Me and Deadpool are going to do some damage in Vancouver.
I haven’t even finish writing up my posts of my extensive road trip through the southern United States, and now, I’m heading out again. Try to keep up, snitches.
My Chase Sapphire Reserve points aren’t going to spend themselves, so I figure I put them to good use before I re-enter the workforce with a new full-time gig at the end of the month.
Imagine my dilemma — I have a full week and two weekends with $2,100 of travel credits to use and 3 days to plan. I gave myself four possible scenarios.
- Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Vancouver and Denver or Chicago
- London and Milan
- Reykjavik, Iceland
No. 1 is possible to book something quick and I calculated the flights to be $1,200 with hacky-type tricks. The hotels/AirBnb are another story, but overall, an extensive trip to South America takes some more planning to do and I didn’t want to feel rushed. It’s better to do it properly, have more time and plan a more elaborate trip where I can visit other cities while I’m down there like Lima, Bogota and Machu Pichu.
No. 3 — There were no available reward flights on short notice using my Virgin Atlantic miles, which I have 210K worth. Even if there were, I would have to pay $1200 worth of service fees. With Milan, cheap flights are available on a whim, but I would have liked, again, to have more time to visit Turin, as well.
No. 4 — $550 non-stop round-trip flight from Newark. Sounds good right, until you are landing at 4am in Reykjavik.
The best bet and last-minute deal on American Airlines was $266 with a stopover in Phoenix. Even better, I leave at a normal time from Newark, 1pm. Most of the cheap flight leave at ungodly early hours or on shit airlines like Spirit or Frontier and then you have 2-3 stop overs in random cities. I’m not making that up.
In all, the three flights are free with the miles, but will only eat up only $695 of my rewards with plenty leftover and more to earn. It’s a great deal considering I’m going across the continent and back.
Now, why Vancouver. It’s the craft beer and foodie capital of Canada. Plus, I wanted to visit a country again that actually has a democracy. If you remember, I paid myfirst visit to Canada last year when I visited Toronto.
I did get a little push over the edge with the New York Times last 36 Hours article. Especially, the picture of the Purebread pastry shop. I will be having everything there, thank you.
Vancouver is one of the best international eating cities in the world, with every cuisine represented. With that, they need an equally impressive craft beer scene. British Columbia has 130 breweries in all, with 22 within Vancouver. All of them are new names to me, so I’m looking forward to discovering my new favorite Canadian brewery.
The other big thing that Vancouver is known for is the movie business. The nickname “Hollywood North” is appropriate because of the cheaper production costs and tax breaks. This started in the 90s when The X-Files filmed in studios and locations there. Since there, a good portion of movies have Vancouver doubling for another city and making use of their cheaper studio productions. Right now, The Rock is filming Skyscraper, a big budget action movie that suppose to be set in China, and Robert Zemeckis is directing Steve Carrel in the drama, The Women of Marwen.
So I fly out in two days, time to start organizing.