Flights and 4 nights for 5 people- under $300
We just returned from New Orleans thanks to some serious travel hacking and I wanted to share with you how we saved so much money on accommodation & flights. We’ve been able to travel more since learning how to better utilize our credit card points. For more info, start HERE:
We flew to New Orleans on Southwest Airlines. The total cost of 5 flights on Southwest would have been $1269.40! Instead, our total was $56 and some change thanks to 56,350 Rapid Rewards points. You could get this many points by getting the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and then transferring the points to Southwest (comment below for a sign-up link). You could also get the Southwest Business card which is currently offering 60,000 points.
For our hotel nights, we wanted to do a plantation tour, but also stay in the city.
Because we were arriving into New Orleans on a Saturday night during Jazz Fest, city hotel rates were really high. We decided that we’d stay outside of the city for the first night, then drive in on Sunday.
The first night we stayed at the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Gonzales, LA. This was a perfect family-friendly property. Our room with two double beds and a sofa bed was HUGE, and the free breakfast was sufficient.
The total cost for that night was $112.78.
We had some points left on our Barclaycard Arrival+. Which allowed us to completely “erase” the purchase. Barclaycard is offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus which is good for $500 of travel purchases.
In New Orleans, we picked our hotel considering what would accommodate our family but was also not too close to the French Quarter. I’d read on some blogs that the French Quarter can get a little rowdy at night and little ones (or their big mama, lol) would have a hard time sleeping.
Brian had some Hilton points to burn, so we chose the Hampton Inn by Hilton by the Convention Center. If we would have paid out of pocket for the Hampton, 3 nights would have cost us just over $694. This is without 2 nights of valet parking (we were able to park the first night on the street), which would have added an additional $88). Hilton now allows you to redeem an uneven amount of points – i.e. the Hampton was 36k a night and we redeemed 77k to help us save a little more on the last night.
Our final bill at check-out was
3 nights at the Hampton with 2 nights parking FULL PRICE: $782
3 nights at the Hampton with 2 nights parking WITH POINTS: $235
We also rented a car, but it’s not a necessity when visiting New Orleans so I won’t include it. Our reason for renting was because we did want to drive out to the plantations, and we needed cost-effective airport transportation. I’m so glad we did have the car because of all of the flight debacles we had on the return.
Also, when flying on Southwest Airlines, you get two FREE bags! Car seats also fly for free. We bought car seat bags a couple of years ago from Amazon and this backpack one is our favorite. Hands-free with kids is a must!
(If you weren’t traveling with three small kids you could easily purchase a plantation tour with hotel pick-up plus airport transfers).
So that’s how we did flights for five & 4 nights of hotel for under $300!?Do you travel hack? Have you been to New Orleans?
** Leah’s disclaimer: It’s never a good idea to go into debt by using credit cards. We use them for most of our business/personal expenses and then pay the statement each month. Don’t play this game if you lack self-control. **