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What Do You Want From Me? A Gift Card Giveaway

So, friends, I guess, I’m back! As in, I’m posting again. For how long? That’s a $25 question, the value of Amazon gift card I’m giving away to one of my readers. In exchange, I would like you to suggest a topic for a post. I want my blog to solve real problems, so tell me what’s on your mind. The contest will end this Friday at 9 PM Eastern time.

I also want to stress that I welcome your emails, so please, don’t hesitate to contact me with  questions or suggestions. There is a real benefit to having a small site, namely, that I can give each reader the  attention he/she deserves. It’s honestly my favorite part of blogging because I know that my time is spent wisely. Not to say my opinion is always right, but at least you get what you asked for. It’s also quite ironic, I must say. Here I am, a SAHM giving advice on Singapore suites redemptions. It doesn’t get more bizarre than that!

As much as I love writing, it can be extremely draining and time-consuming. It takes hours for some posts to progress from conception to birth, and you don’t even know if anyone will find them beneficial. Some fall flat on their face, so to speak, and I’ve spend most of my Sunday afternoon on those suckers.

I hope you’ve noticed, I’m trying hard to cut back on navel-gazing and narcissism in my content. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s one of the requirements to being  a blogger. Seriously, look it up in the blogging manual. Rule number 1: You have to be  a narcissist. But this is a giveaway post, so I guess, it’s OK. Plus, you  know how much I like to draw parallels, so just couldn’t resist this one. The other day, I was reading an issue of “Wired” magazine. Well, don’t be so surprised! Most SAHM’s read “Wired.”

Anyway, in it there was an interview with Duplass brothers, movie moguls mostly known for indie films that have sort of a cult following. I  admit, I’ve never actually seen any of them, as the description sounds a bit too edgy for my taste. But I do admire their spunk and the fact that they didn’t give up in following their passion. Success didn’t come easy, but it did eventually come. Of course, the big studios noticed and signed them on to do a movie with a 7 million dollar budget, 7 times bigger than most of their indie films.

Except, there was a problem. The movie was about a depressed man in his forties. That proved to be an issue for Fox which was wary of alienating audiences. According to brothers, Fox studios felt this way: If his apartment looks too dumpy, they are going to lose money. They wanted him to be down, but not too down. There was  a heated discussion about throw pillows. The movie didn’t do very well.

The article goes on to say: “It was clear that the kind of movies the brothers liked to make were inherently limited in their box-office appeal, and that a traditional studio model wasn’t ever going to be a good fit.”

I couldn’t help but relate. This is an “indie” site and always will be, for better or for worse. Me and this industry, we mix like oil and vinegar. The apartment (blog) is decidedly dumpy with not a throw pillow in sight, and the tenant Julia (my blogging alter ego) is grumpy and sassy on a regular basis. What can I say? I am equal parts Russian/Jewish/Polish. So, naturally, this translates into a dysfunctional mix of quirky/shrewd/airhead. You decide which ethnic background corresponds to which part. Although, the “airhead” portion mostly has to do with the fact that I am a SAHM. Don’t you just love stereotypes?

So, if your family is dysfunctional, you’ll feel right at home at Miles for Family. If it’s not, well, I’m happy for you (rolls eyes). Please, comment, folks. I’m dangling a $25 carrot here.  If you need to tell me off, that’s OK too. Go for it! I’ll pass it on to Julia.

Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and 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.

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18 thoughts on “What Do You Want From Me? A Gift Card Giveaway

  1. Here’s a suggested topic for you to post on :

    I have a friend who needs to attend an event in New York City next May. She is not involved in the points and Miles game at all.

    As she is a very good & true friend that I have known for more than 20 years, who excepts me for the quirks that I have – including points and Miles collecting, what would be a great strategy to suggest for her to use in order for her to accumulate hotel points through sign-up bonus offers, to stay in the Times Square area for as little money as possible and to do so luxuriously?

    Other readers could benefit from this tpye of specifuc posting, especially if they want to surprise a spouse or family with a New York city vacation, shopping, or theater visit trip.

    She is staying for a week or so, and moving hotel rooms in the middle of her stay is an option.

    Thanks… And I am so glad that you’re back!!

  2. For me, any post that deals with tips and pointers on the best way to travel with a family of five is read often! I don’t focus much on hotel points but airline tickets are where the big savings happen for our family. I’d also love to read about churning ideas from those people who have already been doing this hobby for a couple years and have already open/closed the CC’s that always make the top lists. I’m always looking for that hidden gem of a cc that I haven’t opened yet. Glad to see you posting again!

