Naturally, the pearls are black, the rare and valuable kind. You’ve probably seen me refer to reader Cheapblackdad on quite a few occasions. For a good reason, he is a riot! When I decided to close up shop, I tried to get him to take over the blog. I even offered to rename the site to “Miles for black family” He wouldn’t even consider it. I told him there were piles of easy money to be made from blogging. He was too smart to believe me.
So, when I got back into posting, naturally, he was there to welcome me with open arms, in a virtual sense. But then he disappeared. I honestly started thinking that maybe I said something offensive about the black community, which is totally plausible since I’ve managed to tick off pretty much everyone in this industry. But then one day, he was back…with 9 comments. He said he was just busy and didn’t have time to read blogs for awhile (rolls eyes). How can you even call yourself a hobbyist?
Anyway, I wanted to share some nuggets of wisdom from those comments. If you watched the show “Psych,” Cheapblackdad is like Gus to my Shawn. He is cheap, he is black, he is a dad. And he is proud of all three (I think). Plus, I’m pretty sure he is OCD. See, black hobbyists (all three of them) are just like us.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
On my post Should you get the Wyndham card? he says:
“This card makes me so giddy. If it weren’t for the Koloa landing issue I would probably have put it in my “Last one before we buy a house” AOR.
Also, can I tell you how familiar this felt? The obsessing over the plans and details. The speculative reservations, the changing locations and dates in an effort to find the best plan and the best value for the family. It’s so fulfilling when you get it right. It’s like a fraction of a fraction of the feeling you have when your 7 year old son hits the baseball further than anyone on his team. Every trip is like a little child you birth, nurse, and parent to maturity.
That’s a really weird analogy. Maybe more like a pet than a child? Let’s go with pet. Every trip is like a little pet you parent to maturity.”
Half of me totally agrees with him, and the other half is extremely concerned …for both of us. Also, if the trip is like a pet, what happens to the pet once the trip is over?
And here is another one:
“Life is all about choices. This game is about choices. The sooner you learn what your personal rules are for the game, the better. Mine are always evolving. My Family Travel Commandments for Playing the Game:
1. Prioritize the Americas/Hawaii. Your miles go further, especially as the Americas keeps distance based Avios and Southwest in play. I roll 4 deep, It ain’t easy getting us all over to Europe.
2. Dont MS. Just. Don’t. Also, Don’t do Delta!
3. Pick a limited # of programs and go all in so that you can fly your family together via large balances in the same limited set of programs. Focus on:
a. Avios and Southwest. Best bang for buck for families given Avios distance based charts and Southwest’s availability and low costs (going to PVR for about 8500 SW points/pp)
b. Prioritize flexibile points (UR,MR more so than SPG or Citi points for now) as they give you a lot of flexibility and UR are very easy to earn with portals and the Freedom 5x. Also, UR and MR both transfer to Avios so you can go big on Avios, and UR transfer to Southwest.
4. Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Pay a few annual fees and be responsible with your credit. Keep the issuers happy with you as a customer.
5. Plan 2-3 trips a year. Plan them deliberately, and earn accordingly. No need for random trips, always have a goal/vision in mind, spend/apply accordingly, and you will always have the points you need.
6. This is all about fun, enjoyment, and time with family. Once it stops being one of those, or gets in the way of living a productive life, take a break. And then come back with the right adjustments.
I’ll stop there for now.”
Amen, cheap black brother!
Well, if you make 9 comments in one day, there is a good chance that I will profile you in a separate post too. Come on, you know you want it!
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.