A $28,000 Japanese Vacation for My Parents!

This year, my parents are really enjoying their partial retirement. January; ten days in Panama, Colombia, Aruba. May; Paris. Now, they just booked a trip to Japan for three weeks in November!


It will be the first time in Asia for both, unless you wish to count the airport hotel my Dad recently stayed at in Abu Dhabi; I’m not, it’s less romantic.

Here’s the flight itinerary:

cho-japan miles price

They are flying up from Charlottesville to New York and spending the night, where I will probably most definitely take them to a non-Japanese restaurant. Then, they will fly to Dallas and then onto Tokyo. While in Japan, the early list of places to visit includes some of my favorites like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and some new cities like Sendai, Nagoya and Hiroshima!








Happily, Japan has a lot of SPG and Hilton properties, including one of my favorite hotels, the Conrad Tokyo (below), so using points for free hotel nights shouldn’t be a problem!



My parents can also take advantage of British Airways’ Executive Club loyalty program, which is both class- and distance-based, and book cheap intra-Japan flights for only 4,500 miles per flight, when either the train distance is unmanageable or the ticket is too expensive. However, I assume they will spend at least part of their journey on a shinkansen bullet train, as it’s a beautiful and quick way to see the countryside!

Coming home, they will be flying through Dallas, again, then spending the night in Charlotte before heading back home to Charlottesville. Here’s a map of the trip and a possible map of where they will go in Japan!

japan map

japan map trip

As you can see, Asia’s far – this itinerary is over 15,000 miles roundtrip. That’s too far for coach-class. Even business-class is debatable (kidding; kind of). So, my parents are flying first-class on American Airlines!


Each of their tickets was 125,000 AA miles and $50.66 in fees, which I’ll round to $51. For comparison, here’s the real cost of one of these tickets:CHO-Japan Ticket price

They are receiving the incomprehensible value of $10,950 per person for this trip, just for the flights alone! Adding in the additional hotel savings at 20 nights x $300= $6,000 and my parents will be receiving over $28,000 in value, leaving more money for the only thing that really matters in Japan: FOOD.



Oddly/cutely, at my parents’ wedding, my mom and her bridesmaids wore kimonos, so I’m doubly excited for my mom to experience Japan, as it’s been something she’s loved for a long time. For my dad, it’s a chance to again put that horticulture degree to work and enjoy the plentiful, varied and beautiful gardens of Japan.

For both, however, I wish them plenty of delicious sake – kanpai!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s