TravelWhimsy and I took her parents to the amazing country of Costa Rica during Thanksgiving week. Two of our dearest friends, M & P, who had recently retired there, hosted us at their new home. M & P expertly planned almost every single aspect of our trip, so this is not going to be my typical trip report involving much about miles and points strategy. Instead, I will share a few notes I jotted down along the way that could help you better plan your future trips to Costa Rica. If you have never experienced PURA VIDA, don’t wait too long. It only takes 30-35,000 miles per person, and you won’t regret it!
Rather than put the 100+ miles on our own car, I booked a car with AVIS for the day to take advantage of the 3,000 bonus AAdvantage miles promotion. This was my first time renting from AVIS, and I was surprised to discover the $4.05 frequent flyer (“FF”) surcharge on my final receipt.
- Key Difference from Last Year: some merchants offer a pre-sale that starts at noon ET (1 hour before the normal sale starts at 1pm ET). All you have to do is to like the merchants’ Facebook pages, and find a code posted on their wall on the morning of the sale for access to the presale from Noon to 1 PM ET.
- Additional 10% off Published Prices: use an American Express card (prepaid or gift cards work as well).
- Limited Quantities: hot deals can sell out within minutes, so be ready to jump on them.
- Validity: for deals you are interested in, make sure you check the validity/expiration dates and any other restrictions.
One of the most frequently asked reader questions is “How do you get a rental car for $10 a day?” If you guess “Priceline” or “Hotwire”, my answer may surprise you. I normally book our car rentals directly with Hertz, one of the leading car rental brands and generally considered the most expensive.