Author Topic: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?  (Read 13906 times)

codemonkey

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Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« on: October 13, 2015, 10:01:58 AM »
Update: Thank you to everyone for their advice!  My wife and I talked this over after reading through all of the replies and both of us will be attending and we'll be doing our first legitimate travel hacking, which should be a great learning experience that'll open up a lot of other opportunities in the future.

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My wife and I are trying to figure out what we should do next October when her brother gets married in San Francisco.  We live in Michigan and we feel somewhat obligated to attend the wedding and reception, despite knowing that they are also holding a second reception back here in Michigan later in the year.  They understand that most of their friends from the area won't be able to make the trip out there.

We have four kids who will be 6 and under when the wedding takes place.  We definitely cannot justify flying them all out there, so it would be either just the two of us and possibly our under 2 child who could fly free.

Either way, we'd be paying (or travel hacking) for 2 tickets, 2+ nights of lodging, possibly a rental car, and we would be away from our other kids over the weekend.  At this point in life, we would never choose to spend that kind of money on a vacation for ourselves and we definitely wouldn't choose to fly across the country away from our other children.

For what it's worth, we're currently putting away 45% of our total income.  We're on the fence about this because it effects our long term savings goals, but it also seems like we are being selfish by not being willing to spend money that we technically could afford to spend. 

We're going to have an open discussion with my brother in law about it, but I'm interested in an outside perspective as well.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:13:54 PM by jonsauce »

KCM5

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 10:09:31 AM »
Road trip?

Jouer

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 10:11:26 AM »
I sure as hell would do whatever I could to attend my brother's wedding. Unless there is hair-on-fire debt, then go for it. (I'm assuming you have childcare figured out in Michigan while you are gone.)

Philociraptor

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 10:13:18 AM »
With travel hacking, 1 airline card, 1 hotel card, and 1 travel cash card would take care of all of this. If you have an entire year to plan you have plenty of time to hit the minimum spends.

 - 50k airline points for 2 round-trips on American or United, less if Southwest flies that route (most cards give you 50k for $2k-$3k min spend, Citi AAdvantage is one of these)
 - Around 30k hotel points for 2 nights (80k points for $3k min spend, Marriot is one of these)
 - $400 in travel spending (rental, parking, etc.) with a $3k minimum spend (Capital One Venture, etc.)

rockstache

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 10:18:42 AM »
I think it depends on the relationship that your wife has with her brother. I personally would do anything and everything possible to attend my siblings' weddings (even if it meant attending alone sans husband), because I am so close to them. If she feels it is important, but you want to keep expenses down, why don't you offer to care for the kids while she takes some time for herself to go and celebrate her brother? Only one plane ticket, and she might be able to stay with a friend or relative if she travels solo. YMMV

Better Change

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 10:18:49 AM »
Do it for sure!  We had a destination wedding and a separate reception at home.  All of our invited guests attended both the wedding and reception part (it helped that the destination was Jackson Hole, WY....)

I've flown to SFO from Flint on Delta twice in six months.  Super easy, and not super expensive.  I think the first time my flights were ~ $300.

Southwest flies out of Flint and Detroit....

milesdividendmd

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 10:24:55 AM »
This is precisely why travel hacking is such a no brainer for Mustachians.  It completely takes off the table the need to miss out on family events because of money.  Furthermore it expands your world of opportunities.  Want to backpack in asia for 6 months?  Flight completely covered and you can save on rent.

Mustachianism is not about deprivation.  It is about optimization.  And this is one easy way to add significant value to your life with almost no downside.  All the skills required are easily learnable in 30 days.

Catomi

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 10:28:08 AM »
Barring some serious bad blood between the siblings, I would for sure fly at least your wife out for the wedding. You can afford it, this qualifies as a very significant, rare (I hope - if it's the sibling's third or fourth wedding, I might pass) family event, and I for one would be very hurt if my sibling could afford to attend my wedding and chose not to. Mustachianism, in my opinion, is not just about saving as much money as possible. It's about being able to do the things that are important to you. If attending your brother in law's wedding truly isn't important to you/your wife, then that's your call, but given how much emotion can be built up around weddings I wouldn't be surprised if you piss some people off.

BlueHouse

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 10:33:33 AM »
Holy cow, yes!  Of course you both need to attend.  No question about it!  you've got a year to worry about making the numbers work out.

bacchi

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 10:42:28 AM »
With travel hacking, 1 airline card, 1 hotel card, and 1 travel cash card would take care of all of this. If you have an entire year to plan you have plenty of time to hit the minimum spends.

 - 50k airline points for 2 round-trips on American or United, less if Southwest flies that route (most cards give you 50k for $2k-$3k min spend, Citi AAdvantage is one of these)
 - Around 30k hotel points for 2 nights (80k points for $3k min spend, Marriot is one of these)
 - $400 in travel spending (rental, parking, etc.) with a $3k minimum spend (Capital One Venture, etc.)

