For many Australians, the break between school and university is almost a rite of passage. Often known as gap year, it’s a chance to see the world and experience new cultures, while doing the odd job or two to fund your travels. For one of our members, the break before the start of university proved to be ideal for revisiting a country they love, Germany. However, how they are getting there, is what makes this trip something of a classic when it comes to using points.

The majority of members would be familiar with the OneWorld awards on offer that use the alliance to travel around the globe. With a set mileage limit, some interesting combinations can be on offer when it comes to reward seats. Getting value from that mileage limit can make for some interesting possibilities.

The trip will take two weeks and involves 12 cities… Why, you might ask? (You wouldn’t be the first!) Well, I decided to take advantage of some Qantas Frequent Flyer points I’ve been accumulating and book a oneworld award. This effectively means that I am doing another round-the-world trip on points, as I am flying via Asia on the way to Europe and via North and South America on the way back to Australia next year. As all the flights will be in economy, this cost me 140,000 points + around $1300 in “taxes, fees and carrier charges”. Considering the number of places I’ll get to go, I was pretty happy with that.

Organising such a ticket is no mean feat. When you’re doing it a month before departure it’s even harder. Airlines are often only too happy to remind you that not every flight will have reward seats on offer. That may be a hassle when you’re trying to get a short domestic redemption done; it’s a nightmare when you want to travel around the world. As its only bookable by phone, striking an operator with good experience can make a lot of difference. However, even with a good operator, some patience is required.

Despite having spent 4 hours on the phone with a very helpful (and patient!) Qantas rep, the result is that I’m flying a particularly indirect routing and also flying to a couple of places (and on a couple of airlines) I had actually never intended to go to/fly on. Nonetheless, I’m very excited about this trip and it should be an interesting experience!

With everything booked, and the actual itinerary a secret at this stage, the journey begins, starting with some bus travel. The $27 Canberra to Sydney coach service proving to be good value and offering the right timing to match our traveller’s needs. After a couple of domestic flights, complete with Qantas club lunches, the first surprise for the trip is revealed -a full plane and a change of seat. What other experiences will we get to enjoy, as we journey with our member to Berlin on a road less travelled.  Follow the adventure HERE.


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