When you have a family, especially a large family, taking vacations can get really expensive. Today we get some tips for using points for family travel from Dan Miller of Points with a Crew. He shares some of the deals he has scored for his family of EIGHT!
ON THE PODCAST
ABOUT DAN MILLER
PointsWithACrew.com helps families (especially larger families) travel for free or cheap. Dan Miller lives in Cincinnati with his wife and 6 (SIX!) kids. You can follow Dan on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
TIPS FOR USING POINTS FOR FAMILY TRAVEL
- Stay at budget hotels like the Holiday Inn Express, where you will get free parking, WiFi, and breakfast, unlike luxury hotels
- Consider train travel instead of planes using Chase points — plus the kids love train travel!
- Focus on convertible currencies, where you can transfer points to other programs, such as American Express Rewards, Chase, and others, so you aren’t tied to any one specific program or brand
- Some higher end cards have annual fees but you can keep signing up for different ones to get the travel credits and then cancel so you don’t keep paying annual fees
- Don’t just sign up for a card because of a blog post or a marketing campaign — read the fine print and make sure it is the best fit for you. Always pay off existing credit card debt first and only use it for what you can pay off each month
- Begin with the end in mind — figure out where you want to go and then get the best card or points programs that will get you there
- Just sign up for 1-2 credit cards at a time and make sure you can meet the spending requirements for bonuses on spending you are already doing
- For flight sales: follow Secret Flyer and Flight Deals to get airfare deals (when you are paying with cash, not miles)
- Start planning 9-12 months in advance to build up the points that you need
- When booking for multiple people, you will need to be as flexible as possible. Chase the deal, not the location. You can only choose two of the location, deal or dates. If you can be flexible on your location and dates, you can get a good deal.
- Contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Dan likes to be comfortable and wear jeans and t-shirts when he travels.
APP OF THE WEEK
Need a way to keep track of all your points programs? Try Award Wallet to keep all your info in one place.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
- Should you dress up in first class? http://www.pointswithacrew.com/dress-flying-first-class/?
- $6500 (free) trip on Amtrak – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/my-free-6500-family-train-vacation-on-amtrak/
- Begin with the end in mind: A Beginner’s guide to miles and points – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/begin-with-the-end-in-mind-a-beginners-primer-to-miles-and-points/
- 3 reasons “budget” hotels DESTROY “nice” ones – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/3-reasons-budget-hotels-destroy-nice-ones/
- Why we’re a 2 (rental) car family – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/why-were-a-2-rental-car-family/
- The truth of the Traveler’s Triangle: The relationship between time, price and location – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/travelers-triangle-time-price-location/
- 170,000 Rapid Rewards points to fly on our vacation – https://www.pointswithacrew.com/finally-putting-all-those-miles-and-points-to-good-use-2014-family-vacation/
- My first class trip around the world – http://www.pointswithacrew.com/first-class-trip-around-world/