How do you make the most out of your trip? We’re not talking what to pack and which clubs and restaurants to go to; this is about numbers. Those who travel, travel a lot and look for every incentive to help them travel more, right? And what does that better than frequent flyer programs? Did you know that you can rack up 4676 miles by flying from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, all to the tune of $336? What’s in Fort Lauderdale, you ask? Well, lots of stuff, actually. But if every trip counts and every spontaneous trip counts more, then we’ve got a big bang for your buck with these 10 routes from LAX, which are the best ways to rack up mad air miles on the cheap. We’ve split the routes into two sections: one for domestic and one for international. Enjoy.
Photo by takot/Flickr.
Photo by Dawn Ashley/Flickr.
Why go to Fort Lauderdale? Maybe you’ve got friends and family there? Or maybe because it feels nice to unshackle one self from the confines of a car and go someplace where the beach is a mere 10-minute bike ride from the downtown area and there’s always some French gourmet restaurant, or authentic taqueria, or surf-snazzy beach café nearby due to the confluence of cultures meeting at this upscale metropolis. Why fly to Fort Lauderdale from LAX? Because for as low as $336 for a return trip, travelers can gain 4676 miles and explore the other coast.
Photo by Werner Kunz/Flickr.
Ditch the beach and kick off to New England! For around $377, visitors from LA can rack up 2605 miles, each way, and explore the nucleus of America’s post-graduate education system and wander art galleries, history museums and seafood markets. While there’s tons to see just wandering around the rich and diverse architecture and the sprawling Boston harbor, just a short train ride or scenic away opens up to fascinating small towns that carry on that same New England tradition in their own unique ways. Salem, Plymouth and the further out Cape Cod are worth discovering. After all, if you’re going to fly across the country, you might as well really see the other side of the country.
Photo by glaciergirl/Flickr.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what the same coast is like but several thousand miles further north, then there’s no better chance to find out than now! For just $259, you can rack up 2343 miles each way and get a vast array of super-fresh seafood, as well as enjoy an average of 19.5 hours of sunlight in the summer. Visitors who prefer to go out into the wild will love seeing all the creatures that hang around the Anchorage area, like moose, brown and black bears, Dall sheep, and a rainbow of migratory birds. The area opens up to great coastal trails and alpine mountains; one of the more popular hikes is up Flattop Mountain, a 3,510 foot mountain in Chugach State Park, perfect for climbing, berry picking, skiing, and admiring the view. LA Beach babes, ready to get out of your element? Travelers from LAX can even save up to $77 by flying out on a Monday and returning on a Tuesday. Now, get Alaska Airlines on the phone and make a move!
Photo by Timothy Wildey/Flickr.
For a slice of a different kind of beach city, Miami has all the color of LA with a little extra Cuban flavor, less pollution and traffic, as well as some Art Deco flare by South Beach. It’s not far off from LA, and from a distance, it doesn’t seem too different, but the charm of every city is in the details – like pressed Cuban sandwiches and cafe cubano, turquoise waters and white sand beaches, districts devoted to local and international art and incredible mega clubs that aren’t swarming with paparazzi. Hey, west coaster – try out the East Coast for around $385 while racking up 4676 miles at the same time.
Photo by jdigit3l/Flickr.
It’s a 2386-mile trip between the city of angels to the city of brotherly love, and that distance represents a lot – pretty much the full stretch of America, actually. From the glammed up shores of Malibu to those immortal steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art upon which Sylvester Stallone bounded towards victory, or at least the hope of it, this distance reveals different facets of the American dream. There’s a ton of stuff in Philly: the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, beautiful parks, a number of impressive art galleries, the Mütter Museum (Victorian medical oddities in a cabinet museum settling; not for the faint of heart or stomach), lots and lots of founding fathers’ stuff, and carb-loaded food to let go and indulge. After all, that LA beach body will merely be a hindrance in Philadelphia. Try it out! A return ticket starts at $397.
Photo by staffan.scherz/Flickr.
Want to do something crazy? Fly to Vietnam for air miles. If it’s just to bump up your air miles, you’re golden; and if it’s to get a real, immersive shot into heart of something completely new, then Saigon’s your ticket. A mix of gorgeous French Colonial architecture sitting curbside to broad, elegant boulevards and the same bustle and tradition as any other massively populated Asian city (watch out for the swarms of mopeds). With a skylined marked by glossy, futuristic skyscrapers alongside tasteful historic monuments, cathedrals and other European-inspired edifices, and a street food scene to rival that of its Southeast Asian neighbors, Ho Minh City (Saigon) is truly a unique city.
Photo by Stuck in Customs/Flickr.
The capital of Malaysia and its largest city, Kuala Lumpur was a small Chinese tin-mining village a mere 150 years ago. Now it’s grown to encompass 6.5 million inhabitants. It looks certainly like the future, in a bright-lights-big-city kind of way, marked by the Petronas Twin Towers and leading international shopping malls, five-star hotels, and mega-clubs comparable to those of Los Angeles. The food is hyper-globalized: fancy flavors abound in the Golden Triangle, KL’s central business district, while visitors can get decent Chinese food in the old Chinese commercial center, Bibimbap in the Ampang residential area, Indian fare in Brickfields, which is considered their Little India, and everything else in their various Malaysian curry houses. Find great deals for on flights from LA with EVA Air, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
Photo by Sangsurya Javan Tech/Flickr.
The most populous city in Southeast Asia, Jakarta is the capital and largest city in Indonesia. Its international and globalized community is largely owing to its bustling business culture and expat community; and there’s certainly something for everyone (unless the traveler in question happens to hate human interaction or roads with cars on them in which case, get ready to be severely overwhelmed and good luck). If it’s luxury travel and non-stop, all-night clubbing you’re after, then Jakarta is your best ticket. Alternatively, visitors who enjoy learning about unique cultures and diving into a daylight filled with diverse culinary offerings, tracing the mixed bag of historical lineage (with deep connections to the Dutch and Portuguese), and exploring heritage landmarks and art museums will have their hands full. Check fares with EVA Air, China Airlines, Japan Airlines and discover beautiful Jakarta while you buff up those air miles.
Photo by BarbaraWilli/Flickr.
From one fragrant harbor to the other fragrant harbor, Angelenos will feel somewhat more at home in Hong Kong than most other Asian cities, despite the latter’s utter lack of personal space and any remote sense of "chill vibes.". But those shouldn’t be factors to deter any desire from visiting, because Hong Kong is a tall glass of water, and you’re gonna want to drink it up, from the boats that glide past a skyscraper studded skyline down by the piers to the night-time view of the city from the top of Victoria Peak. Drink it up: the wonton noodle soups out of neighborhood noodle shops and cafés, and the luxury three-star international restaurants in the CBD and elsewhere. Rack up 7247 miles each way for around $813 with Asiana Airlines, Air China and Cathay Pacific… but only if you can convince yourself to leave.
Photo by Nico Roets/Flickr.
Craving nature and wildlife, but don’t want to be so far from a major urban center? Sure, you could go to Northern Cali, but to really rack up those points while you’re at it and discover the dramatic landscape, politics and homeland of Nelson Mandela, take a flight with Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic or British Airways and find yourself in Johannesburg. Comfortable high rollers can chill out in the Michelangelo Hotel or some similar luxury hotel and check out trendy stores and restaurants, while those who wish to dig a little deeper into the turbulent history of the area can stop at the former home of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, or see the Apartheid Museum. Right outside of the city center, visitors can visit a national park to see some of Africa’s famed wildlife.