Monthly Archives: October 2011

Without Power Again

It’s like Irene all over again. Nearly my entire town (98%) is without power. Not sure when I can post again.

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First off, you have to love the name of the next blog that I follow – InACents.  It’s such a clever name.  This blog is also another relative newcomer to the travel hacking blog community.  It was started approximately 9 months ago, but there are many reasons that I like this blog over some of the blogs that have been around longer.

  1. Family travel – Like me, this site takes into account that people with kids may travel differently than people without kids.  The way we go back collecting and using points and miles is different.  I don’t think many family travel hackers are going to fly first class most of the time.  Between my husband and I, we have to be able to cover 4 tickets, instead of 2.  This blogger totally gets that too.  I am so impressed that he is traveling with young kids.  When my kids were as young as his, we didn’t travel via air much at all.  Anyone who does it with young kids has my attention.
  2. Not just travel - Again, like Travel Savvy Family, this site doesn’t just focus on travel deals.  He also talks about other ways that you can save money.  For example, he had 2 posts on Home Buying and Selling Logistics and Lessons for Newbies and Novices.
  3. Screen shots – As I mentioned yesterday, I really appreciate any site that takes the time to create screen shots to help the readers understand what they are talking about.  It takes much longer to create a post with screen shots than without.  I gravitate to those that include screen shots.
  4. Activities – This goes along with the Family Travel and Not Just Travel bullets, but I love that he includes discounts on activities.  For example, he had posts about discounts for Legoland and Six Flags!
  5. He talks about his life – He’s living the travel hacking lifestyle.  He’s talking about how he is making it work for his family, including going on a trip to Hawaii and Disneyland – geez, we have a lot in common. :)

So check out InACents.  I have a section on the left side of the site where I’ll be keeping links to all of the blogs that I talk about.  You can use it to easily link to all of them.

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Million Mile Secrets

I’m going to spend a few posts telling you about other blogs that I really like.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I got my start with travel hacking by reading the Frugal Travel Guy.  While I still enjoy reading that blog, I have a new favorite blog – Million Mile Secrets.  This is a relatively new blog; it started in April 2011.  It is written by Daraius Dubash.  There are several things I like about this blog:

  1. It is not over cluttered - I don’t like reading blogs that cram so much information in many sections on their front page.  That’s one thing I didn’t like about the redesign of the Frugal Travel Guy’s site.
  2. Love his top menu – You have to check out his top menu bar.  I find myself going to this site many times because I know that information I reference over and over again (like award charts and credit card offers) can be found easily from his top menu.
  3. His posts are detailed and visual - He gives great information in his posts.  And I love that he includes screen shots.  I wish that I could create as many posts as he does in the detail that he does.  I just don’t have the time to do it.  Creating posts with screen shots takes a lot of time.  I appreciate when a blogger takes the time to do that.
  4. The interviews – He has a running series where he interviews other bloggers.  I’ve learned a lot from his interviews and I like that he covers them instead of thinking of them as competition.
  5. His site isn’t covered with ads – I’m all for kickbacks from companies (although I do not take any).  I don’t know if Daraius does or not, but I like that his site isn’t covered with ads. 
  6. He talks about his life - This makes the blog seem real.  I love that he posted about when he proposed to Emily – and she said yes!

So check out his blog.  I subscribe to it via Google Reader (as I do with all of the blogs I follow), but I also suggest you visit the actual site.  That is so much information on the site.  I’m sure you’ll find it very informative and a good read.

And who knows – maybe I’ll even to get interview him someday.  If you happen to be going to the Chicago Seminar this weekend, you’ll have a chance to meet him.


Close Continental Cards Soon

If you have not already had a United Airlines Explorer credit card and you have a Continental credit card, you will want to close your Continental credit card soon.  Continental and United will be merging in 2012.  When the merger happens, Continental credit cards will become United Explorer credit cards.  You do not want yours to change to the United Explorer credit card if you’ve never had one because it will make you ineligible to sign up for that card and get a sign up bonus.  If you’ve already had a United Explorer credit card, it isn’t a big deal if it changes.

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Where Would You Go?

Do you have a bucket list?  If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Think about it; write it down.  As you go down the travel hacking road, you’ll want a list of places you want to go.  When I was younger, before travel hacking, my list was much smaller.  I wanted to visit all of the U.S. states.  I figured that I should try to visit Hawaii and Alaska when I was younger because I could visit the others without flying.

Now that’s I’ve been travel hacking for awhile, my list has gotten longer.  I still have my original goal and I’ve now included taking our kids to all 50 states as part of the goal and many more destinations.  I printed out a map of the U.S. for each of them so they could color in the states that they’ve been to.  We also try to instill in them the fact that many people are not as lucky as they are.  I told them that I was 17 before I took a trip on an airplane.  I’m hoping that traveling will open their eyes to different cultures. 

My husband and I went to a wedding in Canada years ago.  We were only or one of the only Americans at the wedding.  And we were asked one question I will never forget – Why don’t Americans travel (outside the U.S.)?  We told them that although we don’t have the same feeling, we believed it was because there are so many places to visit in the U.S. (from mountains to beaches to deserts), that many people don’t see the need to go outside the U.S.  I also think that many people don’t have the finances or want to spend what it costs to travel outside the U.S.  The good news is that if you travel hack, traveling outside the U.S. is much more reasonable!

Make your list because you’ll be surprised how fast you can collect miles.  And you’ll be on your way to inexpensive travel!  For example, this coming year, our airfare and hotel for our trips to Maui and Disney this year are nearly completely free.  We are paying a grand total of $115 for our trip to Maui and $60 for Disney and we’re even staying on resort property!

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