The Deal Mommy

The “I Hate Year in Review Posts” Post: 18 Things I Learned in 2016

Fortune Cookie Wisdom.

Happy New Year!

Bloggers navel gaze by nature-heck I’m documenting our home remodel week by week. But there’s something super-indulgent about year in review posts that gets under my skin. Do you really care which post from 2016 was the most popular or how many flights I flew? 

So instead I thought I’d share the things I learned in 2016 in hopes you garner some value out of my successes and foibles. A few are blog based (and are overdue as I let TDM’s 5th anniversary pass without fanfare), some are miles/points/travel and others are just from taking another trip around the sun. 

Things I learned in 2016: Blogging

  • A decision I made early-readers first, always- was the right one in the long run. It’s meant turning down easy money but it’s also kept me sane. You won’t find me writing about pee pads anytime soon
  • This can be filed under life lessons as well:  a cadre of loyal friends beats a stadium full of fair weather fans any day of the week. You help me- and each other- more than I help you. 
  • No one is telling readers what NOT to do- and they crave authentic advice! My post about Disney World resorts to avoid is on over 4,100 pinterest boards and has taken on life of its own.
  • Miles and Points bloggers are missing a HUGE opportunity by not having a larger presence there. Pinterest even highlighted The Points Guy in its hot 100 for 2017.  
  • Twitter is waning as a traffic source and is going back to a straight news feed. Probably best that way. 

My Hero.

Things I learned in 2016: Miles/Points

  • BYOE is here to stay.  I have a few friends going for one last ditch Hyatt mattress running exercise- but I think it’s an exercise in futility. Spend the points for upgrades when you want them- or rely on a friend to make you a guest of honor- but chasing status is going the way of the dodo.
  • I’m thrilled to see other bloggers tell readers that they don’t have to chase status, but they’re about two years late to the party. 
  • The best tips are going underground. They have been for a while now, but “bloggers kill deals” hit a new high (sunk to a new low?) in 2016. If you have a chance to get into a group- even for a subscription- it’s worth every penny. I’m in a group that shall not be named and learn something new daily. 
  • If you can’t find a group, look for a happy hour or a conference. Face to face is still the best way to begin. Might I suggest Family Travel for Real Life
  • MacGyver always wins in the end
Sheardill review

View from our room window, Residence de Vieux Port, Marseille

Things I learned in 2016: Travel

  • Bucket list hotels like the Hyatt Grand Martinez are worth visiting but sometimes the Holiday Inn Cannes down the street actually has a better view. 
  • I’m a second city girl. Marseille over the Riviera, Naples (WAY) over Rome, Osaka over Tokyo,  Belfast over Dublin I could go on and on. I just prefer places where people live to cross off the list sites. It’s OK and also useful insight for future planning. 
  • Even better are places off the American travel radar: Pigna, MateraPuerto Plata. I’m really looking forward to sharing new locales in Chile with you after our Camp Mom trip this summer. 
  • The Canary Islands were just as good the 2nd time. There will be a 3rd, soon. 
  • This should have been self-evident, but I realized in 2016 how much American History occurs in beach towns. Doing Yorktown and a crabfest in the same day was an unplanned highlight.  
  • Allianz, Allianz, Allianz. $5000 and Deal Dad’s 4 days in a Gran Canaria hospital reaffirmed NEVER to travel without proper medical insurance. 
things I learned in 2016

Words to live by. Translated (loosely) How beautiful is the person who lets their imperfection show and never pretends to be who he is not.

Things I learned in 2016: Life

  • Your online friends are just as awesome IRL. Rich took on the FT4RL Dallas happy hour to give me some breathing room when I needed it.  I traveled through Monaco and France with Arielle this summer and we had an absolute blast. Brandi and I shared Mexican pastries and got Presidential in Dallas. Haley shared not only her knowledge but a bunch of her secret stash of fastpasses with Joe, Leslie and me. So many others I have met through the blog and FT4RL have impacted my life in a positive way.  Trevor…well, Trevor saved Christmas. I’ll just leave it at that. 

And to sum up: You do you. Nuff said.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 


7 thoughts on “The “I Hate Year in Review Posts” Post: 18 Things I Learned in 2016

  1. ES

    Happy NewYear! Loved this post. As I’ve admitted before in the comments section, I am not a regular reader ‘cuz my youngest is nearing the age we used to not trust people over….

    But often your posts have helpful nuggets for me too, and with a brand-new first grandchild in our family, courtesy of my oldest, I see some traveling with a little one in my future. I have a feeling you’ll soon be among my “required” reading.

    How about a F24RL weekend aimed at grandparents? Admittedly I am a novice, but traveling with grandkids – with or without their parents – is different than nuclear family travel.and single parent travel. You are so right about travel seminars and private groups. I’d love a seminar for grandparents and bet it would lead to the forming of a few public and private groups for that demographic!

    Thanks for blogging and good luck with the remodel!

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi ES,
      We actually get a fair amount of grandparents at FT4RL. Trevor reminded me early that “family” doesn’t always mean “kids” or “nuclear family”. I do think a session on multi gen would be great for the next session. We would love to see you!

  2. icicle

    And this list is exactly why I’ll trust your advice over the “titans” any day of the week!

    Also, I loved Yorktown and Jamestown (that area from Chinoteague thru Williamsburg to Cape Hatteras is one of my favorite places in the world. I lump them all together because it’s hard to not go to one place on it’s own. I have my “best-of” version: this is where we get ice cream, this is where we get barbecue, this is the best sunrise, this is the best place to see dolphins,etc. I love it all so it is hard to not do something if we are on our way home: i.e. going south. If we are going North, we just go to Kitty Hawk and stay. Harder to visit the other places that way.) But yes, that area has some of the best food in the nation.

    I have used and shared many of your Disney tips with others. Which is funny since I live in Florida…but if I can incorporate something, I do…and it has enrichened many a Disney trip!

    And if I ever make it to Italy…I am going to ask your advice for Naples (it is on my “one day let’s go there” list).

  3. Pingback: The Southwest Saga 2017, 2017 Predictions, 2016 Navel Gazing - Tagging Miles

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