I Love Using Miles & Points For Things Regular People Find Crazy

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Using Miles & Points For Things Regular People Find Crazy

I Love Using Miles & Points For Things Regular People Find Crazy

I sometimes forget how weird we in the miles and points world can be. Our decision making process and lifestyle are completely different from the norm.  Miles and points make things that seem crazy possible.  I am not talking about flying up front or going to the Maldives, I am talking about doing things that seem like no big deal to us but it is to others.  Some times we can lose perspective of how good we have it.

RELATED: How Miles & Points Helped Solve An Everyday Problem

Quick Trips Are Not For Everyone

A few days ago I was talking to one of my physical therapists at rehab about travel.  She was talking about how she wishes she could travel more and just doesn’t get enough time off to make it possible.  I said why not just go some places for a quick weekend trip.  Fly out Friday night after work or just take the one day off and come back Sunday.  This happens to be a majority of my domestic travel honestly. Especially when I am checking out baseball stadiums.

She said that if she is spending that much money she wants to be there for more than a few days. That is when I realized how different our thought process is.  When a weekend flight costs you $11.20 you don’t feel bad about taking a quick trip.  But if that flight was $300-400 then you feel like you should get more out of it.  If these quick weekends were costing me the $600-800 they cost others I would not be doing many of them.

Getting Family Together For A Few Hours

Another example was from a recent meet up I had with my sister and her family.  We live about 4 hours apart and our schedules are both pretty crazy having small children.  Because of that we could only get together for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

We could have met at a mall or restaurant but that isn’t very comfortable.  Plus we had gifts to exchange and it is always hard to do that in public.  I found a Hampton Inn for 15,000 Hilton points a night in the town we were going to meet in.  The room was going for around $130 but since it was a tiny amount of Hilton points I booked it.

This allowed us to open gifts in the room, take a little rest and hang out after eating, and the kids got to swim together for an hour or so.  When I went to check out 3-4 hours after checking in the front desk person gave me the strangest look.  And I get it, if I were paying $130 for the room there is no way I would have done it.  But miles and points make it possible to do things like this.  We have also been know to book a room just to swim during the winter for an hour or two.


I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I do something crazy because of miles and points.  Like flying to NYC for one night for my wife’s birthday.  But sometimes I feel like I also take it for granted and forget how blessed we are to be able to do things like this.  These tend to be some of my favorite redemptions because I get to steal little moments with the people I love. Moments that would otherwise not be possible without miles and points.

Do you ever do something similar?  Share it in the comments section.


  1. Sometimes I think I am crazy, let alone what others think! I will lose my Hyatt Globalist status next year (I may actually cry on March 1st) and just earned the Southwest Companion pass. So, right now, I am trying to plan as many trips as I can using both. Doing Carlsbad, CA soon, 2 Hyatts in Europe, then San Francisco, then Chicago, then San Diego and finishing in Orlando. I wish there were more school days off! LOL.

  2. I’m flying RT JetBlue Mint to NYC for a quick 2 night stay. I’m meeting one of my best friends there, and the whole trip is using travel bank dollars from a canceled flight. If I don’t use it, I lose it. I never would have done this impulsive booking if I was paying cash for it! It feels good to be a little indulgent

    • Awesome – I have not been able to fly Mint yet (terrible coverage from my airport) but I am jealous. Everyone seems to love the product….enjoy!

  3. I’m so accustomed to short, last-minute trips that I really don’t like to plan trips ahead of time. How do I know if the weather will be nice in Florida 6 weeks from now? It might be raining that day. I have a bookmark for a temperature map. Once flew to El Paso TX simply because it had the nicest weather that weekend and I needed a break from midwest cold.

  4. I do a lot of trips that my friends think are crazy too. But they just don’t get it! We do a lot of weekend trips to various places, including London sometimes.

    Back when mileage runs were easier (before the dollars spent requirement needed to get status) I flew PHL-LAS 33 times in a 3 year period. And then used my status to upgrade my Europe trips for free.

