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Step 1: Set Your Travel Goals

The 1st step to getting started with collecting miles and points involves making some fun choices.

Where & How Do You Want to Travel?
Where & How Do You Want to Travel?

A mistake many folks say they regret making when they started collecting points was jumping right in and not setting goals or determining a strategy to reach them. This can leave you with lots of points in different accounts that can’t be used to their full potential.

Also, it’s MUCH easier to find flights you can book with miles if you plan a year in advance. So it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

You can still find good deals only 3 to 4 months in advance, but it may require more flexibility.  For instance, you may have to leave the US on Wednesday instead of a Friday.  Here are some questions that only you can answer:

  • Are you mostly interested in traveling within the US or internationally?  Do you want to visit a beach destination, a big city, etc.?
  • Do you prefer fancy hotels or budget hotels where you can stretch your miles?
  • How many people will be traveling with you?  Are you part of a family of 4 or more, or is it just you and a companion?
  • How often do you want to travel?
  • Which destinations appeal to you?

For domestic flights, the best way to get Big Travel with Small Money is with the Southwest Companion Pass.

I also like collecting Hyatt and Hilton hotel points for my hotel stays because it’s easier to use the points I earn.

You can earn points with airline and hotel branded credit cards.  Or you can earn bank points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points and AMEX Membership Rewards points which gives you the ability to transfer to airline AND hotel partners.

If you need a little travel inspiration, check out our Trip Reports which include trips to Hawaii, Europe, Asia, and more, for ideas on places to visit and step-by-step instructions on how you can use your points to get there!

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Lucy Ganhadeiro

This is my first time signing up for my daughter and I and I am very interested and happy to join this my daughter has low self-esteem because of her classmates teasing her and telling her that she’s ugly and lots of other things that wouldn’t help make my mom cry and not able to sleep at night and dread to send her to school the next day and this probably would help her get away and Somehow help for her feel beautiful inside and out please help me because I do not know what else to do in this world to help my daughter I’ve tried counseling I’ve tried everything she’s just been bullied doing at school to a point where I’m afraid that I’m going to see her commit suicide one of these days please help me thank you very much for everything you have done!!

First time to sign up, very excited to see beautiful places and events.

Woo hoo! I’m excited to read all of the newbies information!

Domestically and Internationally

I want to fly within the US and to Barcelona from Nashville.

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