The One Thing I Hate In This Hobby That Others Seem To Love
I know I am going to be in the minority here. There is something I always kind of dread when I am going to plan a trip that others seems to absolutely love. That thing is searching for award space. I loathe it, it drives me insane and I want to bang my head against the wall half the time. There are alerts, checking when award space is supposed to open up, back up flights in case space opens last minute and risking everything for a close in booking miracle. People love the rush, enjoy playing the game and savoring the win but it just feels like an extreme waste of time and complete frustration a majority of the time.
I Actually Enjoy Trip Planning
The sad thing is I actually enjoy the rest of trip planning. Although I loosely plan my destination activities. I have found under promising and over delivering is the way to go. Whenever I plan a ton of stuff we end up missing some of it and then I am left disappointed. But if I only pick a few highlights and leave the rest open to interpretation so to speak I come out feeling like I hit everything I needed to. Plus, discovering the unexpected is my favorite part of traveling. It really is kind of magical to find an amazing place that no one told you about before you went.
Having said that, I still enjoy researching the place I am going to and then selecting the things that a top priority for me. I also love looking at hotel reviews, even if others like to complain about them. But searching award space for flights…nah. That just isn’t my cup of tea.
Adding People Makes It Exponentially Worse
I should say finding flights just for myself isn’t so bad. And even when I am booking for my immediate family it isn’t terrible since I can do it as soon as I find space. But when you are talking about extended family (people not under your roof) or friends etc. it complicates things. I can find the perfect space but by the time I get everyone’s okay or get them to agree to book, the award space vanishes. Nothing is more frustrating than that!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that adding more seats makes finding space that much more difficult too. And don’t even get me started when you are talking about trying to get flights to and from different airports that arrive around the same time. That is a pull your hair out moment right there.
I am actually kind of surprised that I don’t enjoy flight award booking more. I usually enjoy the chase and the ultimate payoff but something about award searches drives me bonkers. Especially when LifeMiles are involved 🤣. There are so many hoops, rules, partnerships etc. to go through for each and every flight that it feels like I always enact the law of diminishing returns. So much so that I have picked a few currencies that work best for me and I go that route even if it isn’t the best deal every time. It has made the process a lot less time consuming.
What about everyone out there? Do you enjoy the chase or are award searches something you could do without too?