Dear Readers: My 5 Promises To You Entering 2019

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Dear Readers: My 5 Promises To You Entering 2019

If I am being honest I don’t think of New Year’s day as a holiday and actually despise it a little bit.  And not because it is when all of the part time drinkers go out (along with St Paddy’s Day).  I kind of despise it because it really isn’t anything at all. The calendar changes but nothing in our life really does, well except messing up the year for the first few weeks on checks and stuff.  Yes we do still have checks!

After laying all of this out for you I am going to be cliche and give you, the readers, my New Year’s resolutions of sorts as a member of the Miles to Memories team. My purpose in sharing them is because I want to make sure you know where I stand and have since the beginning.

My Promises To You

My Advice Will Be The Best I Can Give

My first promise is that I will only give you the advice that I would follow myself.  I look to make a long term relationship here.  I want to share ideas back and forth so that we both grow.  My advice may not always be what is best for you because everyone’s situation is different but if you share your parameters I can adjust my advice to fit. This goes hand in hand with promise 3.  I will also make mistakes because I am human. That is why it is I promise to give the best advice I can give instead of my advice will always be right.

I Will Not Be Smug or Condescending 

Smugness, arrogance, and condescension runs rampant in this space unfortunately.  It comes from bloggers, Flyertalk posters, Facebook Group posters and readers alike.  Just spend a few minutes on Twitter and you will see. If you want to fly coach and travel domestically then do it, there is nothing wrong with it!

I am not here because I know it all.  In fact there are many of you out there that know more than me.  I am simply here to share my thoughts and get your thoughts in return.  Together we can come up with better solutions to the same problems than we could working on them separately.

I come to you humbly and with great gratitude that you share this ride with me. That is one of the main things that drew me to Miles to Memories as a reader.  It was Shawn’s honesty, integrity, and his experience to go along with his writing skills that made me a fan.  He is one of the most humble people I have met and anyone who has met him knows what I say is true.

I am human though and if you troll I may leave a little salt in my response, as much as I try to resist doing it :).

If You Leave A Comment I Will Respond

I try to respond to every comment, email, Facebook message or mention I can.  So far I think I get to most of them.  Some will slip through the cracks but please know it is because I probably didn’t see it.  If you take the time to comment then I will repay that kindness with a response.  It is my favorite part of the job, well most of the time :).  Nothing was more frustrating to me than reading a blog, commenting, and never hearing back.

I Will Write About What I Find Interesting

I think this is a key to success and putting out a good product.  If I am interested in it I will be more engaged and enthusiastic about it.  Sometimes this strays away from travel focused things and I hope you take that journey with me.  It is also why I rarely write about cash travel, cash deals, or Elite status.  They don’t really interest me, I am in this to travel on a shoe string budget :). Plus that is what Bethany is here for, she is great at covering that stuff!

I Like To Have Fun

The last promise to you is more of an explanation. I want to have fun in almost everything I do.  Without joy what is the point?  Because of that a lot of my writing has some sarcasm in it – especially my titles. That is unfortunately where my humor lies, in sarcasm. That isn’t always easy to pick up if you haven’t interacted with me or read much of my work.  I think people who are in our Facebook Group or come to the meet ups understand that better than anyone.  I encourage you to join us in both of these areas because they are fun and more of a community atmosphere than simply reading the blog.  They go well together and we end up talking about posts, topics, and ideas more in depth in the Facebook Group.


Well this ended up being more of a novel then I had anticipated but it comes from the heart.  As always thank you for taking the time to read it, I hope it speaks to you in some way.  And have a Happy New Year, even though it isn’t really a thing ;).


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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    • btw. its been this way for most of 2017 and pretty much all of 2018 except for few that went thru for whatever reason.

      • I checked the spam section and didn’t see anything in there from your user name so I am not sure why they wouldn’t be posting. Sometimes if you use a VPN or different email address it sends the comment into moderation but I can’t remember seeing any in there waiting for approval any time recently.

  1. A bit late to comment, and so for that, please forgive. I truly enjoy your blog because the manner in which you write is kind and generous. In fact, when first learning about points, miles, and rewards, there were three main writers whose sites I marked as “Favorites.” Two were deleted because the original writers added “teams” and began pushing credit card sign-ups constantly, and one of the best, joined one of the aforementioned. Thank you, Mark, for your independence, humor, great information, and the manner in which you share what you know about the hobby your readers enjoy. Kind regards.

    • Wow thank you so much for the kind words Leigh. I am glad we are able to help out in some small way and thanks for reading. Don’t be shy to comment in the future 🙂

  2. Happy New Year, Mark. And I, too, appreciate that you respond to comments.

    Been using miles for years, but got more serious about 6-7 years ago, and still learning. Before we mostly flew economy, so it was a real treat to start flying in business to Europe. However, now we fly biz on overnights, but often fly economy on daytime flights home – stretching those miles. As retirees we don’t shop/spend like we used to when working, so we do what works for us. Nice that your philosophy is understanding of that.

    Have a great 2019 and happy travels!

    • Happy New Year Marilyn.

      I have been doing the same – biz on overnight and economy comfort on the daytime flight home. It is a substantial savings and the flights are not that long that I can’t make do. Now if we were talking about flights to Asia I would change my tune lol.

  3. Thank you for your information! I love to travel and love to bargain hunt, but have a pretty demanding job and therefore don’t have the time to invest in this hobby that I wish I did. That is one of the reasons I love this site – I post some probably pretty basic questions on facebook and I always get a kind and helpful answer! This past year, my husband and I got to fly to Europe and Australia to visit our daughters who were studying abroad for a semester (one in the spring and one in the fall). We would not have been able to do that without the help of all who follow Miles to Memories – so I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Thanks to your help and credit cards we were able to fly our family of 5 to San Diego to see our first daughter off on her Semester at Sea, fly 2 of us to Germany and home from London along with hotels for a 10 nights in Europe, fly our first daughter home from Europe, fly our second daughter to Australia, fly 2 of us to Australia and back along with a week’s worth of hotels in Sydney and they fly our second daughter home from Australia at the end of her program. I’ve never sat down and calculated to value of all this, but definitely couldn’t have done it without credit card points! (And I’m an amateur compared to most of you)!

    Anyway, thanks again and here’s to traveling in 2019!

    • Thanks Chuck – same to you!

      I hope you are working with Swych to get those limits increased to 2 per code (I need more 5X UR points lol) – make 2019 great! 🙂

  4. Thank you Mark. Wondering if I shouls wish you a Happy New Year? Really truly love and appreciate your posts/blogs/emails. You have saved me a ton of money this year and informed me about a whole bunch of deala I wouls not have otherwise known about. Thank you and keep them coming. Yours appreciatively Paul

  5. Happy new year, Mark!! You have one of the best sites and I especially love it that you give us quick emails on gift card deals.

    • Thanks for the kind words, reading, and being a part of the FB group – it is much appreciated!

      Happy New Year to you as well!


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