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  • How I saved money on our ice hotel trip

    Visiting an ice hotel was a bucket list trip, but I knew I didn’t want to break the bank to do it. With three teenage boys in our house with cars and college on the horizon, I knew that my travel hacking skills were going to be put to good use.

    The two well known ice hotels in the world are in Sweden and Quebec. Since I live in the middle

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    Travel Hacking Atlantis

    There are several different ideas for travel hacking Atlantis in the Bahamas. One of the most written about tricks is getting rooms at the Comfort Inn and Suites since those guests get full Atlantis privileges (not to mention free breakfast at your hotel). Another trick is to go on a cruise that offers a day excursion to Atlantis. While those are perfectly acceptable, I’m not a big fan of cruising,

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    Chicago Seminars for points and miles education

    This was my second year to attend the Chicago Seminars. You can check out the seminars from my rookie perspective last year here. Some people might question my sanity for attending the same conference again. Last year I took 12 pages of notes and still didn’t attend every session I was interested in hearing. So back to Chicago I went. Here are a few things I did differently the

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    Airport Lounges for rookies

    Airport lounges have never held that much appeal for me. I prefer short layovers. The expense of a lounge membership or a high class airline ticket just isn’t in the cards for me most of the time. Our family flies a lot on Southwest Airlines out of airports that don’t even have those fancy lounges anyway.

     

    Let’s see what all the buzz

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    Chicago Seminars Reruns

    It’s time for me to attend the Chicago Seminars again! Last year was my first time at this great event.  Getting together with other points and miles junkies for an entire weekend of shop talk is really fun! No really, it is.

     

    This event helped me learn enough to plan ahead and save tons of money last year on a family ski trip, a graduation trip

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    Frequent Traveler University Review

    Last weekend I headed to Dallas, Texas to attend a Frequent Traveler University (FTU) conference. They were only offering the advanced class this particular weekend. Last year I attended the Chicago Seminars that had all of the basic information I needed, and more. So I thought I was ready for the Advanced FTU. It’s important to note that if you have not been to some sort of basic

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    Travel hacking Iceland

    Travel hacking Iceland this summer was the only way the trip was going to happen. We only had so many days that our kids were going to all be out of town (without us) and didn’t want to break the bank. But who really does, ever? It actually all started with a new low cost carrier flying from Baltimore (BWI) to Reykjavik and offering $99 one way flights. We found

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    Travel hacking our recent Chicago Trip (and welcome friends from Million Mile Secrets!)

    My blog has been lucky enough to be featured on Million Mile Secrets!  It’s part of their interview series on Big Travel with Small Money. So I might have some new readers checking out the blog today! Woo Hoo!

    So if you are new to the blog start here. I typically post 3 times a week. If you like what you

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    What’s in my wallet?

    What credit cards are in my wallet is a question I get a lot. Friends and family aren’t being nosy, they’ve just seen our family take some great trips with reward points. I’m not really doing anything extra, I’m just maximizing the rewards on every purchase I make.

    I’ve shared 5 steps to maximizing earning loyalty points, here. But a lot of people wanted specific points and cards that I

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    A luxury spring break without breaking the bank

    A luxury spring break without breaking the bank might seem like a pipe dream. Our pipe dream came true this spring break in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Here’s how I did it:

     

    Beaver Creek Mountian…

    Step 1 – Use reward points for lodging – Although I’ve been a fan of rewards and miles programs for a long time, I really jumped in with both feet a

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    How I’m saving thousands on a ski trip this weekend

    I’m writing this post from my cozy room at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado. If you look up room rates during my stay, they hover around $1000 per night. I used loyalty points for my stay, so I’m saving about $4000 on this 4 night mother/son ski trip alone. Here’s how I did it, and a few

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    Is an award booking service worth it?

    I’ve always wondered…is an award booking service worth it?

    Before I went to the Chicago Seminars, I sort of new they existed, but I didn’t really think I would ever use one.

    Domestically, my family has used Southwest Airlines for years. Hubby does a lot of business travel on Southwest. We’ve had the companion pass for a long time, we know how to

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    Keeping track of rewards and loyalty programs

    Keeping track of rewards and loyalty programs can be a constant battle for the traveling inspired.

    Let’s face it, just about every hotel, airline, credit card, rental car company, grocery store, drug store and clothing store has some kind of reward program. It’s great that companies want to reward you for your loyalty. Or keep track of all of your purchases for you. But if one more store gives me another

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    The Chicago Seminars- a first timers perspective

    In the middle of October I attended the Chicago Seminar in…you guessed it…Chicago. I had always wanted to attend, and thankfully the dates worked out well for me this fall.

    It’s a weekend of sessions and events for like minded travelers to meet and mingle, and take their points and miles learning to the next level. Most of the sessions are sponsored by points bloggers, but the attendees are a diverse group

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    Loyalty while you Travel

    Most of us have heard fantastic stories of people flying and staying all over the world for little money using points and rewards.   In search of value, I am not one to turn down an a points earning or using opportunity, but I am not going to center my life or travels around them.  Let me rephrase that.  I think there is a ratio of benefit to hassle involved

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