Family Travel: Paris over Christmas for under $500 on United

Want to go to Europe? United Airlines is offering fares for under $500 to Paris from Denver over the holidays. Paris for Christmas anyone? If you’ve been thinking about going to France this may be the time to make it happen.

Here is a search from December 19th to the 28th. You can find different dates around the same time that work. Go to the search on Momondo to find these deals. Click here for the Momondo site. Let it load fully to see the deal. Then you can change dates and times to get the flight you prefer.

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If you have an Epic ski pass [Vail Resorts] you can ski at some European ski areas for free this winter. This includes France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Get the scoop on skiing Europe on your Epic pass here.

Will your family be heading to Europe this winter?

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My Family Scored 4 Round Trip Tickets for Under $150!

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What summer isn’t complete [when you live in landlocked Colorado] without spending time in the ocean? So my family of four decided to head to San Diego for a week of surfing. And we are doing it for around $50 [total of fees paid for all tickets] plus a $95 annual fee, so a total cost of $145. How? We signed up for a credit card through Southwest Airlines, spent $2,000 on the card and viola – we are heading to surf this summer! My favorite part is that we have lots of flexibility in our itinerary – just in case something changes – and there aren’t tons of extra fees like we would pay with other low cost airlines. Flexibility and No Extra Fees = Awesome!

I value these tickets at around $200/piece so I would say we got approximately $800 of value out of one single credit card sign up. Is this the best credit card perk I have ever received? No. But it is up there. Southwest points are really valuable!

I decided to get the Southwest card after I flew to Phoenix for a soccer tournament and realized what a great option they are. Their prices were good. The points they charge are usually reasonable compared to the general market. And the most important part to me and my family – Southwest tickets are ultra flexible. As long as you cancel or change your ticket within 10 Minutes of departure time there are no fees involved on Southwest. No fees – they just redeposit your points or refund your dollars. On United we would pay a $150 change fee each or over $100 to put our points back in our account if we were not taking that same route in the future. Flexibility rocks for Family Travel! 

One trick on Southwest – book your tickets as early as possible. I’ve found tickets for as low 5,500 points to travel Denver to Seattle or 7,000 points Denver to San Diego. Round trip for under 15,000 points – I’m in – but reserve them early! 

Do you like flying Southwest? Any tips or tricks for getting the most out of flying Southwest?

Free Money! Thanks, American Express!

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Want to travel for free or cheap? Want to save your family cash on a regular basis? I have the points and miles bug and I hope that sharing this info will help others save money & open up travel opportunities you never knew existed. My family has been doing it. Your family can too! Today I will start by looking at what you may have in your wallet already – An American Express Cards

Save today on things you already spend money on!

If you have an American Express card you can be saving money by simply Tweeting codes they send out. Seriously – Amex sends out codes, you use them, then you purchase items where you normally would and you get cash back. Here is how it works!

Step 1: You have sync your American Express card with your Twitter account. You can simply create a Twitter account just for this purpose. How to sync your Amex account with Twitter. It is really easy to do – don’t get intimidated! Once you sync your card and Tweet, then when you spend on your Amex you get a statement credit.

Step 2: Figure out what you already spend money on that they promote. Here are some current deals which are outlined in a Dan’s Deals post here. Tweet these codes before you spend money.

Whole Foods: Tweet #AmexWFM, spend $75 at Whole Foods on your Amex and get $10 back

Sam’s Club: Tweet #AmexSamsClub, spend $20 and get a $20 statement credit. I went online and ordered a $50 gift card for a teacher gift and got $20 on my statement immediately. I think of it as free money.

Pharmaca: Tweet #AmexPharmaca, spend $40 and get $10 back. I just purchased a gift card for $40 and immediately got the notice that I would earn a statement credit.

Home Depot: Tweet #AmexHomeDepot, spend $75 and get $15 back. I love supporting McGuckins, but sometimes there are things I can only get at Home Depot.

Other shopping options you may like:

  • The Container Store: #AmexTCS $15 off $100
  • Sur la Table: #AmexSurLaTable – $10 off $50

Step 3: Spend at these locations with your synced Amex card and you will get an almost immediate email from Amex acknowledging that you spend on a synced card. Next you will see a statement credit for the amount mentioned. I don’t advocate spending just to save money! Make sure you are particular about what you spend on.

Sync Many Amex Cards

Don’t forget you have to sync your Amex card before you spend. A trick is that you can sync as many Amex cards as you have. So if you and your spouse both have a card you can sync, tweet and spend with both cards. I did that at Pharmaca and got $20 back on a total of $80 spent because I used 2 Amex cards.

I find this a fun game! I have saved hundreds of dollars this way. It is just a small part of cracking the miles and points game that I am playing. But every bit counts!

Do you use points and miles? Do you engage in saving small amounts in other creative ways with credit cards? I would love to hear about how your family is cracking the points and miles game!