One of the best ways to use miles & points is to make unforgettable memories with loved ones. And even better if you include once-in-a-lifetime experiences most folks normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
Million Mile Secrets team member Keith recently returned from a 25,000 mile around-the-world honeymoon to Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore. I’ll let him tell you about it!
Keith: Thanks Daraius! My wife Liz and I built up hundreds of thousands of miles from credit card sign-up bonuses and bank promotions that we used to visit 5 countries on an around-the-world honeymoon.
Due to work commitments, we only had 17 days to circle the globe. This might not seem like enough time for such a trip. But, I’ll explain how we made the most of our time and enjoyed a romantic dinner at one of Amsterdam’s top restaurants, rest and relaxation in Bali, a beautiful hike and Afternoon Tea in Cape Town, cultural experiences in Dubai, and much more!
I’m happy to share how I paid ~$6,700 for a trip with a retail cost of ~$53,000!
Around-the-World Honeymoon Trip Series:
- Part 1 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Introduction & Planning
- Part 2 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Booking Flights
- Part 3 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Booking Hotels
- Part 4 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Making Airports More Enjoyable
- Part 5 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Highlights of Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore
- Part 6 – Around-the-World Honeymoon – Tips to Book YOUR Trip!
Business Class Perks for Efficient Travel
Taking 6 international flights in 17 days might seem intimidating. Checking bags, going through security, immigration processing, and so on. You’d think a lot of our honeymoon would have been wasted at airports.
Certainly we spent some time at airports. But, the experience was actually enjoyable.
In addition to expedited check-in at all airports we traveled to and from, we also had:
- Airport lounges with complimentary drinks and food, including fine champagne
- Expedited immigration screening line
- Extra weight allowance for checked bags (we needed this!)
- Free chauffeur services to and from the airport for Emirates Business Class flights
After landing in Bali, we were greeted by 2 gentlemen who guided us through a special immigration line that was shorter than the line for residents of Indonesia. This perk was arranged because we were staying at the St. Regis Bali.
And, at every airport, our bags were usually one of the first off the conveyor belt. There was a priority tag added to our checked bags because we were flew Business Class. This was an added bonus because it gave us more time to spend at the destinations!
When traveling between the airport and our hotels, we typically used Uber or a taxi. We prefer Uber because you don’t need cash. And, when you’re traveling to different countries with different currencies, it can be time consuming constantly exchanging money. Plus, not every taxi accepts a credit card.
One great part about flying Emirates Business Class is they provide complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport in most of the cities they fly.
We were transported to and from our hotels in luxury cars in Cape Town and Dubai. And, it was very easy to arrange the service through the Emirates website.
Relax in Airport Lounges
Hanging out in the airport lounges before our flights gave us the opportunity to relax, log-in to complimentary Wi-Fi, and eat.
Although we didn’t make use of them, most of the lounges had showers with complimentary shower kits to freshen up.
The lounges we visited during our trip included:
- ANA Suite Lounge in Tokyo
- Delta Sky Club in Newark
- Emirates Business Class Lounge in Cape Town
- Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai
- KLM Business Class Lounge in Amsterdam
- Premier Lounge in Bali
- The Private Room in Singapore
- Virgin America Loft Lounge in Los Angeles
I’d recommend visiting LoungeBuddy which provides very detailed reviews of airport lounges. But I’ll share highlights here!
We had access to most airport lounges because we had Business Class tickets. You don’t always have to be flying Business or First Class to get lounge access. Sometimes you can buy a day pass to certain lounges or get free access with certain credit cards.
One exception to our lounge access was the Virgin America Loft Lounge in Los Angeles.
We flew JetBlue from Los Angeles, which shares a terminal with Virgin America. But, JetBlue does not have their own lounge. So for access to the Virgin America Loft Lounge we used Priority Pass from our AMEX Platinum Cards.
The Private Room in Singapore was our favorite lounge. Our flight from Singapore was early in the morning, so Liz and I were able to get made-to-order breakfast, which we both enjoyed. The service was excellent!
Our least favorite was the Delta Sky Club in Newark. There were not enough seats in the lounge because it was so crowded. So we had to sit at a computer desk with outlets that didn’t work to charge our phones. And there wasn’t much of a selection of food.
In the next part of the series, I’ll tell you about our experiences in Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore!