That Time We Flew 24,000 Miles in Business… for 40k UA Miles

One trip that I’ve been referencing a lot lately, was the time we did the Pacific Hopper, and flew from Guam to Asia, then to Polynesia via New Zealand.

I wanted to do a post thinking back on that trip now 4.5 years later. Since I reference it all the time, I thought I would go into details because it was such a great trip.

I know the trip looks crazy on paper… actually, it is crazy. But it was one of the best experiences of my life.

The best part is that 40,000 United miles isn’t hard to earn. We either earned it from signing up for the United card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred (before the Reserve) – which transfers to United.

So we earned more than enough from one card bonus, and I’d say this is about the most flying you could do with one card… and in business.

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5 Crazier United Mile Stopover Tickets

I promised today I’d post stopovers that were less practical. This is just looking at United stopover examples, rather than focusing on the rules.

If you want to see the rules, please check out New United Stopover Rules, and check out United Stopover Tricks.


However, late last night a lot of the loopholes that allowed you to not return to your region of origin, and change the order of events… suddenly died.

Although I wasn’t going to be explicit about anything, some of the rule changes affect some of my examples. The good news is that everything in my previous posts are still valid.

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7 (practical) Stopovers With United Miles

Today is 7 Practical Stopover Trips, and Wed. is 7 Crazy Stopover trips.

Today’s version is practical because it’s a complete roundtrip without open-jaws. The post Wed has the crazy open-jaws.

The reason to break it into two parts is because, as I showed in my post last week on The Roundtrip Hack, there are some crazy cool tricks you can do with open-jaws. For even more context, check out my other United post from last week, The New United Stopover and Routing Rules.


But today’s version isn’t any less awesome. There are some trips I’m relieved to still be able to book.

You may notice that these examples get progressively less practical… but they’re still roundtrips and might spark your imagination.

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Hawaiian Airlines Miles to the Pacific

There are limited redemptions with Hawaiian miles, and only two options for the Pacific. But I’d argue that using Hawaiian miles to/across the Pacific is the best use of Hawaiian miles.

This will be a relatively short post about:

1) Earning Hawaiian miles via the lesser known 50,000 mile card.

2) Using Hawaiian miles on Hawaiian.

and 3) Using Hawaiian miles on Virgin Australia.


Also, this is one piece of a series of posts on using miles to get to the Pacific – see Introduction to Using Miles to the South Pacific.

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We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting $25,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
Go to About Me to learn more.