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3 Weekend Getaways You Can Do For Next To Nothing

By: Luke Sims – 10xT Contributor

Whether you’ve been grinding away at work for the last few months or you’re just tired of the same old Friday night routine of Netflix and wine, there’s nothing like a weekend getaway to revitalize the soul.

I don’t care if you’re a newbie points enthusiast or a seasoned vet. I don’t care if you support Hillary or Trump. I don’t care where you live, how you dress, or if you pee standing up or sitting down. I want to help you get out of this rut you’re in and get the hell out of town.

So, I’ve narrowed it down to three of my favorite options and focused on the best flight and hotel opportunities – all you have to do is pick one and go!

Las Vegas Strip at Night

1.) Las Vegas

Is there anything better than Vegas to cure the office blues? The answer is NO. It is hands down our favorite weekend getaway here at 10xTravel. Vegas will chew you up and spit you out – in the best way possible.

Getting There

Vegas is one of the most popular destinations in the world, leaving you with a lot of options for redeeming miles for flights. However, the best option for most people is likely to be Southwest Airlines.

Southwest has THE most direct flights to/from Vegas of any major airline, which means no matter where you live there’s a good chance you can get to Vegas without a connection (vitally important on a short weekend trip).

Because their loyalty program is revenue based, any available seat can be booked with points, and once in a while they run fare sales that can help you score an incredible deal with points.

Easily my favorite part of Southwest’s program is that you can book a flight with points, cancel it at anytime before the flight, and get all of your points back. So, go ahead and book several trips to Vegas and then simply keep the one that ends up working out (or all 3).

Don’t forget about the amazing Companion Pass, which lets you bring a friend along for free!

Staying There

There are a lot of hotels in Vegas and choosing the right one can be difficult. And until recently, using points for said hotels was not the easiest thing in the world to do.

Now, thanks to a recent partnerships between Hyatt and MGM as well as SPG and Caesars your options are limitless.

Here are a few specific options to consider:

Bellagio for 25,000 Hyatt points per night.

BellagioHyattPoints

MGM Grand for 15,000 Hyatt points per night.

MGMGrandHyattPoints

Remember that you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards 1:1 to Hyatt to book these beautiful hotels. All the more reason to consider picking up one of the many cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink, Freedom Unlimited, etc.

(You can learn more about these and others by clicking the banner on the right)

Although you can use SPG points to book Caesars properties, I would not advise doing it. The value is just not there for how many points most of these Vegas properties charge per night.

One other option to consider. You can use points from a card like Barclays Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture to book any hotel and erase the charge later using points. Perfect for those last minute getaways.

Get the Points You Need

  • Southwest Premier Credit Card’s sign-up bonus
  • Transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest
  • Buy the best available flight with Capital One Venture Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus and erase purchase later

Other Helpful Hints:

Check out Bryce’s 20 things you must know before arriving in Vegas and from our 10xT tech wiz Curtis, how I saved $978.25 on my Vegas trip.

Statue of Liberty against the New York skyline, USA

2.) New York City

Do I really need to convince you NYC is a great weekend getaway option? Cue the Alicia Keys, “Now you’re in New Yorkkkkk”

Getting There

With three international airports and major airline hubs at each, you have plenty of competition for your business – use that to your advantage!

United Airlines will more than likely rise to the top as your best option, because they serve the most destinations in and out of New York. You shouldn’t have trouble finding Saver Awards on United for 12,500 miles each way in economy. American Airlines is right up there with United, with similar award pricing.

Don’t count out Delta, Spirit, Southwest and others, they will compete with occasionally great rates… but for the most part, they are hit and miss.

Staying There

It may be the “city that never sleeps”, but getting some rest is essential if you’re going to play Pokemon Go in Central Park all day…

Starwood Preferred Guest is by far my favorite hotel loyalty program and there are some great options if you go the hotel route in NYC. You can find a category 5 for around 12,000 – 16,000 points per night or level up the luxury all the way to 30,000 points per night for the St. Regis New York (category 7).

