In my opinion, the United Excursionist Perk is one of the best aspects of United’s MileagePlus program. What is the Excursionist Perk? When you book an award trip using United miles, and your travel begins and ends in the same region, you can get a free one-way within a single region of the world that isn’t your region of origin.
The intent of this feature is to allow you to visit multiple cities on one round-trip award. For example, you could book an award that takes you from the US to Paris for the outbound segment, then add a free segment (the Excursionist Perk) to get you from Paris to Venice, then return home from Venice. The award price, then, is the same as a simple round-trip from the US to Europe.
Still confused? Please read Nick’s detailed guide: Leveraging the United Excursionist Perk to save miles.
Even though the intent of the Excursionist Perk is fairly simple, there is so much more that you can do with it. Again, checkout Nick’s post for detailed tips and tricks.
While researching my options for the 40K to Far Away Challenge, I initially used this United Airlines web page to find out which countries were in each region as defined by United Airlines. The problem with that page is that it’s entirely textual. It’s very hard to figure out the full extent of each region or where regions come closest to intersecting.
So, I put that page’s data into Google Maps.
I used a different Google Maps layer for each region so that you can easily select which region’s you want to see. Unfortunately, there was a downside to this approach: Google Maps only allows 10 layers and United defines 17 different regions. So, I created two maps and stuffed each one with as many regions as I could.
If you’d like to expand the maps, click the little squarish thing in the top right corner: