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Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: PointsandTravel
Cacinda writes PointsandTravel to share travel experiences and help readers find that point where luxury and price intersect.
You can follow Cacinda on Instagram. She is also giving away 2 round-trip Allegiant Air tickets from Phoenix!
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I have been traveling every 6 weeks of my life for over 19 years, so honestly, I started way back then. The problem was the miles and points were all over the place in multiple airlines and hotel accounts. I loved it when Award Wallet came out and I was able to track them online for a family of four!
I used to track everything by file folders and the miles & points information would come in the mail, so that tells you I have been doing this for a long time! Miles & points just seemed like a natural thing to start collecting when I was traveling.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I always wanted to do something in the travel industry and I had been reading miles & points blogs for about 3 years, when I decided to start.
That same year, I had looked into buying a dive shop in Curacao, but my husband said he wasn’t ready to retire yet, so this seemed like the fastest and easiest way to get into the travel world.
It is special because the blog started out as a points and miles blog, but quickly evolved into a travel blog. I had never read a travel blog before in my life, so I originally formatted it like a points blog, but soon realized I didn’t like writing about miles & points…it was the travel that I was passionate about.
I am all about the travel and not about the points. They are just a way to get me to where I want to go at an amazing price.
I changed niches and I now write about “value luxury,” which is the way I travel anyway.
I find the point where luxury travel and price intersect. Everything has a price point that you are willing to pay for an experience. The key is spending your money wisely when it comes to travel. That’s why I use miles; it helps me find the right price for the experiences I want to have.
PointsandTravel is a website where point collectors can go to get inspiration about luxury experiences to use those miles and points they have saved up.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Of course, we all know it is credit card sign-up bonuses, but then after that it is to collect miles that work for you. I live in Phoenix, so American Airlines and US Airways miles work for me, where they might not work as well for someone based in Portland or Atlanta.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Hardest question ever! There are too many to only mention one!
Landing in Amman, Jordan driving a car at midnight through the country and then arriving in Aqaba, Jordan at 4:00 am, only to ask for a wake up call at 7:00 am to go scuba diving in the Red Sea.
- Diving the cenotes in Mexico or a shark dive in Honduras
- Finally making it to the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos!
- Hiking Preikestolen in Norway or Machu Picchu, in Peru
- Diving on a live-aboard dive boat in Belize for a week
- Seeing San Pedro de Atacama, in Chile
- Driving from Rome along the Amalfi Coast in Italy
- Seeing Tom Cruise ride on his jet ski in Curacao from his yacht
- Spending luxury time in Tuscany at Montestigliano
- Going to the State Opera in Vienna, Austria
- Climbing the stairs of the Great Wall of China
- Standing in Red Square, Moscow, Russia
- Staying in the luxury suite at the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy where Andrea Bocelli’s family stayed for his private concert
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
Friends are intrigued, family is…well, I would rather not say.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Not ones that everybody and their dog don’t already know about. I love Award Wallet, to help me keep track of the miles & points. That and being diversified in all things miles & points is the key to my travels. I am pretty much able to go anywhere at anytime because of my diversified portfolio of miles & points.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
Buying Spa Finder gift certificates with my Delta debit card or, of course, when I used to do the “US Mint” trick or the “US Airways Grand Slam”, but those are old tricks.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
Get organized. That is 1 of the main things you can do as a collector.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
That I am a workaholic, that I love to scuba dive, and that I finally went to full-time travel blogging in January of 2014 after 19 years as a Chiropractor and business owner.
Any parting words?
My advice is to travel every 6 weeks of your life, (if not more!) and take your kids with you when you can. Get out into the world and see and experience what is out there. I took the advice of a coach I had hired for my business, who told me to travel every 6 weeks of my life.
I used it almost as a tool to keep me motivated for working hard. That is what I did and I think it was the best piece of advice anyone has ever given me.
Cacinda – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!
If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!