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Ten Ways to Make Family Travel Easier and Cheaper

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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Ten Ways to Make Family Travel Easier and Cheaper


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Who Are We? MommyPoints.com PizzaInMotion.com


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Miles and Points Matter the Most for Families More people = more $$$ without points Need to stay connected to family Tight budgets with daycare, groceries, doctor’s visits, diapers, and much more Emergency trips to help family Showing our children the world


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Travel Regularly for Much Less If you have good credit, and are willing to do a little work your family can travel frequently almost for free. You can travel in first or business class or stretch your miles in coach. Stay in very nice hotels and/or suites. Show your kids things that they otherwise would just read in books or see in movies.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 1. Identify and Eliminate Pain Points via Advance Planning


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved More This, Less That


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Common Family Travel Troubles Car rental pick-ups, send one person to get the car. Schedule fewer events and have more down time. Avoid lines when possible, Pre-Check, pre-book tickets (Eiffel Tower), FastPasses, and off-peak times. Get everyone involved in the planning.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Even Santa has an Express Pass!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 2. Save Big by Using Miles for Flights


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved There are many different ways to save on lodging, but flight costs are harder to cut, so earning miles for the family to fly for less is paramount.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Earning A Lot of Points Families need more miles and points than single travelers so we have to try harder and get the family involved. Credit Cards Promotions Travel Everyday Spending


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved One Million Miles and Points in Three Years


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Availability Issues and School Schedules


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Tips for Availability Start looking 11 months out Consider different cabins or different flights Consider “off season” destinations Combine revenue and award tickets Fixed value points Expert Flyer Use award booking services


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Tips for Availability Getting multiple business class seats on international flights can be very tough. According to Gary Leff, who books tons of these awards: Anywhere - Brussels (Newark, JFK, Chicago, Washington Dulles on United and Brussels Airlines) American’s Asia flights (esp. in first, though less than before) LAN’s South America routes from Miami Asiana especially Seattle – Seoul Virgin Australia Los Angeles – Brisbane Good luck with 3 business class seats on Cathay booking 6+ months out West Coast on Korean (via Ultimate Rewards) Most Air France routes when using Air France KLM Flying Blue miles (transferrable instantly from Amex Membership Rewards, but you pay fuel surcharges) Saudi Arabian (Delta partner, no fuel surcharges, and tons of business class space – and connections to places like India) Star Alliance JFK-Vienna on Austrian and Chicago-Warsaw on LOT For oneworld Iberia Chicago, Boston, JFK, and Miami – Madrid are good places to look for business class space


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Coach really won’t kill you, but…


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Flying in a Lie-Flat Seat is Nice!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Little Kids Like Sleep, Too!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Book Something, then Keep Looking Get to know your airline change policies, and then you can book awards that will work, but keep checking to try to improve them.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 3. Learn Award Chart Sweet Spots to Stretch Miles


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Great Deals for Domestic Travel Avios for short flights on American Airlines or Alaska, starting at 4,500 miles 25,000 RT from West Coast to Hawaii Southwest and JetBlue low miles during sales Spirit starts at 2,500 miles with card Off peak and discount deals (15,750 AA) Follow @theflightdeal and @airfarewatchdog for sales


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved International Sweet Spots Boston – Dublin 12.5k/25k Avios ANA business class to Europe 88,000 RT Singapore Airlines business class 60k to Hawaii, Korean economy 25k RT Flying Blue 25,000 miles RT to Europe American 40,000 miles RT Europe off-peak (last 6 months) United free one-ways when travel from different zones


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Pro Tip: Just learn award chart sweet spots as they align with your travel goals.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 4. The Southwest Companion Pass


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Best Deal in Family Travel The Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in family travel if Southwest is a convenient airline for your family. Your companion flies virtually free with you for up to two years if timed carefully.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Earning Companion Pass Need 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. The 50k – 60k point sign-up bonus points count toward those 110k Earn as early in the year as possible for max benefit. Shopping portal points, credit card use, and hotel transfers all count


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 5. Be Obsessive about Seat Assignments


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Airline seat assignments can make or break a family flight, so get seat assignments early and monitor them closely.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 6. Book Enough Space for Everyone


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Is a hotel room best? Once you start talking about more than one or two kids, a standard hotel room isn’t always the best option. However, points can still play into the equation of a larger room or even house rental.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Studio: 12,000 Hyatt points One Bedroom:15,000 Hyatt points Two Bedroom: 23,000 Hyatt points Three Bedroom: 30,000 Hyatt points Hyatt Vacation Club


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Hyatt Vacation Club Available in cities like: Key West, Breckenridge, Aspen, San Antonio, and more. Typically offered on a relatively short-term basis (usually 60 - 90 days prior to arrival) Book points rates over the phone


