I haven’t been posting much recently due to my actual job and life getting in the way, but I wanted to make this short post on the personal nature of travel and the points game. Scott at Hack My Trip wrote a post explaining his top five blogs and how he personally partakes in “travel hacking” and not necessarily in manufactured spend. The response he got was very interesting and so he decided to write a second post explaining his point of view.
This discussion was very interesting to me and I want to make an important point about the subject. Travelers, by nature, are more open-minded people in general. We travel not just because we want to see cool things and experience great weather, but because experiencing different cultures, people, and food, among other things, helps us grow as individuals and allow us to see things from a different point of view than the one we’re accustomed to.
And that’s why I found the comments on Scott’s posts so interesting. Some people were arguing what should and should not be considered travel “hacking” and what the “best” methods are to achieve certain goals. Scott almost had to defend himself, or at the very least clarify his stance on the subject. In my eyes, there’s no real need for any argument.
Everyone has different travel goals. Maybe Scott enjoys the perks of status because of his own personal travel requirements. Maybe The Points Guy’s travel habits mean flying exclusively in Business and First Class because of his height. Maybe Million Mile Secrets wants to travel exclusively using credit card bonuses. Maybe Frequent Miler wants to earn millions of points by gift card churning and other manufactured spend activities. Maybe Just Another Points Traveler wants to travel exclusively in Economy so she can spend all her points on awesome hotels.
Everyone has different travel goals and preferences, and everyone has a different opinion on what they think is the “best” way to go about earning and redeeming points. Bluebird isn’t for everyone, credit card App-o-Rama’s aren’t for everyone, and flying First Class isn’t a requirement for everyone. Why knock someone for doing something they have a preference for?
I think a fair comparison would be to color of carpet at your home. Maybe I like beige, maybe my friend likes light blue, maybe someone else likes a dark pink. These colors and hundreds more exist because some people like them. It’s purely a preference. Beige isn’t for everyone, and that’s great. Can you really say “the color you like is stupid” or “your color isn’t as good as mine” or something similar? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
This is a topic that I’ve touched on in many of my posts. Travel and points addicts always read about the amazing premium-cabin trips that Lucky from One Mile at a Time takes or the premium credit-cards that The Points Guy always suggests, and that’s great for some people. But if you primarily want to fly domestically on Southwest, then none of those posts are going to apply to you. They’re still fun to read, but don’t feel like you need to take anyone’s advice to do something unless it’s what you want to do. That’s why the first post in my Beginner’s Guide is titled “REALLY Know What You Want” because if you don’t, you might just find yourself spending more on fees or taking flights you wouldn’t have had interest in.
Again, just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that you’re right or he/she is wrong. It could simply mean that someone has a different viewpoint as you, and seeing things from a different viewpoint is part of what travel is all about!