Yep, and you can double up. Each spouse should get an AA card for 50k miles and then a hotel card.

Even if you don't travel hack, I'd go..unless the siblings aren't close at all.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2015, 10:44:41 AM »
I would definitely do it.  Like others have said, you've got a year to plan things.  You could even maybe turn it into a vacation.  Take the week off and explore San Francisco/surrounding area after (or before) the wedding.  Start collecting airline points now to use for the wedding.

Your brother-in-law might be expecting a lot of friends not being able to make the trip, but family is often in a whole other category.  It could cause some friction if his sister skipped the wedding. 

Elle 8

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 10:53:34 AM »
I think it depends on the relationship that your wife has with her brother. I personally would do anything and everything possible to attend my siblings' weddings (even if it meant attending alone sans husband), because I am so close to them. If she feels it is important, but you want to keep expenses down, why don't you offer to care for the kids while she takes some time for herself to go and celebrate her brother? Only one plane ticket, and she might be able to stay with a friend or relative if she travels solo. YMMV

This is exactly what I was thinking.  Never mind the money; four kids under six on a trip that farů yikes!

Valetta

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 10:54:19 AM »
I would absolutely do it for a siblings wedding. I would think you would regret it for the rest of your life if you miss it. Especially because you have a ton of time to plan for the expense and are managing to save so well. Unless things are bad between the siblings, it seems selfish to skip it.

rubybeth

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 11:01:10 AM »
For a sibling's wedding, absolutely. I love our BarclayCard for travel rewards, and you'd have plenty of time to rack up points to save some bucks: http://www.findmybarclaycard.com/barclaycard-credit-cards/arrival-plus/

Retire-Canada

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 11:05:18 AM »
I would not feel obligated to do anything that requires travelling across the country. Period.

Now if your wife wants to go make it happen. If you want to go make it happen and leave the kids at home.

If she doesn't want to go or you don't want to go forget it and attend the local reception.

You don't owe anyone anything. If you have a good relationship with your sibling you will likely want to go and that's about you doing it for your own reasons not obligation forcing you.


Tick-Tock

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 11:29:51 AM »
I would absolutely do it for a siblings wedding. I would think you would regret it for the rest of your life if you miss it. Especially because you have a ton of time to plan for the expense and are managing to save so well. Unless things are bad between the siblings, it seems selfish to skip it.

+1

I did not go cross-country to a sibling's wedding for several reasons (including time, money, convenience). Ever since (16 years now) I have regretted that decision.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2015, 11:30:57 AM »
You guys make it sounds so easy!  How on earth do you hit those minimum spends?  How much time to they give you to spend 3k?  We only spend about 1000 dollars/month on everything, some of that is cash/check only.

I guess I've got some research to do. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2015, 11:40:17 AM »
I would do everything I can to make sure I could attend a siblings wedding.
If it really is not in the financials (and I suspect if you are putting away 45% of your income, you could afford this) YOU go and spouse and children stay home.

(Edit: In this case, spouse goes, you and children stay home)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 12:46:20 PM by iowajes »

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2015, 12:03:26 PM »
If it won't offend your family, and you don't mind, consider just your wife going. It would cut the airfare and restaurant costs in half, and allow you to stay home to take care of the kids. Depending on where the hotel and wedding are, she may not need a rental car, and many hotels in SF proper charge for parking even if you're a hotel guest, so consider that when deciding. There are (limited) hotel shuttles, generic shuttles, uber, and cabs to get from the airport to the hotel. Or if she doesn't have much luggage, there is also public transportation. Once in SF, the public transportation is pretty easy to get around on.

NotJen

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2015, 12:19:23 PM »
If she has a good relationship with her brother, she should absolutely plan to go.  You just have to decide if it's worth it for you or any of the kids to join her.  When I got married, my XH's brother didn't come to the wedding.  He had a plane ticket purchased for a quick 1 day-ish trip (unless that was a lie...) but chose not to come at the last minute.  Even though it was not surprising at all to me based on his past behavior, it really made my XH sad, as he always looked up to this brother, and wanted him there.

You guys make it sounds so easy!  How on earth do you hit those minimum spends?  How much time to they give you to spend 3k?  We only spend about 1000 dollars/month on everything, some of that is cash/check only.

I guess I've got some research to do. 
They usually give you 3 months to meet the minimum spend, but each card has different terms.  I try to time when I receive the card to when I have a big expense due - like a car or homeowner's insurance payment.  Recently, when I needed some extra points quickly for a flight that I wanted to book, I bought gift cards to the grocery store I use all the time (no added fees), and I'm currently spending those down.

bacchi

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2015, 12:21:02 PM »
You guys make it sounds so easy!  How on earth do you hit those minimum spends?  How much time to they give you to spend 3k?  We only spend about 1000 dollars/month on everything, some of that is cash/check only.

