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: Kambam Adventures
Kami writes Kambam Adventures to reflect upon her travels and day-to-day life.
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
When my husband and I 1st met, he told me that over the previous 10 years he’d accumulated enough United Airlines miles for 2 round-trip international tickets to anywhere. That’s my kind of pick up line. Planning where we might go and what we might do started our courtship.
I joined the fun in 2012 when we were planning for our honeymoon. Turns out a decade for 2 international tickets is way too long, so I have since taken the reins of the mile travel planning.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started Kambam Adventures to document the 1st big, international trip I ever took, volunteering for 3 months in East Africa. I’d traveled a fair amount as a kid (both parents were in the travel industry), but it was the 1st time I ever decided I wanted to go somewhere, and did everything it took to get there.
The blog was an opportunity to reflect on what I saw in the world and what that meant to me. It’s special because it covers travel and day-to-day life.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
I constantly have to remind myself that every mile counts. A couple dollars for parking, or drinks, or soap at the drugstore, or whatever you may consider spending cash on, it all adds up.
Sign-up bonuses are great, and shopping portals can be if they actually credit you the miles (which often enough you have to bug them for), but 5, 10, 50 miles at a time adds up, so there’s no reason to pay cash unless you have to.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
I’m a sucker for a sunrise. Of note: When that 1st plane was landing in Tanzania, the sun was rising over Mt. Kilimanjaro. My world had changed and suddenly I was in control of how much I got to see the world.
Runners up: Watching the sunrise over the ancient city of Bagan in Burma; and over the mountain opposite Machu Picchu.
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
Most think I must be bleeding money for how much we travel. The ones who know that we hardly ever pay cash, think it’s a lot more work than it is.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Subscribing to a bunch of blogs from the experts and gleaning relevant information. I have 10 or so on my blog reader, Feedly, and about 10% of the articles are helpful in my current planning, so I read those and skip the rest.
It’s a complicated world that’s always changing, so it’s nice having a heads up through post titles, even if I don’t have enough time to read them yet.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
Adding an authorized user is just too easy. My husband is a Race Director (for local half marathons and a national Mustache-themed 5K) and we accrued enough for our recent sailing trip to Thailand with medals, shirts, and mustachioed pint glasses.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
It’s not bad to have a bunch of credit cards. The spendthrift in me used to see plastic as a sign of excess, when really it’s a sign of thrift…when used right.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
I love free, cheap, and heavily-discounted. But that shouldn’t be a surprise. Better, I co-host ReadyGo Podcast, covering all things creativity.
Any parting words?
You’re in charge of how much you travel. Vacation days are negotiable, price can be overcome, there are options luxury to budget, for every lifestyle, and for every travel purpose – adventure, family bonding, historical re-enactments, pick your poison.
Look to miles blogs for tips, and other travel blogs for inspiration. And just GO.
Kami – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Kambam Adventures!