Hi! I am a SAHM, that’s stay-at-home mom for those of you, without kids. We are just an average family with 2 kids, with very average income. Our money is tight and travel is difficult to afford sometimes. I do have a serious case of wanderlust, though. Additionally, my family lives in Europe, so bringing my parents for a visit occasionally is a priority, but expensive.
The way we have been able to afford it, is by signing up for various credit cards with bonuses upfront. This activity does require an excellent credit,though. Its not for those, who are planning to buy a house in the next few years. I also hate to admit it, but it is helpful to have a somewhat OCD personality, which I happen to possess! That is, so you can keep track of the minimum spending requirements and make sure you make payments on time.
It is also essential to pay everything off in full because the interest on the cards will negate any miles or points you acquire. Admittedly, there are a lot of very good blogs that focus on free travel. I do have difficult time relating sometimes, though. As I said, we are just an average family, we don’t chase status with airlines. Heck , we don’t even stay in hotels that much.
I also don’t value frequent flyer mile at more than a cent a piece, about half of what most travel bloggers do. That is, because valuation decreases, the more people you have to find free award seats for. To me cash is always king when I am not spending towards a particular bonus. But that’s the thing, you can do both. They are not mutually exclusive.
Because of my hobby me and my husband have been able to go to Hawaii almost free twice, visit my family in Europe and bring my parents here for free as well. We have stayed in hotels for nothing many, many times. In the last year alone we have earned almost a million miles and points in various programs, just by signing up for different cards. And our credit scores are still in excellent range.
I am working on putting these points to good use by soon bringing my family from Europe and going to various places. I can’t wait! Also, aside from taking anniversary trips, we don’t travel without our kids. I am not passing any judgement on those , who do. It’s just not for us. So, it does present a challenge of finding award seats for everyone. But I love a good challenge!
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Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.