Author Topic: Getting to Europe  (Read 2725 times)

bothpaninis

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Getting to Europe
« on: October 28, 2013, 02:47:22 PM »
My husband is from the UK and we have a wedding to attend in August. I need tips on how to get there and stay somewhere for cheap.

Plane tickets - I have a Chase Sapphire, but have already used the 50,000 mile bonus. Are there any other cards you would recommend or ways to get cheap airfare for us and our 2 yr old son?

Accomodation - I need creative ideas for lodging. We can stay with family for a few days, but will probably have to stay in a hotel or some place (campsite??) around Edinburgh for a couple of days. We are thinking of doing a house swap, as we live just outside of DC. Anyone know of reputable websites that organize this?

General - Any other advice to save dough on this trip?

Thanks!!

mjb

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 10:29:55 AM »
Have you read the blog "Frugal Travel Guy"? They regularly post "Travel Challenges", showing how a couple/family can travel to a certain destination using a combination of credit card bonus miles. For instance:

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2013/10/travel-challenge-two-weeks-in-istanbul-and-the-maldives-for-201-30-per-person.html

The Points Guy blog is also full of great information. Between those two (and a handful of others) I haven't paid for personal flights or hotels in years.

Argyle

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 03:14:49 PM »
HomeExchange.com is reliable.

For airfares, be sure to search the airlines that don't turn up on the regular sites like Kayak -- e.g. El Al, Air India, Icelandic, etc.  You can also sign up with various sites to get notifications when airfares go below a certain price. 

If you're going to buy something pricy anyway, put it on your miles credit card. You can also buy U.S. savings bonds via your miles credit card -- you're not even spending any money that way, you're saving it.  You can get household utilities put on your credit card -- of course be sure you're paying off your card right away so as not to accrue any interest charges, which defeats the point.

Melody

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 09:49:42 AM »
Look for an airline where your 2 year old travels at a steep discount (or is allowed to travel free on your lap). This may not be the cheapest airline. (Some airlines a children's fair is 70% other airlines, its 90%+) Buy a ticket for one of you and the two year old with this airline. Put the other person on the cheapest possible flight, even if it involves two+ stopovers... Not fun, but could work if you can't find a way to get miles.
Have you considered a hostel. Some hostels do not allow children under 12, but it could be worth a try.

dadof4

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 10:57:49 AM »
Open up another credit card? Chase business cards (INK) still offer 50,000 miles.
https://www.chase.com/online/business-credit-cards/ink-bold.htm

For international flights, I've had luck getting a good child discount by going through an agent rather than an online site. I found the cheapest rate online, had the agent match it, and then get a a child dsicount on top of that.

You can also buy U.S. savings bonds via your miles credit card -- you're not even spending any money that way, you're saving it.

I don't think that's true anymore.

daverobev

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 01:30:57 PM »
Not sure if it'd work given your family, but you might try hostels (YHA) for cheap accom - you can book whole rooms, not just beds. Alternatively, bed and breakfasts - the Edinburgh tourist website will no doubt have links, and they are usually pretty good value. Tourism and B&Bs are big in Scotland.

worms

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Re: Getting to Europe
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 03:28:17 PM »
Edinburgh in August is pricey and busy.  Everything gets booked up pretty early for the Festival so you might want to be organised well ahead of time.

 If the hostel suggestions don't work out, you could also have a look at the Universities as they have a lot of accommodation (Google "Edinburgh University" "Heriot Watt" "Napier" and "Queen Margaret's"). Again, they might not be cheap enough but are dependable.