Everyone has a bucket list trip somewhere on paper or in their mind but few get that chance to take it off the list. Well, we booked our bucket list trip, moved it and then completely changed it. What started out as a trip almost purely on miles, has ended up becoming a mix of travel on points and paid travel, with no shortage of unbelievable experiences we’re excited to document and share. Here’s a little preview…

The Outline + Background

We booked a trip, including flights almost entirely booked with points where we would depart New York and visit Tokyo and Hong Kong on an open jaw. We then changed the dates and added travel to Vietnam. After seeing an amazing business class fare sale from Italy to Bangkok with Qatar Airways, we decided it would be nice to have the 280,000 miles used for the previous booking back, and as such we made further changes. We’d end up using some of those miles we got back for new flights, but the new journey would now net us miles and allow us to come away from the trip still up about 160,000 miles. 

New York to London

The Flight: Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class

Miles Or Cash? 40,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles per person via credit card points.

Why? Laura’s family is in London so we relish any opportunity to get over there (frequently).

Duration: 6.5 Hours for a three day stay. 

London to Pisa (Tuscany)

The Flight: British Airways A320 Club Europe

Miles Or Cash? Cash. £300 per person. 

Why? To pick up the business class deal from Qatar and see the Cinque Terra, one of the most beautiful places in Italy.

Duration: 3 hours for a 1 night two day stay.

Pisa To Doha

The Flight: Qatar Airways A320 Business Class

Miles Or Cash? Cash. $1000 per person round trip from Pisa to Bangkok.

Why? Flying Qatar you can’t really avoid a connection in Doha, but this connection nets 140 tier points, which will help us re-qualify for top tier British Airways status.

Duration: 6 hours for a quick layover in Doha.

Doha To Bangkok

The Flight: Qatar Airways A380 Business Class

Miles Or Cash? Cash. The Same $1000 Ticket that started in Pisa.

Why? Bangkok puts us in the Asian region allowing for great mileage opportunities to travel around Asia.

Duration: 6 hours with a quick layover in Bangkok.

Bangkok To Hong Kong

The Flight: Emirates A380 First Class

Miles Or Cash? 50,000 Citi Thank You Points Per Person from a checkin account bonus.

Why? Why not? $500 to try Emirates First Class is an amazing opportunity. Having the flight comp’d just from opening a checking account last year and paying two bills made it even sweeter. It’s not cheap, but it’s Emirates First for free thanks to cash back points…

Duration: 3 hours for a 2 night 3 day stay.

Hong Kong To Tokyo

The Flight: Cathay Pacific 747 First Class

Miles or Cash? 40,000 British Airways Avios per person.

Why? After three days in Tokyo we’ll spend over 4 hours in Cathay’s finest offering. For just 40,000 per person and minimal taxes, it’s a heck of a way to travel. 

Duration: 4 hours 25 minutes for a 3 night 4 day stay.

Tokyo To Bangkok

The Flight: Japan Airlines 777 Business Class

Miles Or Cash? Miles. 30,000 American Airlines Miles per person from a transatlantic bonus and a purchase of miles in a sale.

Why? We wanted to actually enjoy Bangkok rather than just flying through, so we will spend two days and two nights in the city before heading back to London.

Duration: 6 hours overnight for a 2 night 2 day stay.

Bangkok To Doha

The Flight: Qatar Airways A380 Business Class

Miles Or Cash? The same $1000 round trip ticket from Pisa to Bangkok.

Why? Part of the business class deal. We built in a long stopover to spend one day in city.

Duration: 6 hours for a 12 hour stay.

Doha To Pisa

The Flight: Qatar Airways A320 Business Class

Miles Or Cash? The Same $1000 round trip ticket from Pisa to Bangkok.

Why? Terminating our business deal before heading immediately to London.

Duration: 6 hours for a 3 hour stay.

Pisa To London

The Flight: British Airways A320 Club Europe

Miles Or Cash? Cash. The Same £300 per person ticket from London to Pisa round trip.

Why? Needed a flight to position back to London for some relaxation.

Duration: 3 hours for a 3 night stay. 

London City To New York

The Flight: British Airways Club World A318 London City

Miles Or Cash? Miles. 55,000 Miles off peak per person. 

Why? Sadly all good things must come to an end and work calls. Back home we go.

Duration: 9 hours due to a refueling stop in Shannon Ireland aboard this exceptional service.