July 22, 2018 1 Comment Event

Quick and Cheap Trip to See Jack Johnson


It all started on April 7th with a quick search on what was new on the Hilton Experiences page and there it was: Redeem 75,000 Hilton points for (2) tickets to see Jack Johnson… in Dallas, TX. If you’re not aware, we live in Southern California but we have missed any and all of his shows in our area. Would it make sense to go to Dallas for a concert? How could we make it work?

The Searching Begins

If we were going to go, how would we get there? With the concert on a Friday night (April 27th), I did a quick search on Google Flights with us departing on Thursday and arriving back home on Saturday. Alaska Airlines came up with a non-stop between LAX and DAL (Dallas Love Field) for $192.40 per person or $384.80 total. We used an Alaska Companion Code, to bring it down to $327.23 and due to previous credit received from Alaska’s Price Guarantee ($262.44) we would end up paying $64.79 cash and earn Alaska Airline miles for both of us.

Next we would need a place to stay. I used Roomkey to see what places are in the area and sorted by hotel chains where I have points. I found a great hotel, Dallas Marriott Las Colinas, that was literally a 5 minute walk to the concert venue. It was going for 20,000 Marriott points per night. I could transfer 14,000 SPG points which convert at a 1:3 ratio and are instantly available to use.

After researching Air & Hotel, I looked into a rental car. My preferred method, is to book a car on Priceline and then submit my confirmation details on Autoslash. In about 30 minutes I was emailed better rates: $48.00 for a Mid-size SUV through Hertz for two days.

After seeing that this would be fairly inexpensive, we redeemed our Hilton points for the concert tickets, booked the air, hotel & car for a total of $112.79, 75,000 Hilton Points and 40,000 Marriott points. But wait, there’s more…

Making This A Smart Trip 

We had discussed earlier in the year, that if it made sense to visit a work client on our own dollar, it might be worth it. I emailed a client and mentioned that I would love to meet up with them in person on that Friday afternoon. They agreed. When I shared this with my boss, he said I should expense my mileage to and from LAX, LAX parking, rental car & gas as well as meals on that Friday. WOW! That sweetened the deal even more. Now our out of pocket cash would be $64.79, we would have $30 to go towards our dinner that evening and we could park our car at LAX for easy access. Combining work & pleasure like this is what we call Smart Trips.


Jack Johnson did not disappoint. It was a great show, with great seats. He played all of our favorite songs and then some! This was the first time we could remember being a 5 minute walk to a venue. It was so great to not have to worry about parking, and the mad rush after the show. It was also done for a total out of pocket cost of $64.79 plus points for Tickets, Airfare, Hotel and Rental Car.

Enjoying the Alaska Lounge at LAX

Dallas Marriott Las Colinas

The Venue


And just like that, it’s already time to go home