Family Travel

Category Archives for Family Travel.

Finding Saver Awards With American AAdvantage Miles

American 787

A few months ago I shared that I thought American Airlines AAdvantage miles had overall become worse than Delta SkyMiles, which is to say they had fallen to the bottom spot of the major US based airline loyalty programs. My dissatisfaction with American AAdvantage was based largely on the reality that saver awards, even just for pretty ordinary domestic hops, were simply not available…or were very, very barely available, and then only on non-logical itineraries where it took three flights at…

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The Best Time to Plan Spring Break Trips on Miles


I know some of you lucky folks are still in the middle of your spring break weeks, and I truly hope you are having a blast.  At the same time, it is never too early to think about the next round of family vacation fun. In fact, I would argue that now is the best time to plan your spring break for next year, especially if you like to travel using miles and points. Some of us in the south have…

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A Lump in My Throat and a Flight With My Oldest

Little S and Mom

For nineteen months and five days I was with my youngest baby at least part of every day, and together under the same roof every single night. This means if I traveled, she traveled. And it also meant if she didn’t travel, I didn’t travel. We canceled, changed, delayed, or scaled back almost as many trips as we took in those months when my over-ambition or life’s unexpected surprises met with face to face with ego-busting reality of caring for a…

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First Trip Without Baby: Leaving an Instruction Manual


Whether you first leave your baby for an overnight trip away when they are five weeks old, five months old, or five years old, it is probably going to be a little tough. Even if you are beyond ready for a little kid-free time, or even just time with your other kids, it is still an unquestionably huge transition for you and them. I’m about to go through this transition for the first time with my second daughter, and while I…

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Booking Award Stays at Hyatt Ziva All-Inclusives With Children Two and Under

Babies are free at the Hyatt Ziva Resorts

I am a very, very big fan of the all-inclusive Hyatt properties. I’m not a typical all-you-can-eat-and-drink girl just for the heck of it, so my expectations going into an all-inclusive situation were tempered. However, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun was everything my family wanted from a beach vacation and more. It has almost been a year since our stay and I seriously can’t wait to find an excuse to get back there. The one downside to a family stay at a…

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Have Your Kids Miles Count Towards Your Star Gold Elite Status?!


Those who fly with some regularity may quickly become interested in the magic and mystery of airline elite status. Airline elite status can unlock things like upgrades, preferred seats, lounge access, better customer service, priority boarding, waived fees, and more. However, while you can sometimes leverage one airline elite status to match to another, you usually can’t just generate your initial airline elite status out of thin air. You generally have to put your tail in an airplane seat on a…

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The Puke and Tears Behind the Smiling Family Vacation Photo


We’ve hit some of the highs and lows of family travel first hand, many of which has been shared here. We’ve missed flights and not known how we will get home. We’ve gotten sick in hotels. On planes. In airports. We’ve been up way before the sun quietly watching cartoons in the hotel bathroom thanks to timezone issues. We’ve missed naps and had the ensuing meltdowns. We’ve been so tired that I’ve had to flag down an airport cart when the…

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When is it Okay for Parents to Sit in First Class While the Kids are in Economy?

At some point they are old enough to sit a little further away

I remember as a kid watching the movie Home Alone and seeing the parents all relax in first class on their American Airlines flight from Chicago to Paris (before they realized Kevin was missing), while the kids all hung together in economy. That looked like the epitome of how ‘rich people’ traveled to me when I first saw it as a nine year old. While of course the premise of the movie was that Kevin was somehow left at home without anyone…

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How to Use American AAdvantage Miles for Kids Tickets and Cash for Yours


As you may have read, I’ve had a bit of trouble using my American Airlines AAdvantage miles recently at the saver level. From the extensive discussion in the comments on that post, I know I’m not alone. With four kids, budgets are tight and I am now booking trips beyond when my youngest daughter turns two, so that means that the days of booking her as a free lap baby are over.   With this in mind, as we planned…

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We Decided to Say Aloha to Hawaii


A few weeks ago I posted about my indecision regarding whether or not to go forward with a planned spring break trip to Maui, or (again) decide that we bit off more than we want to chew, and scale our trip back to something much closer and easier to get to with our two girls. Most of my hesitation came from taking a hard look at our very long itinerary to get there (that had been made worse with an airline…

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