If you fly a lot for business or pleasure, you are sure to rack up lots of frequent flyer miles. Think of frequent flyer miles as the airline industry’s personal ‘thank you’ note to you for your patronage. They have been around for a long time and they have made an uncountable number of frequent travelers happy. While frequent flyer miles are great, you have to be very strategic about using them. You don’t want to just blow your miles in such a way that you don’t fully get to enjoy them. Sadly, people who don’t have a strategy for using their miles end up asking themselves where all their frequent flyer miles went. If you don’t want to be in this boat, you might want to keep the following tips in mind.
When to use your frequent flyer miles ?
Pay attention to how many frequent flyer miles you collect
Before you can go about coming up with a plan on how to figure out when and how to use your frequent flyer miles for optimal benefits, you have to pay attention to how fast you rack up your miles. You have to be mindful of when you collect these miles and your travel patterns. This is crucial because it gives you a clear idea of how many miles you can quickly recover. If anything, the sheer magnitude of the traveling needed to gather frequent flyer miles should give you a clear idea of how to value your miles. Many people waste their miles on unplanned trips because they don’t really have a good idea of how much traveling they had to do to get these miles in the first place. By zeroing in on how much traveling you had to do and how much it cost you, you can properly value your miles so you can be more carefully regarding your travel plans and redeeming frequent flyer miles.
Divide your trips between business and personal
Personal trips, by definition, tend to be more enjoyable. These are trips you take for purely personal reasons and for purely enjoyment or family-related reasons. These trips should be at the top of your list when you are spending your frequent flyer miles. These trips are more important on a personal level. For business trips, as much as possible let your business or employer pay for those. They help build up your personal frequent flyer miles.
Sort your personal trips
Different people take personal trips for a wide variety of reasons. When it comes to planning your expenditures of frequent flyer miles, you need to pay attention to these different reasons. You have to be clear as to which personal trips are most enjoyable and which are more routine. For example, visiting your parents or family members during Thanksgiving should fall under the ‘routine’ heading while taking your significant other to Paris to celebrate your anniversary should be classified as ‘enjoyable.’ Both are personal types of travel but they have different purposes. Give the highest priority, as far as frequent flyer miles are concerned, to the ‘enjoyable’ type of personal travel.
Sorting your most enjoyable trips
Now, that you have figured out your list of ‘enjoyable’ personal travel plans and patterns, you should then prioritize this list as well. Why? Well, frequent flyer miles are scarce resources. Just like with hard-earned recession-era cash, you have to be very careful regarding how you spend them. Make sure you spend them on flights that will give back the most amounts of enjoyment and memories. When sorting out your most enjoyable trips, you should pay attention to the trips that involve going outside the country. You should also give extra priority points to travel that involve romance or some deeply personal or emotional reasons.
Another key factor in planning out your frequent flyer miles expenditures is scheduling. If you are going to be going on a very personal and extra special trip once a year or once every two years, this trip should get the highest priority. However, if your ‘special’ trip tends to happen frequently, you might want to hold off on using your frequent flyer miles for such a trip. That ‘special’ trip might not be special enough to blow frequent flyer miles for. Keep in mind that your flyer miles are limited assets. You need to conserve and save them.
Focus on the emotional dimension of saving miles as well
When you save the best for last and when you give special preference for certain trips when it comes to spending your frequent flyer miles, you actually magnify and amplify the emotional effect of the trip you’ll be using your flyer miles for. If anything, the fact that you used up your precious frequent flyer miles for your trip should make you value the trip more. This can make the trip extra memorable.