Day One: Off to Paradise

Aloha `auinala!

I am sitting on a plane going straight to the land of paradise ... Hawaii. This will be our 42nd state. It isn't often we visit one state during an entire trip. We will be there one day short of two weeks. We will visit three islands; Oahu, Maui and Big Island. Our goal: Enjoy the beauty, enjoy one another, and not burn our freakishly white bodies.

While in grade school Paradis' nickname was Hawaii (people mistake her name for Paradise). She hoped to make Hawaii her last state her senior year, but once we learned Yellowstone closes one month a year, exactly during our spring break, plans changed.

Click here to view our map. We won't visit every pin on the map, but it will give you an idea of our plans. A couple days on Oahu, a full week in Maui, and a couple days on the Big Island. I want to thank everyone that helped me plan this adventure (Jan and Todd - the honeymooners, Tom and Jodi, and my new friend Kris - the Hawaiian expert). Our family hasn't taken a 'normal one-stop vacation' since starting Driving the Dream and these friends were so helpful. I'll leave you with this photo showing the girls in freakin' first class.

Yes, first class all the way to Hawaii baby ... for FREE! Yes, you read that right, we are flying using our miles. I'm not sharing merely to brag (although it will be 19 hours of total bliss) but to encourage all of you to get a US Bank VISA card today. Seriously. If you travel (or wish you could), start using your buying power to get some free flights. We have had this card for five years, have received 14 free flights, for a total savings of $10,233.97. Amazing. (I've always wanted to add up our savings because I'm weird like that)
  • Paradis to San Francisco (June, 2012): $385.60
  • Annelies to Wichita (August, 2012): $301.60
  • Scott and Rae Ann to Cancun (November, 2012): $971.52
  • All four or us to Las Vegas (March 20, 2013): $1,353.60
  • Rae Ann to Squam (June, 2013): $318.60
  • Scott and Rae Ann to Cancun (January, 2014): $1,104.74
  • Three of us to Hawaii - one via Delta miles (March, 2015): $5,798.31 ($1,932.77/ticket)
Click here to sign up for the US Bank Travel Rewards Card. Yes, I'm hoping you will add my FlexPoints number (222199685462) as a referral to thank me for sharing this ... but seriously, I just think you should get one. Or call 800-360-2900

For those smarty pants trying to calculate how much we spend on our VISA giving us enough points to earn $10,000+ worth of free tickets. Don't do it. We have one credit card. We use it as often as we can (and for my non-consumer friends, we pay it off monthly). 

~ A hui hou kakou

Day One: $0 gas ($0 total); $152.68 Lodging ($152.68 total); $0 Souvenirs ($0 total); $0 Tourist Traps ($0 total); 0 fights (0 total). || Airfare for entire trip: $8,470.08 (of which $7,228.08 was free, using miles). Car Rental for entire trip: $469.76. Note: I'm not tracking driving miles, Redbox rentals or states (2 total) for this trip.


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