Another option to impress your girlfriend or boyfriend would be the Park Hyatt New York, which you could score a couple of free nights with by grabbing the Chase Hyatt credit card.

To be honest, I would recommend finding an Airbnb in a slightly less touristy area so you can get the real experience, and you can put that on your Capital One Venture card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus and erase part or all of the cost later!

Get The Points You Need:

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card for flights
  • Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select for American Airlines flights
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card for SPG hotels
  • Buy best available flight or hotel option with Capital One Venture Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus and erase purchase later

Other Helpful Hints:

I’ve lived in NYC for a year. Here is some of my top advice for a NYC first-timer:

  • Come in the fall or around Christmas
  • Fly into Newark and take the train into the city (or LGA and take an Uber)
  • Use the subway for cheap and faster travel
  • Things to do:
    • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
    • Times Square at night
    • The High Line (and Chelsea Market)
    • Top of the Rock
    • Central Park at Columbus Circle
    • 9/11 memorial (freedom tower and Oculus right there too)
    • Grand Central Station
    • Staten Island Ferry to see Statue of Liberty
    • Broadway play (if you can afford it)
    • Comedy Cellar for a comedy show
    • Saturday Night Live rehearsal or show (free but need to stand in line)
    • 2-day bus tours are worth it.

BOOM – email me with questions.

Aerial Austin Texas Sunset Glowing Cityscape Over Capital City

3.) Austin, TX

Let’s wrap things up with a little southern charm in Austin, Texas. Live music capital of the world and home of THE best BBQ, Austin will ease your stress and heal your soul.

Getting There

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is located only 10 miles from Downtown Austin, and offers non-stop service to more than 30 cities in the U.S. – which means you have options!

Most domestic carriers have reasonable flight prices to/from Austin (especially Southwest), but one of the better points/miles opportunities would be American Airlines off-peak award flights. You can also score one-way off-peak for only 12,500 miles and 17,500 miles each way for MilesSAAver Peak Awards.

With most of the domestic carriers competing, you should definitely check out airfare prices first to see where the best opportunities for points/miles redemption are.

Staying There

Austin has a plethora of welcoming hotels, so let me narrow it down to the best points/miles opportunities.

The Sheraton Austin Hotel At The Capitol is located between the State Capitol and the University of Texas. With its recent multi-million dollar renovation, this hotel is a great option at 7,000 Starpoints per night.

The W Austin is a step up at 12,000-16,000 Starpoints per night, but the amenities definitely match the higher price.

If you prefer Hilton, the Hilton Austin is a great option as well. It’s located close to the Sixth Street Entertainment District in Downtown Austin, which is a great place to spend some time. As a category 6 property you can get a room for 40,000 HHonors points per night.

Get The Points You Need:

    • The Citi AAdvantage Executive and Platinum Select Card often run bonuses for 30,000 or 50,000 American Airlines bonus miles
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card for SPG hotels
  • Hilton HHonors Card from American Express for Hilton points

Other Helpful Hints:

Courtesy of Wes (Bryce’s twin brother) who lives in Austin.

Austin is the live music capital of the world and you can see a great live show just about any night of the week. Country, rock, rap, anything.

There’s also a pretty decent-sized craft beer scene here (512 Brewery, Hops and Grain, Blue Owl, etc.).

Finally, there are some well-known festivals such as South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

A perfect weekend in Austin could include spending some time in Zilker park with a few beers people-watching, some late afternoon BBQ, a live show that evening (either ACL Live or another small show), and a night out on Rainey or 6th with some late night eats from a food truck.

Fun fact, the consensus best BBQ in the world is here in Austin at Franklins. There’s always a long line (you have to arrive at 10AM to even have a chance to get the food) and only Obama has been allowed to cut the line. They even told Kanye he had to wait.

 

Conclusion

Aren’t you tired of watching cat videos on Facebook all weekend? You deserve a weekend getaway.

With three great options, all the details you need, and unlimited support from us here at 10xT… you’re out of excuses. Go book that free flight to NYC, fall asleep on the subway to Coney Island, and go back to the office with a great story.

 

Wheels Up,

Luke

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