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Today begins our long-awaited trip to Argentina. This is going to be epic! My bags are packed (and repacked and repacked – running gear takes up a lot of suitcase room), I’ve checked my list, thrown out the milk, touched up my roots… and, after lugging my bags to work and the airport, we’ll be ready
for a drink to get this voyage on the road (or should I say, In the Air?)..
A word or two before we embark.
This trip has cost very little so far! In fact, so far I’ve spent only $500, and all of the flights and the 5-star hotel stays have been fully paid for! That does not mean we won’t spend when we’re traveling. It just means that all the savings on points and miles enabled us to see this dream trip as a reality, and to allocate some of the saved money to other expenses of choice along the way.
Our flights, valued in the range of $2,000, cost only $250 in taxes. The ticket was booked on British Airway miles – thanks to the Chase British Airways Visa I had last year which came with a 100,000 miles bonus! 40,000 miles per person – got us tickets from New York – Mendoza – Buenos Aires -New York, on Lan Airlines (with a plane change in Santiago, Chile in both directions). We’ll be seated in economy. If I’d wanted first class, I would’ve had to have left Mr. Won’t Run For Miles at home. Oh, the sacrifices we make….
Our first stop: Mendoza – which sits at the base of the Andes. It is Wine Country, with lots of wineries, and has also has become a foodies’ mecca. I’ve heard its beautiful.
By flying first into Mendoza, rather than Buenos Aires, we avoided the $140 per person
ransom reciprocity fee charged by Argentina to US citizens.
We’ll be staying at the Park Hyatt in Mendoza, a five-star hotel, spa and casino for two nights (We’ll also be staying at the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aires, but more on that later). (Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE Hyatt hotels). And yes, we’ll be using points earned both from prior stays and from my Chase Hyatt Visa – which has a sign-on promo of two free nights. Since I am a diamond member of Hyatt’s Gold Passport program (that’s the name of Hyatt’s loyalty program), those two free nights are for Suite rooms. At my
prodding insistence, Mr. Won’t Run For Miles also applied for and got the Hyatt Chase Visa. Ergo – four of the five nights we’ll be staying at Hyatt Hotels this trip will be free!
We will spend Wednesday with a tour guide, Miguel, who many of my friends recommend. He’ll take us to the Maipu region to see the sights, taste the wine, and eat the food.
On Thursday, we’ll get on a plane and fly to Buenos Aires.
I’ll be updating regularly, but posting from my iPhone so I apologize in advance if the posts are less than perfect.
All I can say is …. pinch me – is this real?
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