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miles-4-moreContinuing the fun at the Family Travel for Real Life (#FT4RL) conference, and continuing the live blogging!  I hope that you will follow along with me as we learn about family travel, and how those of us with families can take part in it with their families.  See below for the lineup of speakers and follow us throughout the day with #FT4RL

Keeping things rolling is Kenny from Miles4More.  He’s talking about national parks, and other off the beaten path destinations for families. Our family loves National Parks because they always have good stuff and often pay by the car instead of per person (handy when working with the budget for a family of 8!).  Also, as someone who enjoys roadtrips – after all I’m trying to visit all 3,143 counties in the United States, I’m definitely intrigued.

My visited counties map

My visited counties map

One of the key points Kenny started out was that there is no real limit to what you want to do.  If you’re able and willing to put in a little bit of work, you can get the miles and points to go anywhere you want.  I’ve got a travel bucket list, and I’m slowly but surely checking things off!

He had some great posts about being able to do whatever you want, and not being constrained by what other people think

As far as planning travel, what they do is he looks at the school schedule, and anytime the kids have a Friday or a Monday off of school, they plan to travel.  Don’t feel like you have to plan a BIG trip to just go


If you live on the west coast, it’s easy – otherwise you’re looking at at least 20,000 miles one-way.  He has not seen any saver level availability going to Alaska during the summer.

Here’s their trip report from Alaska this past summer.

National Parks of the Rockies

There are tons of great parks within a few hours drive of major cities like Las Vegas, Salt Lake City or Denver – Rocky Mountain Park, Yellowstone, 5 National Parks in Utah

Making it happen

One of the ways to make it happen is that as long as points are as easy to get and free as they are now.  TAKE THEM! :-D.

He shared his 2014 trips


The total cost for all of that travel? $1575.  That includes everything – dog sitters, positioning flights, taxes, fees, etc.  Oh did I mention that $1575 was in red, so that was a NEGATIVE amount, meaning that they actually MADE $1575 (mostly with cashback and other money-earning strategies), and then another $1700 in reselling

(SEE ALSO: 29x United miles at Sears today!)

(SEE ALSO: My experience with 19x points through shopping portals at Sears)

He shared that he has earned a lot of his miles through signups for the Citi American executive card.  I don’t want to go in to a ton of detail on that but suffice it to say, it left a lot of jaws dropped in the room 😀

He then had a great slide that his 10 year old son made of his understanding of manufactured spending

Definitely brought the house down on that one!

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