Why another blog about traveling? Most of the other blogs I read on the subject are written by people who make a lifestyle choice out of frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. These are people who focus on weekend getaways consisting of first-class travel to luxury hotels with a guest. I’m not quite of that ilk. I typically have 4 kinds of travel:
- Travel for work–where I’m not paying, so it’s all about the costs
- Family travel–where my wife and 3 kids join me, so first-class is out and luxury is less important than the destination
- Adventure travel–where I go with 1-2 other folks and invariably end up trekking over roads less traveled carrying our hotel on our backs
- Romantic travel–where I go somewhere with my wife, and first-class/luxury is most important
For me, travel is about the destination and the experiences you have when you get there. Business and First are great because you arrive better rested and more able to enjoy your first day if the flight is long. However, I usually don’t do short excursions on long flights except for work. My typical vacation is a week or more, so I tend to value the quantity of the tickets I can get over the cabin that they’re in. That same principle applies to hotel stays. For example, on a trip to Paris for my family, we booked 4 coach tickets and 1 business class ticket (for my wife–there weren’t 5 coach seats on the same flights no matter how hard we looked). We also booked 2 hotel rooms for 8 nights each. Using miles/points for first class and a luxury hotel would have been nearly impossible for that quantity without totally draining balances–which I never like to do since it prevents last-minute trips. All in, that trip was 220,000 AA miles and 180,000 PC points. That left us plenty of miles/points to take at least one more family trip, plus another trip or two of the adventure/romantic varieties this year.
To me, what would make this blog ideal would be to collect upcoming trips that my readers are planning (with some of mine thrown in!), post rough plans and solicit input from other readers on how to make the most of that trip–how to use less miles/points, what to see/do while there, what to avoid, etc. In other words, have this be a somewhat interactive discussion where everyone could learn about not just miles/points, but also trip planning and trip execution. In my opinion, planning and execution are not discussed enough. Earning the miles/points is only half of it. You have to know how to maximize their use as well.
On 23 March 2012, I was interviewed by Daraius over at Million Mile Secrets. There is a lot more information about me, my travel patterns, and my motiviations for blogging there if you’d like to hear more.
Thanks for reading!