Leslie Harvey, Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

Leslie Harvey, Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

Leslie Harvey is a former attorney from the San Francisco Bay Area and mom of two kids, ages 8 and 3. She blogs about the joys and challenges of travel with little ones at Trips With Tykes. She has a passion for all things air travel related (well, everything except the TSA) and is also a lifelong Disney geek. She saves money on her family’s travels by maximizing the benefits of airline frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.


Frequent Flyer Alert: Southwest Airlines Devalues Rapid Rewards Points

Southwest Airlines is a favorite airline among many family and budget travelers.  With its no change fee policy and free checked bags, Southwest affords travelers a lot of convenience and simplicity. Many families have also used Southwest’s frequent flyer miles program for earning free travel.  Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program worked in a very simple way: points were worth a fixed dollar amount.  Travelers redeeming for the cheapest “Wanna Getaway” fares found that a point was worth 1.43 cents.  Stated another way, award flights cost 70 points per dollar. Did you know, however, that as of April 17, 2015, the Southwest Rapid Rewards program has changed?  The year 2015 brought a lot of changes to airline frequent flyer programs.  Southwest is just the latest to announce the details of its change. So what’s new with Southwest?  Rapid Rewards points are no longer worth a fixed amount.  Instead, the number of points needed for a free flight now varies based on factors other than just the base airfare price. Southwest has not published the details of these variables, but it goes without saying that very popular routes at very popular times will likely cost you more points per dollar than before. Under the new Rapid Rewards, Southwest award flights now cost somewhere between 70 to 80 points per dollar.  It remains to be seen whether this range will change with time,...

Read More

Is It Crazy to Take Kids to Sin City? 7 Tips for Las Vegas With Kids

As we caught our first glimpse of the Las Vegas Strip driving from McCarran International Airport to our hotel, my five year old daughter commented, “Las Vegas is crazy.”  She paused and smiled, quickly following up her initial observation with a qualification, “but in a good way.” When my husband and I told friends that we were taking a five year old and 18 month old to Las Vegas for part of spring break, quite a few thought we were, in fact, crazy. Although I’m always up for an adventure with my family, I must admit that even I...

Read More

6 Mistakes You Might Be Making With Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Travel rewards and frequent flyer credit cards are everywhere these days. Many cards offer large and tempting bonus offers for applying and others offer extra miles or points for certain types of spending. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it sometimes seems that frequent flyer miles do. While credit cards are a useful and convenient tool, they also can be quite risky, particularly the ones that offer potentially lucrative travel perks. Consumers should always tread carefully. Many credit cards users (even those who are financially savvy) can make mistakes in the process.  Don’t be one of them!  Here are six...

Read More

Protect Yourself Against Airline Frequent Flyer Program Changes

Airline loyalty programs are built on shifting sands.  In recent years, no frequent flyer program has stayed the same for very long. In fact, there have already been major changes to several frequent flyer programs in 2015 with perhaps more to come. As you might expect, changes are rarely to the customer’s benefit. Miles are devalued. Award tickets are harder than ever to find. Traveling families sometimes take years to acquire enough miles for everyone to fly on a free trip, and often those types of customers suffer the most. It is critical for families to recognize the downsides and limitations...

Read More

Changes to Frequent Flyer Programs in 2015: What You Need to Know

If you have traveled by air the past two months, you may already have noticed some big changes with your favorite airline loyalty program in the new year. Airlines are always making changes to frequent flyer programs (usually resulting in the devaluation of your hard-earned miles), but the changes in 2015 are bigger than most. More changes are likely on the way as well. The most significant change in 2015 is that two major U.S. domestic legacy airlines have gone “revenue-based.” This means that you no longer earn miles based on the distances you fly. Instead, you earn miles based...

Read More

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa at Disneyland

The flagship hotel at Disneyland is Disney’s Grand Californian. With a private entrance into California Adventure, highly-rated restaurants, and a full-service spa, it is the most luxurious of Disney options. Find out all about the hotel’s best features, tips for your stay, and what works for family travelers (and what doesn’t). Tucked between Disneyland’s California Adventure park and Downtown Disney in Anaheim is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The Grand Californian has the distinction of being the only luxury hotel near Disneyland, but it is a luxury hotel built with families in mind. For the most part, Disney’s Grand...

Read More

Hotel Review: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa at Disneyland

Tucked between Disneyland’s California Adventure park and Downtown Disney in Anaheim is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The Grand Californian has the distinction of being the only luxury hotel near Disneyland, but it is a luxury hotel built with families in mind. For the most part, Disney’s Grand Californian delivers a premium hotel experience in a Disneyland location that can’t be topped.  Service is impeccable with that famous friendliness that only Disney can deliver.  Disney recently hosted my family at the Grand Californian during the holiday season, which made the experience even more magical. With its luxury reputation...

Read More

Transit in San Francisco: Getting Around the City by the Bay

The city of San Francisco is one of the most transit-friendly in the United States, if you know how to use the variety of services available to navigate the infamous hills. Get a local’s perspective on the best transportation choices in the City by the Bay, covering everything from cable cars to ferries to ride-sharing services. Planes, trains, and automobiles? That’s only a start in San Francisco, where transportation and transit choices for visitors to the city include cable cars, ferries, classic street cars, buses, bike sharing, and even the occasional Segway. These ways to get around San Francisco are as...

Read More

What Are the Benefits of Staying On Property at Disneyland?

Headed to Anaheim, California to visit Mickey and wondering: What are the benefits of staying on property at Disneyland?  If you are a Walt Disney World fan accustomed to the multitude of Disney-owned hotel properties in Orlando, the experience of choosing a hotel at Disneyland will be very different. One of the major decisions you need to make in planning a family Disneyland trip is whether to choose a Disney-owned property or whether to select one of the “Good Neighbor” hotels run by someone else.  There are only three Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland: Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Disneyland...

Read More

Holiday Attractions at Disneyland Bring Christmas Wonder and Cheer

Disney knows how to have a celebration, so it’s no surprise that the holidays at Disneyland Resort are a truly special event.  The giant tree in the square on Main Street USA and the castle covered in twinkling lights always set the Christmas mood. But for those who come to Disneyland for the rides, the holiday attractions at Disneyland make the theme park shine during the holidays. There are currently three holiday attractions within Disneyland park with special holiday overlays to celebrate the season. I recently had a chance to sample all three (along with the many impressive holiday...

Read More

Twitter Parties

Instagram Photos #TMOM