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Aloha! This past weekend I decided to go to Honolulu for 2 days (but really only 1 night). The trip was funded by Bank of America’s MERRILL + Visa Signature Credit Card, which offers up to $1000 USD in free travel upon completing minimum spend.

My last minute flight to Hawaii cost around $600 USD, and therefore it was completely covered by the credit card, meaning that my real cost was zero and that I still have $400 towards a future flight. For my one night, I booked the Sheraton for around $130 USD, which I think is a great rate for Hawaii.

My flights were from Seattle to San Diego to Honolulu to Seattle. I upgraded the Honolulu to Seattle on the way back using a Gold Guest Upgrade from Alaska Airlines, and on the outbound, I was in Alaska Airlines Premium Class. I was the only one on the upgrade list for San Diego to Honolulu and First Class was sold out… wonderful!

Honolulu: Waikiki Beach

Honolulu: Waikiki Beach

Once I arrived in Honolulu, I felt like I was in paradise. Seattle’s weather has been terrible the past six months with constant rain and snow, so literally seeing something different felt wonderful. It was 30 degrees C the entire weekend and the water was super warm at around 27 degrees.

I basically arrived Saturday morning and then left Sunday night and arrived in Seattle on Monday morning. I earned about 12k miles from the trip, including the bonuses, which isn’t bad for a “free” ticket. The main purpose of the trip was because I needed around that many miles more in my account to redeem for Cathay Pacific First Class next week, which I can’t wait for!

The last time I was in Honolulu was literally 10 years ago… however, not much has changed. The scenery is still gorgeous and the people are beyond friendly.

Honolulu: Waikiki Beach

Honolulu: Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is absolutely spectacular. It is beyond gorgeous and makes me wonder why I haven’t been to Hawaii in over ten years, after all, it is just a short five-hour flight from Seattle. But I think the main reason is that Hawaii is frequently overpriced, especially with Alaska Airlines.. they often price Hawaii tickets at more than $600 USD, which is crazy expensive. They also rarely release saver-level Economy seats (“W” class) close to departure, so it can be tough to redeem Avios (just 12.5k one-way) to Hawaii.. at least from Seattle. San Jose and San Diego are usually really easy for at least a few saver-level seats.

Anyway, it was just a short weekend trip, but I’ve missed Hawaii. I’ve been so busy with travelling outside of the U.S., that I forgot there are still quite a few gems domestically which can be visited without a passport.


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