About two years ago, we started planning for this trip financially and getting it on the schedule. We used The Chase Reserve and The Chase Preferred credit cards to earn airline miles for the trip. This summer we had enough airline points to get three tickets free. We paid for one of our children’s ticket separately. We got a 25% discount on a child’s international airplane ticket. It took several hours on the phone booking all four of the tickets and getting our seats next to each other.
Our friend really wanted us to visit her during the months of December or January. For one, it is summertime there. In addition, she has more time off work during those months. However, this is the most expensive time of year to fly to New Zealand. It was helpful that we got those three tickets free. Since I am a schoolteacher and my children are in elementary school, we have a few weeks out of school over the winter break to travel there. My children and I will still miss a few days of school for this trip, but it will be worth it!
We all got our Global Entry cards for this trip. Global Entry will get us TSA pre-check and expedited customs lines. We thought this would be beneficial traveling with younger children. The last time I was standing in a customs line, it took over an hour. We are hoping by having our Global Entry we will save some time in the airport. Not only did we fill out an online application, we had to go in-person to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. We set these appointments up several months in advance. After the trip, I will know more if this extra step was worth it!