Sunday, July 27, 2014

Free flights from Tokyo to Taipei to Okinawa

Planning our next trip to Asia in November 2014
I first detailed our award travel flight from LAX (Los Angeles) to HND (Tokyo, Japan) in a previous post.  Our total cost for 2 economy one-way tickets from Los Angeles to Tokyo was only 50,000 American Airlines miles and $10!

The next part of our travel involves flying from NRT (Tokyo, Japan) to TPE (Taipei, Taiwan) where we will stay for 5 days. 

Next, we will fly to TPE (Taipei, Taiwan) and will be staying in Taipei for 5 days.   We will then continue onwards to OKA (Okinawa, Japan) and will stay there for 4 to 5 days before returning home.

Using our Chase Ultimate Rewards points

I found that using our United Airlines Mileage Plus miles would be the cheapest award redemption.  Once I found out the cost (in miles and fees) of the flights we wanted to take on, I went to to transfer some of our Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards my United Airlines Mileage Plus account. 

Chase Ultimate Rewards points convert 1:1 directly to United Airlines (and several other airlines including British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, and Virgin Atlantic).  The point transfer occurs almost instantly; you just need to logout and then re-login to your United Airlines account. 

These two flights came out to be 30,000 United Airlines miles and $35.70 per person for a total of 60,000 United Airlines miles and $71.40.  I used to find the cheapest possible flight online, which would have cost us $651 total if paying with cash.  There is still so much more planning that we need to do for our upcoming trip.

I will post more details of our Asia trip as I redeem more points towards free travel!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free flights to Tokyo on American Airlines

It’s time for our next international trip!  We both work very hard to earn more, save more, and invest more.  Taking regular vacations help us lower our stress levels and increase our happiness.  We are looking forward to traveling to Japan and Taiwan in November 2014!

We will be flying from LAX (Los Angeles) to HND (Tokyo, Japan) and stay in Tokyo for 6 days.  Next, we will fly to TPE (Taipei, Taiwan) and will be staying in Taipei for 5 days.   We will then continue onwards to OKA (Okinawa, Japan) and will stay there for 4 to 5 days before returning home. 

We are conservative with our miles and points
As soon as we got approved for time off work, we began to search for the best way to utilize our miles.  While many people get satisfaction from using their miles and points to fly first class, we are much more conservative and are happy to fly economy (which in our opinion already has lots of its own luxuries).  We treat our miles and points just like cash, and are very conservative with them.  This being said, I’m not condemning the use of miles and points to fly on premium airline seats: if you have the miles, you’re entitled to use them anyway you wish.  We have considered “splurging” with some of our miles on business class seats for our flight home. 

Today I will share how we are flying to Tokyo, Japan for nearly free using some American Airlines miles! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My last bike riding update (for a while)

For the last few months, I’ve had a great time commuting to the office on my bike a few times each week.

While I did not save a significant amount of money on gas, I definitely felt a great improvement in my overall health.  I’ve been less tired during the day and have been able to sleep better at night.  My clothes fit better, and I’ve felt my energy and stamina levels increase significantly.

I want to share some bike riding updates with you all.

My wife got into a bike accident
Several months ago, a car hit my wife while she was riding to work.  A driver did not see my wife crossing the street and drove his car right into her.  She ended up on the hood of the car before rolling off after the driver stopped.  She was wearing a helmet and luckily did not suffer any head trauma. There were many witnesses and the driver did not try to flee.

A good samaritan called me on behalf of my wife.  This was one of the most frightening moments in my life.  That same morning, I was also riding my bike to my office and was about half way there.  My wife was crying on the phone and her voice sounded frantic.  I only heard her blurt out that she was “hit by a car” and that she was going to be “taken by an ambulance to the hospital.”  She was immediately rushed to the emergency room.

The helpful by bystander took the phone away from my wife and calmly explained what had happened.  She told me that my wife couldn’t move and that the ambulance was taking my wife to the nearby hospital emergency room for X-rays.  I immediately turned my bike around and started riding home as fast as possible.

I arrived at the emergency room in time to see my wife strapped head down to a long board, on the way to get complete X-rays of her body.  The doctors couldn’t allow her to move until X-rays were done.  The doctors were looking for broken bones or spinal damage. 

We were both very relieved to find out that my wife did not have any broken bones or fractures.  Instead, my wife’s body suffered from significant deep tissue and bone bruising, as well as cuts all over her legs and back.  Coincidentally, another unlucky biker was also hit by a car the same day.  She was brought into the emergency room and placed in the area next to us.
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