I guess I've got some research to do.

Three months, usually.

Some of the cards have lower minimums, such as the Citi 30,000 AA for $1000/3 months (compared to the Citi 50,000 AA for $3000/3 months).

The Hyatt card, like most of the hotel cards, is also $1000/3 months for a sign up bonus of 2 free nights.

Tremeroy

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 12:30:48 PM »
You guys make it sounds so easy!  How on earth do you hit those minimum spends?  How much time to they give you to spend 3k?  We only spend about 1000 dollars/month on everything, some of that is cash/check only.

I guess I've got some research to do.

Three months, usually.

Some of the cards have lower minimums, such as the Citi 30,000 AA for $1000/3 months (compared to the Citi 50,000 AA for $3000/3 months).

The Hyatt card, like most of the hotel cards, is also $1000/3 months for a sign up bonus of 2 free nights.

You could consider "pre spending" through buying gift cards for money that you already plan on spending. E.g., purchase a gift card to your usual grocery store that will cover a few month's trips.

milesdividendmd

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2015, 12:45:33 PM »
You guys make it sounds so easy!  How on earth do you hit those minimum spends?  How much time to they give you to spend 3k?  We only spend about 1000 dollars/month on everything, some of that is cash/check only.

I guess I've got some research to do.

It is very easy.  I teach a free course with a fellow mustachian, Brad Barret, (see below for link)  and would be happy to help you to get started!

Dee18

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2015, 01:44:04 PM »
Seems to me wife should go and dad should stay home with the kids.  Wife could probably share housing with someone to further reduce costs.  Taking a toddler to a wedding is not usually plus to anyone.

mm1970

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2015, 01:44:40 PM »
Oy!  I've never travel-hacked.

Anyway, I would surely go.  Although with 4 kids under 6, honestly - if you have family who can babysit, then both of you go - take the toddler if he's invited.

If you don't feel comfortable with that, let the wife go.

My brother got married in 2002, in our home town in PA.  I was living in CA.  For sure my spouse and I went (it was pre-kid) and it was the first time in decades that ALLLL the siblings were together.

AZDude

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2015, 01:57:50 PM »
Just spend the money(or time "hacking" it). We flew from west coast to east coast for my BIL's wedding, and while it was expensive, I also had a great time and got to see a part of the country I had never been to. It was totally worth it, despite not being a trip I would taken otherwise.

Assuming this is wedding #1, then you *are* obligated to go, unless there is some kind of emergency. If anything, this seems like an ideal excuse to drop the kids off with the grandparents and enjoy a childless vacation.

Oh, and if you do bring the 2 year old, be prepared. Have some food, games, etc... for the plane ride. 4 hours in an airplane with a tired two old can get very interesting.

UnleashHell

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2015, 02:46:04 PM »
Last year my wife, myself and two kids flew from Florida to England for my Brother in laws wedding. Wouldn't have missed it and I don't see why anyone else should get off easy and miss all the family hell fun......

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2015, 05:34:49 PM »
Skipping a family wedding is something you can never walk back from. Find a way. We schlepped ourselves all the way to Montreal (from Colorado) for a college friend's wedding this summer, and were so glad we did. Now, we had the advantage that we could fly into DC, drop off the tots with my parents, then borrow my dad's old Corolla and drive to Canada--family weddings are trickier because everyone who might watch your kids is at the wedding!

If it were me, in your wife's place, I would go by myself. But consult your family dynamic before proceeding :-). I enjoy spending time with my family away from my husband because then I don't have to worry if he's having a good time. (Generally, he's not. No one is right or wrong, they just have different ideas of a good party.)

Confession: I did not drive 4 hours to see my sister-in-law get married. But she was basically eloping, my husband wasn't in that part of the country, and she did not actually invite me. And she's... well... herself.

stashing_it

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2015, 06:18:48 PM »
For me, the slam dunk answer is that your wife should fly to see her brother's wedding, and then the whole family should go to the Michigan reception when that occurs

Jakejake

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2015, 06:42:43 PM »
Here's what I picked up on from the OP: I don't think you really want to go. I'm saying that because you refer to the option of staying home as the "selfish" option. My question is: does your wife really want to go?

My answer is to do what she wants here - because it's her family. I didn't go to my sister's wedding, I have a great relationship with her - but I don't especially put much value on wedding ceremonies in general, and if I were going to spend all the travel money to see someone, it would be more private, not at a big event like that when they're too busy to spend any quality time with me. I don't regret skipping her wedding and it's nothing to do with my relationship with her or her husband.

So if your wife feels like she'd be missing out, it's probably worth the money and hassle, but otherwise I'd guestimate the cost of attending, and then see if you can instead contribute some sizable portion of that and some planning help toward the local Michigan reception as a wedding gift.