        • Out of the 66 (33×2) transcontinental flights, I was upgraded 54 times as EXP on AA. Not bad! And if not, I usually sat in the bulkhead of coach which was okay. A couple of my RT flights were priced at $140.60 all in! Those days are gone though.

          • Not too bad. Yeah the days or flying and getting more back in miles than you paid for are missed for sure.

  5. If you don’t use it you lose it, devaluation,expiration points have no value if you don’t do something with them! Same with imagination, humor,spirit. Take that trip 1 day or 10 it’s a worthwhile use of points!.
    May.. 3 day Toronto, July.. 4 night cruise, August airfare to Aruba, Sept.. 3 day music festival in Dallas, November.. 4 nights speed boat races key west. Point and miles balance very low now but oh the fun and memories waiting. Miles and points will build up again.

  6. Agree fully!
    We are so used to short trips that when we have stretched into longer “vacations,” we find ourselves “itching to get back, and reload for the next one.”
    Being in Texas, it is mostly short trips to Mexico. “Whatever comes up on a search.”
    Great idea for your family to get together using points.
    Taking my office crew to Isla Mujeres for a weekend in December using Avios, and a random great hotel deal.

  7. We are doing Aulani, a week in Hawaii and a week at Disneyland for under $5000 for 7 of us from the east coast. Points for the win.

  8. Short trips like the things you mentioned above are my favorite part of the hobby. We’ve got a same day trip to San Diego for lunch in June & a same day ball game in Anaheim in September. Living in an AA hub & being able to book short hop flights with MR–>Avios (as they’re completely refundable, less the $5.60 tax, in case plans change) is my favorite use of points. Economy is a lot more tolerable when MSP with a Delta companion ticket to catch a Red Sox game. I honestly find things like that as, if not more, enjoyable than the typical vacation.

  9. We wound up seeing Hamilton and Phil Collins, both in Chicago (but separate trips), because we had the points and mile to do so. Actually, our most recent trip to London, also to see Hamilton (I am not obsessed. Just because I’ve seen it 7 times doesn’t mean I’m obsessed 😉 ), was because we had the P&Ms. For all 3 of those trips, we probably wouldn’t have gone if we had to pay cash.

    • Being able to save on the flights and hotels makes spending your money on shows, tickets, excursions so much easier for sure.

    • The Hamilton touring company came thru town recently. Ticket prices were astronomical. I priced quick trips to Chicago and New York. Guess how the P&M pricing went? Yep, hello long week-end. Not sure I could make that work in London, but I absolutely love that you did!

  10. Mark, I like that people thinks I’m crazy when doing trips. Maybe because I’m doing something different than them. They always wonder how me and my wife afford those trips, when we say points and miles it’s same negative answers all over again about debt and other stuff that’s why we stop explaining it to others including some family members.

    • Yup I have given up as well. Especially when you give a detailed plan and they just ignore it after asking for it. So annoying!

      • I get “it’s just too much hassle” a lot. So short-sighted for folks who truly love travel.

        I guess it IS just easier to go along with me using my “freebies,” even though they have already acknowledged they themselves weren’t up for the “hassle” & time to get them. So much easier & nicer if those around us could pitch in a little – could open up more amazing experiences for us all.

  11. We am flying into NOLA for a Zydeco festival in June (third year in a row), and you are absolutely right – I would not do this if it weren’t for the SW companion pass and Marriott free night that makes it possible. I will get to satisfy my endless craving for char-grilled oysters, listen to some Cajun music for a day and a half, fly back home to Chicago, and not even use a vacation day!

    • I love NOLA! Exactly we can steal these experiences and memories that would cost other people a fortune.

  12. I love long weekend trips to Europe from NJ. I leave Thurs night (only 1 day off of work) on a cheap fare (usually on Norwegian and the last one on LEVEL) and come back Sunday night usually on an award flight. I get to enjoy 3 almost full days enjoying fantastic food and drinks, seeing new cities and sights and come back home refreshed. You don’t even have time to get jetlagged. I love it but people think I am nuts. They have no idea.

    • That is awesome. If you said you were going to LA they wouldn’t bat an eye though even though the flights are about the same.


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