About Us

          Currently, we are a family of four, but that can change to larger and we'll still have great vacations for very little cash outlay.  I hope you are reading this blog while you are young and can travel where you want, when you want, but if not everything is still possible.  The plus side of having two adults in our family is, of course, two different credit accounts to work with in obtaining bonuses.  The downside is that you still have two airline tickets or four in our case.  There is a savings on hotels because 4 can stay in a room usually at the same rate, but the flights are definitely more. Maybe that is why I encourage Airline cards first.  

          Anyway, my children have a two wonderful sets of grandparents that will watch them (sometimes for a fee) and give us parents a break and a quick vacation somewhere on this beautiful globe.  Then, there is always Florida, Disneyland, Wisconsin Dells, and other fun places we must go with our children, as they are fun-loving and we love to be around them.  The issue mainly lies in the flights, as no one wants to be the couple with the overly tired, yet overly active children.  That's why I encourage flying business class, "but wow that can take a while to grab over 400,000 miles for Europe," you say.  True, it could take up to 18-24 months to obtain that many miles with one airline, but my wife and I gathered 300,000 American Airline miles from 5 different sign ups, including DirecTV for 25,000 bonus miles in just under 6 months.  All things are possible.

  We live in a rural area, which adds difficulty with meeting spend requirements, especially, on AMEX cards.  Nonetheless, we can put our electricity and natural gas on credit cards.  My wife is a professional photographer, who grew her business out of our home that we mostly built ourselves, because I have working in construction the past 14 years.  I am currently working on my second Masters.  This time it's in History, so my blogs should get better! 

          My wife is from Ukraine.  I met her in Kiev, Ukraine in 2006 while I was working to help orphans and street children there for a few years.  This gives me an edge on understanding Europe and honestly, Europe is probably my favorite place to visit on earth.  Every small town, river, mountain, or large city contains ancient fascinations and modern comforts, besides speechless beauty.  Of course, I have been to over 30 countries and 4 continents, but hopefully 6 soon.

         There is beauty out there, go see, touch, and feel it.  You really only have one lifetime and one chance.  Now, you have the way, means, or opportunity by following me and other blogger's experience to travel, often at 5 star locations in business class for practically nothing but your time, wisdom, and dedication to this hobby.  I have never had a hobby that produced so much more than just satisfaction of a job well done! 

HERE IS MY HISTORY OF DISCOVERING MILES AND POINTS:  
          I, Rick, have been traveling all around the world since 1995.  In the beginning, no one told me even to sign up for airline miles when I flew overseas and around the USA.  Several trips overseas occurred without points/miles.  Then, in 1998, I realized that I can accrue miles from flying.  Since 1998, until I realized that I could accrue miles through credit cards and other various means, I obtained 202,000 American Airline miles the old fashion way.  

          I usually used my credit cards to obtain regular points/miles with the occasional sign up bonus.  Then, in 2011, everything changed.  Offer after offer for credit cards with large bonus sign ups were arriving in my mail.  I took the bait and signed up for a 50,000 points bonus with a Chase Ink Bold card and I needed to spend $3,000 in 3 months.  This began to stress me out in 2 months and called to cancel the card before the sign up bonus came, because there was an annual fee coming in 10 months.  Imagine that!  When I called to cancel, the representative at Chase convinced me to wait for the 50,000 Ultimate Reward points I had coming because they are "very valuable" he said.  Now, I definitely concur. 
  
My wife Tanya and I in Milan, Italy, in front of the 3rd largest church in the world.
          
           A few months later I logged into the Chase Ultimate Reward website and it saw that they were offering a 25% bonus for your points if you spent them on merchandise on Cyber Monday.  I waited until that day and ordered the Ipad 2 with a 64 GB hard drive.  It came to my house without paying for tax or shipping.  I was hooked!  

           Then, I saw an ad on T.V. for 50,000 bonus Thank You points sign up with Citibank.  My wife and I ordered one each.  This again, we used for $1,000 in gift cards from Lowes and Best Buy.  My education was just getting started.  We were planning to visit Ukraine again in 2013 with the need to buy 3 tickets.  These tickets usually cost around $1,200-$1,500 each depending on the time and availability.  We already had some Delta Airline miles from previous flights, so we took aim at obtaining more Delta Skymiles.  Of course, I ordered the Delta American Express Card with 35,000 Skymiles bonus.  In addition, AMEX was offering 50,000 Membership Reward points for their Business card when we spent $1,000 in 3 months.  It is always wise to start a small business, this gives you many more credit card bonus opportunities.  These points transferred to Delta 1:1.  Of course, now I know it's better to take advantage of bonus offers with Membership Reward points usually with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

     I am hooked on this hobby and spent 7.5 weeks of 2013 traveling the world, it helps that we are self-employed.  Come join me for the ride of a lifetime and ENJOY the world!