Big Changes, Big News, and Big Mileage Accounts Needed

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I’ve written this blog for the last four years largely as an extension of our own real lives.  Sure I write about random travel deals and mileage opportunities that pop up that have little to nothing to do with our family, but at the heart, everything I write about relates back to my own perspective as a busy parent on a budget who loves to travel.  I wouldn’t know how to de-personalize and write a daily blog any other way.  When I started, my perspective was that of a full-time working mom of a one-year-old, and it has evolved to a full-time blogging mom of a five-year-old (which believe it or not takes way more time than clocking in for someone else!).

As I’m sure you know, family life and dynamics only change over time, and travel plans and logistics have to change with it. I know some have you have noticed over time we didn’t just collect miles to visit Grandma’s house any more, and that was a result of a change in where we were in life. We had an older kid, stable jobs, and the ability to flap our wings a bit further.

First Disney Trip

C’s first trip to Disney


C’s first trip to Europe

I truly view you all as friends or neighbors who are nice enough to sometimes stop by on a break or with your morning cup of coffee and chat about travel deals and destinations, so I am so excited to finally let you in on how our perspective and lives are changing again in a pretty big way.

Starting this summer we will have more smiles, more adventures, more baggage, and more family members.

Yes, Little C will finally be a big sister, and we will become a traveling family of four!

then there were four

…and then there were four!

We are beyond excited about our upcoming addition, and everything else, including travel, is obviously secondary to that development.  However, since this is a travel focused blog, I have to say that having a baby on the way sure has changed some of our travel plans and patterns.  Planning trips while trying to plan a pregnancy is interesting, and now that we know the arrival date (which landed in the middle of our big planned summer trip to Europe), we have been scrambling to adjust further.  It’s all good stuff, but it’s been an interesting experience that I am so ready to start sharing since I know many of you experience similar challenges when continuing life and travel while trying to expand your families.


Assuming everyone is happy and healthy, growing to a family of four won’t ground us at home for long, but it will contribute to a few changes in how we travel for a while.  We will have an emphasis on longer trips rather than frantic weekend dashes, a return to more domestic and nearby destinations for a bit, and obviously we will ultimately need more miles and more award seats for four than we did for three.

The good news on that front, is several of those changes we were more than ready for anyway.  We, or at least I, went on a bit of a “travel binge” last year culminating with a girls only ski trip to Norway, a luxury mom-daughter trip to Paris, and an around-the-world fancy pants blow out birthday trip with my husband, knowing of our hopes in expanding our family this year.  We enjoyed all of those trips, but we were tired and ready for the next phase in our family’s journey.

It may look a little bit more like Disney, beach vacations, domestic destinations, Grandma’s house, strollers, and kid travel gear around here for a while, rather than first class seats and Maldives over-water villas.  I know I am excited for that change both in my real life, and here on the blog, so I hope you are also excited to come along for the ride.

We are very much looking forward to meeting our next traveling little one, and sharing this next chapter in our family’s traveling journey with you!

Then there were four header

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  1. Congratulations! I’m excited for your family’s news and wish you all the best — at home and in travel — as you welcome a new member to your family.

  2. Both Amex and Chase have cracked down on transferring points to others, or else I’d share some as a new baby gift. Maybe I’ll open up a Citi ThankYou account for this purpose… Congratulations!

  3. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing how things adjust and evolve with your new family of four as I’m considering expanding our family as well but still on the fence 🙂

  4. Congrats! From the minute you wrote about scaling back this year on trips, I had a feeling this announcement was coming…

    I look forward to reading all the future posts about traveling with a larger family! Because redeeming points becomes more challenging with each family member (as a family of five – I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to book hotel rooms on points!) I’m excited that you’ll no doubt be the go-to blog for optimizing (an even bigger) family travel soon.

    Take care! And Congrats!

  5. Congrats!!!!! My wife and I have 2 boys and could not feel more blessed. It is a joy to travel with them and be able to show them the world. All the best!!!!

  6. Awesome news! Excited for your family……and will be excited to hear your tips and tricks for a family of 4 now! Our little second just turned 1 years old. Our travel certainly changed dramatically the year he was born and the year after. But still lots of fun adventures! Again, congratulations!!!

