A neighbor of mine used to be a corporate travel manager, flying frequently for business. She saved her air miles and hotel points … and saved . . . and saved. They paid for their vacation travel with money, not points, saving all their award points for when they retired. Then she got the news of advanced cancer. Their travels were curtailed and their dreams of a travel-filled retirement went dim.
I was talking about this with a seatmate on a recent flight. He uses his points as soon as there is an accumulation in his account – and not by him but by his son. “Dad, do you have enough points for … yet?”
Somewhat in between these folks, I do not relentlessly accumulate and save for some future time that I may never see, nor spend the miles and points like they’re burning a hole in my pocket. I have a couple primary airline and hotel accounts where points are saved until there is a decent enough buildup for a family trip. In our case, it’s a family of six (my husband, me, three kids and my mom who evens out the group). And we like to fly business class for international flights if at all possible and stay in nice hotels. My smaller accounts, however, are burned as they are earned.
It’s nice to have a mix of both to reap the rewards now and then, and yet have a treasure to use for an all-important family trip. So I guess you could call me a lavish accumulator, leaning more towards the saver for the big adventures but spending and sharing generously on the smaller journeys.
How about you? On which side of the spectrum do you fall?
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