Rewards Points Travel

How to Book a Free Vacation on Short Notice

January 21, 2016

Most of our “traveling for free with credit card rewards points” posts so far have focused on getting BIG trips for free.  Trips that take months of planning and spending with various cards to achieve.  Well what if you can’t wait that long? What if you want to get a free vacation on short notice? Spoiler alert…you can.

I’ve spent the last few weeks researching this topic as Lacey and I are trying to squeeze in another quick vacay before our upcoming trip in April to see the Final Four.  The weather in Boise can be pretty gnarley in February, so it would be perfect timing to go somewhere warmer for a couple days.  That being said, we don’t have a lot of extra cash laying around right now.  The only way we’ll be able to book a trip for February is if it is either free or at least highly discounted.

Here are some options I came up with during my snooping around that I wanted to share with you guys.  Hopefully this helps you guys get an idea of how you could book a trip of your own in just a few weeks!

Get a super cheap flight in about 2 weeks:

Apply for the Alaska Airlines credit card (25k miles for signing up and paying the $75 sign up fee)

  • You can book your rewards flight about 2 weeks after you get approved for the card.
  • Alaska partners with a bunch of different airlines which results in a ton of travel options within the U.S
  • In just a couple weeks, you could be flying to sunny Florida (for example) for about $100 (sign up fee and taxes).  …which would cost us about $450 normally from Boise

Alaska Airlines Free Vacation

Get a couple nights free at a hotel in 4-5 weeks:

Apply for the Chase Hyatt Credit Card and you’ll be ready to redeem your 2 free rewards nights in about 4-5 weeks (if you hit the $1000) spending requirement.

  • The Hyatt has a ton of beautiful properties around the world where you can redeem this reward.
  • The super lower spending requirement makes it easy to get the reward bonus quickly
  • $0 sign up fee for the first year.  It’s $75 per year after that but they give you a free night every year on your sign-up anniversary.
Hyatt Park City

The beautifulPark City Hyatt. Image from expedia.com

Cover Additional Vacation Expenses with Points

Apply for the Capital One Venture Card and take it with you on your trip.  You will be able to use the reward points you earn from this card to pay for many of your additional expenses on your trip.  You can wipe out up to $400 dollars of expenses with the 40k bonus points you’ll receive after hitting the spending requirement.

Capital One Venture Card Info

Details on how you can redeem you Capital One Venture rewards

 

While I know there are numerous other ways to book a free/discounted trip on short notice, hopefully the info I shared above will at least get your wheels turning.  You CAN book a trip with points on relatively short notice.  The next time you get that “I gotta get outta here for a few days” feeling, remember that you can do it…soon…with points!

Lacey and I will keep  you posted on where we end up going in February.  It’ll likely be somewhere sunny!

Please share any additional questions or tips you may have!

Lacey Grand Solmar Cabo

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