FF's with Younger Children...how much travel can you do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by SuperW2, Feb 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. SuperW2
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    SuperW2 Silver Member

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    I'd like to start by saying I'm insanely jealous reading about mileage runs and frequent vacations to exotic and worldly places that I read about on trip reports here and around the other sites.

    I'm just wondering how many FF'er out there do heavy amounts of FF trips and runs with younger children (under 10 years old)?

    I've only been in the FF game a little over a year and have a small bit of miles across a few different programs, but I honestly don't get a chance to travel that much. Virtually 100% of my mile/points have been thru Credit Card sign up bonus' and almost zero BIS miles. I only did 2 trips last year, 1 for work (without family), and nothing planned yet for this year. Some of that is $$$, some is free time (2 working parents). With the kids starting school this past year, it reduces the chance or available time we can even take trips without taking the kids out of school, which is a completely separate discussion :).

    So I guess I'm hoping to get enough points/miles to do the 1 nice trip a year and I never expect to reach and of the elevated levels or use many of the extra services, clubs, etc. The wife is insisting on a family Paris trip in the next couple of years (we went twice before the kids came along).

    Just wanted to hear other parents of younger children and how they use the FF programs to the most advantage.

    SW2
     
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  2. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    The hardest part would be getting enough FF seats on any given flight, especially since your dates seem to be limited to school vacations. You will need to become very flexible with stops or willing to miss a few days of school for it to work well.
     
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  3. SuperW2
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    SuperW2 Silver Member

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    Which we did in December for Orlando...

    I realize that while the kids are small and my mileage accumulation is minimal that to get to Europe (or other nice destinations), I'm likely going Coach, but having never flown business or first class, I guess I don't know what I'm missing (until I read it on here) :)
     
  4. sofasurfer
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    sofasurfer Silver Member

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    Little Miss Sofasurfer has flown a pretty decent amount in her 4.5 years. The first two were easy on the pocket (and for redemptions) but I've just had to work harder to find decent fares/redemptions to meet our requirements.

    When bmi Diamond Club introduced their family membership, that really helped - particularly as I'd been mainly accumulating miles with them via credit cards, rental cars and the odd hotel stay/promo up until that point. But now that LMS can be earning miles that we can collectively redeem as a family... it's great :)

    As a family, we are lucky to be able to do a reasonable amount of miles earning through planned trips: LMS is off to Florida with her mother to see her grandparents next month (2 segments min 600 miles each way - last time, the return itin was 3 segments ;))

    The other earning advantage with DC is that we can buy miles for her account as well as the other family members.

    The next planned miles burning exercise is so that LMS and me can join Mrs Sofasurfer in MAD after her conference (and as a bonus, we';l be flying out on my birthday in J :))
    We can then enjoy a few days in Spain, attend a family wedding not far from LHR, and then return home all together on the same homeward flight in AC Y (Mrs will book her work trip as YYZ-LHR r/t in AC and LON-MAD separately).
    Leveraging a work trip by one parent in to a family vacation with minimal outlay and a better degree of flexibility than we might otherwise have!

    (also: before BD famliy membership, we set up LMS with LH as there is a dedicated kids program, IIRC the miles dont even start to expire until they reach 18... we nicknamed this her 'FF trust fund' ;) and will probably return to this eventually, i.e. when DC/M&M converge - not for a while longer yet, though)
     
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  5. Clocktower
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    Clocktower Silver Member

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    I have decided the answer for us is.. not very much. When my son was about 14mo, we took him abroad to see his grandmother for the first time. He did as well as could be expected given all the strange sounds/people/environment. He mostly stuck to his schedule and slept 75% of the flying time. At that age he still wasn't wary of strangers, slept like a rock, and wasn't mobile enough to want to run amok all the time.

    One trick I would use to break the ice: When he would meet a stranger (in security lines, or on the plane) as I was holding him, I would secretly 'goose' him while they were talking to him, sending him into giggles. The person then thought he was giggling at them, which I figured could later mean the difference between "that damn baby won't stop screaming" and "aww, that cute little guy is upset" if things got rough. I did this the first time at the ticket counter, and the ticket agent got a big smile on his face.. what I didn't realize was that he was smiling at the screen.. he'd upgraded us to F for the second leg of our flight! Not bad, F at 14mos. [​IMG]

    Now that he's two and well into the screaming/acrobatic/throwing stage, I can't imagine any way we'll be flying much as a family for a while.
     

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