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The Ultimate Travel Hack – Follow the Golden Rule and Be Fulfilled

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Ultimate Travel Hack

Ultimate Travel Hack

Many points and travel hobbyists push the limits from various angles.  You can’t win if you don’t play.  Get while the getting’s good.  Insert other cliches here.  We also come up with tremendously complicated methods to earn and redeem rewards currencies, often in the unending pursuit of “more.”  All the while, I feel we are missing the ultimate travel hack – the Golden Rule.  Simply treat others as you want to be treated.  Whether with the hobby or life in general, I strive to consistently follow this rule.  Here’s why, in terms of points and travel.

Honey and Vinegar

Okay, I’ll try to make that my last tired reference.  It’s more likely we obtain what we want out of a given transaction when we treat others with kindness.  That may seem remarkably obvious, but in the moment, we don’t always realize that.  Many of us bring a rather large helping of expectations and entitlement to our points and travel hobby.  Indeed, a bit of that comes with the territory.  Anyone ever heard of elite status?

Not coincidentally, many end up treating others poorly.  And most of the time, these same individuals are serving us.  These dedicated workers keep grinding, but it’s only natural that they’re less inclined to go above and beyond for an ahole.

Ultimate Travel Hack

Happiness > Being Right

Whether it’s collecting points and miles or enjoying the redemptions, we may receive inaccurate information or a less than stellar outcome.  Sometimes, we can carefully handle a situation to get what we want (see above).  In other instances, we clearly won’t obtain the resolution we desire, no matter how right we are (real or perceived).  There’s nothing you can say to get what you want.  In these times, what’s the point of being anything less than kind?

Pushing it with one individual can become a bigger issue.  Worst case, making a scene can draw even more attention and limit your future prospects.  Even if that doesn’t happen, something else concerns me.

In the instances where I haven’t followed the Golden Rule, I later realize that my handling of the situation brings me down.  While I may have temporarily lost some silly elite benefit or a few points, there’s a much bigger cost.  My happiness.  I stew about the stressful interaction, not allowing myself to move on.  But meanwhile, there’s so much else worth my time.

Golden Rule Followers Win Big

Being kind can lead to better experiences with points and travel.  But if that kindness doesn’t lead to a specific hobby win, I still know I’ll always come out ahead.  How?  I feel better about myself and the situation.  Whether I’m at home or on vacation, I can continue enjoying the good life.  With another day comes more opportunity.

Ultimate Travel Hack

Ultimate Travel Hack – Conclusion

Of course, nobody’s perfect.  After a bit of reflection, I’d want a second chance at plenty of interactions.  Instead, the most viable alternative is to improve in future ones.  To that end, I’ll strive to keep smiling, making eye contact, and choosing something nice to say.  Good things will happen.  This simple rule is a winner for everyone involved.

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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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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. I’ve gotten so many points, miles, trips, cash from this hobby thats it makes me more easy going as a traveller. If a flight, hotel, etc doesn’t go according to plan I know I have many more trips coming up to make up for it. I don’t have everything riding on this one vacation the way many travellers do.

    • I agree completely with Jake. It truly makes travel more enjoyable and the unexpected bonuses or upgrades are appreciated even more.

    • In India, the poorest of the poor live in the “bustees.” If you go to the bustees and ask a person whether you’re at the bustees, the person will respond “Oh, no. The bustees are down there aways.” Upon arriving there, those people will repeat the same. And, so on. Culturally, no matter how bad things are, someone else has it worse. So, we should not complain but rather be grateful, be gracious, and realize that we are blessed. Can I get an Amen?

    • I go by the Platinum Rule – Treat others as THEY would like to be treated.

      If someone has a Diamond Rule (Previously “Spire Elite” Rule) I’m all ears.

    • The problem is — paralleling what Socrates said to Thucydides — the masochist might have a blind spot and might not know what that masochistic good is. So, when the masochist asks the sadist to beat him, the sadist says “no.” With the sadist not doing bad, the masochist receives a different sort of torture and the sadist gives a different sort of torture. So, in doing good, all are satisfied. Thus, defaulting to good is the solution. Capito?


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