Home Points & Miles Why Can’t We Have Nice Things? (How To Actually Help People With Their Travel Questions)

Why Can’t We Have Nice Things? (How To Actually Help People With Their Travel Questions)

by joeheg

I don’t know if I should call this a public service announcement or if it’s a rant but whatever it is, this is how I feel when I read some of the comments to online questions.

Of course, I know the first rule of the internet:


However, reading others’ blogs means that I need to know what people are thinking in order to write things that are topical for my own blog. That includes reading all of our comments or checking posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Sometimes, the advice the people give drives me crazy and don’t get me started on the reasoning behind their comments, which can make even less sense.

What am I talking about?

Everything is not always about YOU

If someone asks if a hotel is nice, don’t reply about how a totally different hotel was terrible and you’d never stay there again. We get it, you weren’t happy. But it’s not adding anything to the conversation or even helping to answer the original question. Put your own agenda away for a little while and focus on what the question was.

Just because you didn’t understand how something works doesn’t mean it’s not good

I’ve seen so many replies from people where they knock a program because it was too complicated for them to use. Maybe you couldn’t figure it out well enough to use it, but it might be a perfect fit for someone else with different needs. For them, it might even be easy to use.


Not everyone travels the same

Sometimes it seems that since many travel hackers want to find a way to travel all the time in first-class cabins and stay in five-star resorts, they think those redemptions are the only ones that are worthwhile. Anything that provides anything less is a waste of time. Guess what? That’s not what everyone wants. Maybe they want to know if the IHG, Choice or Wyndham card would be best for them. Why not give them an answer?

I recently saw someone online write that the IHG free night certificate was worthless because you can’t use it at any of the high class Intercontinental or Kimpton hotels anymore. This is true but for a card that only costs $89 ($49 if you still have the Select version), getting a room that costs up to 40,000 points or less is still a great deal. I’ve already listed all the hotels around Disney World you can stay with your free night and I think any of those are worth more than $90.

Stop being lazy

Using the above example, IHG put new restrictions on their credit cards and some people wrote off the value of the free night immediately. It might not be a $500 a night room but why is it when as soon so something loses some of its value it suddenly becomes worthless? Take some time and find the value that’s still there.

Come on, not doing that is just being lazy and you know it.


Final thoughts

So what’s my point? I guess I want to say that if you’re going to comment on something you see online, think a second about what you’re writing. You have no idea about who you’re writing to and they probably haven’t given you a bunch of information to figure that out.

If it seems to be a question from someone who doesn’t know as much as you do, take the opportunity to give them some useful information instead of just telling them what you think is best for them. Because face it, do any of us really know what’s truly best for someone else?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Beth September 28, 2020 - 4:29 pm

Thanks for this article. I feel like I am derided sometimes for not getting the most “value” out of my points. I remember having a crazy plan to use the IHG free night certs in Paris that involved moving hotels several times. When asked why, I said that was the best value. I came to realize that it was a great way to lose a ton of time switching locations and using them on “cheaper” hotels in Paris(everything is expensive) along with a few nights paid worked out a lot better. $49 for 2 nights and $89 for another were great deals. Did we stay in amazing luxury? No, but we did stay in a nice location that was convenient for us.

The other thing that opened my eyes was friends and family being amazed at what I could help them achieve travel-wise. Not first class and five stars, but free flights for the family to Disney and free rooms at Holiday Inns. I would feel bad, saying, “well, there aren’t enough points to get you first class to Europe” and they would reply with, “but you can tell us how to get enough for two economy tickets, right?” Yes, I can do that, and I do it gladly!

Robert September 28, 2020 - 6:48 pm

Kudos to you. I am a newbie in the points for travel game. I try to catch up through newsletters like yours, but sometimes I feel that the writer (other newsletters) is only addressing a selected audience already “in the know” .


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