The Obsessed Family Traveler and Aviation Nut: Meet Team Member Jasmin

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Hi, I’m Jasmin.  And I’m a bit of an aviation nerd. 🙂

I had the tremendous good fortune of growing up in Canada with parents who worked for the airlines.  Wanderlust was instilled in my psyche from a very early age – and once travel gets into your blood, you’re hooked for life.

In college, I took a part-time job working as an airline customer service agent, and one of the best perks was nearly-free standby tickets.  I did some crazy things, like spontaneously hopping on an airplane with my co-workers and flying down to Cancun – for the night.

I hung on to that job well beyond college.  But in the meantime, airplanes and travel grew into a personal obsession.  I loved flying so much, I became a pilot myself.  Before joining the Million Mile Secrets team, I worked as a flight instructor and taught students how to fly for ~18 years.

The Obsessed Family Traveler And Aviation Nut Meet Team Member Jasmin
Cathay Pacific Business Class Is as Civilized as It Looks! Here’s My Daughter and Me in Our Lie-Flat Seats Between Vancouver, Canada, and New York

Now I’m a single mom to 3 terrific kids, who keep me on my toes and love to travel as much as I do.  Miles and points have made it possible for us to travel around the globe for a fraction of the price.

Without this hobby, we couldn’t have afforded trips all over the US and Canada, and to spots like the Philippines, Germany, France, UK, Czech Republic, and more.

My travel style mostly revolves around my children, because I believe travel is by far the best education for kids.  We’ve stayed in 5-star hotels and flown international Business Class.  But the kids are just as happy sleeping on an air mattress or taking Amtrak for a weekend getaway.

We’ve celebrated my son’s 2nd birthday in Prague, visited the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and made multiple trips to Florida to enjoy Disney and Universal Studios.  None of these trips cost even close to full price, thanks to miles and points!

The Obsessed Family Traveler And Aviation Nut Meet Team Member Jasmin
At the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Female Tourists Are Given Abaya (a Loose, Hooded Cloak) to Cover up With Before They Can Enter

I get the greatest joy from experiencing travel through my kids’ eyes.  They’re fearless and open-minded, and are eager to dive into new cultures, foods, and friendships.  My favorite memories are the trips that took us off the beaten path, like Holguin, Cuba, or Palawan, Philippines.

It’s important to me that the kids know we’re very fortunate.  We’re not wealthy people by any means, but we’ve struck it rich with miles and points.  I’m so grateful for the opportunities this hobby has given us and the doors that it has opened.

The kids have realized many aren’t as lucky as they are.  And they’ve also learned the importance of giving back when you can.

The Obsessed Family Traveler And Aviation Nut Meet Team Member Jasmin
My Daughter Helping Serve Meals at a Mission for Indigenous Aeta People in Pampanga, Philippines

But it’s not always about the kids.  I’ve also used miles and points for trips I couldn’t have paid cash for, like a short hop over to Berlin for my buddy’s 40th birthday party or a week in Kauai for a friend’s wedding.  Not quite as wacky as jetting off to Mexico for the night, but still pretty cool!

I’m so thankful for Million Mile Secrets.  It was here I learned the ropes of award travel and how to make the most of credit card sign-up bonuses and spending to achieve my dreams.  Now I’m truly blessed to work with an amazing team of folks who love to geek out over travel as much as I do.  🙂

But when I’m not planning a trip or coming up with creative ways to earn more miles and points, you’ll usually find me hauling the kids around to lacrosse games, tinkering with new recipes in the kitchen, or playing trivia at the local pub with my bestie.  And I love 80s music and all things retro.

Fun fact:  Friends and family joke that I’m a “famous people magnet” when I travel.  A few examples:  I’ve sat across from Pet Shop Boys at a restaurant in Finland, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the lead singer of Glass Tiger at a baggage carousel in Puerto Rico, and sunbathed by the pool next to Rod Stewart in Brazil.  And when I was little, I sat next to Colonel Sanders in First Class on a flight to Chicago and met The Captain and Tenille at a resort in Hawaii.  🙂

Jasmin Baron is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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