This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I didn’t need a researched article to convince me that time spent with cousins is extremely important, although it is always nice to have your thoughts confirmed by others. I only had to look back to my own childhood and remember quite fondly the time spent with my cousins, usually during summer visits marked by minimal supervision and maximum fun. When I became a mom, I was 100% committed to providing that same quality time with family to my daughters, even though much of their family is scattered across the country.

Cousins together on Lake Champlain in 2012

In fact, this dedication to keeping family connected was a big driver in my deep dive into miles and points, and eventual creation of Mommy Points, as my budget and travel wishes didn’t totally align.

Cousins together at our house in Texas in 2016

This past week was the special time of the summer when my daughters and their cousins got to spend the week together at their grandparent’s house. The week looked like a typical late summer week marked with slumber parties, afternoon movies on the couch, swims in the neighborhood pool and walks through the local park. Nothing special to see here, right?

Cousins together at Grandma’s House in Kansas in 2018

Well, that is only partially right. What is truly special about the week is that it doesn’t particularly look or feel special, even though the girls on the outside of the photo above (my daughters) live in Texas, the girls on the inside (their cousins) live in Connecticut and they are sitting in their grandparent’s living room in Kansas. They don’t feel like they are being forced to spend time with strangers they just happened to be related to, because this is a part of their normal. These cousins have seen each other at each other’s houses, at Disney World, on the beach in Rhode Island, at a gorgeous house on Lake Champlain, at Hyatt Lost Pines, at a two-bedroom suite at the Andaz 5th Avenue, and beyond.

Cousins in Rhode Island in 2017
Cousins in Rhode Island in 2017

Despite the geographical differences in their daily lives, they see each other frequently enough that they can pick right back up with games, stories, routines, conversations and even the occasional argument. They are family who acts like family — but only because of the magic of travel.

cousins blowing bubbles in the park
Cousins enjoying the park together in 2018 (Photo credit: Andrea Bacle Photography)

It isn’t just the magic of travel that is to thank for these gatherings, but it is also very much the magic of airline miles and hotel points. You may not think instinctively of using your miles to fly to places like Wichita, Kansas, but if that is where your family lives, then it is one of the most important redemptions you can make. I know how easy it is to lose focus and earmark your miles for places like Hawaii, Europe, Australia and everywhere in between, but I’d strongly argue not to do that at the expense of getting cousins together.

mommy points in airport
It takes effort to get family together, but it is worth it. (Photo credit: Andrea Bacle Photography)

I’ve done plenty wrong in my almost nine-year tenure as a mom, but making it a top priority to have my girls truly know their cousins and extended family, despite geographical challenges, is something I know with absolute certainty that I have done right. It is our job to do whatever necessary to bring them together and then turn them loose to create lifelong memories and adventures of their own.

cousins in the park
Photo credit: Andrea Bacle Photography

If everything else faded away, you would still find us scraping our dollars and miles together to travel to Kansas, or wherever our family may be, because that is the main point of all of this. Lie-flat seats are fun, overwater villas are gorgeous, and passport stamps may be priceless, but there is no better return for your miles than memories with family.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.