It has been a hectic morning.  Firstly I had to unpack the Montenegro bag and repack as my Northern Ireland bag.

Then submit my claim for €225 to American Express for being stupid enough to damage my Avis hire car on the road to Kotor.  My joy in discovering I could make this claim online became one of desperate frustration when an hour failed to complete the process.  Eventually I picked up the phone and in a remarkable customer service moment got through to one of those human being things immediately.  An experience I last enjoyed in 1987.

Then the horror.  My 32,000 Membership Reward Points with my AMEX posh card have been cancelled by a refund taking me below the spend threshold.  I now need to spend £800 on the plastic in four weeks to meet the deadline to get the 30,000 points which have been removed.

I scour through my travel plans for opportunities to cancel and rebook.  The first one appears in Chile and I spot a £30 saving at the same time – book the same hotel and then cancel the original booking that this replaces.  Alas, while the saving was real the ability to pay by AMEX wasn’t.  Nothing doing with the Milan options so my attention turned to Australia.

Win one was The Great Barrier Reef.  The same room is coming in £5 cheaper and they are now accepting AMEX.  A few presses of the buttons and I’m £200 closer to triggering those 30,000 points.

Next is Melbourne.  The price is only £3 cheaper but whereas I’d previously opted to pay in Aussie dollars at check out I’ve now paid up front in good old English £££s to get the spend onto the AMEX.

Only about £250 more needed.  I might squeeze in a short rail holiday in Scotland.  Need to decide sharpish!

The Budva Riviera