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Welcome! If you have visited Boarding Area this week, you may have seen some of my posts and wondered – “Who is this Points With a Crew and why does he have so many people in the airplane in the logo?!?” 🙂
As a brief introduction, my name is Dan and my wife and I have 6 (SIX!) children. To forestall most of your questions, there are 3 boys and 3 girls, and yes, we do have our hands full! If you wonder how we manage to make it work, you might be interested in a recent guest post I did at budgetsaresexy.com about what the budget for a family of 8 looks like.
We usually fly out of CVG (Cincinnati) and DAY (Dayton), though we’ve been known to drive to IND (Indianapolis), SDF (Louisville) or CMH (Columbus) if needed. We’ve even driven up to MDW (Chicago) before. Though really, when you can fit 8 people in one vehicle, the economics of driving vs. flying tilts a lot towards driving (even when using miles!)
A focus on Family Travel
While I write some about general travel, I aim to focus specifically on traveling with families, especially large families. Those of us who are navigating car trips in packed minivans or trying to keep track of 17 different pieces of luggage in an airport just have different perspectives on travel than someone traveling with no kids.
I had known about travel hacking for several years, but had not really applied myself until realizing that we had a family reunion scheduled in Nevada. Knowing that 8 cross-country plane tickets were not going to be cheap (and might keep us from going), I did my first credit card churn back in January 0f 2013, and eventually was able to use 170,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points and the Southwest Companion pass to fly us there for free! (plus taxes).
I started blogging as well because like I said earlier, most of the travel blogs out there seemed to be about single people or others with no kids traveling in first class cabins and 5 star hotels. And while that is fun to read about, it’s not an accurate representation of how my family (or most of the families that I know) travel. I wanted to give another perspective. While others write glowing trip reports about the Vendome in Paris, I wonder whether staying at a Rodeway Inn is a good idea…
Some of my most popular or favorite posts
To get an idea of what I write about, here are some of my most popular or otherwise notable posts:
- How to destroy a metal Chase Sapphire Preferred card (it’s harder than it looks!)
- Why you want to freeze your IDA / ARS credit accounts before applying for a US Bank Card
- How to always get a live chat with American Express.
- Getting Avis to stop its dirty trick on me
- The Traveler’s Triangle – the relationship between your flexibility on time, location and price.
- My travel bucket list, including visiting all 3,143 counties in the United States
- How to get into a airport lounge for free
- Secret $1 concession stand at Great American Ball Park
- Family boarding on Southwest Airlines and how to sit next to each other
- How to speed through TSA security with a family
- Why did a passenger tell my wife and I that we “are the type of people who shouldn’t have children“?
Miles and Points
- Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2015.
- Which hotels offer free dinner?
- My experience with 19x miles reselling at Sears, or maybe 29x?
- 4 sweet spots on Singapore’s amazing award chart
- The list of flights that
- United’s deceptive Alaskan award chart
- Finding Delta’s “missing” award chart.
Best of 2014
- #1-5: Getting an Amex live chat, unlimited travel to 10 countries, IHG Point Breaks map, Chase refer a friend and Freedom categories
- #6-10: Southwest Companion Pass, tricks on family boarding, IHG promo codes and 80k card, and free BA stopovers
- #11-15: Why I “shouldn’t have children”, Beginner’s Guide, longest airline routes for the cheapest, and Into the Nights
- #16-20: 19x miles reselling at Sears, BA with low fees, destroying metal cards, Singapore sweet spots and don’t poop where you eat
- 2014 hidden gems: Traveler’s Triangle, paying $15 for the seat next to mine, road trips, BRGs, #FT4RL, transfering Arrival miles, 17 pieces of luggage and more
And of course if you’re new to the miles and points game, you’ll want to check out my Beginner’s Guide, which is a more newbie-friendly, step-by-step introduction.
If you don’t want to miss out on all of the great travel deals, you’ll want to make sure to sign up for our once-daily email (no spam, ever!). You’ll also want to follow me on Twitter and Facebook or email me at dan <at> pointswithacrew.com with any questions – I’m happy to help you out in any way that I can!