Travel HackI follow quite a few travel bloggers when I decided to beef up on my points-earning strategy skills. It’s also most commonly known as “Travel Hacking” – which in my mind lends to a negative connotation. But what’s the  way to describe this hobby? It’s a form of a workaround, how I utilize the system to my advantage, and how I can earn the most points per transaction that will move me closer to my travel goals.

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You gotta show your appreciation for crepe, especially in Paris!

“The term describes ways frequent travelers save loads of money. It’s more than finding a “deal” online. It’s discovering a magical world of free travel, upgrades, and elite status. Saving a few bucks

Lisbon: We Had To Make A Choice
Strolling around Lisbon

on your next vacation is as magical as I Dream of Jeannie.” This was according to Rob Berger’s article in Forbes.com, “A 60-second Guide to Travel Hacking.”

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m here sitting inside a brand-new Starbucks in my hometown, Camarillo. I usually write a blog entry whenever I’m on a pleasure trip.  But today was somewhat an exception. I woke up at 6am, and instead of checking my typical social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram), or my Gmail account, I decided to check on the Maui TripAdvisor (TA) Forum. Why? There has been  an active discussion in this forum regarding credit cards, points, etc. Of course, I had to participate and gave my two cents. One of the Maui experts in the forum, DenverTrvlr (aka Jeff), posted a new topic, a new subject – Famous TA’er and so I opened it, I screened the post, and somewhere in the body  of his post was my name.

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So what’s the deal with the Million Mile Secrets Interview (backstory)

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I think it was around May or June 2014 when I Google’d different tips on how I could maximize earning points for travel. One of the prominent sites that popped up was Million Mile Secrets (MMS). I forgot exactly what I was searching for, but I do remember MMS as being one of the first legitimate bloggers I followed. Daraius Dubash, one of the main founders of MMS, writes very good travel-related, money saving articles. They’re very easy to read, and easy to follow.

Once I subscribed to his blog, I began receiving email notifications on new entries. What I looked forward to the most was his segment on Reader Success Series. Readers just like me and you were asked to share their travel experience, their successes, and hoping it inspires other readers/travelers. I remember waking up every Friday  morning, and a new Reader Success post would be published. I told myself that I hope to one day share my own success story. That day became a reality.

Lisbon: We Had To Make A Choice
Knocked out after swimming in Cascais, just outside Lisbon

Fast forward to two years later, my family and I have had our fair share of travels where we used our points earned via credit card bonus. It was after coming back from our last European vacation (Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris)  when I decided to share my story. I sent an email to MMS, a high-level synopsis of my success story, and Harlan from MMS got back to me within minutes after I sent the email. He expressed his interest in featuring me and my story. This took place at the end of September when Harlan sent me a list of the interview questions.

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Nancy and I with views of Prague, Fall 2015

I answered his interview questions in full detail. As you may already know, I have the gift of gab, I’ve been told! Right, Bon? HA!!! Since I’ve blogged extensively about our travel strategies, adventures, and misadventures, answering the interview was a piece of cake. All I had to do was go back to my blog, and cut and paste my answers to lots of the pertinent questions that were asked. It was that easy. After I replied to the interview, there were no other follow-up questions, and to be honest, I thought maybe MMS wasn’t that interested in featuring me anymore. I was wrong.

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Which is why it came to me as a surprise this one Sunday morning, when I found out from Jeff’s Maui TripAdvisor forum post about the article. Harlan and MMS captured the essence of my interview and I was very pleased with the way it turned out. If Jeff didn’t post that on TripAdvisor, I probably would not have known about the posting of my interview.

Barcelona: Take A Break
Evan chillin’ in Barcelona
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Snapshot of the Interview with Million Mile Secrets

 

Click here to read the interview Success! Under $600 for Family Flights to Maui and Europe

A few hours after my interview was published, my WordPress blog generated crazy traffic. WordPress even sent me a notification and stated:

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There were comments and well-wishes on my Facebook account, on Nancy’s Facebook account, comments and “likes” on the MMS post, there were “likes” and retweets on Twitter, and well-wishes also from the Maui TripAdvisor Forum. A couple of friends noted that the article “inspired” them. That’s the key takeaway here…and that’s really what I strive to do with my blog. Not only sharing how I travel for less, but the other posts where I shared my passion for food, adventure, and at times, even the misadventures.

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Here’s a link to the actual FULL TRANSCRIPT of the interview…the unedited, unpublished version. After reviewing this, I must say that MMS did a great job in capturing my thoughts for the interview.

Thank you, Million Mile Secrets, for featuring me and my story. I look forward to reading more success stories from my fellow travelers, they inspire me, and I hope to return the favor by shedding a little bit of inspiration from my personal experience.

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