If Folgers Coffee can reintroduce themselves, so can we, right?
With Small Business Saturday coming up later this month, and since we’re a small business, we’d like to reintroduce ourselves. Some of our readers have been around for 10 years and have followed Leana’s travels over the years. But, some readers are new to Miles for Family and have no idea who we are.
So, when you read Miles for Family, share our posts or use our affiliate links to sign up for a credit card, you are helping these two families. Thanks for your support!
Nancy: Wife, Mom to 3 Teenagers, Hodofile, Frequent Cruiser
Places I’ve Traveled: I’ve visited almost every state with a handful of exceptions. My favorite states to visit are California and Florida (beaches and Disney!). My international travels include Mexico, Canada, many islands in the Caribbean, Guatemala, Costa Rica, U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Upcoming Trips: Kansas City, Chicago, Holland America Cruise, Portugal, Costa Rica, Spain/The Netherlands/Germany/Denmark/Norway, Santa Fe. Using miles and points, of course!
Past Jobs: For 15 years after college, I worked in retail planning and allocation at retail corporate offices. After bringing our second son home, I quit my corporate job and started a series of side hustles including secret shopping and freelance writing.
Current Jobs: In addition to writing for Miles for Family, I’m also a middle school and high school substitute teacher at my local school district.
Random Interesting Facts About me: Hmmmmm…I’m a certified SCUBA diver. I used to sing in the Disney Cast Member Choir at the Candlelight Processionals at Disneyland (and one season at Walt Disney World). Two of my children were adopted from Russia. I grew up in Colorado but have never skied. My family is 100% debt free, and I plan to stay that way.
Why I love to Travel: I have fond memories as a kid taking vacations in my family’s station wagon. Some of our road trips were brutal in a car with no air conditioning and no radio. But, those trips made me appreciate travel and want to expose my own kids to the world outside of our bubble. I love researching destinations and reading reviews to plan trips I think my family will enjoy. Travel excites me, relaxes me and gives me something to look forward to.
Favorite Trip: It’s hard to choose one, but I have to pick Switzerland. The country is so charming and beautiful. You can read my trip report here.
Favorite Airline: American Airlines. AA has a hub in DFW (where I live) and therefore a ton of destinations and flights. I’ve usually had good luck finding award availability in Economy.
Favorite Miles/Points currency: Chase Ultimate Rewards. I transfer them frequently to British Airways (for flights on American Airlines) and to Hyatt for hotel stays.
How I became a writer for Miles for Family blog: When my kids were younger, I started writing a blog about our travels and local adventures. I started following Miles for Family after Leana was featured on Million Mile Secrets blog. We became internet friends, and a few years later Leana asked me to join her on Miles for Family. It’s my favorite job ever! I hope to encourage people who think they can never take big trips that it’s indeed possible to travel for much cheaper with the help of miles and points bonuses from responsible credit card sign-ups.
Places I’ve Traveled: Since I’m originally from Eastern Europe, most of the countries I’ve visited are located on that continent. I’ve been to Italy (my overall favorite), Greece, Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Montenegro, Russia and Croatia. Some of them were short stays, but they were memorable nonetheless. I’ve also been to many Caribbean islands, Costa Rica and several places in the South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia). When it comes to Asia, I’ve only been to Japan so far.
Upcoming Trips: Several beach getaways in my state of Florida, Disney World, Peru, Belgium, England and possibly Poland.
Past Jobs: Before I had kids, I worked for our local school district and H and R Block firm.
Current Jobs: Sometimes I feel like figuring out credit card rewards is a part-time job of sorts. Besides being a regular contributor to Miles For Family blog, I am a substitute teacher. I also have volunteering commitments that take up a good portion of my time each month. Oh, and I’m a mom, which is my hardest job by far.
Random Interesting Facts About me: I grew up in Soviet Union and witnessed its collapse when I was 12. To this day, I consider myself shaped by those events and all the chaos that followed. I was “made in the USSR”, for better or worse. Many of my financial/travel decisions are influenced by that fact. I don’t take ability to travel internationally for granted, and I know that financial fortunes can turn on a dime.
When I was 16, I came to the US as an exchange student for a month. I then came back for a year and that’s how I met my now husband. I’ve been a Florida gal for 25 years.
Why I love to Travel: When I go to a country I haven’t been to before, it’s an exhilarating feeling that is impossible to describe in words. I’m not quite sure why, but I thrive on being the “fish out of water” despite the fact that I’m (ironically) a creature of habit. Travel challenges me and prevents my life from becoming stale.
Favorite Airline: Probably Jet Blue for domestic travel due to extra leg room, free WIFI and tasty complimentary snacks. For international trips I would pick JAL for its super polite service and above-average airplane food. But I hate flying, so to me it’s just the means to an end. I want to get there as quickly as possible, without extra connections. I will fly on pretty much any airline except for Aeroflot, which is currently unsafe due to lack of spare parts.
Favorite Hotel brand: Probably Hilton, closely followed by Hyatt. That’s because the former has a better footprint and a good selection of family resorts in my state of Florida. That said, Hyatt award program provides better value via points compared to Hilton Honors. But I’m not super picky, and will happily stay in any property on points as long as it doesn’t have bed bugs.
Favorite Miles/Points currency: Chase Ultimate Rewards, all the way. You can’t beat the simplicity and usefulness for average families like mine.
Why I started Miles for Family blog: I wanted to provide a different angle that I felt wasn’t covered in the miles and points community. It seemed like most of the information was targeting high-end travel for families, that was completely out of reach for someone like me. But I want to be clear that there were several excellent family blogs when I started writing, and my intention was only to add my own unique perspective to this space. There is nothing wrong with writing about fancy family travel on points, and as a reader, I very much enjoy those type of posts. I just have to remind myself that it’s not something we can usually replicate.
That said, over time, my travel style has evolved, and now we do expensive travel splurges on occasion as well. The goal is to find a balance without sacrificing our financial goals in the process. I feel like I’m accomplishing this one with mixed success because I have a serious travel addiction! But that’s the beauty of blogging: it holds you accountable.
Readers, go ahead and introduce yourselves in the comments! We’d love to hear more about you.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.