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What It’s REALLY Like Being Married to Travel Hacker

What It's REALLY Like Being Married to Travel Hacker (1)

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Hi! My name is Malini, and I’m married to a travel hacker. But guess what? It’s not how you think it is. I have friends that are constantly teasing me. “Girl, I wish we could all be so lucky. You just need to smile at your husband and he books you a first-class ticket to Italy.” Uh, not quite.

So in an effort to keep it real, let me tell you what it’s REALLY like being married to a travel hacker.

  1. Expect your spouse to turn into a “computer screen zombie.” A travel hacker is constantly on the hunt to earn more points. Most people think, “Hey, I just signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, check out my awesome travel hacking skills.” I hate to break it to you, but one (albeit incredibly sexy) credit card does not a travel hacker make. It’s a good start, but a seasoned travel hacker will tell you that you to get the best hacks, you’ll have to do your research and think differently. A huge part of that is talking with other people who do their research and think differently. And it’s often time-sensitive so you really don’t want to miss a great hack. So, more often than not my husband has turned into a “computer screen zombie.” Easily recognized as hunched over his laptop, eyes rapidly moving back and forth soaking in all the “good stuff”.
  2. You get a ton of mail. As in, a ton of new credit cards in your name, shipped to your house. Constantly. If you’re married to a travel hacker, he’ll have all your personal details committed to his memory so he can easily sign you up for great credit cards. Your spouse will stop asking permission and just assume that he knows best. (And you’ll accept that he’s right.)
  3. You also get random presents. At first this might sound awesome, but in reality, it’s usually something like a gift card to a store where you don’t shop (because the portal bonus was SO DAMN GOOD). “Thanks, honey for this awesome Staples gift card…..”
  4. You’ll take romantic walks…to the grocery store. “Let me just stop in real quick, honey, I just need to grab some gift cards and it’s 5x bonus in grocery stores through tonight!”
  5. You’ll have detailed, confusing weekly conversations that go like this. “Babe, if you go to the grocery store, use the Chase Freedom card because the quarterly bonus is 5x per dollar. If you pick up a prescription, use your Amex Platinum and if they don’t take it, as a second option, use the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you’re getting gas, use your Discover It card, or as a second option your Freedom card, but just through the end of the week – after that you should use your Barclays card. If you go out to lunch with friends, make sure you’re using the Citi Prestige. And if you are buying something online, PLEASE only buy through the Southwest portal with the Southwest card. Oh and you should be getting the new Amex gold card in the mail any day, so when that comes in just put everything else on it so we hit the minimum spend ASAP.  Thanks!”
  6. Your spouse will challenge everything and never accept face value. “What do you mean I’m not approved for this credit card?” He’ll keeping calling back customer service until he gets a better answer. “What do you mean I can’t do a round-the-world flight for 45k points?” He’ll consult travel forums, text fellow travel hacking friends, read blog posts and then call customer service armed with this new knowledge. He almost always gets what he wants.
  7. You don’t get to pick where you want to go. A travel hacker spouse cares more about the hack than the location. So even if he says “Hey, I know you want to go to Switzerland, I’ll see what I can find” what he means is “We can go to Switzerland if the moon and the sun and the stars and the points and the partner airlines align but it’s just as likely that we will go to Japan or Hong Kong or Greece. Cool?”
  8. You can’t have a normal social life. You’ll have a never-ending invitations to “go grab coffee.” This is code for “teach me all you know about travel hacking.” And he probably knows a lot, so this will eat up your entire social calendar.

Well, I hope this peek into my marriage has given you some insider insight. It’s not at all like how it appears from the outside, but I’m certainly not complaining. I hope my husband never stops using his geek skills to book me and my four year old on business class flights all around the world.

Malini has always been obsessed with travel. She and her husband, along with their 4 year old, LOVE to travel the world courtesy of points and miles. If you’d like follow along on her crazy adventures, or you’re just looking for a bit of travel inspiration, be sure to check out her blog Lakes and Lattes. Her absolute favorite credit card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

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Categories: free travel, Gift Cards, Miscellaneous, portals | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

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