This summer I went back to Europe for the first time in a long time. Over the span of two weeks, my fiancée and I took in the Netherlands, Czech Republic (or Czechia, if you prefer), Germany, and Switzerland.
Many of you have asked how I paid for the trip. I covered the flights here. Yeah, free flights by transferring 110,000 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a few of Chase’s travel partners (United and Air France). Taxes, unfortunately, still have to get paid, so in addition to my points, I paid $250.
Once we landed, here’s where we stayed and how much it cost:
Nights 1-2 in Amsterdam
We stayed in the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam which is basically a short walk from everything. And rooms there are not cheap. The cheapest during our two night stay were going for 206€ or $226. Luckily, it cost me nothing. I used my annual free night for the first night, thanks to my Hyatt Credit Card. And 15,000 World of Hyatt points for night two.
Night 3 in Berlin
From Amsterdam, we took a train to Berlin. Upon arriving, we stayed at the Grand Hyatt Berlin. Like in Amsterdam, I used 15,000 of my Hyatt points for the stay.
Nights 4-5 in Prague
When we arrived in the Czech Republic, we stayed at the Grand Majestic Plaza. A room there typically goes for $163 a night, which means the two night’s we stayed would have set us back $325. And considering the first 3 nights haven’t cost us a penny (when it comes to lodging), I figured we could splurge a little if we wanted. However, I used ended up using 10,000 Chase UR points to shave $150 off the top. And using the UR portal I got an additional discount. Add it all up and we stayed two nights for 10,000 UR points and $130 total.
Night 6-8 in Munich
Now back in Germany, our cheap stay in Munich was made possible by my Barclaycard Arrival Plus. We stayed at a Eurostars Book Hotel, which was located right in the middle of the downtown part of the city. For the three nights we were there, the full price of the hotel set me back $524. I used the Arrival Plus to take off $250 from the total, bringing the cost of our three night stay there from $524 to $274.
Night 8-10 in Niederkassel
For the wedding we attended while in Germany, we stayed at a lovely place in Niederkassel (just south of Cologne) called Hotel Clostermanns Hof. At $147 a night, it would have set me back $294 if I hadn’t used points from my AP to shave off $100 from the price.
Night 11-13 in Lucerne
This stay was amazing. It was our first Airbnb stay of the trip. We stayed at a place that had, basically, the perfect location. The price tag for that stay was cut from $291 to $0 using the AP points.
Night 14 in Frankfurt
Our last night in Europe was in Frankfurt, where we caught our flight back to the states the next day. I used points and cash to stay at the InterContinental. That was 25,000 points and $115.
Before we flew to Europe, Crystal and I stayed for one night at the InterContinental Boston, right along the Boston Harbor. The stay cost me absolutely nothing because I used my annual free night I get for having the IHG credit card.
After Europe, we flew back to the States and stayed three nights in New York at an Airbnb for just over $500.
All in all, I ended up shelling out just over $700 for lodging during our stay in Boston, two weeks in Europe, and three days in New York (with many of the hotels being high-end ones). Nearly three weeks on the road for $700? You won’t find me complaining. Was it free? No. But did I save thousands? You’re damn right I did.
I'll have much more on the European trip in the coming weeks.
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