  7. Congrats – happy for you! We should get a little reader pool going for the age that your new addition will take his/her first flight. I’ll take day #95. Best of luck in the coming months.

    • Matt, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you, but estimated due date to estimated first flight is currently just about on the money at day 95. All subject to change of course, but just wanted to let you know no need for a lottery as you may have already won. 😉

  8. Congratulations to your family! I’m sure Little C is excited to be promoted to Big C soon!

    About this time last year I wrote to you from our Babymoon (which was originally booked as just a points funded winter getaway) asking how your travel changed when your family grew from two to three. I’m excited to read a follow up post this time next year about the fun you’ve had growing from three to four!

  9. Many, many thank yous to all of you for your congrats, well wishes, and even the offers of baby shower points gifts – ha ha! Too funny!

    I should have said this in the post, but Not-So-Little-C is over the moon. She asks to “talk” to the baby daily, and is as ready as she can be for her upcoming role as big sister. I’m sure she will have her moments (as will we all), but I don’t think there is a baby-to-be out there who will have a more ready and excited big sister. She even picked out the baby’s new luggage shown in the post. 😉

  10. Summer! Congratulations. Such exciting news! I am thrilled for you and your family! So fun. Enjoy this time and your upcoming travels.

  11. Congratulations! Having #2 is indeed a game changer in some ways, but it is much easier in other ways. My daughter is about a year older than Little C and we now have a 16 month old son too. It really hasn’t slowed us down other than in late pregnancy and then the first few months after the baby was born. You have the advantage (as we did) of a pretty big age gap and an older child who is largely self-sufficient during air travel. Can’t stress enough how helpful that is. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!

  12. Congratulations! How exciting!

    And Might I add that the reason I visit your blog every day is for the unique point of view from a mom traveling with a young child. I read about exotic, first class trips on other blogs, but your blog with domestic travel and the occasional big trips more matches the travel I do with my little one so I get so much more from reading your blog than the others. You do a great job and I will continue to be a daily reader of your blog.

  13. Summer, I used to be an avid traveler, but that all changed eight years ago when we were focused on our family. I am now a mom to 3-year-old twins and wouldn’t change it for the world! Like you, our travel focus has changed and even had to be put on hold while they were toddlers(but they did go to New Zealand for their first birthday), and now I am ready to get back to sharing my passion and keeping my fingers crossed that they love it as much as me.

    Best wishes on your journey and I look forward to your future posts!

    • Martin, temporarily pregnant header (shown at bottom of post) coming very soon, then another new one after #2 arrives. C is preparing room for a co-pilot in her plane as we speak!

  14. Congratulations Summer and family! While I’m 32 and do not have children, I enjoy reading your blog for a “real life perspective” and helping my friends with kids to achieve reward travel. As a brother who is 8 years older than my twin sisters I can tell you little C will be a big help on vacations (I know I was). Such great news! CONGRATS AGAIN!

  15. Congrats! We’re also a family of four with about the same age gap. Will be harder, but four awards CAN be booked and I’m looking forward to reading your tips on how to make it easier.

  16. Congrats! Now your posts will definitely relate to me since we’re a family of 4 (Two boys – 5 just like little C and his 3 year old brother). Good luck and be well.

  17. Congrats! My earliest flights for my children= 1st child: 13 months old, 2nd child 3 1/2 months old, 3rd 6 weeks old. It is all in what you are used to. My pregnancy motto was to always stay healthy and not overdue things.

  18. Big congrats, Summer! I had a feeling you might be expecting when you wrote in the post about parents in front/kids in back by themselves…..You mentioned something about Little C sitting next to a sibling! I am very happy for you guys!

  19. Congratulations!! The journey itself will truly be an adventure with more of you, but it’s equally as fun and satisfying.

  20. Congratulations! Traveling with 4 in the family won’t cause you too much trouble (just finding an extra plane ticket). The real trouble comes if you decide to have another. Since most hotels limit you to 4 people, along with finding another airline ticket, you then have to figure out whether you want 2 rooms or go the Airbnb/VRBO route.

    We have 5 in our family, and had been putting the 5 of us in the same room (my son is only 2), but now we’ll probably have to start finding other options.

