Fourth Year Reflections


Four years ago I started this tiny little blog to, what else, help my friends and family! Four years later...I remain a tiny blog. I am not exaggerating or being humble. But other than that, tons of other things have changed! Here are my pithy thoughts and observations. (Note: the original intent of this post was to say my observations were pithy but then make DEEP MEANINGFUL AND INSIGHTFUL comments about the state of our game, but I mostly ended up reflecting. In case you don't want to waste your time.) On August 26, 2012, my wife was four months pregnant. Now I have two beautiful kids who have changed my perspective in more ways than I can count. Looking back on the past four years, it's been amazing to [...]

Surveying Scotland: What to do on the Isle of Skye (Part 2)


We spent four nights in Skye, but I would have happily spent more. It really is the type of place where one can just enjoy taking their time and exploring. I covered the first half of our time there in my last post; here are a few other things we found worthwhile. There are a lot of well known hikes on the Isle of Skye. One of the most famous ones cuts from the Fairy Pools through the Black Hills and ends at the Sligachan Hotel. That looks like an amazing hike and the only reason why I regretted (for a split second) bringing my kids on the trip. It takes 4-6 hours and there is cold beer waiting for you at the end if you stop by the hotel [...]

My first (last?) ever mileage run

mileage run

Back in June, I wrote about passing on the Jetblue/Virgin America mileage run deal. Basically I said it wasn't worth the time or extra effort. Oops. I'll blame @robertdwyer for corrupting me and convincing me that the deal was indeed worth it. In the end, I earned 75,000 Jetblue points and 50,000 Virgin America points for 20,000 SPG points, 25,000 TYP points, and $150. Time will tell whether it was worth it, but what's done is done and I can't go back! In other news, I took the first mileage run of my entire life this morning! We found a $114 fare from Boston Logan to Nantucket, MA. The outbound departed at 6:35 AM and the return departed at 8:00 AM. Since this might be my last mileage run ever, [...]

Family Travel Hacking Guide 13: The four different types of credit card rewards

credit card rewards

To do: Examine the credit cards in your wallet and try to determine which type of rewards they earn. One thing I've noticed writing this guide is that beginner's guides are difficult to write! How best to cover the plethora of information? I guess the options are write briefly or try to cover everything and have people use it like an encyclopedia of sorts. I've chosen the latter :P. But I digress... Before we get to applying for credit cards, we need to understand the four types of credit card rewards out there that are relevant to travel hackers. Each reward type deserves a place in your overall strategy when utilized correctly. The saying "cash is king" applies in the miles and points world as it does in the rest [...]

Surveying Scotland: What to do on the Isle of Skye (Part I)


Hopefully my picture post piqued your interest in the Isle of Skye. It truly served as the highwater mark of our trip - quite literally at times since we got the most rain there! As I mentioned on the last episode of the Saverocity Observation Deck podcast, if you need good weather to enjoy your vacation, you might need to pass on the Isle of Skye (or stay for two weeks). It does rain a lot in Scotland, especially out in Skye, but it's not like 24/7 rain. Also, everything still looks beautiful in the rain. Still, the breaks in the rain make you marvel at the natural beauty even more. We took a short hop flight from LHR to Inverness that we remember very little of. That's a good thing! [...]

Family Travel Hacking Guide 12: How applying for credit cards affects your credit score

If you play the game right your credit score will be just fine

Miles and points earned from credit cards form the backbone of almost every solid travel hacking strategy. For the majority of people, the sign up bonuses earned from meeting minimum spending requirements on new credit cards provides the bulk of the earning. Sign up bonuses are usually the quickest way to earn miles and points. That of course begs the question: how will signing up for a bunch of credit cards hurt your credit score? To understand this, it's important to understand how credit scores are calculated. Before I continue, a reminder: if you are carrying debt with interest on your credit cards, these strategies are not for you. Even a 5% interest rate is going to severely eat into your travel savings (if not obliterate them completely). If we're going to [...]

Surveying Scotland: The Isle of Skye – 11 Photos that will hopefully make you want to visit

Isle of Skye

I mostly chose the title of this trip report "Surveying Scotland" due to the alliteration. Surveying turned out to be the right verb, though. I once read in Rick Steve's that you don't really start appreciating a city until your second or third visit, which is something I have come to live by. That's why we easily took our kids around London despite some things going south, it's why I love visiting Madrid, and it's why I'd love to go back to the Bavarian Alps. Traveling with kids obviously slowed us down a bit, so it really felt like we only got a taste of Scotland had to offer. A decent taste, but not as much as we might have liked. Wish we had hiked more, sat more, ate more, [...]