Many of the bloggers on BoardingArea, and miles and points bloggers in general, focus much of their attention on how to earn millions and millions of miles and then use those miles to enjoy fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime trips.
And that’s great. But what about those of you who work for a living, maybe only getting 2-3 weeks off for the entire year, and have kids to boot?
BoonDR fits into this category. He has hefty mileage balances, but precious little time between job and family responsibilities to redeem them:
My travel bucket list can be best summed up by stating “everywhere”. But my time/family/job permit at best 3 weeks a year for world exploration. How do you decide where to go?
The advice for BoonDR seems to fall into three general categories:
- Take shorter trips – worry less about meticulous trip planning and just go where the wind takes you:
Collect points in all the programs, take short trips, don’t worry that you didn’t ‘do’ the city or see everything in the guidebook, get lost, plan only what you absolutely have to. For example, I knew nothing about Roatan but there were no seats elsewhere in the Caribbean or Central America on United I could get with 22K ANA miles, so we went there and it blew away any expectation we could have had. ~KennyBSAT
- Turn the kids into world travelers, even if it means taking them out of school sometimes. The cultural education they will get will more than make up for the lost school time, they will learn good travel habits early, and the experiences will benefit them for a lifetime:
We spent a summer in Lyon when my oldest was 9 months old. It was not easy but worth the extra effort. We also drove cross country with a 5 month old, and traveled far and wide by plane with babies, toddlers and teenagers.
The result is my adult kids love to travel. My son’s inability to communicate with the locals he met playing soccer at age 11 – again on a France trip – made him eager to learn a foreign language. … My daughter travels less but likes it just as much. Her positive Airbnb experiences led her to list the extra room in her house with them. She’s watched me accumulate points and miles and is slowly and responsibly following in my footsteps.
In both cases, exposure to travel at an early age led to 1) kids who love to travel and 2) their making money from travel-related activities. ~ElainePDX
- If your spouse isn’t keen on either of the above options, maybe he/she wouldn’t mind you going it alone on a trip now and again:
I am semi retired from the real estate boom in NYC. My wife is a College Professor who loves her job. During winter break in January you can find us in Havana … The summer’s we go to travel together …
The rest of the time, I travel alone which I love. … I use the hotel points with mostly when I travel with my wife. I travel alone I like to rough it more, use Lonely Planet type hotels …
So if you wife is ok with you going , (she’s a great wife) go alone…lots of fun and interesting things to learn when you travel alone. ~John
All great suggestions for anyone who is strapped by time, or by a baby attached in some form to your person – or both.
As it turns out, BoonDR and fulthrust7 have both tried the traveling with kids in tow thing and both learned valuable lesson that might serve others well:
We just got back from 2 weeks in Europe, and the one thing I learned from that trip is the luxury stuff is overkill for me. Most awkward moment of my life was when we were pulling into the Park Hyatt Zurich and were boxed in by a Bentley, Rolls-Royce and a S63 AMG carrying bodyguards for the other cars. I was pulling a groggy 3-yr-old out of P.O.S Citroen while looking like a schlub, and the bodyguards are unbuttoning their suits to make their sidearms accessible because they think I am a threat to the Sheikh(?!?). ~BoonDR
When traveling on WN, I take southwest drink coupons to give to all my neighbors (in hopes of them getting inebriated so that my infants’ loud cries are equitable to a humming bird singing away). ~fulthrust7
Read the thread in its entirety: Points Rich, Time Poor