How To: Flights to Europe for $5 !

This is no gimmick, read below tips on how we traveled from 
Miami to London for $5 each!

Ever notice how some people seem to travel as a hobby?  I used to be so jealous of those travelers thinking that I could never afford to experience the world as they do.  Luckily, as I researched a little more, and with tons of help from Patrick, we learned little hacks on how to afford more travel.  Below are steps that we took to get airline tickets from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) for $5 each.

 

1. stay loyal to 1 airline or airline group if possible.

We fly OneWorld Alliance, which for this trip included American Airlines & British Airways.  This strategy makes it possible to use our hard earned airline miles on multiple carries throughout the world.  Read about the OneWorld frequent flyer benefits here.

Note: Depending on your home airport SkyTeam (Delta) and StarAlliance (United) provide similar benefits, and may be the right choice for your travel.

one world partners
One World Alliance Partners

2. credit cards.

Ok, so the title “credit cards” is a little misleading.  No, we are not thousands of dollars in debt for airline tickets that we charged and plan on paying for later (don’t worry mom).  We use credit cards for everything, which means we collect tons of miles.  We still stay within our budget, but pay anything possible on our point earning credit cards.  This includes groceries, cell phone bills, reimbursement purchases for work, and even our deposit for our apartment was eligible to pay on the card.  Plus, when you run into panhandlers asking for cash, you can always have the excuse “Sorry, I don’t carry any cash, I have to get those airline miles!”  Also, most point earning credit cards offer some type of signing bonus that can be 50,000 miles or more (round trip to London!).
tip: check back later for a review of which credit cards we find to have the best rewards.
airline credit card
airline miles

3. research the cost of points within your airline alliance.

For this trip, we researched using the One World award chart here (also pictured below).  A trip from North America to Europe, in economy seating, during the “off peak”, is only 20,000 miles.  This particular route that we chose from MIA to LHR on American Airlines was one of these 20,000 mile reward rates.
Tip: Try and search for direct flights on American Airlines, not British Airways.  You can technically fly on any One World Partner Aircarft, but for this route it’s best to use American Airlines because LHR charges hefty fuel taxes for British Airways and Air Berlin Aircrafts.
legend
One World Award Miles

4. redeem the miles.

Then you go to aa.com and search your route, be sure to select “redeem miles”.  If you have the availability, sometimes I also like to call the American Airlines customer service (1.800.882.8880) to help book reward miles, somehow it just seems safer.  Although if you take this route, be prepared to hold.  Book the flight and pay the 5$ processing charge and you’re good to go!  Enjoy London!
london
Redeeming Miles
NOTE (from my airplane geek boyfriend): The 77W is a BRAND NEW Boeing 777-300ER – massive beautiful comfortable plane. The comfort of these aircrafts really matters when you’ll be in your seat for over 8 hours.  I’ve been on these planes for 2 long trips (MIA-LHR and DFW-HKG), highly recommended.

I hope this helps out those of you that are still in doubt that you can afford to travel the world.  There is so much out there to see, and we only get one life to experience it!  Look back soon for a recap of what we did in London, and the little hacks we found to save money while touring!
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