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Last night our traveling trio was featured on ABC’s Nightline, and the story about how our family travels for much, much less (and sometimes nearly free) was shared with anyone who happened to tune in to watch. I have no clue how people stay up that late on a regular basis, so here is the online clip in case you missed it snoozing!
There was an accompanying online story as well.
Spending a couple of days with a film crew, and especially flying with a four year old and a camera, was a little bit nerve racking, but also really fun. In the end, it’s not about us, it’s about encouraging families to expand their beliefs about what is possible. Where you can travel isn’t limited by your budget, it is only limited by your desire. There are so many ways to find deals, earn miles, or heck even win trips as we did in the segment that where there is enough desire, there will be a way.
That is something I realized over years of slowly listening and watching others who were doing things with miles, points, and travel deals that I didn’t think possible on a middle class budget. People like Gary at View From the Wing, Rick the Frugal Travel Guy, and Brian The Points Guy. Of course, those guys weren’t moms with young children, so I still didn’t think what they did totally applied to what was possible for my family.
There was no way we could earn enough miles and points in our everyday life to fly around the world in a lie flat seat. Wrong.
There was no way a kid could fit in or have fun at a posh hotel in Paris. Wrong.
There was no way we could stay on Hyatt points in a villa in the Indian Ocean. Wrong.
There was no way my travel-resistant husband would want any part of this miles, points, and travel insanity. Wrong.
There was no point taking my family to Hawaii because a beach is a beach is a beach to a kid. Wrong.
Part of what we learned over time (and share here) is how to make trips cost much, much less. That strategy usually comes from using miles and points that are earned from everyday life and partly from following folks like @theflightdeal and @airfarewatchdog to find killer airfare deals.
The other part of what I was inspired to do over time was to make travel more comfortable. My six foot, three inch travel-resistant husband wasn’t keen on flying to Europe through the night sitting upright in coach, but when we are able to use miles to get him in a lie-flat seat, the frown turned upside down so to speak…
Spending time in a hotel with a young kid got much more comfortable once we found ways to affordably go from a base room to a suite for certain trips. Tip: Email the hotel ahead of time and just ask what it takes to get into a suite and sometimes you will be quite surprised with the answer.
Yes, much of what we do is thanks to the 40,000, 50,000, 70,000, or even 100,000 miles you can get as a credit card sign-up bonus, but that’s not the only thing we do. And yes, you must always be responsible with your credit and not spend more than you otherwise would. Simply maximizing how we buy stuff everyday by using rewards earning credit cards to give us up to 5x points for purchases and shopping via online mileage portals and registering for dining programs to earn bonus miles also helps. Just like with the hotel nights at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek that we had won in the Nightline segment, we also enter contests like this one and this one on a pretty regular basis.
Miles, points, and eventually elite status not only made travel possible, but much more enjoyable as some of the normal headaches and burdens of travel were lessened or eliminated.
We are very thankful to all of you who help spread the world about how everyday families can (and should) do this, as well as to the Nightline crew for taking the journey with us.