Why I’m Becoming A Digital Nomad This Year – And How We Are Using Points And Miles!

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Why I’m Becoming A Digital Nomad This Year – And How We Are Using Points And Miles!

Brett HolzhauerWhy I’m Becoming A Digital Nomad This Year – And How We Are Using Points And Miles!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted something to be different in my life.

When I was 5 years old, I didn’t want to be a firefighter or a police officer.  I wanted to be a weatherman.  At 13 years old, my dad told me that being a journalist and getting a journalism degree was a waste of time.  I’ve always been on a different path than others, and my wife and I are continuing that – digital nomad style.

In July 2019, we will be leaving Salt Lake City, Utah, in our car, driving to my wife’s parents’ home in Pasadena, CA, and leaving from Los Angeles to start our travels.  It is going to be an incredible adventure filled with challenges, ups and downs, and unforgettable memories.  And we’re doing it with the help of miles & points we’ve heard from cards like:

This couple sold everything and has been traveling full time!  We plan to follow suit as digital nomads

Why Become a Digital Nomad?

After we got married in June 2018, we knew we were going to do something so different.  We decided in August that we are going to sell everything and travel the world full time, much of that motivation coming from her favorite social media influencer group, The Bucket List Family.  We actually got to meet them recently!

Outside of being travel lovers, we are not ready to really settle down.  The thought of buying a home, having kids, and subjecting ourselves to a 9 to 5 sounds pretty boring right now.

We don’t even know where we want to live yet.  This is one of the main reasons for our adventure!  We want to find where we want to live.  We grew up in Los Angeles, and we refuse to live there.  We live in Salt Lake City, and we aren’t the biggest fans of the cold and the culture here.

Another reason is actually to save money!  I’ve run several cost analyses, and it will actually be cheaper for us to become digital nomads, or break even depending on where we are in the world.  Our monthly expenses are roughly $3,000, and we live a middle class life.  However, that same $3,000 can stretch much further in other countries.

Where Do Miles & Points Come Into Play?

Nowadays, I almost never travel without using miles & points.  Traveling into other countries, points can go even further than in the United States!  For example, with my group of Hilton cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, I have been able to earn over 300,000 Hilton points in the past few months.  With these points, I can almost make a hotel my home.

For example, here is the Hilton Garden Inn in Bali…

This is an incredible rate, and I would be able to stay 20 nights for only 100,000 points.  And to top that off, I would get 4 free nights because Hilton gives folks with elite status (comes automatically with the AMEX Hilton Ascend) the 5th consecutive award night free.

I earned over 500,000 Hilton points from a few Hilton American Express credit card bonuses, so these are going to come in really handy while we are traveling.

Also, I was very recently approved for the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (you can read our full review here), and I will be earning ~$950 in travel after completing the minimum spending requirement ($4,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening).  I figure I will be using these points as our “exit” flight out of the US.

Lastly, sometime during our travels, we will be taking our bucket list flight in Singapore Suites.  We’ll use the AMEX Membership Rewards points we’ve stockpiled from signing-up for credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.

I’m sure as our travels develop, we will be earning and burning points and miles to keep our wanderlust alive.

Final Thoughts

If it weren’t for points & miles, we would have not been able to travel to the extent that we have.  Now, we are going to take our travel to a full-time basis, and points & miles will only become more vital in our success.

Have you ever done something this radical when it comes to travel? Let’s hear it in the comments!  And subscribe to our newsletter for more travel tips and inspiration:

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Yes i too get excited for saving my points for an airport hotel redemption. Smh

My wife and I would love to travel for a living, but not willing to sacrifice our income for it.
Are you working on this trip, or is it all for pleasure? 3K a month can definitely go further in other countries, but you’ve got to earn the 3K to spend it 😉 (or is it all from proceeds of selling everything?)
We still have 1.8Mil Points to burn with really no ability to take time off in the next year (just returned from a 250,000+ Mile/Point vacation this week though) One day…

I’ve been living for 13 years as a young senior without a home overseas in Europe. You have to watch the immigration rules u less you also have an EU passport. I also spend a lot of time in Israel. It is much more difficult solo. I am proud of what I have accomplished. Not hopping around but living extended stays at various hotels. And I’ve been living nonstop hotels and some very nice ones as going to an apartment is not fun when solo. I’ll be starting my blog soon. But you are young and good luck!

I love seeing more people do it! It’s sooo exciting. I love the bucket list family! They too inspired my husband and I to try to live this lifestyle. In fact, we packed up and left CA at the beginning of February. We just arrived in Seattle for stop #2 of a 14 month road trip around the US. Our situation is a little different as we are not using points, (but are in the process of accumulating some) and only I am a digital nomad. My husband makes money from Uber, Lyft, Doordash. I think what’s great is that there are so many different ways to make this life happen. You just gotta be willing to be a little brave and do some planning! Have a great time on your journey. We wish you the best! @susanemontiel

How exciting! Can’t wait to follow along on your journey.