Miles and points roundup, Smile, North Carolina

CIMG5901CIMG5912CIMG5879Two weeks ago I described all the craziness you can expect from being a SAHM. One of my friends has a t-shirt that says: “I am smiling, because you have finally driven me crazy.” I gotta get one of those. But there are good reasons to consider staying at home with your kids, even if its not your thing. For one, they get sick a lot. I honestly don’t think I could hold a job with the way, mine are.

I gave up trying to keep them away from each other when they are ill. You want to drink from your sick sister’s cup? Go right ahead. Unless you have a private babysitter or family member to look after them, you will be in a pickle. Thats because no daycare will accept them.

Which is why its essential you plan for kids financially before you have them. We waited till I was 29, which allowed me to put away a good amount in savings just for that purpose. Let me tell you, we used most of it. My pregnancies were high risk and both of my kids were born premature. My youngest had to stay in NICU for almost a week. We spent 10000 dollars on medical expenses that year, our out-of pocket maximum.  Thankfully, we were prepared to weather the storm. But many are not.

It also helps when working spouse can concentrate on their career without having to worry about whats going on at home and who will be picking up the kids from daycare and so forth. They can be more available to their employer and as result get a bonus or a promotion. Look at it as a team effort.

I recommend, everyone gets out of debt completely if at all possible, before considering having kids. And even if both spouses plan on keeping their jobs, it makes sense to financially prepare, as if one will be staying at home. Just in case. Plus, even if you do end up being  a SAHM or dad, all is not lost. You can still go after credit card bonuses from the comfort of your home, your part-time job of sorts!

Trip report

2008, North Carolina, USA. We live in Florida within 12 hour drive of Smoky Mountains national park. So every year or so we make a pilgrimage there. We usually start by renting a house in the area through VRBO  It normally costs around 200-250 dollars per night, but there are usually 4 bedrooms and all the comforts of home, that come with it.

So then all 7 of us, in-laws and all, pile in the van to go on a “vacation”.   I have said before, that when you have small kids, its not  a vacation. More like a change of scenery. Lets face it, its hard for adults to sit for 12 hours in a car. And the kids have to endure it in car seats or “straight jackets”.

But there is no question, that driving with small kids  is way easier than flying. You don’t have to haul your junk through the airport, no installing the car seat on a plane. Plus, you can stop and go for a walk occasionally. Thats why so many families prefer road trips to the craziness of flying. That  trip we only had our daughter with us, who was 5 months old at the time.

I love going to North Carolina in the fall, when the leaves change color. It reminds me of home. I also love the crisp feel of the air, which is such a contrast to Florida mugginess. But what I love most of all, is for my kids to bond with their grandparents and make special memories together.

Miles and points

1) Via Mommypoints, there is a neat tool, called Awardmapper that shows you different hotel properties and their cost in points. Some reported that it is not always accurate, but I still think its very helpful.   LINK

Also, check out her great and comprehensive post on some Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel deals.  LINK

2) A pretty good promotion from Southwest, that gives 1750 Rapid Rewards points for your 29.99 dollar purchase from 1800-Flowers. Great if you plan to order flowers anyway. LINK

3) Via Million mile secrets blog, Marriott will have 30 percent off some of their hotels on cyber Monday. LINK

4) Via Rapid Travel Chai, there is a good chance that US Airways Barclay’s visa will be converted to Barclaycard Arrival, once the merger is complete. If you have been thinking about getting Arrival and already have US Airways card, now may be a good time to consider getting the first one. That is because once converted, you may miss out on 40000 points sign-up bonus.

You might consider canceling US Airways card first though, since Barclay’s is somewhat stingy with extending new credit. Arrival is listed in my “Best deals” page and now has a direct link there, that pays me extra in commission. I assure you, I am not trying to “sell” you the card, but letting you know what may happen in the future. I have said before that my cousin-in-law reads my blog. And right now she is living across the street from us and our kids play together. I dare not to mislead my readers!

5) Via PFDigest , there are some great bonuses for opening new accounts online at Capital One bank, today only LINK

3 thoughts on “Miles and points roundup, Smile, North Carolina

  1. Didn’t know there was a 30K Wyndham offer, thanks. I see that it has a $69 fee. Why this might be worthwhile is you can get 2 points per dollar spent, and you can transfer Wyndham points to other airlines (I think the ratio is 0.8 miles per Wyndham point), so you’re getting 1.6 miles per dollar.


  2. Nick, thanks for stopping by! Yeah, this offer is not “hot” to qualify to be my on “best deals’ page, but I try to include not so usual suspects in this segment. That being said, go get some rest! Don’t you have a tiny baby? 🙂


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