Example itineraries/inspiration for Velocity award redemption to USA?

Fellow family Hackers,
Thanks to learning a lot from other hackers on this site, I’m approaching my goal of 500k Velocity points which is about what I need for a return trip to the states in economy for two adults and two children.

Now it’s time to think about itineraries, and would love to hear what others have done on Virgin and partner airlines. I’m looking at flying April 2018 to St Louis Missouri where we need to visit friends, but thinking of a stop in Hawaii or an island in between for some resort time.

I spoke to Virgin recently who said award seats would open in August, and as a gold member they can make them available for me if I can’t find them online (for a price, of course).

Have others been successful in using points for this kind of trip? Appreciate any advice!

First of all, good luck finding reward seats to the US. They are exceptionally rare. I’ve never seen them personally. This is a major problem with Velocity and really annoying.\r\n\r\nBut, let me suggest something else. Flights to LAX are cheap at the moment. For instance VA are selling economy seats for $1,050 return in economy right now. QF are cheap too. So, buy your flights across the Pacific. \r\n\r\nWhen you’re in the US, you can use your points with Delta and Virgin America. With both airlines you get lounge access, free checked in luggage (as a Gold Velocity member) and semi-priority boarding (which is very important in the US as people carry on a lot!). You may be able to find seats via the velocity website, but calling up is easy. Also, I always pay the taxes as it works out better, but you don’t have too. Both airlines are good, Delta is better than AA and United in my view.\r\n\r\nAs for hotels, depending on where you are, you may be better off using points to get a hotel or paying for it.\r\n\r\nObviously, if you fly VA and buy your tickets, you can pool your points and status credits to get you up to Platinum.\r\n\r\nNow, I know this is not your plan but the points you save, take your family to Fiji/NZ/QLD.

Thanks TheTravelDad - flights have never been so cheap but looking today for next April there is for now good availability on Virgin across to LAX. Family pooling got me to Gold on a family trip to Vietnam last year, and work and leisure travel this year will ensure I keep Gold. \r\n\r\nAfter some research today I can see award flights available to get us to LAX and on to Chicago, then St Louis to Cancun (maybe a resort for a week - happy to hear about alternatives!) and then back to LAX and back to Tasmania. Good advice about Delta.\r\n\r\nAlternatively it would be great to do Fiji on the way to the US but haven’t yet figured out how to get from Fiji to the US on velocity points, at least it’s not showing up as available.\r\n\r\nAppreciate the guidance!

Good to hear there are seats.  Grab them!

Where you travel to depends on how old your kids are.  For a whole family vacation, you can’t beat Orlando for the theme parks and amazing themed hotels.  A week is easy to burn there.  You could tack on Miami and/or a Caribbean trip/cruise if you have time too.

We went to the States in the April holidays this year.  Did LA, Anaheim, San Diego and LV (to see friends).  LV is not great with young kids but ok.  LA was great and Anaheim was all about Disneyland.  San Diego is great - like the Gold Coast and Melbourne combined :slight_smile:

One thing to be mindful of, April is when the US has Spring Break.  Each state has different weeks so it lasts for about a month.  So expect all the touristy places to by very busy.  If you’re thinking about Cancun, you’re going to have a lot of college kids running around doing college kid things… might not be great with kids!  So choose where you go wisely.

Also, another tip. US hotels are not cheap so compare buying your flights and using points for hotels vs points for flights and paying for hotels.

My advice is, spend your time in the US.  It’s a long way to get there (especially from Tassy), so use your time there. Do pacific islands/Hawaii another time.

Fantastic.  Congrats.  Enjoy your trip.