Our European Luxury Family Vacation

2018 is the year of Enns travels so far. Or, to make a bad pun, the Adventure Never Enns. Sorry. In the short time that has been 2018 we’ve been to Bali already and we have two more big trips coming up. This trip we are going to talk about here is our biggest one yet. We are very nervous for it especially considering our kids have never been on a flight, never mind the ridiculous amount of flights we’re going to put them through on this trip.

Air Canada Business Class | Photo Courtesy of The Points Guy

We’re going away for basically the whole month of June. Our big stops are Toronto, Disneyland Paris, Paris, Athens, Santorini and Crete with layovers in Istanbul, Zurich, Chicago, and Montreal.

Like we said, we’ve never flown with the kids before and we’re about to subject them to 10+ flights within a month. We’re crazy aren’t we?

Thanks to my obsession with travel points this entire trip is going to be done on points. This post we will give you an overview of the trip and then in coming posts will show you how we booked this trip to see how you can plan one similar.

Here’s how our trip is going to go, all flights in business class:

On the way there we fly:

Vancouver – Toronto – stay 4 nights with friends

Toronto – Istanbul – overnight layover

Istanbul – Paris – 2 nights at Disneyland Paris, 5 nights in downtown Paris

Paris – Zurich – quick layover

Zurich – Athens – stay 3 nights

Athens – Santorini – stay 3 nights (cash flight)

Here is what the flight look like visually:

Europe Depart
Flight route to Europe

And then on the way home we fly:

Crete – Athens – overnight at the airport (cash flight)

Athens – Zurich – few hour layover

Zurich – Chicago – quick layover

Chicago – Montreal – overnight layover

Montreal – Vancouver – home sweet home

Here is what the flight home looks like visually:

Europe Return
Flight route home from Europe

We are very excited about this trip. We will get to fly on some world class airlines, spend layovers in some world class lounges and spend nights in some world class hotels. We’re calling this our mini European Luxury Vacation.

These are the benefits of travel points and miles.

Our trip starts off with an Air Canada flight in Business Class to Toronto on their Boeing 777-300ER with lie flat seats. This will be our first chance to get the kids used to sleeping on a plane. Once in Toronto, friends of ours will pick us up and take us to their place where we will spend 4 nights with them. It will be a great time to catch up with our friends and spend some quality time together. It will, hopefully, help us all, but mostly the kids, adjust to the time change a little bit. Even though it’s only 3 hours it will hopefully start a gradual adjustment.

After that, we will hop on a Turkish Airlines overnight flight (God please let the kids sleep), again with lie flat seats and this is the flight we most hope the kids sleep on. This could turn into a nightmare flight if nobody sleeps as this is our longest flight on the whole trip at 9 hours 45 minutes in duration. Turkish Airlines was the 6th best Business Class airline in the world last year so we’re very excited (but nervous with the kids) for this flight.

Turkish Lounge
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge | Photo Courtesy of landlopers.com

We will spend the night in Istanbul’s In-Terminal hotel (the most overpriced hotel ever in our opinion) before spending our morning in Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge. This lounge was the #1 Business Class lounge in the world in 2017 and is where we will have breakfast and spend our morning relaxing before our flight.

Renaissance Paris
Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero | Photo Courtesy of Marriott

We then hop on another Turkish Airlines flight to Paris where we will arrive just after noon. From the airport we will take the train to Disneyland Paris and spend 2 nights at Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France (seen in the header photo). After our Disney experience we will get to experience Paris where we will be staying at the Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero for 5 nights.

King George
King George Athens Hotel | Photo Courtesy of King George Athens

We will have a short one night stay at the airport at the Best Western Paris CDG Airport so that we’re close for our early morning flight to Zurich with Swiss Airlines. After a short layover in Zurich we will continue to Athens with Swiss Airlines where we will spend 3 nights at the King George Athens.

Aghios Artemios Traditional Houses | Photo Courtesy of Aghios Artmeios Traditional Houses

A short flight to Santorini with Olympic Air will bring us to the beautiful island we will call home for the next 3 nights at the Aghios Artemios Traditional Houses before taking a ferry to Crete where we will have one quick night in an AirBnB and then 5 nights the place we are most looking forward to, Domes of Elounda.

Domes of Elounda Resort | Photo Courtesy of Dome of Elounda

Our journey home will start with a short flight again on Olympic Air from Crete to Athens where we will spend the night at the airport before flying the rest of the way home the next morning.

SWISS Business Lounge | Photo Courtesy of SWISS

On the way home we have 3 flights in one day. This day will be an extremely long (we’re flying against the time change to make the day seem even longer) and likely very tiresome day.  From Athens we will fly to Zurich again but this time we have a long layover to experience their Business Class lounge that ranks in the Top 10 in the world. Our second longest flight will be from Zurich to Chicago at 9 hours and 30 minutes. Then we will take a very short but late flight from Chicago to Montreal where we will spend the night at Montreal’s In-Terminal Hotel.

Marriott In-Terminal Hotel Montreal Airport | Photo Courtesy of Marriott

To complete the journey home we will once again fly with our national carrier who will bring us back to Vancouver where we will need an entire day to rest from 5 flights in 2 days.

Here is the breakdown of our total points cost for this trip:

  • 230,000 Aeroplan miles
  • 28,000 Best Western Points
  • 405,000 Marriott Points
  • 48,000 Starpoints Points
  • ~$900 CAD in taxes and fees (infant charges, phone booking fee, airline fee, airport fees)

Yes, go ahead, call us crazy, we know we are. Please pray for us. That’s mostly serious. Regardless of what all the flying might do to our kids, we are very very excited to experience places none of us have been before and to do so as a family. It will turn out to hopefully be one of many big trips we get to take together as a family and save our wallets due to our points.

If you want to learn about how you can earn over HALF A MILLION points to do a similar trip, read this post.

In the next few posts we will break down how we booked this to show you how easy it is to do on your own once you have the points available.

If you’re interested in knowing more about award and points travel, let us know in the comments or email us at adventureneverenns@gmail.com

Never stop adventuring!