For families that travel, miles and points are often overlooked. But should they? There is real value in miles and points when they are used properly. Many families only think of cash when they build their travel budget, but are they missing out on valuable opportunities to save money on travel? Let’s take a look at when to use miles and points vs cash on common travel expenses. What are Miles and Points First thing’s first, what are miles and points? Everyone understands what cash is. Cash, at least in the past few centuries, has been the main means...Read More
Hud is a long-time traveler and a new dad. His first son, Hudson, was born on 2/5/17, so he’s still trying to get the hang of this parenting thing. He lives in Raleigh, NC and works for RewardStock, a travel company that has a free website that shows users how to earn, manage, and use reward points instead of cash for travel. His specialty is using points and miles for (nearly) free travel and hopes to share some of this knowledge with the Traveling Dad community. He’s looking forward to learning from all of the seasoned dads out there!
South America, here we come! Well, in February 2018. Our first big trip of 2018 and our first big trip away from H is booked. We’re super excited about it, but also a little worried. What will it be like leaving him for so long? Will we enjoy ourselves? We hope so! Will it be like old times traveling together? Maybe? Will we feel like the McCallisters from Home Alone? I hope not! Who knows the answers to these questions. All I know is that we are anxiously looking forward to it! Why South America? Vicki and I have...Read More
Back to school. It’s that time of the year again. That time when your wallet may be getting a little thin from buying school supplies, clothes, shoes, electronics, and more. You may not know it, but these purchases can earn you a lot of points for cash back and travel. Follow along and learn how you can earn your next trip off of the purchase of your back to school supplies. New Credit Card Signup Bonuses New credit card signup bonuses are, by far, the best way to earn the most points in the shortest amount of time. How...Read More
You have probably heard about credit card annual fees and, if you are like most people, you probably try to avoid them. In this post, we will look at how to make a decision on paying your annual fee or canceling a card with an annual fee. Ultimately, the decision to keep or cancel any credit card is your decision. Hopefully, this post will help you decide when it is best to cancel or keep your credit card open. What is a Credit Card Annual Fee? First thing’s first. What is an annual fee? An annual fee, as...Read More
My wife, Vicki, and I just got back from a weekend in Asheville. This was a special weekend because: 1) We attended the wedding of 2 of our really good friends 2) It was our first weekend as a couple away from our 6 month old son, H. As you probably know, wedding weekends are not the most relaxing weekends, but we still managed to have fun in one of our favorite cities. There was a little anxiety from being away from H, but we managed! Where we stayed in Asheville If you know anything about Asheville, you know that hotels are super expensive. Asheville has become a destination city and it seems like there is something going on every weekend. The hotel that the wedding party reserved was discounted to a cool $350/night, so we decided to use some points and stay at the Hyatt Place. The Hyatt Place was priced at about $500/night, so I felt good about using points on it. Things kind of changed when we checked in. To our surprise, and a little help from an email to the manager, we were upgraded to a suite for free. Not a bad way to spend our first weekend away. This room would have normally cost about $670/night and we paid $0! Overall, the hotel was great. It is a little outside of downtown,...Read More
I feel like I’m the “Rookie Traveling Dad”. I have a 4 month old son, so all of this is new. This past weekend, we took H on his first flight to Nashville and we learned a ton. We were a little scared, a little over prepared, but a lot excited. Vicki’s college roommate and best friend lives in Nashville and had a baby girl the day after H was born (what are the odds?!). We thought what better way to get H on his first flight that a short jump from Raleigh to Nashville? Take a look at our learnings and our experiences. Things we learned from our first flight with an infant Overall, flying with an infant is easy. They sleep, eat, play, repeat. We were lucky that H seemed to like planes – hope that stays that way. We did learn that flying with an infant is a lot different than flying as a couple. For one thing, we had to plan around his schedule, not ours. He eats at certain times, so we needed to make sure flights were scheduled around those times. Not to mention having to feed him in the middle of the airport wasn’t that easy. Southwest is a top-notch airline for flying with children. Everyone’s experience and expectations differ, but I’ve always had a great experience with Southwest. It was made even better on our...Read More
For any baseball fan, a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is a bucket list item. In July of 2014, my dad and I made the trip from Raleigh to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. My dad has been a huge Atlanta Braves fan his whole life. Among the 6 inductees, there were 3 Braves: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Bobby Cox. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to head to our first trip to Cooperstown and it is something that I will never forget. One of the things that...Read More
A few months ago I went through the application process for Global Entry and TSA Precheck. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Global Entry, it is a program operated by the US Customs and Border Control under the Trusted Traveler Program. Global Entry allows individuals that are pre-approved through a screening process to bypass customs upon re-entry into the United States. Instead of waiting in line, you proceed to the designated kiosks, scan your fingerprints for verification, answer a few questions, and you are given a “receipt” to continue to baggage claim and the exit. It’s that...Read More
When your friend says “hey, let’s go to Chicago to eat some deep dish pizza!” it’s hard to say no. Well, that happened to me and it started a plan for a quick weekend guy’s trip. We left Raleigh on the first flight Saturday morning and returned on the first flight back on Sunday night. All in all, it was a great, quick trip and we did some pretty cool things, but it was also exhausting. Chicago is a quick and easy flight from Raleigh. At about 1.5 hours, it’s nice because you get there about 30 minutes after...Read More
Traveling as new parents has definitely changed things for Vicki and I. While H is only 3 months old, we’ve learned a lot about traveling with him and a lot about how Vicki and I travel. In the past 2 weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to take H on his first trip to the mountains and beach. We’re lucky to live in North Carolina and have these options! While these trips haven’t been “vacations” in the relaxing sense, they’ve been a lot of fun. And we’ve learned a lot about traveling as new parents. Packing isn’t as easy as we thought it would be. We can try to keep on schedule, but that’s probably not going to happen. And, nothing’s going to be perfect…but that’s OK. I wouldn’t change the memories we’ve made for anything! WAIT, ISN’T PACKING EASY? We think we’re pretty good packers. OK, let me rephrase that. We think we were pretty good packers. Packing used to be the kind of thing that we could throw together the night before for weekend trips. Maybe it would take a couple of days to pack for a 2 week trip. Well, that’s all changed. We’ve realized a few things about packing for trips as new parents: 1. We pack too much 2. We don’t want to be under prepared, but also have realized that if we...Read More
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