I’ve just returned form a fantastic week in Madrid and managed to snag the trip on the cheap. My friends and readers often ask how I book all these great trips for so little so I always try to share a few secrets on how I make it all happen. Here’s the major pieces of my trip broken down to the points and dollar spent on my week in Madrid:

    The Breakdown

    Business Class flight DFW to Madrid: 57,500 AAdvantage Miles + $92 USD

    Economy Class flight on Iberia Madrid to Chicago: 20,000 Avios + $123 USD

    Economy Class flight Chicago to DFW (plus a complimentary upgrade to First): 7,800 Altitude reward points + $0

    Airbnb in Central Madrid for 5 Nights: $360 USD

    Outbound Journey

    For the outbound journey, I opted for American Airlines Business Class because, well why not. I’ve got a nice stash of miles so might as well put them to good use. I booked a one-way Business Class award using 57, 500 (+$92 USD in taxes and fees) AAdvatnage miles which routed me from DFW to Madrid via London Heathrow. DFW to London was about the 777-300ER in Flagship Business while the London to Madrid segment was aboard a British Airways A321 in Club Europe.

    Home Sweet Home in Madrid

    I wanted a cozy, home-like Airbnb to rent for my 6 night stay. I found the perfect place; an adorable studio overlooking Madrid’s lively Chueca neighborhood for just $360 USD for the entire stay. The studio featured all the necessary comforts and more, including a nice balcony to take in the cool breezes each night. I’ve stayed in some great hotels in Madrid but this Airbnb took the cake for me.

    Travel for Less: A Week in Madrid for $575 USD

    My Home for a Week

    Return Journey

    As much as I love to sit up front, on daytime flights, I’m not as particular about flying Economy Class. Plus for only 20,00 Avios, to cross the Atlantic, I’m always up for a bargain. I booked a one-way Economy award using 20,000 Iberia Avios  (+$123 USD in taxes and fees) from Madrid to Chicago. Since I was not able to include my final segment from Chicago to DFW in my award booking, I booked that final segment through the US Bank Altitude rewards portal. I redeemed 7,800 Altitude points for an American Airlines flight that would have cost $109 USD if I would have paid cash. I even was upgrade to First Class on my Chicago to DFW flight thanks to my Executive Platinum status.

    Final Thoughts

    I’d say that I budgeted myself quite well on my Madrid, especially considering 3 of 4 flights were in premium cabins. Now if only I could get away with only spending $575 on every week-long trip! Want to check out some of my Madrid photos? Head over to my Instagram.

    What are some of your best travel bookings for less? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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