Summer plans in Europe coming together

Two trips to Europe this summer meant planning an itinerary with over 30 hotel nights and six or more flights. The first trip is a little tougher to plan due to only holding a $150 one way ticket to Barcelona, Spain on the new Iberia Level route from Oakland in June.

I found a return ticket last night for $502 through Momondo.com flying Oneworld airlines back to California in June, then back to Europe at Christmas. This morning the lowest ticket price I see is $577 and nothing like the other itinerary I liked.

Still, I established a routing for my trips allowing me to book most of the hotel stays.

Hotel Chains in our travel plans

Club Carlson = 11 hotel nights (57,000 points + $515).

Wyndham Rewards = 3 hotel nights (9,000 points + $200)

IHG Rewards Club = 6 hotel nights (20,000 points + free credit card night + $100 London night).

World of Hyatt = 1 free credit card night.

Best Western Rewards = 2 to 4 nights (redeem $130 hotel travel cards and pay difference).

Independent Hotels = 2 nights ($120)

Choice Privileges = 6 hotel nights (60,000 points).

Places in our travel plans include:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Barcelona, Spain

Bratislava, Slovakia

Brno, Czechia

Gdansk, Poland

Kaunas, Lithuania

Klaipeda, Lithuania

London, UK

Prague, Czechia

Riga, Latvia

Stockholm, Sweden

Funny thing is I am taking my wife to many of the places I visited on solo trips over past three months.

Riga Latvia

Riga, Latvia

I wanted to tour Romania this summer, but looks like that has to be my solo trip scouting adventure sometime over the next year to see if Romania is the kind of place Kelley would like to visit summer 2018.

And I am still trying to fit Portugal, Hungary, Ukraine and Croatia into my future plans for the next year, along with travel back to Greece for Aegean Gold elite status in 2018.

So many places.



About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. @Ric — just as an aside, how old are you? It’s not a serious question, but I have a serious problem with flying LCCs — or even “regular” carriers — in long-haul Economy seats. At my age — early 60s, with two bad knees — even trans-con is difficult . . .

  2. @Jason – 57 years old and that last Norwegian Airlines flight gave me a pain in my back for about a week. That was the first long haul flight in a couple years where I was stuck in a middle seat without my wife next to me to climb over. That was 11 hours on the plane, followed by 2.5 hour drive from Oakland to Monterey.

    Or maybe it was walking 10 miles across Stockholm with my loaded backpack.

    Either way, the pain is gone now, the memory of pain is fading and I am ready for another middle seat in June on Level.

  3. Well, I would have been happy to give you an espresso for the drive back to Monterey, but you prove my point: back pain for a week isn’t worth it for me, and sadly, although the pain *does* fade, the memory doesn’t . . . ;^)

    When it comes to long-haul, it’s business or first for me.

  4. Ric, when you’ve made Club Carlson 2-for-1 or 4-for-2 stays in the past, did they earn Gold Points? I have a 4-for-2 booking in Madrid coming up this summer. Just checked my reservation in my account, and the rate now says “as confirmed by the hotel”, where that text is hyperlinked. when i click it, a pop-up window does display the correct rate, but it also displays a few disclaimers, one of which says “NO POINTS/MILES AWARDED FOR THIS STAY”. I’m already anticipating a battle w/ the Carlson phone agents to get points to post. I had printed out the original booking confirmation, on which there was no such disclaimer at the time.

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