“The biggest trick to traveling cheap is to have a plan and dream big.”

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Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where travel bloggers share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview: We Travel Cheap

Mike runs We Travel Cheap and believes that it is realistic to travel cheap with miles and points!

We travel Cheap - Interview with Mike

Mike and Megan Whitesides scuba diving in Roatan, Honduras

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

We went to Europe in 2006 with miles and since 2011 we’ve hit the rewards trips hard!  We’ve been to Costa Rica, Spain, Orlando, Roatan, Honduras and Cancun (three years in a row).  We will have also made five trips to Disneyland within 16 months with our two young boys.

Why did you start your blog?  What’s special about it?

I started We Travel Cheap to help people understand that traveling cheap is a reality and that it really isn’t that hard.  In addition to tips about miles and points I share travel deals unrelated to credit card offers.

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

Quit using cash and debit cards and start chasing credit card offers.  As crazy as it may seem, so many unbelievable travel experiences were made possible by charging everyday purchases on credit cards and earning miles and points.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

In Costa Rica, my wife and I went to the 16 Hanging Bridges outside of Arenal Volcano National ParkA heavy storm rolled in and the road we came in on was flooded.  The storm finally passed and the flood subsided.  It was rare to see the top of Arenal Volcano, but the clouds parted and we enjoyed the view of a lifetime!

We Travel Cheap - Interview with Mike

Enjoying the views of Arenal Volcano National Park

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

They love my hobby and many have benefited from reading my blog or coming to my seminars.  I’ve been able to share miles with others to make memories to last a lifetime!

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

The biggest trick to traveling cheap is to have a plan and dream big.  If you have a dream and a plan then with a little help you can go almost anywhere in the world virtually free on miles and points.

We travel Cheap - Interview with Mike

Ancient Roman ruins in Tarragona, Spain near Barcelona

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

I’m amazed by how many miles and points I’ve earned after putting only a dollar of gas in my car!  Some rewards credit cards only require you make one purchase before getting your miles or points.

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

I wish I would have started sooner!  It’s not scary, risky or sketchy.  It’s a realistic and affordable way to travel cheap.

What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

I have been traveling in our family motorhome ‘The Whitesides Memory Maker’ since I was a baby.  I earned enough money delivering papers when I was 10 years old to buy an $800 airline ticket to tour eight European countries with my parents.  We’ve lived on two islands in Taiwan and Hawaii and I served my church for two years in Albania.

Any parting words?

Make cheap travel a priority in your life and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to see and do.  Eight years ago my wife and I made a list of the places in the world we wanted to visit and I’m amazed by how many places we’ve been to.  Start your list today!  YOLO (you only live once)!

Mike – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

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9 responses to ““The biggest trick to traveling cheap is to have a plan and dream big.”

  1. David Gutierrez

    Very inspiring! Looking forward to my upcoming trips, all with miles and points!

  2. You only live once is soooo right!

    Also formulating your dream is a good start before you begin collecting your miles. I have newbies ask me where to start with credit cards. I insist they first figure out where they want to go.

  3. Hands up for Roatan!!
    Have been going there since I was a kid! Love it!

  4. Great interview. That mike guy really knows how to dream and travel cheap! Very inspiring!!

  5. I think the planning part is one of the major roadblocks for my friends and family. When I mention I usually plan trips 8-12 months in advance that’s when I lose them.

  6. gayle whitesides

    We have a winner for a son. So smart and good. We are very proud of you! A great leader is a visionary and you are definitely a visionary! Way to go! Much love mom

  7. great interview

  8. Ryan Whitesides

    That’s my little bro! He knows how to get away and an expert at finding deals