getting started

These are the very  first things you should do to start your million mile quest.  Million Mile Saga is a blog that follows the ups and downs of a beginning Travel Hack. If you are new to accumulating rewards from airlines and hotels, getting rewarded for your everyday expenses (you do buy groceries and gas right?) this is a great place to begin.  I know you are going to get excited when all those other web sites tell you about the great deals… Slow down…. just for a moment, because this game is like a roller coaster. Nothing will happen for days and then BAM excitement over some new development. In the beginning most BIG developments aren’t going to affect your game much.

That doesn’t mean that if you are seasoned at this hobby you won’t learn something. It may be amusing to remember when you made the same mistakes, and reaped the same rewards. I welcome friendly advice and comments. The only way to learn in this hobby is from those with experience and knowledge.

When you begin the quest for miles and points, some folks will begin with a specific goal in mind, some won’t. I didn’t have any particular goal when I happened upon some of the first few blogs that caught my eye about ‘travel hacking’.  I haven’t traveled much these last few years, maybe 2 trips a year. Recalling when I traveled more (especially between Cincinnati and Washington DC) I enjoyed the escape, the lavish hotels and finding a good deal on airfare.:)

Since I was living between the CVG (Cincinnati/ NKY Airport) and DAY (Dayton Airport) I had a lot of Airline options.  Great deals were usually on  Airtran out of DAY to BWI  (Baltimore)for $69 and sometimes Delta out of CVG. And it was common for those routes to not be full. I would wait to board until almost the end and then sit right down in the business/ first class section. Dang I miss those days! Now the best deals between BWI and CMH (Columbus) is on Southwest. Sometimes as low as $49 each way. But NO assigned seats and only one class…. its like getting on a bus, you whatever seats are available when you board. You board the plane based on a number you get when you actually check-in. Check in can be done on line but don’t plan on sitting with the rest of your party probably 80% of the time. Sometimes its a nice break during traveling.  Aisle and window seats are the first to go, leaving rows and rows of middle seats.

I have never worked for a company that required a lot of travel, so I haven’t had the benefit of racking up loyalty miles or points on the company check. But during my meager travels I joined every hotel loyalty program I came across, especially when they offered stay 2 get 1 free bonus deals. In 2002, I took my girls to Key West and stayed at the Hyatt for FREE!

a bird
A Bird. Something Free to do in Key West
a snake
Snakes and a Bird. That’s Nuts!
more birds
More Birds, I’m not scared of a bird….. hmmm
Dolphin hugs
Dolphin hug
More Hugs

I don’t even recall that I had to do much to earn this. So I already had a taste of what collecting loyalty miles and points could do.


Hyatt Key West
A floating dock at Hyatt Key West! Great Resort. I hope to return soon…. soon as I get some more FREE Nights!
Key West
Mile Marker ZERO in Key West. Yep they got Braids.


We can always look back at things in our lives and say…. Wish I hadn’t done that. So I’m going to begin with a few things to get you started in the right direction, based on mistakes I made and things that have made it easier.

I recommend going through the posts beginning with 1. You may find some of this info simplistic. It was designed to be that way. I am sure by the time I reach my goal of 1Million Miles, things here will be much more advanced.

Happy Travels!




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Earning travel rewards and free or cheap travel through frequent flyer programs, hotel memberships and credit card bonus programs