5 Minutes With Dan Miller, Points With a Crew

For McCool Travel’s 66th travel profile, I am pleased to introduce you to Dan Miller. Through his website, Points With a Crew, Dan writes about family travel—specifically about large families. Dan often travels with a party of 8, including his wife and six children. Naturally, Dan wants to save money and has mastered many travel hacking techniques. In fact, some of his clever tweets and posts about travel point earning is how he got on my radar.
Dan Miller’s bio:
“Dan Miller runs Points With a Crew, a site helping families (especially larger families) learn how to travel for free and cheap. Check out the Beginner’s Guide on how to travel for free, sign up for a once-daily email with the best travel deals (no spam ever!), or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.”

Dan Miller, Points With a Crew
Dan Miller, Points With a Crew

Dan Miller, Points With a Crew

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but have lived down-state in Cincinnati for long enough to call it home. CVG is my go-to airport, but I’ll drive to Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis or others if the deal is right.
Always in my luggage…
I don’t actually pack anything special, but one thing that I do like to travel with when I’m by myself doing a county trip (I’m trying to visit all 3,143 US counties) is some books on CD.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
I’m a little bit of a homebody, so there’s something to be said about coming back home after a trip. Since learning about the basics of how to travel for free with miles and points, one nice place was getting into airport lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounge or the Club at ATL (for free).
A favorite travel memory is…
My very first trip that I got for free with miles and points. We went down to South Florida and stayed in a middle of the road hotel for the first 2 nights. For the last night, I told my wife that I had screwed up the hotel reservation and we had to leave the hotel since they were full. I pretended to just drive around looking for a new place to stay, when in reality I had booked us a night on an oceanfront room on the 19th floor of the 5 star Hilton Fort Lauderdale. Needless to say my wife was totally floored when we pulled up!
A not so great travel memory is when a fellow airline passenger told my wife and I that we were the type of people that shouldn’t have children.
3 favorite travel brands…
I am pretty brand-agnostic. I think for most travelers the concept of “elite status” or “loyalty” only goes one way. Hotels and airlines aren’t loyal to you, so you should not be loyal to them either! Go where it makes sense for you. If I HAD to pick one, I would go with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Here were my votes for the Freddie Awards (airline / hotel loyalty program voting).
3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Look for hotels that offer free breakfast, and if you can, find one that gives free dinner as well. With 8 of us in my family, staying at a hotel that gives free breakfast and free dinner is 16 free meals!
    2. There are lots of free or cheap activities out there if you are willing to spend some time to look for them. See an interview with me on freakinflyers.com where I share lots of ways to maximize that.
    3. Go where the deals are. For the most part, there aren’t a TON of “must-see” places in the world—there are a LOT of good places out there in the world! Travel is what you make of it—it’s more about the journey than the destination. Knowing that can help you have fun while keeping costs down.

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. I love getting deals! Getting a good deal for me is like winning a game!
  2. We live a pretty basic life, so just being out of the house and seeing new sights is a lot of fun for us! Things are always more fun when you’re anywhere new!
  3. My wife’s favorite fun of traveling is that someone else cooks and cleans! 🙂

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
If it’s free.. it’s for me. Rejected alternative: If it’s free, I’ll take three! 😀
most memorable souvenir…
We’re not really big on souvenirs—we prefer to bring back memories and pictures rather than trinkets and knick-knacks that will just clutter up our house. When we got back from our recent trip to Puerto Rico, we just brought back some Puerto Rican cookies to bring back for the kids.
favorite cheap eat…
I know it’s kinda gross, but when there is one nearby, we often will get some $5 Little Caesar’s pizzas. $15 to feed our family is about as low as it gets!

Thank you very much, Dan.
Follow Dan Miller on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Instagram, and Legging It.

Check out McCool Travel’s previous profilesMcCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Ron and Michele Legge.

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