Recap: The $23,000 Trip to South America & Africa for 400,000 Points!


Gene, this is the last post in the South America & Africa Points Heist Trip Report. As with all my trips, I like to publish the Excel of how much I spent in points, how much I paid in cash, and the retail value of the trip. As with all my Excels, I don’t bother posting a key which infuriates some people named Brent.

And here is the recap with one picture per city!

  1. Anywhere, Montana 
The trip coincided with TPOL moving out of Montana.

2. Los Angeles, California

TPOL Stops in Los Angeles

3. Houston, Texas

TPOL Hungover on United to Cusco

4. Lima, Peru 

TPOL in Cusco Lounge

5. Cusco, Peru 

TPOL in Machu Picchu

6. La Paz, Bolivia 

TPOL Golfing in La Paz

7. Salt Flats, Bolivia 

TPOL in Salt Flats

8. San Pedro, Chile 

TPOL at the Chilean Border

10. Calama, Chile 

TPOL in Calama

11. Santiago, Chile 

TPOL in Santiago

12. Santa Cruz, Chile 

TPOL in Colchagua

13. Sao Paulo, Brazil 


14. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 

TPOL Bungee Victoria Falls

15. Livingstone, Zambia 

TPOL in Devil’s Pool, Zambia

16. Chobe National Park, Botswana


17. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

The most uncomfortable flight in TPOL history.

18. Nairobi, Kenya 

TPOL eating Chinese food in Nairobi

19. Maasai Mara, Kenya

Before TPOL got food poisoning/malaria

20. Amboseli, Kenya 

I telling Ms. TPOL about the water hole.

21. Stone Town, Zanzibar 

TPOL enjoying Park Hyatt life

22. Nungwi, Zanzibar 

TPOL singing, “Miss you miss you baby”

23. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 

TPOL living it up at the overnight park bench lounge.

24. Cape Town, South Africa 

TPOL enjoying Cape Town, home to the world’s best ‘Western’ sushi.

25. Franschhoek, South Africa 

TPOOL drinking the Best. Wine. Period.

26. Stellenbosch, South Africa 

TPOL learning that after indulgence comes over indulgence.

27. Johannesburg, South Africa 

TPOL Cant.Stop.Drinking.

28. London, England 

TPOL flying LHR-SFO.

29. San Francisco, California

TPOL imprisoned for this points heist great trip.

30. Scottsdale, Arizona 

And that’s how TPOL moved from Montana to Scottsdale.

The story continues because TPOL Is Moving to Puerto Rico, Effective Immediately.


  1. So was this one crazy booking using ANA miles or something? I’m talking about the part from Montana to South America and on to Africa? I see you used VA coming back

  2. I appreciate your honest tone. A lot of bloggers really make efforts to polish their trip reports to the point that they aren’t relatable to me. When I go somewhere, I like meandering around and then drinking (probably a lot). Not everyday is roses and flowers and hiking and rock climbing.

  3. Nice synopsis. I’m glad you beat the dinosaur. Any idea how the infrastructure problems will affect your new home?

  4. Your excel is awesome! Love the colors!
    I like the way you have the spreadsheet set up.
    I think I am going to use a similar style to track my trips too.

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