How I Traveled to Puerto Rico without Spending a Dime

Don’t we all need a little blue water getaway every once in a while? I know I did. But I didn’t have much money for a trip and I didn’t want to go too far from home and take a lot of time off from work. After a suggestion from my co-worker, I immediately decided on Puerto Rico.

• it’s still in the U.S.;
• it’s in the same time zone; and
• it’s a quick flight (if you get it direct).

And what is even better is that once I decided on the location, I also decided that I wasn’t going to shell out ANY money and would only use 1 vacation day and travel over the Columbus Day holiday.

So how does one manage traveling to the Caribbean and staying in a decent hotel without spending any money? Using “rewards points and miles”, that is how!

Before I go too far into detail, let me just say that by “free trip”, in this case, I’m referring to the airfare and hotel portion of the travel.

I had over 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points on my Chase Preferred account. So I used 61,542 reward points for my flight. Although there were cheaper flight option available, the flight I chose on JetBlue was a direct flight that left early in the morning, and gave me essentially the whole day in Puerto Rico.

I decided to take off from work on the Friday before Columbus Day (Monday). So because I got an early flight I would arrive in San Juan about noon on Friday and return on a later Monday evening.

For 5366 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, I also secured roundtrip ground transportation to my hotel. I did some social research and decided on La Concha Hotel & Casino for my lodging, which happened to be a Renaissance property aka Marriott property. Lucky for me I had enough Marriott Rewards points to secure three of my four days. For the fourth day I had to transfer points from my United Mileage Plus to my Marriott Rewards Account. With my hotel and flight costs covered with various reward points programs, I only needed to worry about food and drinks during my stay.

Stay tuned for my Puerto Rico Vacation Recap and Reviews

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