2001 Thanksgiving Vacation: Pre-Trip Notes


The Reasons

In October, 2001, Northwest Airlines made some unbelievable offers to get people flying again. One of the offers they made was for travel to Europe in November with a 6,000 WorldPerks mile discount. This meant that an off peak round trip ticket to Europe could be had for 34,000 miles instead of the normal 40,000 miles. To give frequent fliers an added bonus, this discount was combinable with a previously existing 1,000 mile discount for booking our award travel online. In short one could fly to Europe from the US for 33,000 miles.

A friend and I decided that we wanted to visit Europe and settled on Thanksgiving week as well as London after some debate. Thanksgiving week because it meant missing the minimum amount of work possible, and London because she had already been there. I flew from Indianapolis and she flew from New Orleans. My initial out of pocket expense was US$78.91 in taxes and fees.

The happy news was that the 7,000 miles I saved (I had more than enough for a standard off peak reward trip to Europe) was readily combined with my initial miles out of 40,000 incoming (note: sign up expired 31Sept01!) from Sprint Long Distance, and a few other miles (like Dining For Miles), to already get me near the three-quarters mark for another domestic off peak reward trip. I should have more than enough by the middle of February for a domestic off-peak trip.

Preparation

Many of the links to specific tourist attractions and other useful links are included below in the travel log, but I thought I would note four books that I read before I left. The most useful book was the Mini Rough Guide to London — a mini-guide that could fit in my pocket easily and be carried everywhere we went. I also took Lonely planet’s London (condensed), and the Lonely planet British Phrasebook–although I never really took the time to read it there. I also read Culture Shock! Living in the World’s Greatest Cities: London. Neat book, but I didn’t need to carry it. Quite frankly, next time I’ll only carry the mini rough guide.

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