Lounges, planes, more lounges, and more planes.

We have just embarked on a 6 week adventure around Europe. Typically it does take around 20 hours to fly to Europe, but we bravely chose to start our adventure in Finland, which meant a journey lasting 43 hours. At the time of writing this we’re about 31.5 hours in. Normally this would be a nightmarish feat to undertake, and even in this case it has taken all of our stamina to keep going. However we are lucky enough to be travelling the entire way in business class.

Business class!? You might be thinking. And you would be correct to assume that of course we could never afford to purchase business class tickets around Europe and back. The lucky part is that I have a friend who opened my eyes to the possibilities of what you can do with frequent flyer points. Without going into too much detail, you can purchase a business class ticket which will take you around the world on One World airlines such as Qantas or Cathay Pacific, for 280,000 Qantas Points per person. You might now be thinking that that is an awful lot of points, and how could anyone earn that many? The not so secret, secret, is Credit Cards. Not just using credit cards for all your purchases, but choosing the right credit cards to sign up to, in order to get the bonus points that they offer. Many cards will offer 40, or 50k points or even more just for signing up and meeting a minimum spend requirement. So in that way it doesn’t take long to accrue the points needed for a trip like ours. The other thing to note, is that the particular product that we purchased, the One World Explorer, offers much better value per point than regular business class tickets.

So that loosely explains how we’re doing what we’re doing. Now for a little bit more detail about what we’re doing.

Our first destination is Finland, including the capital Helsinki, and the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi. The main attraction though for us, is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. That’s exactly the reason we’re taken such an insane itinerary going all the way to Finland in one go. The earlier we could arrive in Finland, the better our chances of viewing the northern lights would be.

The crazy 43 hour itinerary includes;

  • Brisbane – Hong Kong (via Cairns)
  • Hong Kong – London
  • London – Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam – Helsinki

This is partly due to a mistake during the booking process, which left us unable to change the Brisbane to London flights. Which then left us with very little choices on getting to Helsinki.

Day 1 highlights included eating the best BBQ Pork Bun at The Pier lounge, finding out that the flight to London is only 11 hours and 50 minutes instead of the estimated 13 hours and of course having a flat bed on the plane to attempt sleep.

For now though, we’re doing our best to stay awake by enjoying the free buffet and drinks here in the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick! We will keep everyone updated when the exiting stuff actually starts happening!

Ben & Mary

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