The Deal Mommy

Why FT4RL (and Sesame Street) Matter

Why FT4RL Matters

Sometimes you need to learn from friendly faces.

I found an amazing deal last night that I decided not to blog.

I decided it was definitely a mistake and didn’t want to break it. I did, however share it among a group of travel hacking friends and on my personal Facebook wall. (Friend me if you actually know me.) I’m not telling you this to be mean- I’m telling you this to remind you that networking is the key to travel hacking

I HATE the Word Networking

Let’s just call it what it is- making friends 101. Skills you should have learned on Sesame Street. The awkward part in travel hacking is finding out where the playground is. That’s where events like Family Travel for Real Life (FT4RL) come in- it’s where you find the “cool kids” (HA!). Well, it’s where you find people who are as geeky for miles and points as you are- probably even more so. Events like Chicago Seminars and FTU also have an important function- but walking into a room of 600+ is a heck of a lot scarier for most than walking into a room of 40. Especially when the room of 40 has a hostess (yours truly) who will make sure you’re not left hanging by the water fountain. (Pats self on back.) 

Why ya gotta be so rude?

Let me return to Sesame Street for a moment. I’ve been putting my words out in public for over five years now. Most days the tone has vastly improved over when I started- at least I haven’t been called a whore by a commenter in a good long while.  However, once in a while the dogs will have their day.

Commenters feasted on my flesh recently when I dared admit I wasn’t an expert MSer and that I wouldn’t recommend anyone who wasn’t comfortable with a lot of risk deal with Gift Card Mall. Don’t play any violins- I’m not asking for them! I’ve got my big girl panties on and can take the heat. The commenters even turned on themselves when the insults got too nasty. Self-policing is an definite improvement. 

But what I want to mention is that I’ve been doing this in a forward facing manner for over five years and still get that level of vitriol.  Imagine how someone who is new to Flyertalk would have reacted to the comments I received? To be honest I think someone new to “The Hobby” even reading the comments I received would think twice before raising their hand in class. 

THAT’s Why FT4RL Matters

Because we’re not jerks.  

Now I’m not saying every Flyertalker is a jerk- 90% aren’t (Well maybe 80% depending on the forum). But 100% of FT4RLers aren’t jerks. I simply don’t allow it. Another jerk free zone? Travel Hacking 101 on Facebook. Rich doesn’t allow it either.  The Saverocity crew? Snarky as all get out- myself included- but not a jerk in sight. 

Nice people are travel hackers, too. In fact most of us are really nice people!  You just might have to go out of your way to meet us in person because- like in real life- usually those who scream loudest on the internet have the least to say. 

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

4 thoughts on “Why FT4RL (and Sesame Street) Matter

  1. Mommatraver

    Great post Dia. I can attest to networking being key. I am rather quiet and shy, but have made myself go to events because getting to know the ‘real’ people behind the blogs is important. I have met some wonderful people as a result of this. Yourself included. I have to balance being a small business owner, mom, wife, friend, colleague, and just plain old me, so sometimes it can be hard to go to all of the events. But, even if you only visit one, it makes a world of difference.

    For those of you who are hesitant to attend an event, don’t be! Make the first when you attend one of Dia’s and you will be glad you did.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks! I think a lot of people wonder if they should take the next step for a long time before jumping. I hear from them via email- “is FT4RL too advanced for me?” “What do you actually DO there?” etc. In some ways it’s hard to explain if you haven’t done it.

      For me finding others in “the hobby” meant I wasn’t crazy. I felt like Dorothy going from black and white into Technicolor. Validation is huge and you’re probably not gonna get it from your “regular” friends. People just don’t get what they don’t get.

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