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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: Traveling Spud
Katie blogs at Traveling Spud to share that it’s easy to travel solo as a female, easy to make friends, and easy to plan and budget in order to travel more!
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I used to work in event marketing and traveled a lot for work right after college. I started collecting points while work was paying for my flights, and really got into collecting them for discounted flights.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I feel like I’ve always had a blog! I had a fashion blog in college and ditched it for a lifestyle blog. And then eventually evolved it into a travel blog. Travel has always been my passion and I started the Traveling Spud ~4 years ago when I got back from my trip to Vietnam and the travel bug hit hard.
I mainly started using the blog to document my work trips. And it evolved into my year-long trip around the world!
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Put everything you buy on your credit card. I’m not an intense miles and points user like some of my friends are. But I put literally everything I ever buy on my credit card. I never use my debit card unless I absolutely have to. I am just sure to pay off my credit card immediately.
It’s so worth getting the points for me. I feel like it’s the easiest way to earn points. Just make sure you’re using the card that will give you the most points or miles per dollar for your purchase.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
I just got back from traveling around the world for a year. I would have to say my trip to Iran as an American citizen was my most exciting and most memorable travel experience!
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
They sometimes don’t understand why I need so many credit cards. But I think they wish they had gotten into it so they could travel more.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
I love following miles and points blogs and websites. I keep track of my different credit cards on an Excel spreadsheet so I know what expires when, and how many miles I get for each. I also use AwardWallet to keep track of all of my airline miles.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
I wish I knew that opening a bunch of credit cards wouldn’t hurt my credit card score like everyone thinks. You really can use your credit to your advantage. I learned this from a friend and really feel like we are all trained to be afraid of our credit scores, instead of using it to allow us some travel freedom!
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
I took Japanese lessons from age 5 to 10 years old and can speak a little bit still! When I was in Japan, all of the Japanese complimented me on my pronunciation!
Any parting words?
Miles and points are an AMAZING way to travel more. I only wish I had learned about it earlier. There are so many different ways to get cheap or free flights that the world is our oyster!
Katie – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!