How my trip home went from $300 to $500 and then down to $150

When I thought about going back to CA for a week to visit family, I had come up with the $300 budget based on what I thought was an educated guess. The flight usually costs ~$350 but, since it would be somewhat last minute booking, I upped that to $500 and I had $400 worth of credits via American Airlines. I doubt I would be eating out very much but I do like to take my parents out for dinner or cook for them and I would need some gas money as I plan on visiting family and friends nearby.

Boy, did I suck at estimating or what?

When I actually started to look at flights for my specific dates, the cost was ~$750! Even after the $400 credit, it was too pricey for one week at home. But, I haven’t been home in over a year now and I really don’t know when I will be able to visit again. I need to put my family first so I decided to bite the bullet. In my overanalyzing style, I decided to put the ticket on a 24 hr hold (free if you are current AAdvantage member).

So, how did the budget deflate again to $150? Next night, as I was on the computer to pull the trigger, I saw my total miles.  I had over 270,000 miles and I only really use miles to get upgrades from economy to first class. I decided to see how much it would be to cash in my miles. I could spend 12.5k to CA on economy direct flight and 25k back on first class with connections for additional $7.50. To me, losing 37k miles and paying $7.50 was much easier to stomach than the $350 just on the flight alone after using $400 credit. So thanks to the miles I have been hoarding, now I am looking at a budget of just $150 total for my visit home.

Now that the flights are booked, I am just busy finishing up errands around the house. I want to make sure that everything is in place and I can just focus on beginning my new job when I return from my trip. For me a new job always means some additional expenditures and tasks and I do hope to review that soon with you, as well as what I have learned in my one year of working at a small start up and why I am choosing to leave.

Hope everyone has a great day!

2 responses to “How my trip home went from $300 to $500 and then down to $150

  1. I definitely would have done the same thing. How do you have that many miles? That’s a lot of miles.

  2. Hi ND Chic!

    I was lucky to have traveled for fun, both internationally and within the US, a lot until I started my current line of work. Also, my last job had me traveling constantly to San Diego. Combine my travels with extra promotions that AA runs that doubles miles, etc. I was able to amass a large amount. I feel silly to never have used it before. There were definitely times when I didn’t go home to see family, etc. because I was concerned with the flight costs.

    Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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