A few weeks ago Matt asked if there was anyone out there that might like to post on Saverocity now and again. After a little contemplation, I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to add to the travel hacking discussion without having to take the time to run the site myself. I spend a lot of time booking award travel for others and have learned many things along the way. I’d like to share these things in addition to providing our family’s experiences traveling the world.
So, here I am. My traveling background is extensive and began well before we had little ones to chase. I have been a fan of Flyertalk for many years and began traveling through mistake fares. We were able to take advantage of super cheap fares to Cyprus via Rome and New Zealand in business class due to these mistakes. In fact, we got engaged in Rome in 2006 and took our honeymoon to New Zealand in 2007 which would not have been possible without these fat finger mistakes. I’ve also dabbled in so called “fuel dumps” and getting bumped from flights for vouchers for future travel. But our pursuits for cheap travel hit a whole new level once the kids arrived. We naturally migrated our efforts towards credit card sign up bonuses in order to support the travel needs of our growing family. Neither my husband nor I travel at all for work so we rely solely on these sign up bonuses to make our travel dreams come true. And so far, the benefits of having two people sign up for 2-4 cards every three or four months have given us enough miles and points for our family of 4 to travel 2 or 3 times a year (nearly for free!).
Our kids are now 4 and 2 and our lives are crazy. My husband and I both work full time jobs and have significant commutes to work. It seems we’re constantly running from one place to the next during the work week so we very much look forward to and cherish our trips together. It gives us a chance to slow down and just enjoy one another outside of life’s demands. We wouldn’t trade our adventures together for the world.
Our latest adventures have taken us to St. John USVI, Scotland and England, Bali, and Kauai. While we definitely prefer to travel in business class, we will withstand economy class if the total travel time in the day is less than 6 hours. This enables us to maximize our miles. Maximizing stopovers has been key to stretching our miles as far as possible. For example, our St. John trip connected onto our Scotland/England trip via a 3 month stopover in our home airport. On the return, we worked in a stopover again at our home airport for 9 months and then connected onto our flights to Kauai so in total, we traveled from the Virgin Islands to Boston to Scotland to Boston to Kauai for 40,000 miles per person round trip, in economy. This is one of the best lessons I’ve learned while redeeming miles – maximize stopovers!
Our upcoming trips include Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Oahu, the Maldives, and an extended family trip to Europe next summer. I look forward to sharing our experiences both in preparing for the trips and what we learn along the way. I hope that our lessons will be helpful to you! And don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! I’m happy to help!