Cheap winter trip – using points

Three weeks ago my husband decided he wanted to take a trip somewhere warm to get away from our cold weather and his job. Lots of people he works with were going to Mexico and he decided that’s where he wanted to go also. I agreed and the search was on for a good deal for our trip.

We were searching all-inclusive packages and they were from $800 – $1,500 per person. Most of my husband’s co-workers paid about $1,500 each for their trips. For the two of us it was going to cost about $1,600 – $3,000. That was way too much we were willing to pay for a trip and then my husband Dean, got looking at using our points to plan our trip.

A few years ago we bought a time-share. We were caught up in the excitement of our trip and thought the time-share was a great idea if we planned on travelling more often. Our time-share uses points to book the hotels/cabins/resorts, plus a booking fee. That fee has recently gone up to $300, but that’s still cheaper than a week of hotel rooms. Some of the time-share resorts have a mandatory all-inclusive fee, while other resorts have no fee at all. Dean picked a resort in Mazatlan with the all-inclusive fee of $57 per person per day – in total $798. Adding up the cost of the booking fee and resort all-inclusive the total so far was $1,098.

After booking the all-inclusive resort room, Dean started looking into flight options. When I first met Dean he used his credit card for every purchase he made. I thought he was crazy for using it all the time, I only used my card for large purchases. He explained to me that he got points for using his card and could use those points to buy all kinds of things at the on-line store, including plane tickets. When he bought a plane ticket for $7.00 and the cost without using points was $950, I believed him and started using my credit card for every purchase. No I don’t feel bad using my credit card for a $4 jug of milk, I just think of my points adding up and what we’ll spend them on. Our Royal Bank account has one flat monthly rate so we can use our credit cards as much as we want without extra charges. Dean found a flight on the RBC flight page from Winnipeg to Mexico City. He used our points and the charge of $164.87 for both of our plane tickets. We had to check one piece of luggage and that was $25.

We live 282kms from Winnipeg, where the airport is located or about a three hour drive. Since our flight was scheduled for 6:30am and we needed to be at the airport 2 hours before that time, we decided instead of leaving our place at midnight and try to stay awake for the drive, we’d get a hotel room by the airport for the night. This turned out to be a great idea since there was a snow storm headed our way. Booking that hotel room, we used our air miles and there was no charge using the points.

We parked our car for the week and used an employee discount card and the cost was $100.

In total the cost of this trip was $1,387.87 for two of us. This makes us happy knowing how much we could have spent but didn’t. Using all kinds of points and discounts sure made a difference when planning this trip. And yes it was a nice relaxing week by the beach!

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