (had to pay double for my return flight as it had too long of a layover)
2 Nights in Utah hotels
Hotels were no problem either
- 5,000 Hyatt points for the Hyatt House Provo / Pleasant Grove (fastest hotel wifi I’ve ever seen)
- 5,000 Hyatt points for the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City / Lehi
I had a few Hyatt points in my account but transferred the rest from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Tragically, both of these hotels are going up to Category 2 (8,000 points / night) but they are still amazing deals on points since the cash rates were pushing $200 / night.
2 days of a rental car were about $150 and we had a few other random expenses like food, gas and other sundries. Unfortunately, Autoslash was not able to save the day for me this time since I booked the rental car so close to the time of travel. I took a chance on a “budget” car place (Payless) but it all worked out fine.
(SEE ALSO: The sneaky thing you need to know about Budget Fastbreak)
I looked at using Turo but I’ve found that if the prices are similar, it’s better to go with a car rental place vs. Turo.
The Bottom Line: Priceless
The tickets to the game were only $20 each and were general admission. We arrived about an hour early and were one of the first ones into the arena, meaning we had 2nd row seats right behind the scorer’s table. Only thing that could have gone better was if the Bearcats had managed to win :). Still, this was an amazing although short trip and I was glad to be able to make it.
What kind of last-minute trips have miles and points done for you? Leave them in the comments
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