June/July Trip Summary

June 17, 2017

Without a doubt, I am the WORST BLOGGER EVER. My life is insanely busy, and I've spent the past week simply trying to get prepared to leave the country for three weeks. I think longingly about retirement...perhaps then I'll have the time to fully pursue all my side hustles.


Speaking of side hustles, gift card re-selling has been awesome. I've tracked my progress since January, and I'm on target to make close to $4k profit January - June, plus all the points, miles, cashback, etc. I truly enjoy pursuing these deals and working with bulk buyers. The challenge is to find enough stacking opportunities to make the purchase worthwhile - I've learned a lot about cash back portals, discounted gift cards, and credit card category bonuses. This is something I will definitely continue to pursue once we return home.


Our crazy Russia/Baltic Capitols/Amsterdam trip starts tomorrow. This trip is without a doubt more complicated than any I've planned before, and I'm nervous about all the pieces falling into place. If it works like I think it will, we'll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. OKAAAAAAY, even with a hiccup or two it will still be amazing. At this point I just need to relax and enjoy.


I booked the long flights over and back using Etihad miles to fly on Brussels Airlines. Take a look at my original blog post to find out how I made this work:


 Our Craziest Flight Redemption Yet


Our intra-Europe travel consists of planes, trains, and a few automobiles. Mostly planes. If you take a look at the trip summary you'll see that we spent $7,111 on this trip, which is WAY more than we would normally spend. The impetus for that expense was partly nostalgia - I've been so lucky to travel with our church choir on every European jaunt since they began touring in 2000, and since this is the last one with our current director I didn't want to miss the opportunity. The other cost factor is simply Scandinavia itself. Nothing is cheap in that part of the world! We also spent $400 to acquire Russian visas, and another $720 to hire a private tour company in Saint Petersburg. All money well spent, but it does add a layer of expense you don't normally see on my trip summaries. (I won't even begin to discuss the cost to witness Scarlet Sails from a boat on the Neva...again, once-in-a-lifetime!)


Edited on June 19 with corrected grand total


So there you have it - retail value is $40,260  if paid in cash at time of booking. We managed it for $7,111 and 451,652 loyalty points. In the travel hacking community, that's not a great result. But for our purposes I'm 100% grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with dear friends exploring a part of the world I may not have the chance to visit again. And now for my usual disclaimer: I INTEND to blog while we're on the trip, but if you've followed me even casually you know how that goes. Happy Travelin'.




Please reload

Like our site? Support us by using our shopping portal links:


Be Frugal





We'll both get a bonus when you sign up!


  • b-facebook
  • Twitter Round

© 2019 by TWO TRAVELIN' TEACHERS Proudly created with Wix.com