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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: Flivin
Jessica co-founded Flivin to show that life is about having fun & doing the things you love!”
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I joined my first Frequent Flier Program in 2007 when my husband was traveling a lot for work. I was fortunate enough to join him sometimes, and so I thought I might as well start earning some rewards for my flights. But it wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I got more serious about earning miles and points.
I was laid off from my job in January of 2009, so funds were tight, but I still had the travel bug! There are still so many places that we want to see and we realized that if we didn’t get creative with miles & points, it would be tough to see all those places!
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
Flivin is all about having fun and loving life. The great thing about Flivin is that it’s different for everyone because everyone has a different idea about how they enjoy life.
It just so happens that one of things we really enjoy at Flivin is traveling, so although our blog is a go-to resource for all things Flivin, a considerable amount of our content is focused on our travels because that’s one of our favorite ways to get our Fliv on!
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Credit Card sign-up bonuses for sure! Many of the cards that reward miles or points for spending a certain amount in a certain amount of time, will get you at least one domestic airline ticket.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
That’s such a hard question because it seems like there is always something special about every trip. I will say that we went on a trip to Tortola in the British Virgin islands this past summer with a couple of family members and a group of friends, and it was just wonderful being in paradise with people you love and love to have fun with!
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
My husband thinks it’s great because he sees the rewards it has reaped. I think my friends and family feel like it’s just too much work, but I think it’s just about priorities and what’s most important for the individual.
Traveling is one of the biggest priorities for my husband and I, and we simply couldn’t do it as much if we weren’t earning miles and points.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
I think the most important thing is probably to stay organized, especially if you’re signing up for lots of credit cards to earn bonuses. If you don’t keep track of how much you need to spend on each card and when you need to spend it by, you could end up missing out on your miles and points.
I personally use a spreadsheet to help me keep up with my cards, but a site like Award Wallet can also be very helpful in helping you manage your cards.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
It’s not super exciting, but I am signed up with several dining programs that reward you with airline miles, and there have been several occasions when I received an email letting me know that I had earned miles just for dining out at a restaurant I would have dined at even if I wasn’t going to earn miles!
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. Also, at first I was only collecting miles through airline credit cards, but thanks to Million Mile Secrets, I have been enlightened about other credit cards that can earn you miles and hotel stays.
This knowledge has helped my husband and I book a trip to French Polynesia next year for a fraction of what someone would have to pay if they weren’t using points and miles.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
As much as I love to travel, I am not the best flier. My fear has lessened quite a bit over the years, but I still get the jitters before boarding a flight. Even though I fear flying, I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let my fear keep me from visiting all the places I want to see.
Any parting words?
I mainly would like to thank you, Daraius, and Million Mile Secrets for being such a fantastic resource for people to learn more about earning miles and points. Anybody can do this!
If traveling is a priority, but you don’t have the funds to do it as much as you’d like, all you have to do is put in a little effort to researching which are the right cards and programs for you, stay organized, and the rewards you reap will far out-weigh the effort you had to put in.
Jessica – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!