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved SPG Suites You can use points to book suites and deluxe rooms via SPG on points or cash and points. Sometimes the additional surcharge, especially for deluxe rooms, is minimal. Ask about cash upgrade prices was $25 to go from base room to one-bedroom in Whistler


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 50% Discount for 2nd Room Many hotel programs will offer a 50% discount on a connecting room for children, but you have to ask. More common in Europe than the US, but still happens here. I got 50% off connecting room at the Walt Disney World Swan (SPG)


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Look to All Suite Properties Use Hilton Hhonors points to stay at Embassy Suites. Hyatt points to stay at Hyatt House properties with 1 or 2 bedrooms. Marriott points to stay at TownePlace Suites or similar. Club Carlson property Radisson Suites Oceanfront in Melbourne, Florida


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved VRBO and Airbnb Sometimes a house or apartment can be more economical than a hotel. Can use Barclaycard Arrival points


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 7. Get “Freebies” from Credit Card Perks and Elite Status


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Free Checked Bags


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Free Breakfast


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Status or Pseudo Status At least get mid-tier status like Hilton Gold via credit card Some cards like United Club card give very status-like benefits Status benefits extend to some extend to other family members Worth the incremental push to get status, but don’t worry too much about it


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Pre-Check


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Pre-Check is a Game Changer Get it via Global Entry, NEXUS, elite invitation, or soon by applying online Will cost $85, Global Entry is $100, or NEXUS is $50 (and free for kids) Good for five years Will have to do fingerprints, background check, etc. Children 12 and under piggyback!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 8. Bring (and leave) the Right Gear.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Travel Gear - Travelmate


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Travel Gear – Traveling Toddler


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Bubble Bum


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Ergo, Stroller, Car Seat Covers


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UberFAMILY in NYC, DC, and Philly


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Packing Bring more than you think you need, but not so much that you can’t carry it. Focus on things that can’t easily be obtained where you are going. Keep the baby things together in one place as much as possible, and carry that bag on. Checking bags is likely a necessity. Decide what you will do about stroller and car seat.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Carry-on Bag Snacks and drinks for the kiddos - especially for departure and landing. Diapers, wipes, and more diapers. Change of clothes. Toys, DVD, iPad, movies, colors, stickers, etc. Blanket and/or comfort item. Extra bottle and formula. Sense of humor and free drink coupons!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Checked Bag Carry-on essentials for you, but your hands will already be full, so try and check everything that you do not really need Take advantage of elite status or credit cards that provide free checked bags to avoid fees. (or fly Southwest!) Use curbside checking or get help into the airport. Use luggage carts.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 9. Plan the Right Activities…AKA no “I’m Boreds”


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Planning the Trip Be realistic and conservative. Consider bringing grandparents or second set of hands. Choose flight times carefully and take sleep/feeding schedules into account. Think about where the kiddo(s) will sleep. Do you need one room or two? Suite? Where on the plane should you sit? Car seats?


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved K.I.S.S. Push your kid’s boundaries some on trips, but keep it simple. Arrange for “free play” time in parks and with other kids. Get them involved with planning the day. Swimming in the hotel pool is always good. Don’t push it when they are tired. Don’t try exotic foods when they are tired. Sleep when they are tired.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved 10. Bonus Tips


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Get kids to carry and pack their own bags


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Lap Infant Children under two are permitted as lap infants, but whether or not that is a good deal depends on your family. Safety issues during turbulence. Limited space Keep in mind the baby’s temperament – won’t know that until they are born. Little C would have been a disaster as a lap infant!


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Lap Infant Ask if there are any open seats if you have a lap infant. 10% miles/fare + taxes internationally Bring the birth certificate to prove age. Have car seat available if you want to take advantage of complimentary seat. Nursing covers Once infants/toddlers become mobile at 9-12 months, it becomes much harder to manage lap children.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Lap Infant 10% of fee may mean lowest fare, or highest fare for ticketed cabin. Hang-up and call back BA charges 10% miles Air Canada charges flat charges in miles


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Where to Sit on the Plane


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Where to Sit on the Plane


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Most US airlines don’t allow families with young children to board early (Southwest between A and B group) Consider having just one person board early on and bring the kid on later. Get your child in the seat and get out of the aisle while you install the car seat or CARES harness. Boarding


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Surviving the Flight Plan activities for the whole flight + Eat on-board to take up time. Make sure they are thirsty when they get on so that they will drink after take-off Suckers are good. Do one activity as long as it works. If they fall asleep – don’t move. Movies, DirecTV, ear phones, etc. If it isn’t hurting anyone, let them do it.


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved


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© Lypht, LLC All Rights Reserved Why We Do This


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