Enjoying Home and Securing Your Future Travel Sooner Than Later
It’s 5:34am on a holiday weekend. My cozy bed is already neatly made and I’m one cup of coffee (soon to be two) ready for the day. By midnight all four of my girls will be home for the first time since August 2021, and this momma can hardly wait! It’s a rare day that I’m finding myself more excited about all of the traveling HOME that is happening than I am about going somewhere else in this big and beautiful world. But today I want to be right where I am, waiting for the last of our four daughters to arrive so we can all be together once again.
Kevin and I have four girls, Emma, Claire, Olivia and Hanh. Both Claire and Olivia have trickled in from college in the last weeks. Hanh is now officially a 5th grader and ready to swim her summer away at the local pool, and Emma just texted to say she is boarding her plane from London to Denver as I type. Emma is our oldest and just completed grad school at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Once she arrives tonight, all will be right with the world as we engulf each other in a giant family hug in the arrivals lobby of Denver International Airport.
For all of the wandering that daily happens in my mind and all of the places I would love to pack a bag for and adventure towards at any given moment, today is about traveling HOME, and there’s absolutely no place I’d rather be.
Frequent Flyer Mileage Travel Tip of the Day
I have been watching frequent flyer tickets closely in recent months as prices have been soaring on everything from gas to milk to travel. From what I can gather, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that there are still plenty of frequent flyer tickets out there just waiting for you snag. Great deals on miles, taxes and fees are still available on almost every route I have seen for tickets purchased 2-4 months in advance. The bad news is that it seems we may need to be a more diligent in using our miles to purchase those “almost free” flights earlier and with a bit more savviness than usual right now.
Why? Although flights that require low miles, taxes and fees continue to be offered by airlines on every flight, I think they are going a bit faster than I have seen in the past. I’m not sure if it’s because so many people are traveling again or if airlines just aren't releasing as many of the primo deals because they need to make more money with higher taxes on gas. Regardless, if you have a very specific itinerary you are hoping to create and you have the miles in your frequent flyer account to purchase tickets now, don’t hesitate.
Remember, with almost every US airline, your frequent flyer flight miles, taxes and fees are fully refundable up until the day of travel (check your particular airline to confirm), so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by reserving tickets today.
Booking a ticket now for a trip in November will assure you the ability to fly with the lowest miles, taxes and fees and fewest hours in the air to and from the exact locations of your dreams. Wait until October and you might still get lucky. You could also find yourself having to dig around those purchasing sites and rearrange your itinerary more than you would like in order to make your travel dreams come true.
Example: Yesterday I found a typical ticket on AA from Denver to Prague in August for 30,000 miles and $26 in taxes and fees. That is the usual going rate and there were many options still available. Next, I wanted to travel home from Vienna. Vienna had a few tickets still available at 30,000 miles, but the taxes and fees were much too high at almost $300 AND the flight left at 7am (which is a no-no for me…I don’t like to maneuver early mornings with trains and taxis internationally in order to arrive at the airport 2 hours early) The next frequent flyer ticket available would cost 65,000 frequent flyer miles and take 40 hours to get home. That’s just nuts!
So what are my options now? 1) change my travel dates 2) change my departure airport 3) cross my fingers and hope someone cancels and their low-cost flight pops up for me to grab.
Solution I would choose: I’ll fly home from Munich! Munich is relatively the same distance from Prague as Vienna. I get to explore another country at the end of my trip and the flight offerings are perfect: 30,000 miles, 10:40 departure, 17 hour flight itinerary, $118 taxes and fees.
BUT if I had attempted to purchase the Vienna flight a month earlier I could almost guarantee there would have been a perfect flight for 30,000 miles and under $100 taxes and fees that would have provided the itinerary I had hoped to follow.
Bottom Line: if you have the miles or points and you hope to travel soon, secure your tickets now for the best deals and cancel them later if you need to make changes. There’s no way to predict how the airlines will continue to react to all that is happening in our world, so just secure your future holiday early and breathe easy.
What I’m Consuming This Week
Netflix Season 5 of Somebody Feed Phil landed on Netflix this week!
Netflix Next in Fashion - LOVE Tan France :)
The Temporary European by Cameron Hewitt
The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith by Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A Guelich