Comparing Your Travel Hacking Journey

Pam

Do you see us travel on business class seats and think you need to be doing that to be successful? Do you see people traveling to the Maldives and think you should plan that trip instead of Hawaii? Have you seen our all-inclusive trips at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun and think you must be doing things wrong?  Well, we are here to tell you this: Quit comparing your travel hacking journey to someone else’s. Your travel hacking journey, and the things you do to make it work for you,  are your journey. What works for you may not work for someone else. If it brings you joy and works within your time constraints and budget then it is all good. Don’t let anyone, including us, tell you that you are doing it wrong.

There is no “one way” to do this hobby and we applaud those who decide to do it their own way. “You do you” is our favorite advice. Certainly looking at others and wondering if you are getting the best deal or going to the best destinations leads to a lot of analysis paralysis.

I totally get how comparing your travel hacking journey is a real thing. I read about someone going to the Alila Ventana Big Sur which is a huge travel hacker dream and think, “I HAVE to make this happen!” The funny thing is that going to California where I lived for 40 years isn’t a huge dream for me. I am just wanting to jump on the bandwagon of other people’s travel hacking dream destination! The same with the Maldives. I am going in October primarily because it is everyone’s dream destination. However, I could probably find a place just as gorgeous that is somewhere closer. Can you really beat Turks and Caicos? Here are some ways you may be comparing your journey.

 

Economy Class Seats vs. Business Class Seats

Admittedly business class seats are phenomenal. Especially on long-haul trips. But are they worth it to you? Especially if you have a family? Probably not. You can get there on the same plane, at the same time for far few points if you are willing to travel economy. I certainly did that for years and years before I found this hobby. I would never have paid cash for a business class seat because I wanted to travel more for quantity than quality. Whether you want to travel more often or with more people, economy class may work for you just fine. Don’t compare yourself with someone (like me) who books business. It’s all good. It’s all almost free.

 

southwest flight

Economy works just fine for many travel hackers!

 

Amount of Points/Miles

Do you hear about the points and miles balances that we have and think, “I’m not doing this right?” This is our business so we obviously open many cards and have a huge balance of points. And there are others in this game, including readers, who have the same. However, many readers just open 2-3 cards a year for one great trip. That works too.  Comparing your travel hacking journey against others in this way is a waste of time. They may be working in 2-player mode and you aren’t. They may be getting business cards and you haven’t. Sometimes someone has been in the “game” a few years and maybe you are a newbie. Maybe you have less time than you can allocate to this hobby right now. Again, do not compare yourself to others. However, you decide to play this game is great for you!

 

Destination Choices

Is Disneyland the “happiest place on earth” for you? If so, don’t be swayed by those taking their families to Hawaii where they are using more points/miles. Instead, plan those multiple trips to Disneyland and “you be you”. Someone else’s happy spot may not be yours.

You may be happy at the Hyatt Place where your whole family can stay with a free breakfast for 5,000 points/night. This lets you have many Hyatt stays (5) vs. someone who is staying at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun for 25K/night for 2 people. Again, don’t compare. Decide what your goals are in travel hacking and stick to them.

 

Disneyland group pic

We had the BEST time in Disney for far fewer points/miles than if we’d gone to Hawaii!

 

Bottom Line

I once heard a quote that goes like this -“comparison is the thief of joy”. Don’t compare someone else’s travel hacking journey to yours. Free is free. All nearly free trips bring joy and memories. You be you and chase after those things that will bring you satisfaction in this game of points and miles! This hobby is amazing but there is no one way to do it. Decide what works for you and appreciate all that points and miles can do for you personally. In this travel hacking world, there is room for every type of travel hacker – welcome!

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