  21. Congrats to you and your family! This is such exciting news and I loved the way you shared it with us. I look forward to reading future stories about your expanding family’s adventures.

  22. Let me be the 67th person to offer you my congratulations. And tell your husband, from me — it’s the second one that does you in!

  23. Congrats!!!! 🙂
    While we are on the subject….are there any promo codes from airlines offering “seed” FF miles for opening accounts for new borns? we just had twins and looking at opening up new FF accounts for the Lil ones.

  24. Congratulations!!!! 🙂
    While we are on the subject….are there any promo codes from airlines offering “seed” FF miles for opening accounts for new borns? we just had twins and looking at opening up new FF accounts for the Lil ones.

  25. Felicitations! All the angst about mileage costs makes sense now lol. Hey, if you’re up for it, some feedback about flying while expecting would be super appreciated.

  26. What a sweet way to let your readers know!!! Like the new graphics. Proud of all three of you, and can’t wait to hold your #2. (KS grandma)

  27. Congrats to you all! I’m also good with more posts about travel to Disney and grandma’s house. 🙂 That’s where we are too.

  28. Congrats! Thanks to your blog and several others, we will be taking our family of 4 on a round the world trip for 9 months. You have inspired us and given us lots of advice. Thanks

  29. Conratulations Summer! I know the challenge of another little one will be both fun and exciting on the travel front. There’s lots of us adding babies to our families this year. We can have little “baby-dos” haha.

  30. Congratulation! Looking forward to your future adventures.

    We’re expecting our first in a few months as well so I have a feeling I’ll be spending more time on your blog getting educated 🙂

  31. Congrats! Our kids have a 5 year age gap too and now that our daughter is a little older, she’s a great helper on trips. We have, among other things, have that marathon DFW->SYD Qantas flight this summer in economy so we’ll see how that goes 🙂

  32. Little late here but congratulations Summer!! Welcome to the world of traveling quads.. i can’t wait to read of your exploits in travel as a fam of 4.

  33. Hooray, congrats! Don’t downplay changing the blog from a more frantic style to more domestic trips – it’s all good and useful, especially now managing two with one being a wee one :). Looking forward to continuing to read.

  34. Congratulations,
    I had the pleasure to meet you in NJ, many FTU’s ago and it was great to watch your presentation about family travel. Back then I was planning for a baby. Now thanks to you and fellow bloggers I am able to travel with my 2 year old son all over the world and most important to have points and miles to visit family overseas.
    I wish you a healthy pregnancy and many more travels with a family of 4.

  35. Congratulations! As a family of four (5yo and 2yo), now your advice will become even more relevant. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

  36. Awesome! Will enjoy your blog even more, as I have 2 young ones, and would love some more pointers on how to travel with them.

  37. Congrats! We’re just four days away taking our 6 and 4.5 yo boys to Maui (4th trip to HI for DS1, 3rd for DS2) – traveling with kids is so much fun.

    We’ve restricted most of our family travel to Kauai because 1) it’s an amazing, family-friendly destination (sorry, the only time my kids will set foot at Disney is the day they take their own kids)

    2) it’s EASY with kids – we already know where the grocery stores/playgrounds/public restrooms are (key for traveling with the newly potty-trained!

    Now that they’re older and we’re not lugging diapers, strollers, etc. and naps are pretty much behind us, we’re starting to think about adding some international travel to the mix.

    The nice thing about traveling with babies is, despite all the extra stuff you have to bring, they’re pretty easy to tote around! I have the cutest photos of DS1 on his first trip to Kauai at 7.5 months napping on all the best beaches. =]

  38. Congratulations on your new journey!!! I’m looking forward to see how you manage travel with a family of 4 (which is what we have).

  39. I just saw this on your blog today. I am so happy for you and your family. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching how your blog has grown and flourished.

    Best wishes from a friend from your punching the clock days:)
    Cyndi R.

    • Cyndi, I was just thinking of you this week! So glad to hear from you! I love working for myself from virtually anywhere, but do certainly miss spending days surrounded by awesome folks like you. I hope you are doing great and thanks so much for dropping by and saying hello. 😉

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