Coming Up: Our Last Trip of 2012- Louisville & Nashville

Image edited from mapquest

For the first time Kim and I do not have the same winter break. She is off during the holidays and I am off towards the end of January. We usually go away during our winter break so why should this year be any different. I decided to take one day off so we could get in a long weekend trip.

I wasn’t looking to spend money on a flight so this is where my Southwest Airlines points came into play. I earned Companion Pass status (good until 12/31/13) so any flight I book- with points or cash, my companion (Kim) flies for free. The only thing we pay is the tax.

While looking into places to go, nothing was really standing out. I would’ve loved to visit Portland, Oregon, Seattle or California but the prices of these flights were astronomical. To book a flight to any of those destinations, I would’ve had to use up all of my points- over 100,000. Definitely not my idea of a great value. (I plan to turn my SW points into at least 3 round trip flights.)

This led to my next group of places to consider. This group was narrowed down to three options- Charleston, Dallas or Nashville. As I debated where to go, the amount of points needed to book the flights started to change (as did the availability of decent flight times).

After comparing flight times and points needed for the flights, Nashville was the clear winner.

You’re probably wondering now where Louisville, KY came into play. Whenever I travel, I love to pull up a map and see what else is nearby. While checking the map, I noticed that Kentucky wasn’t too far away. I’ve been wanting to visit a museum in Louisville for a while now (I’ll mention which one at another time) so this seemed like the perfect time to squeeze in a visit.

I went back to Southwest and found that flights to Louisville from NYC were less miles than flying into Nashville and also left at a convenient time. I usually do not care what time I fly but with Lucas in the picture, we try to find better flights for him.

Kim and I have not been to Kentucky or Tennessee so this should be a fun little trip!

Here is what our flight cost us in miles.  I’ll also list what it would’ve cost in dollars to purchase the flights.

The Flights:

  • 12/27- New  York- Louisville: 9,120 points ($174)
  • 1/1- Nashville- New York: 19,320 ($343)

The amount of miles (or dollars) listed above are what was needed to book one ticket. However, with the companion pass I got flights for Kim and I for this amount.

So for 28,440 SW points we got $1034 value in flights! (I almost forgot to mention, we did have to pay $5 per person each way, so $20 for both of us on top of the points used)

Prior to booking the flight, I had to work on renting a car to go from Louisville to Nashville. I was blown away by how expensive the rental would be. If we wanted to rent the car in one location and return it to another it would cost around $500. If we picked up/ returned to the same location it was around $180.

Due to a mistake by the car rental company I was able to book a car for around $230. Definitely not cheap but worth it to make this trip happen. (I’ll talk more about what happened with the car rental company in another post)

Next up is booking hotels for this trip. I plan to use points to stay for free in one city and pay for a room in the other. That will have to wait until tomorrow!

Stay tuned…

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