Family Travel Hacking Guide

Family Travel Hacking Guide 02: Set a Travel Goal

To do: Choose 2-3 destinations with your family that you might be interested in traveling to within the next year

So you’re interested in saving money on travel with your family. Great! In this beginner’s guide, my goal is to help you to learn the basics and get started down this deep, dark (but fun!) rabbit hole.

The first question everyone likes to ask is “What credit cards should I sign up for?” While we’ll get there eventually, I posit that is the wrong question to ask.

Instead, you should be asking: “Where does my family want to go?” Or if you get to choose, where do you want to take your family?

Travel hacking requires a certain degree of organization, and its impossible to organize and plan unless you know where you want to go. Your choice of credit cards, earning strategies, mileage programs, and a lot more might change depending on your preferred destination.

Hyatt Regency Aruba
Our first international trip as a family of four was to the Hyatt Regency Aruba

Unfortunately, unless you are dealing strictly with cash rewards, your preferred destination might not be a feasible goal for travel hacking given the amount of time you have. This is probably one of the most frustrating things to the spouses of travel hackers. Get used to this question: “What’s the point of you doing all this if I can’t go to ________?”

Still, if you follow along with this guide, I promise you you will be able to maximize your chances of getting to your preferred destination. But make sure you have your general travel goals in mind first.

This is a short post, so I’ll include a slightly longer action step. I’ve put together a little questionnaire to help you set forth your general travel goals. If you don’t know them already (or even if you do), jot down the answers to these questions and keep them with you as we continue on with this series. They should help you to clarify and solidfy where you and your family wants to go.

Remember, for the purposes of this series, my goal is to help you to plan one vacation or trip with your family using travel hacking to offset the costs. Feel free to answer these questions with that one trip in mind or answer with multiple trips in mind!

1) When is your family free to travel during the next calendar year? (Jot down actual dates)

2) For each trip: how long can you be away from home?

3) For each trip: how long would you want to be away from home if money were no object?

4) Where do you want to travel to?

5) Where do your spouse and children want to travel to?

6) What frequent flyer/hotel programs do you currently have an account with?

7) Do you have any balances in the programs in #6 that you have been “saving” for a trip or are you starting from scratch?

Final Thoughts

To me, the biggest mistake you can make in travel hacking is not knowing where you want to go. Having a clear goal helps you to create a clear strategy – so make sure you think on the end before you start!

To do: Choose 2-3 destinations with your family that you might be interested in traveling to within the next year

Family Travel Hacking Guide Index


Set a Travel Goal

Using and Tracking Frequent Flyer Programs

Who to Follow on Social Media

Saving Money on Cash Flights

How to find cheap airfare with airfarewatchdog

 Before you can start hacking travel to save money for your family, you should create travel goals. These are seven things you should consider while forming your travel goals with your family!


Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

14 thoughts on “Family Travel Hacking Guide 02: Set a Travel Goal

  1. It’s worth noting that young kids will be delighted with a Hampton Inn 15 minutes away from home, especially if the hotel has a pool. I’m not saying you shouldn’t travel internationally with the kids, but for the most part they won’t know any better. My four-year-old still speaks reverently of our hotel in suburban Atlanta from a couple of years ago.

    1. Heh, yeah, we had a great time at the Hyatt Place FIVE minutes away. For a 1.5 generationer like me, we have to go back to Asia from time to time, I have a lot of friends in that boat so hopefully the guide can help alleviate costs. But in general I’m just aiming it to families who want to take a vacation and want to save money doing so. That being said beginner’s guides are hard since there are so many different scenarios out there, but hopefully something good will come of all this! 😀

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