Our European Backpacking Honeymoon Trip for ~$1,500 Total – Planning & $100 Challenge

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Our European Backpacking Honeymoon Trip for ~$1,500 Total

Introduction

Planning & The $100 Challenge

Below is the breakdown of our European backpacking honeymoon trip expenses.  We originally had no intention of going anywhere in the summer because we were going to Kauai in May.  However, after finding availability and planning a rough schedule of places to go to, it was too good of a deal to pass up.  I quickly convinced the wife, put the tickets on hold, and pulled the trigger a few days later!  Overall, we paid approximately $1,500 for two people and saved more than $10,000.  It includes everything except eating, shopping, and attractions.

  • We booked 2 business class round trip tickets using AA miles on AirBerlin by calling AA(we incurred $25 ticketing fee per ticket), but now you can book online through AA.com as I discussed before.
  • We used Airbnb to book some sweet apartments to immerse ourselves in the Italian culture.  Airbnb is a great site to rent out people’s apartments and has proven reliable to us.  We highly recommend it! (thanks for letting me refer you :))
  • We used Priceline to book a Bed and Breakfast in Corniglia, one of the towns in Cinque Terre.
  • We used one free suite night from the Chase Hyatt signup and 44,000 Hyatt points, we could not find suite availability for the 2nd night.
  • We spent 12,000 SPG points at the Venice Europa and Regina, but it is now 20,000 points.
  • We booked our train tickets in advance on trenitalia.com English site.
  • We booked 2 one-way tickets on EasyJet through Kayak.com
Expenses Cost Points Retail $ Credit Card
2x Airberlin LAX-DUS-FCO Business  $    120      100,000  $   4,000 2x AA 75K Citi Platinum
Sheraton Dusseldorf          60          4,000          150 SPG Card
Rome Airbnb        102                –          102 N/A
Rome Airbnb        102                –          102 N/A
Rome Airbnb        102                –          102 N/A
Rome Airbnb        102                –          102 N/A
Arbasia De Ma, Cornigilia          95                –            95 N/A
Arbasia De Ma, Cornigilia          95                –            95 N/A
Florence Airbnb        104                –          104 N/A
Florence Airbnb        104                –          104 N/A
Venice Europa & Regina SPG           –        12,000          500 SPG Card
Venice Europa & Regina SPG           –        12,000          500 SPG Card
Park Hyatt Vendome           –        22,000          800 Chase Ink Bold
Park Hyatt Vendome           –        22,000          800 Chase Ink Bold
Park Hyatt Vendome           –                –       1,000 Chase Hyatt
Hyatt Berlin           –        15,000          400 Chase Freedom
2x Airberlin ORY-BER-LAX Business        120      100,000       4,000 2x AA 75K Citi Platinum
2x Train Rome-Cinque Terre        150                –          150  
2x Train Cinque Terre-Florence          40                –            40  
2x Train Florence- Venice          50                –            50  
2x EasyJet Venice – Paris        167                –          167  
Total  $ 1,513      287,000  $ 13,363  

The $100 Challenge

The $100 Challenge is trying to spend $100 or less per day on accommodations for two people.  My goal was to spend $100 or less and still impress the wife (after all this is our “honeymoon”).   My travel style is very unconventional.  Sometimes I stay in a locals neighborhood in an apartment, sometimes I stay in small guesthouses, and sometimes I stay in 5-star hotels.   Therefore, some stays I used cash to rent apartments on Airbnb and some stays I used Hyatt points to book 5-star hotels.   I am not too picky with accommodations, but I know my wife likes a nice hotel with air conditioning :).  Overall, I was able to find great accommodations for under $100 during peak season!

Sunset in Florence

 

 

6 comments for “Our European Backpacking Honeymoon Trip for ~$1,500 Total – Planning & $100 Challenge

  1. leslie
    December 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

    you book round trip using 100000 points AA. So total is 200000 points?

    • December 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

      100K per person times 2. So that’s 200K points for two people.

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