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Family Travel for Real Life 2 Debrief, 5 Things I Learned & What You May Want to Know

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family travel for real life 2

As I have written a few times over the past couple of days, I was lucky enough to attend and speak at the second Family Travel for Real Life 2 conference this past weekend. I thought it might be a good idea to post my thoughts on the conference and share with you some of the relevant information that I think may be of interest to you.

The Conference

One of the reasons I love Family Travel for Real Life is its size. With only about 30 people in attendance, everyone had plenty of time to mingle and speak with everyone else. We had a good mix of newer people along with familiar faces and it felt good to see that a number of people who attended the first conference decided to come back for a second round. (Click here for my recap of the 1st conference held in August of last year.)

While the conference was held on Saturday during the day, both Friday and Saturday nights were amazing as well with large group dinners where everyone shared their stories and really got to know one another. To say it felt like we were a family is perhaps the ultimate cliche, but it did feel a bit that way.

The Presentations

Manufactured Spending from a child's perspective.
Manufactured Spending from a child’s perspective taken from Miles4More‘s presentation. Photo courtesy of Points with a Crew.

The five speakers (including myself) spoke about a wide range of topics. While I write mostly about awards programs, credit cards and manufactured spending here on Miles to Memories, I was asked to speak about family adventure travel and related topics, something I have quite a bit of experience with as well. If you are interested, you can view my entire presentation online at this link.

As for the other speakers, each one brought a unique background and knowledge to their subject. Topics covered were: Budget Airlines, Hacking Disney, Family Award Bookings, National Parks & Manufactured Spending. Dan from Points with a Crew live blogged in detail about each of the presentations. Instead of trying to describe everything here, I feel it is best to send you over to his site for a more detailed description. It is well worth your time.

The Podcast

After dinner on Saturday night almost 20 of us (both speakers and attendees) got together and recorded a special edition of the Saverocity Observation Deck podcast. It was released last night and I think there are a few interesting things to learn along with some fun stories as well.

As a side note, I was also a guest host on the normal version of the same podcast which should be released soon. The topic on that show was manufactured spending! (I will let everyone know when it comes out.)

Five Takeaways/Things I Learned

  1. People still think I am somewhat crazy for a lot of the travels my wife and I have done with our son.
  2. Most people in this hobby are incredibly friendly and happy to share and help others.
  3. A lot of people really struggle with the redemption side of the miles/points game.
  4. Just about every family visits Disney at some point.
  5. Never give Dan from Points with a Crew a Lyft.


The Deal Mommy

Dia the Deal Mommy did a great job of creating a varied program of speeches and making sure everything went off without a hitch. She has been incredibly kind and gracious to me and I am grateful she has allowed me to share my passion for family travel with others at both of the conferences. I know she has said there will be a FT4RL 3, however at this point nothing firm has been announced.

Twitter Handles

I thought I would share the Twitter handles of many of the people in attendance. If you are looking for people to follow, this is a great place to start. (If I missed yours please leave it in the comments!)

@SteeleStreet, @asthejoeflies, @50States50Years, @gilapoin21, @PFDigest, @TheDealMommy, @WhiskiBravo, @PointsWithACrew, @DocMaur, @TripsWithTykes, @frugaltravellaw, @bretbourgeois, @KennyBSAT, @miffSC

And don’t forget to follow me @milestomemories!


As I wrote the other day, conferences like this are amazing ways to network with like-minded people while learning a few useful tidbits about our hobby. Some of the bigger conferences can be a bit overwhelming, so a smaller one like #FT4RL may be the perfect fit for those wanting to get their feet wet. I hope to be able to attend FT4RL 3 since I know I will be in need of useful information with my baby daughter due to be born in a few weeks!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. completely agree that it was a great way to get my feet wet! I may have been overwhelmed at a larger conference but now having attended this smaller one I am very much looking forward to the other larger conferences 🙂


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