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Vacation Costs: Barcelona, Lisbon + others

July 29, 2016

I use the term “free” loosely, as obviously points have monetary value.  These are our the costs for the trip.  We visited Barcelona for several days, as that is where T’s meeting was held.  T had been to Barcelona and wanted to go elsewhere for vacation, and we settled on Portugal.  We traveled to Lisbon by plane (used miles – my original plan of using an overnight train tickets got quite expensive by the time we were ready to book), then stayed there mostly.  We did a day trip to Sintra, and spent one night in Cascais, and one night in Porto.

All and all, it was a lovely trip and I’m glad we went!

Cost breakdown:

  • Flights:  Free (work trip for T, miles for me)
  • Airport transit:  ~$100. We didn’t travel together for all legs, so I had to pay to get to/from the airport.
  • Rail tickets:  $122 for 2 high speed train tickets round trip from Lisbon to Porto
  • Hotels:
    • Free for first several nights (coinciding with T’s work trip)
    • Free with SPG points for 4 nights total
    • Paid for 1 night at $101
    • Paid for 1 night at $46, cost reduced by a voucher (earned primarily through work travel)
  •  Entrance fees to sights paid by credit card (mostly the Sagrada Familia, one other): $82
  • Cash spent on food/wine, port to take home, entrance fees to castles and such, metro rides, taxis, etc.:  $1283  Of this, ~$300 was T’s expenses during work days and are reimbursable.
  • Dog sitting for 11 nights: $495 –  yup, $45/night!  He’s a handful, so we are picky about who we can leave him with.  So far, we’ve only left him with people have (or have had) high energy dogs and know how to manage an adolescent male puppy.

It was a bit more expensive than anticipated, but very reasonable for the duration.  I was hoping the food costs would be slightly lower and was continually surprised by the cost to visit various sights – but we also didn’t try super hard to be frugal in these areas.

There is at least these small rewards from work travel.  Not only do I get the miles I earn from flying, I also book everything on my personal card and get reimbursed.  This gets me even more miles/points, depending on the card I use.  We’re also allowed to use and other discount sites to book, which earns us free credits over the course of the year (one free night per 10 stays).



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