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So as you’ve probably figured out by now, Points With a Crew is now part of a network of blogs called Prior2Boarding. Prior2Boarding itself is part of (related to?) a larger blog network called Boarding Area, which is probably the biggest travel blog network out there.
If you look at the list of our bloggers, there are actually 30 of us writing for P2B!! That’s a lot! I think some of them , and so I thought I’d take some time to try and get to know some of the other bloggers (most, if not all, I did not know “prior” to joining P2B)
Rene over at the Delta Points blog has a wonderful series of blogger interviews with the other BoardingArea bloggers, but he has said that he still has several of the BA bloggers to finish, and I figured with 30 more P2B bloggers on the rolls, we better get started!!! 😛
Today’s interview is with Jennifer from The Jetsetter’s Homestead
Okay – to start off with, tell me a little bit about yourself – including but not limited to where you grew up, where you’re at now, family, interests, etc.
I am a military brat who was raised in Fort Worth TX (my father’s hometown and where he chose to retire). After years of many years of living in other places, I moved back to my hometown seven years ago, ironically two blocks from the house my dad lived in when graduated from high school in the 1950s. I am single and do not have children but neither of those things prevents me from living a rewarding life both at home and on the road. When I’m home, I garden and love to cook with fresh local ingredients – my friends love coming over to eat. I’m also an avid crafter and can often be found curled up with my needlepoint or sewing while enjoying a glass of wine and working my way through saved shows on my DVR. When I’m on the road (which averages to about 200 days a year), I try my best to keep my same routines as at home – eating locally sourced food, enjoying a bit of me time, and seeking out new friends.
How did you first catch the travel bug?
I think I was born with the travel bug, to be frank… my parents met in Asia (my mom worked for the US State Department in Laos, my dad was an Air Force flight instructor working in the region), so I always grew up around typical military family tales of far off lands and exotic things to be discovered. In 1989 I had the unique opportunity to be a part of a youth delegation to visit the then-USSR and realized I wanted to soak in as much of the world as I could. It was nearly a decade before I was in a position to start traveling and I realized how late I was to the game having not known about frequent flyer programs or travel hacking or other ways to have been able to start sooner. So I had a lot of catching up to do!
Do you have a favorite hotel or airline? Are there any elite statuses that are important to you?
I live in Fort Worth Texas so I primarily fly the hometown carrier – American Airlines. Sometime this coming week I’ll cross the 4 million miles earned mark, for real! As far as hotels, I’m an equal opportunity player – I have top tier status on Starwood (edging in on lifetime Platinum) and Hyatt (where I participate on their Insiders advisory panel). I just gave up Diamond on Hilton to focus more on Marriott as I’m liking how the boutique side of their portfolio is shaping up lately. I’m also a recent cruising convert and have developed an affinity for Seabourn. I also can’t underestimate how much I love having Emerald Executive Elite with National – with all my car rentals, it makes a difference. (PWaC – Interesting: I’ll have to check on car rental status – but I probably don’t rent a car often enough for it to be worth it…)
How do you get most of your miles and points? Credit card signups, manufactured spending, or (gasp!) actually flying?!? (Or other)
I’m probably an anomaly among bloggers. I don’t do manufactured spend. My miles and points largely come from actual flying and stays. I know, I know. Case in point… that 4 million AA miles I mentioned up above? Not a single one has come from credit card spending. It almost hurts to say that out loud!
Any exciting trips past, present or planned? What have been some of your best mile or point redemptions?
My next “big” trip will be late this fall – I’m doing a 12 night Singapore to Bali cruise on Seabourn with stays on either end and Cathay First tickets both ways. I’ll likely squeeze in a couple weekend trips between now and then but that’s the next calendared vacation.
My best points redemptions are the ones that no longer exist – the *old* distance based OneWorld awards that allowed open jaws (which have been gone for several years). Now that was a glorious award! More recently, I’m mourning the loss of OneWorld Explorer awards in general. But these days, I mostly redeem for CX, JL, and BA First awards. And I just took my last LH First award flight under the old redemption amounts – I’m sad that one is going away but my Star Alliance miles are all nearly gone anyhow. The one award I regret not redeeming was the Concorde – I was saving up for it when they stopped flying. (PWAC: Man the Concorde would have been sweet – and from what I remember reading on someone else’s blog, it wasn’t even that expensive a redemption)
Tell me a bit about your blog? What made you decide to start a blog? How long have you been blogging? Do you have a posting frequency or idea of when readers can look for new posts?
This is actually my second time around on a blog – I had one back in the early hobby days of blogging that was fairly well-followed (the Wall Street Journal mentioned it once on a list of business travel blogs to follow) but it was mostly me blogging about my day-to-day travels and existence. In a world of structured travel blogs with lots of corporate linkage, I didn’t really feel that it had a place so I took it down and stopped blogging. But as I’ve talked to more seasoned business travelers who are juggling the realities of balancing heavy travel schedules with the realities of life (managing a household and relationships while trying to make the most of time on the road and at work), I realized there was a place out there for a more lifestyle-oriented travel blog so I pitched Randy Peterson at BoardingArea on the concept. We’ve worked together in the past so I was thrilled that he thought it might be a good fit for Prior2Boarding. In an idea world, readers can look for content from me daily – although that may flow and flux with my own travel schedule. I’m blogging about the real things I’m running into both on the road and at home – so it’s a little bit of everything (hotel reviews, trip reports, shopping finds, recipes, packing strategies, you name it)! (PWaC – Another old school blogger! I have blogged for many years as well in other forms)
How can we learn more about you – blog link / facebook / twitter / email / other
I love my social media – I’m most prolific on Pinterest (JetsettersHome) and Twitter (@jetsettershome) but I’m also on Instagram (JetsettersHomestead) and Facebook (JetsettersHomestead) – my feeds there vary from the blog. Pinterest tends to be a LOT of packing lists, home decorating, and recipes while Twitter is often a feed of other travel and food related things I’m reading. And Instagram is usually a glimpse into my day-to-day life complete with food pictures and location selfies.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or your blog?
Jetsetter’s Homestead is definitely a unique little blog spot as I’m not targeting a specific niche (mileage junkies or travel hackers or specific loyalty program followers or female traveler) – it’s a personal slice of my own life where I hope that readers will find the pieces that resonate with them individually.
Excellent! I hope that you learned a bit about Jennifer and the Jetsetter’s Homestead! One of the things that I love about blogging is being part of a community (and I’m not just talking about other bloggers – all travelers worldwide). I find it fascinating and interesting that there are so many different people, who all approach traveling from a different perspective.
It’s clear to me that Jennifer and I travel very differently, and so I appreciate learning about things from her side of things.