I spent Friday night and Saturday in Charlotte, NC, with a group of ‘crazy about travel’ friends attending the second Family Travel for Real Life, an event which was the brainchild of Dia, The Deal Mommy. For me, this this time it was an easy event to get to – I simply drove.
One of the things that we find so often ourselves sharing at these events is how, when we start talking about our hobby with non-hobbyists, eyes begin to glaze over and faces become blank. So, it really is great to get together and connect with people who don’t mind repeated conversations of ‘where have you been‘ and ‘how did you get there‘ and ‘what is the latest and greatest points and miles generator‘. And if you aren’t one of those enthusiasts yet…I can almost guarantee that after attending your first seminar/conference/Do…you will be.
If you have never attended one of these travel conferences (and there are plenty to choose from) perhaps it is something you could add to your list. Anyone can learn about points and miles from the internet, but there is something about being able to talk face to face with someone who knows a little more than you do. Attending conferences and social get-togethers offers a chance to learn little tricks and techniques that you will never learn simply by searching the internet. People in this hobby love to share and in most cases do not mind sitting down with you to do just that.
This week-end’s conference included the following speakers:
- Jason Steele from JasonSteele.com on current trends and Award Bookings for families
- Kenny from Miles4More discussed National Parks and Destination Ideas Off the Beaten Path for Families (and how to get to them with awards)
- Leslie from Trips with Tykes shared some great ideas for families who travel to Disney (Mastering the International Houses of Mickey)
- Bonnie from Frugal Travel Lawyer talked about the New Frontier (Airlines): Southwest, Jetblue, and the rest of the game changers in the airline world
- Shawn from Miles to Memories shared his personal experiences with Immersive travel: family adventures, educational experiences, and ways to give back whilst traveling at the same time
We even had Dan from Points With a Crew lending his hand (quite literally) to some live blogging. Also in attendance were Nick from PF Digest and ‘Joe’ from AsTheJoeFlies, Kirsten from The American Travel Project, all from the Saverocity group, as well as Carissa from GoodnCrazy.com. (I hope I didn’t forget anyone!)
How can you find one of these conferences or Do’s to attend? Typically when an event is announced, it will be picked up by bloggers and shared. Twitter is a great way to keep up with a group of points and miles enthusiasts. Well, you say, how do I know which ones to follow. If you follow me (@miffSC), or any one of the great people above, that would be a start. You can also access any Twitter user’s Following List to see who THEY follow!
Another great resource is FlyerTalk’s CommunityBuzz Forum. Here you will find postings about get togethers as close as your own neighborhood (if you live in a big city) to events as far away as New Zealand or Singapore. Although you don’t have to be a member to access the site, signing up is simple and gives you the ability to post your own comments and thoughts.
Remember there is something to fit everyone – from Mega Do’s to smaller organized social events to one day seminars like Family Travel for Real Life. Check them out… you may just find one that suits you and suits your schedule.
We had a great week-end! Come along, learn, and have fun!
Hope to see you at a future event!