I started planning this trip since January, and I can’t wait to finally depart. In just a few weeks, I get to join my sister in celebrating her graduation from Leicester University. My entire family will be in Europe as well to attend her graduation ceremony, as well as doing some sightseeing in nearby European countries. It’s gonna be great.

Not to take anything away from Rebecca’s amazing achievement (really, no words can describe how proud I am for her), another reason for my excitement is that this marks the first trip I’m taking with the miles I got almost solely from a hobby called “churning”. Yup, after 2 years of collecting credit cards (and points/miles), I’m finally reaping the fruits. All long-distance flights in this trip are redeemed with points; I’ve considered spending points on the European regional flights, too, but it didn’t make too much sense since actual ticket prices in Europe are so low. Also, click site to know how you make your travel much better if you do not like travelling on commercial planes.

An Average of 4.63 cpp

While people generally have different ideas of what a “good” redemption looks like, I’ve always thought that any redemptions below 3 cents per point (cpp) are not worth it. The idea behind is that, the churning hobby fuels experiences that I otherwise would not consider shelling out real money for. Redeeming points for things with lower cpp value means the opportunity cost – not being able to try out experiences that can’t be bought with cash – is a lot higher.

Here is a list of my redemptions for this trip. Actual ticket prices are found by using Google Flights, selecting the cheapest ticket on the same airline around the time range (checking both one-way and round trip prices, dividing appropriately).

  • Virgin Atlantic LAX – LHR in J: 70,000 Delta miles; actual $2400, ~3.42 cpp
  • Singapore Airlines FRA – JFK in J: 68,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles + $310 fees; actual $3000, ~3.96 cpp
  • Cathay Pacific JFK – YVR in F: 40,000 AsiaMiles; actual $3200, ~7.97 cpp
  • Delta YVR – SEA in Y: 5,000 Delta Miles; actual $200, ~4 cpp

The highlight here is probably the Cathay Pacific flight. At 7.97 cpp, It’s truly one of Cathay Pacific’s little known sweet spots. Only other routes that guarantee their famous international First Class product are long-haul and costs at least 100,000 Asia Miles (e.g., LAX – HKG).

Many Firsts

I’m also looking forward to many first experiences on this trip. Other than the SEA – LAX and YVR – SEA connection flights, I’ve never taken any airline-class combo like the ones I’m about to take before. In addition, I’ll get to ride an intercity train from Stockholm to Gothenburg that is managed by MTR, the company behind Hong Kong’s subway system. How awesome is that?!

With my new toy, a Sony a6500, we’ll be sure to take lots of pictures to document my journey!