I Can’t Stop Looking At Cinque Terre On Instagram And Now I Will See It In Person, Oh And I Saved $4,700 Getting To Italy

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Summer of 2017-Rob turned 50. We took a lavish birthday trip to the Amalfi Coast, and stayed in Ravello, Positano and Capri.

Summer of 2018-our 20th anniversary and I turned 50. I treated myself to many trips last summer including London for Wimbledon, Nashville and Apsen.

Summer of 2019-nobody is turning 50 but I still want a summer trip! To add to my desire, I also had a British Airways Travel Together Ticket that expired in October, 2019.  I needed to use it, or I would lose it. Don’t forget, a Travel Together Ticket allows you to redeem British Airways Avios for one ticket and receive another ticket for free. It can be used for travel originating in and returning to the US.  Due to the fact that you still need to pay hefty tax and fuel charges on British Airways flights, it makes the most sense to use the travel together ticket for business class flights.

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I knew that to sell Rob on a trip, we would need to stay on points.  I figured my best bet would be in a city as cities have the most hotel brands, easily redeemable on points.  Rob and I loved our time in Italy, and he had mentioned to me that he would like to go back.  But where? I foresee a family trip to Venice, Florence, Rome so I did not want to book in these cities.  Also, when Rob mentioned he wanted to go back to Italy, I can’t imagine he wanted to be a tourist in a hot and crowded city.

I have wanted to visit Cinque Terre ever since my college friend, Amy, described hiking the trails from town to town along the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera. Not to mention, the instagram pictures of today make the Cinque Terre area look spectacular.

With Cinque Terre in mind, I knew I could easily base in Milan on points and ultimately take the 3 hour train ride to Cinque Terre. I figured we would spend our days (after a day or two taking in Milan) taking day trips to Lake Como, Lugano, Switzerland and ultimately leave for a 2 night (non point) stay in Cinque Terre.  I have still yet to book my hotel in Milan, but I am not concerned as there are numerous Marriott/SPG properties and Hyatt properties as well.  In fact, I am thinking about the Park Hyatt Milan, but am just waiting for Rob to get the sign-ups bonus on the new Chase World Of Hyatt Credit Card that he got this past summer. I will post when I secure my free hotel.

As for the flights, I took my own advice and went for the business class tickets.  The value is just to high to pass up as you will see……

I used 113,095 British Airways Avios which I pulled from our our British Airways Household Account for one BUSINESS CLASS TICKET. Recall, as a member of the British Airways Executive Club, you can create a Household Account.  In this account, up to seven individuals who live at the same address can ‘pool’ their Avios together into one cumulative Household Account Avios balance which can then be redeemed by all Household Account members.

I got another BUSINESS CLASS TICKET automatically, via the Travel Together ticket.

However, I needed to pay $2,327 in taxes and fees, which, I know, is a lot.  However, it is not so much when you realize that had we paid for these tickets, they would have run $7,068.  We saved $4,741 using the Avios coupled with the travel together ticket that I saved from expiring.

Back in 2013, we flew as a family using Avios and travel together tickets on business class flights to and from London.  I fondly remember that flight, our beds, the food, the service, the lounge access prior to the flight, etc.  I can’t wait to experience British Air business class again!