Miles and points are a great tool. Of course, you will see a lot of aspirational travel that is done and talked about because of miles and points and that’s great. It is great to be able to use miles and points to visit new places (and run new races) that we may not ever otherwise have the ability to do.
But sometimes, miles and points can be used for more simple things – travel that can be even more important than the aspirational trips that we go on. What I am talking about is the ability of miles and points to allow us to bridge the gap between family. Family visits are very important and when we are able to make it happen for (almost) free because of miles, it is fantastic!
The Family Value of Miles and Points
Since we moved to Greece last year, we have had my in-laws come for a visit, my parents, my sisters, and my wife’s friend and her daughter. All of those visits were made possible because of miles and points. This time, we are on the travel end of it as we used some of our miles to come home to the US for a few different things, not the least of which is the wedding of my wife’s sister and my brother’s wedding (two separate events, but would have been cool if it is was one and the same!).
If it weren’t for miles and points, there would have been no way that we could have made the trip. Not only did we need to make the trip here, but I also needed to head back to Greece for a bit in the middle of our short stay. Counting up current ticket prices for all of that to be done would have been over $7,000. Instead, it cost us about $120 in taxes (for all of us) and 150,000 United miles to come here and will be about the same in taxes and 150,000 miles to return. In the middle of that, I have another trip back to Greece that is 90,000 miles and about $90 in taxes. Put all of that together and it totals 390,000 miles and $330!
Then, of course, while we are in the US, we have family travel to do and I have some travel as well. Again, miles and points to the rescue! We will be able to get some visits in places and stay some places that would have cost us another $2,000. Instead, it cost us $25 and about 45,000 miles and 80,000 hotel points. All in all, it is going to be a whirlwind trip but it would never have been possible if it had not been for miles and points. And, let me tell you, there are some grandparents and aunts and uncles that are very happy because of it! 🙂 Sure, we could have used them for some trip for the two of us (and we will squeeze one of those in while we are here :)) but it made the whole family a memory and gave us greater enjoyment using them this way.
Have you been able to use your miles and points for family visits or special occasions?