Travel Planning and Expenditures: Nashville and Europe

Wow I just spent a boatload of money on travel – Nashville and Venice, here I come! Thankfully, I’ll get reimbursed for the majority of it, and it will all help meet the minimum spending requirements on my new American Airlines credit cards.

Total amount spent: $1181

Total amount out of pocket: $200

  1. Flight to Nashville: $432
    I’ll get reimbursed for this flight by the sorority chapter I advise.
    Bonus: 2x flights on American Airlines with my AA card (+864 AAdvantage miles)
  2. Lodgings in Nashville: $390
    I’ll also get reimbursed for this amount as well. This covers two nights at the hotel, along with all food/drinks/etc while I’m there.
  3. Rental car in Nashville: $74
    I won’t be getting reimbursed for this, because my sorority provides shuttles to/from the airport. But I decided to splurge for the rental car because I wanted to have the leeway to visit downtown Nashville during the times when we don’t have events (which will be after 10pm on Saturday night, exactly the time I imagine Nashville is hopping!).
    Bonus: 3x miles on dollars spent on rental cars (+222 AAdvantage miles)
  4. Flight from Paris to Venice: $153
    I will be getting partial reimbursement for this. This cost is for two flights from Paris to Venice, plus the cost of one checked bag because my mom is pretty sure she can’t fit her bag within the smaller-than-we’re-used-to carry on limits. Flights cost 39 EUR each, with a 15 EUR baggage fee, 10 EUR in taxes total, a single 11 EUR booking fee, and a 3 EUR fee for using a credit card instead of a debit card. In all, my mom will reimburse me for 39+15+5+5.50+1.50 = 66 EUR, or $86. I’ll pay for my flight, or 39+5+5.5+1.5 = 51 EUR, or $67.
  5. Flight from Venice to Krakow: $132
    Again, my mom will be reimbursing me for her fare/taxes/fees, and the cost for her checked bag. In this case, my share comes out to 45 EUR or $59, and her share is 56 EUR, or $73.


If I spend $2500 on the VISA (halfway there!), and $2000 on the American Express within the first 4 months of having the cards, I’ll get 90,000 AAdvantage miles credited to my account. Coupled with the miles earned from spending $4500, the miles already in my account, and a little finagling on my part, I’ll be able to book two round trip tickets to Central America (or northern South America) and two round trip tickets to Hawaii! Of course, I won’t have enough vacation time to do this until roughly 1 year from now, but that’s the fun of planning – anticipation!


Categories: Credit Cards, Planning

Tags: , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I’m Venice bound in April 🙂 I’ll let you know if I find any awesome hidden spots

  2. Nice! That AAdvantage card offer enticed me to start churning credit cards for the sign up bonus after a long hiatus. I used the miles for my trip to the middle east, and I still have some left. You should check out the mile value blog if you haven’t yet. He posts about maximizing your award reservations by adding free-oneway. If you plan right, you could get 3 vacations out of two award bookings.

    • I have seen that post – in fact I linked to it down at the end for “free round trip tickets to Hawaii!”. While I don’t want to become a points/miles blogger (there are many out there who do a more than awesome job, and it seems like their full time job is getting free travel), I do want to share my strategies for making my travels affordable!

  3. Nice strategy for getting free flights! Enjoy your trips. For Venice – suggest not staying too near Piazza San Marco, where rooms are exxy and food touristy. The further you stray from there (and Venice is a city built for straying), the more authentic your experience will be. I had great tapas at Acciughe, excellent local food at Casa Mia and a grand time taking photos at the morning markets near the Rialto bridge (go early when the locals are doing their shopping). Bon voyage!

    • Ah, great suggestions – thank you! I think the best thing you mentioned was taking photos at the morning markets – I never get enough photos of the day-to-day life of a city. My head is literally in the clouds – you should see how many photos of the sky I have on my computer!

  4. Josh here from the BlinkPack blog. Looks like you are going to have a full itinerary of awesome travel. Hope you enjoy it. Safe journey!

    • Thanks for stopping by! I am very excited for my upcoming trips! We’re still trying to nail down the itinerary for Europe though, so far we’ve only booked the flights to/from Europe and the flights to/from Venice in the middle of the trip.

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