It’s here!! How to win the Free Trip to Australia’s Gold Coast!!!

As some of you may have heard, Boarding Area is giving away a free trip to Australia’s Gold Coast. This trip includes airfare, hotel, excursions, meals, PLUS enough cash to cover the approximate taxes. What a great prize!! The official rules and information can be found here.

So, your immediate questions must be: How to I enter?? And how do I WIN????

The answer:  Write a comment to this post about the following: What is your top tip for people who want to earn and use their loyalty points? Then one person who commented will be chosen by a random drawing. That person will then be entered in the Boarding Area drawing with the winners from the other blogs. So easy!!! Only one entry per person.

Good luck! I would LOVE for one of my readers to win this trip. Unfortunately, I cannot award it to myself (or my husband) but one of my readers would be the next best thing  🙂

(And for those who commented early–please don’t comment again, I will count those for the drawing. Thanks!)


  1. My Tip:
    Finding award availability on the internet is not always easy – each airline website has its own quirks. Some don’t show partner award availability, some have a very poor search feature, and some don’t make it easy to look at multiple days at a time. I like for most Star Alliance availability, for OneWorld, and you have to work a combination of and to find SkyTeam awards. Each has its pluses and minuses. Sometimes you have to search segment by segment and piece together the whole trip. It can be frustrating, but assembling this information will be essential to finding the award you want.

    Once you have the data – and a few alternatives – pick up the phone and call an agent. You will pay a few extra dollars, but if you are looking for Business Class or First Class it will be well worth it. And, try not to overpay for awards: often times the easy way to find a seat is to pay extra miles for the “Flexible” awards but with patience and the right search tools you can usually do much better as long as you are flexible.

  2. Don’t let your accumulated miles take on too much OR too little importance; use them as a tool that fits your personal circumstances. If you don’t often travel internationally, resist the urge to hoard miles for international vacations. If you need a quick, last-minute flight to visit an ailing relative or get to a job interview, use your miles! Put your miles to work for the things that matter to you.

  3. Don’t ignore the hotel side of award trips. A one-week vacation will set you back just as much in hotels as airfare, so maximize your hotel stays. I like the Starwood American Express card because of the flexibility of the points, good award availability and options (eg. cash+points, redeem 4 nights and get 1 free), and the nice properties. And you can transfer the points to airlines if you want.


  4. If you can’t use your miles, donate them to a make a wish foundation or a local college for students to fly back home.

  5. To garner miles, put every possible necessary charge on an airline-affiliated credit card and sign up for every offer that provides increased miles, such as double for groceries or drugstore purchases. Don’t be afraid to be the person who quarterback’s the end of group dinners by putting them on your card and receiving cash from others, even if you hate math.

  6. Leave good instructions for your heirs on how to access your miles in all your accounts. You don’t want them to go to waste– rather, you want your kids to be able to use them should you die unexpectedly. Once the airline knows you’re gone, they will probably lock your miles.

  7. Try and sketch out your years travel at the start of the year. This lets you calculate your flight miles goal and predict when you’ll reach it. You can then estimate when you’re likely to reach your goal and look into other methods (hotels, car rentals etc) to speed things along.

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