Today's interview features Leana Storts from milesforfamily.com. Leana grew up in Belarus – a country famous for its though visa rules.
How, why and when did you get started to blog your thought on travel?
I started about 5 months ago by using WordPress platform. I have noticed that most blogs in the industry focus on luxury travel, something an ordinary family like mine can't relate to. I have no IT skills as you can see from the look of my blog, English is my second language, yet here I am!
What is your blog about?
My blog targets middle class family with kids, where parents only have 2 or 3 weeks off work each year. The premise is very simple: ordinary families should optimize their limited credit card spending potential in order to afford travel and save money in general. I focus on credit card bonuses, non-bonus spending and staying out of debt. The well rounded approach.
Are you a full time blogger? If so, do you live a rich lifestyle?
I am actually a full-time mom, I stay at home with my kids! But sometimes it feels like I am a full-time blogger as well. And no, I don't live a rich lifestyle! Maybe after this interview I will. 🙂
What has been your most popular post so far?
That would have to be "My cousin-in-law rule" when Travelbloggerbuzz.com linked to my site. Those were the days!
What was your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
I would have to say Greece and specifically Santorini. Very unique island, unlike any other. Stunning terrain with amazing architecture, red sand beach plus ancient ruins, the whole package.
Whats currently in your top 5 list to go to?
Tahiti, Japan, China, South Africa, New Zealand.
Did you encounter celebrities during your travels?
Yes, I did! We were connecting in LAX and were waiting for our flight, when Pierce Brosnan sat next to us in the terminal. He was flying to Kauai on the same plane as us.
What was the longest time you had no sleep?
We flew to Poland and planned to take a train to my native Belarus. But our bags didn't make it. So we waited in the airport for 8 hours till they arrived on the next flight and then took several train connections to my home country. As a result we stayed up for 48 hours straight. I still don't know why we didn't just get a hotel in Warsaw for one night!
What is your favorite hotel you stayed at?
Probably Schlosshotel Kronberg, an actual castle in Germany where we spent just one night with our daughter. Very memorable experience.
What are your favorite travel websites and why?
Cruisecompete.com where you can get bids on your cruise from different travel agencies. Usually you can get the lowest price there. Travelzoo.com is great to get all the best deals in one place.
Do you have a simple advice for a beginner-how to collect and use miles the easiest?
Sign up for free services from creditkarma.com, creditsesame.com and mint.com If your score hovers around 750 and you don't have any mortgage or major loans in a near future, you are good to go. But only if you are responsible with credit, otherwise this hobby is not for you. I can't stress that enough! I have stopped recommending signing up for bonuses to certain family members for that reason.
What is your biggest learning from earning so many miles and points?
I try not to forget why I participate in this crazy hobby. And that is so I can make amazing memories with my family and help others to do the same. Its so easy to lose track of what really matters. The thrill of the hunt for points and miles can sometimes take you away from your family and to me that defeats the whole purpose of this hobby.