Today I will fly from San Francisco to Salt Lake City on a $49 one-way Alaska Airlines flight and check into a Club Carlson hotel for three nights to earn my first 30,000 bonus points. Actually, 40,000 bonus points since I registered for the Club Carlson promotion by January 12.
I’ll fly home mid-week for two days and next week I will repeat the trip.
Alaska Airlines economy flights, Club Carlson midscale hotel and Salt Lake City domestic tranquility is the kind of non-aspirational travel experience that does not require a year of savings or thousands of dollars in credit card manufactured spend. I planned and purchased these Salt Lake City trips in the past two weeks.
If all goes as planned, I will earn a free ticket on Alaska Airlines I can use to fly to Vancouver, Canada or Bozeman, Montana for a Yellowstone National park trip in March or April.
Loyalty Traveler – Alaska Airlines Ski the West Fly 2, Get 1 for tax only CA, OR, WA residents (Nov 6, 2014)
Loyalty Traveler – Alaska Airlines Fly 2, get 1 free deal for Bozeman and Yellowstone
Originally, I thought I would fly to Montana twice and check out Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in winter. Then, the expense did not seem like that great a value considering all the low fares to Europe and Asia the past couple months.
There was an Alaska Airlines fare sale two weeks ago. I booked two round trip tickets to Salt Lake City for $98 each. I realized I could fly this month and knock out the Ski the West offer with two round trips for $196 and earn a free ticket. Next week is the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City and Park City.
Several times I have driven through Salt Lake City on road trips to and from Denver, Colorado. Never took any time to tour the city.
Now I will have several days to hang out and visit museums and sites and maybe see a film and try some 3.2% beer. I’m sure I will have something to say about the Utah alcohol laws once I figure out the scene.
Club Carlson Booster
Club Carlson announced their 2015 Q1 promotion two days after I purchased my Salt Lake City tickets on Alaska Airlines. Earn 30,000 bonus points for a 3-night stay or 15,000 bonus points for a 2-night stay from January 12 – March 29, 2015.
Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (Jan 5, 2015).
Then, Club Carlson offered a 3-day sale this week for 25% off hotel rates in January. I rebooked my Salt Lake City hotel stays to earn bonus points. Two 3-night stays in Salt Lake City will cost under $500 and earn about 87,000 points. Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson 3-day sale 25% off January stays.
2015 travel is reminiscent of the old days when I frequently traveled and earned miles and points as a rebate that offers future travel value equivalent or exceeding the cost of the trips to earn miles and points.
$196 spent for two Alaska Airlines round trip flights to Salt Lake City earns a free ticket to use by April 30 for travel to some place like Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Kalispell or Bozeman, Montana or Vancouver, British Columbia.
$500 spent on six hotel nights earns 87,000 Club Carlson points which is sufficient for four nights in London, where hotel rates are typically $250 per night or more. I am certain I will get more than $1,000 in redemption value for the points at Radisson Blu hotels in Europe.
One of the side benefits of traveling to Salt Lake City was the opportunity to schedule a Global Entry appointment at Salt Lake City Airport when the next available date at SFO was late March.
Who cares about Salt Lake City?
Based on past reader statistics, I will likely see a drop in readership as I immerse myself in the Salt Lake City experience. That really does not concern me if many readers don’t care to read about Salt Lake City. The flights and hotels are a big part of the travel experience, but there is probably not much insight to share on a 90-minute economy class flight or a midscale standard hotel room.
For me, the intense feelings of exploring my surroundings in some place new is the reason I enjoy travel and seek out travel opportunities like flying to Salt Lake City for a few days. I am sure I will be motivated to write articles about Salt Lake City, even if only for myself and a small subset of readers.
Discovery is my primary purpose for travel. Miles and points are simply my means to travel more frequently and affordably.