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!
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.
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.