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No Vacation Required Podcast

For fulfillment fanatics interested in traveling deliriously, living deliberately, and working virtually.

Here We Go - Our (Mindful) Mileage Run

NVR Guys

We have a big travel plan. We're in the final stages of preparing for the mileage run that will renew our airlines "status" for another year AND take us to some incredible places. We are ready to roll in less than a month!{C}{C} This is a lot more than a mileage run. Each destination on our itinerary is a place we really want to visit - a deliberate choice. Here's the scoop on where we're heading, why we're going there and the deals we've found along the way. In the end, we'll have some incredible experiences and renewed elite status on Alaska Airlines. Not too shabby.

1st Stop: Washington, D.C.

We're heading to one of our favorite cities to, once again, meet up with other fans of Care International in order to advocate on Capitol Hill for the poor. We went last year and really dig the work they do. As they say, just because poor people around the world are less visible, doesn't mean they are less important. This part of our adventure is all about defending the dignity of all people and empowering the most marginalized world citizens, especially women.

Deal details: This post explains the airfare related events surrounding first leg of our trip. We plan to use Priceline (the name your own price version) or Hotwire to secure a hotel. In our experience, they consistently offer the best deals on domestic hotels.(Note: We like to use Kayak as a starting point to gauge what's going on in the market.)

2nd stop: Honolulu, Hawaii

It's no secret, we love Hawaii. We're heading to Oahu for a little bit of work and a lotta bit of fun. We've been to Honolulu a couple of times. Both visits were brief. This time we want to dig into what the island offers and see how it compares to the others.

Deal details: You already know that we rack up our miles on Alaska when we can – especially since they have an airfare guarantee policy that we love. We even got the associated Bank of America / Alaska credit card in order to benefit from additional mileage accumulation and other bennies. One of the huge draws for us is the great companion certificate they offer. Each year, cardmembers get a certificate, allowing them to purchase a companion fare for just $99. That includes any destination and any class of service.

When we were researching Alaska's site for fares between Washington, D.C. and Honolulu, we noticed that 1) it's a hell of a long trip and 2) first class is only about $300 more in this market. We decided to whip out our $99 certificate in order to get both of us there – first class – for about $750. Ooah Ooah.

Again, we plan to use Priceline or Hotwire to secure a killer hotel deal (the power of positive thinking).

3rd stop: Prague, Czech Republic

Yep, that's right, we're heading back east, way east to make it to a place that has been on our list for a long time (after a brief stop in Seattle). We've been avoiding Europe because of the strength of the Euro, but we found an irresistible deal that altered that plan of action.

Deal details: Initially, we were planning to chill on Oahu for an extended period of time. An e-newsletter from Delta Airlines quickly changed all of that. We pay close attention to Delta's fares because, like American Airlines, they are mileage plan partners with Alaska. We can earn miles on any of these airlines (and more). We were notified of a $650 RT to Prague, and we could not say no. I mean, come on - $650 RT.

A few months ago, we wrote a post on five places to find travel deals. Since then, we've spent some time checking out sites such as Voyage Prive and Snique Away and have found some worthwhile deals, especially for international destinations. In fact, we'll be spending half of our time in Prague at a hotel we found on Voyage Prive. We'll spend the other half at a hotel we found on (wait for it...) Expedia. Yes, Expedia came through – as they did not long ago – with the lowest price on a decent hotel. We're telling you, don't count out websites like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity; they can surprise you.

4th Stop: Boston, Massachusetts

Going in, we knew that this round of travel had to end at a conference we are attending in Boston. The second portion of our "open jaw" itinerary from Delta will put us there. This as another place that we've not been to and that has been on the dream list for quite some time. We're eager to check it out and may even make it over to the Cape.

Deal details: If, like us, you are a delirious traveler, you already know that open jaw itineraries are your friend because they can provide significant savings. Like Washington, D.C., Boston can be an expensive city. We're still figuring out where to stay, but, again, we plan to use Priceline or Hotwire.

This four destination itinerary will keep us zooming from point to point for over a month. In future posts, we'll update you on miles accumulated, hotels selected and the stuff we get into along the way.

Who has been to these 4 places? We need your tips!