    • @Michelle Thank you for commenting! I will try to put together a list of some strategies a large family might want to focus on. It might not be anything you don’t already know, but hopefully, having it all in one post will be helpful. Also, feel free to email me with specific questions.

  3. In 2017 my husband gets an extra week of PTO, so while our vacation budget will not have changed much, our time will. One trip my family of four absolutely wants to take in 2017 is to Glacier national park and Yellowstone. We really want to stay in the parks for most of the trip, so hotel chain credit cards are pretty useless. What ideas can you share for credit cards that might be useful in such a circumstance?

    • @Julie This is actually a trip I want to take as well, and in 2017! Who knows, we may even cross paths. You will probably be better off going after cards like Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture Rewards. You can read about both in my page “Best credit card deals for family” page. Basically, you redeem points for travel expenses. A stay in the lodge inside a National park should code as travel expense.
      So, if both you and your husband get each of those cards, you would have over $1,600 towards hotels, more actually when you factor in minimum spending. You can read about Arrival in my previous post, if case you haven’t done it already. Of course, there is an issue of timing. I don’t think either one is worth renewing, so you would need to redeem your points before closing the cards. I’m guessing you are planning your trip in the summer of 2017, so you would have to prepay your lodging expenses and then redeem the points when the statement closes. In that case, you may want to hold off on applying for a few months. I don’t think either offer is going away, but I don’t know it for a certainty. But yeah, those cards and possibly Wells Fargo Propel (read about it in the same page) are your best bet.
      Also, I may do some digging and see if any chain hotels have presence in those areas. Maybe something right by the entrance to the parks? Feel free to email me with additional questions.

  4. You have done so may helpful posts that it is hard to think of much you haven’t covered. That being said, perhaps a post that focuses exclusively on the issue of timing and compiles a few issues into one entry. How much time should people wait between applying to different cards? Are there different rules for different issuers/banks that people should be aware of? What is the common timing of increased sign up bonuses historically for some of the top cards and when does it make sense to wait for those?

  5. Hi,

    I would have liked guidelines/strategy (or ideally a stream-lined workflow) on how to plan a trip hotel-wise to maximize benefits and reduce costs. Your readers (most of them anyway) do not care about hotel elite status, so even when should one use tools like awardmapper vs. when to book through hotels.com and get the 10% value of their loyalty program, which ones have the option to go through cashback sites and generally in what range… etc. Ideally this should still be simple enough to follow yet have 95% of yielding very optimal results, while minimizing “choice overload”. Oh and the whole process should tale no more than an hour per destination. It is a lot to ask for, I know…

    Uri

    • @Uri No worries! It’s not too much to ask. That’s the whole point of the blog, to help readers. It may take me a few weeks to get to it, but I’l try to put something together. In the meantime, my advice to you is to figure out your personal value of hotel points. Once you know it, those decisions will be much easier to make. Of course, it also depends on how many points you have, how much you have in savings etc. “Choice overload” is a very serious, though, not deadly condition in this hobby!

  6. I like a lot of the suggestions above. ^^^^ How about the best places to vacation at the 5000-point Hyatt hotel locations? (I think we are going to try the Corpus Christi Hyatt Place next year–10 minutes from the beach!)

    • @Shoesinks Thanks, will put it on the list! The Hyatt place you’ve mentioned sounds like a solid deal. Anything that’s close to a beach is a hit with my kids, and for 5,000 points per night, it’s definitely a bargain.

  7. Personally speaking, I enjoy reading trip reports on the family blogs especially when they contain content on various kid-friendly activities that they did. It gives me ideas for our own trips and sometimes I discover a place that I hadn’t known about previously. And it is far more interesting than reading about Emirates First Class for the nth time. Obviously, if you aren’t traveling very frequently or don’t have the time to put them together, that could be a limitation. It doesn’t have to be an exotic destination – if there is some cool “unknown/hidden” family beach in Florida, I’d like to hear about it.

    • @Erik Thanks for suggestions! I agree with you, finding a destination that is enjoyable for parents AND also kid-friendly can be a challenge. We don’t travel that often (well, compared to most in this hobby), so I rarely have trip reports to share with readers. We did just go to Sanibel, so will write about it at some point. Speaking of hidden beach gems in Florida, this is one of them. And it’s attainable via points, we stayed in Holiday Inn Sanibel. Captiva, an island just down the road from Sanibel, has a nice public beach as well. You may also check out Englewood area, specifically Manasota Key. Now that is a hidden gem, for sure. No hotel points options, but lots of vacation rentals and a very nice beach with a low-key environment. You can fly into Fort Myers, Sarasota or Tampa (a bit further). Worth the extra drive IMO. Seriously, check it out!

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