Kwill

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2015, 07:02:07 PM »
For me, the slam dunk answer is that your wife should fly to see her brother's wedding, and then the whole family should go to the Michigan reception when that occurs

I think so, too. Plus if she goes alone, she may be able to split a room with a sister or cousin or friend. She could ride along with others more easily by herself, so it would be less necessary to get a car rental.

Astatine

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2015, 07:05:36 PM »
Barring some serious bad blood between the siblings, I would for sure fly at least your wife out for the wedding. You can afford it, this qualifies as a very significant, rare (I hope - if it's the sibling's third or fourth wedding, I might pass) family event, and I for one would be very hurt if my sibling could afford to attend my wedding and chose not to. Mustachianism, in my opinion, is not just about saving as much money as possible. It's about being able to do the things that are important to you. If attending your brother in law's wedding truly isn't important to you/your wife, then that's your call, but given how much emotion can be built up around weddings I wouldn't be surprised if you piss some people off.

This.

I am estranged from family so there is no way in hell I'm attending any family event, ever. DH, on the other hand, has a good relationship with his family. Even I would have felt hurt if his siblings hadn't shown up to our wedding and at the time I really didn't know them that well. Two of his siblings turned up with their partners, one of them left his wife and kids behind because of financial (and possibly other reasons). We were a bit sad that the wife couldn't make it, but we understood their circumstances.

MBot

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2015, 07:53:51 PM »
It's a sibling's wedding and you're saving 45% of your income.

Unless there's seriously bad family dynamics... or it's their 4th wedding and the meaning of the event is seriously declining over time, why the heck wouldn't you both go?

It's optional to take kids, especially with a local reception, but it's in pretty poor taste not to attend a sibling's wedding that you can afford to go to.

Mr Money Mutton Chops

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2015, 08:33:37 PM »
It's a sibling's wedding and you're saving 45% of your income.

Unless there's seriously bad family dynamics...


Even then, it may be worth going. Not going may create far too much drama to be worth it even if you aren't a particularly happy family.....

starbuck

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2015, 09:14:42 PM »
We're on the fence about this because it effects our long term savings goals, but it also seems like we are being selfish by not being willing to spend money that we technically could afford to spend. 

We're going to have an open discussion with my brother in law about it, but I'm interested in an outside perspective as well.

Uh yea, 'long term savings goals' aren't a good excuse to miss a major life event for an immediate family member. And immediate family declining to attend is not the same as friends not making the same trip. I think at minimum your wife needs to go, and it would be best if you both went sans kids. Weddings typically double as family reunions as well. My immediate family is scattered throughout the US and even though I'm not super close to my siblings, we paid to fly two of them to our wedding because they couldn't afford to attend otherwise. My parents were really pleased to have all of us in the same place for once. With a bare minimum of travel hacking, this shouldn't be a big financial cost at all.

I would also be sensitive to how you discuss it with your BIL and future SIL. With them having a 2nd reception back home, they are clearly sensitive to the travel burden their wedding is resulting in, and would probably appreciate some unconditional and enthusiastic support from family. Just some food for thought.

JustTrying

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2015, 11:09:34 PM »
Yes, I think a sib's wedding is a big deal, and your wife should go. That being said, I'm bringing up an option that you didn't bring up: She could go without you. In fact, she could bring one of the kiddos with her if it would make it easier for you taking care of the others back home.

PFHC

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2015, 01:38:20 AM »
Unequivocally, yes.

FLBiker

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2015, 09:03:33 AM »
For me, the slam dunk answer is that your wife should fly to see her brother's wedding, and then the whole family should go to the Michigan reception when that occurs

I like this approach, too.

Really, though, it depends on the person.  I live across the country from my family, and I don't expect them to come visit all the time, nor do I go visit all the time.  That's part of the choice of living in a different place.  I lived overseas, and missed some weddings (though not my brother's, to be fair) and funerals.  Nobody held it against me.  Once I was back in the country, I was single into my 30s, and I went to more extended family stuff (weddings, funerals) than my brother who was married w/ kids.  My brother is the only one of my fam who hasn't yet been to FL to see our new daughter, but they're planning a trip for next summer when the kids are out of school.  Totally reasonable.

That said, some people have very high expectations of family members willingness to do anything to be at a given event.  My family isn't like that, but my wife's kind of is.

elaine amj

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2015, 09:06:59 AM »
Yes - go. Flying to SF isn't as expensive as you may think, especially if you are willing to deal with connecting flights. I used to fly direct only but now I've switched to mostly connecting flights to save $$ or points. I remember when I planned my Cali trip this year, flying to San Jose (very close to SF) was only around $300-$400 round trip per person on Southwest.

I flew across the world for my brother's wedding and there was never a question in my mind that we would be there.

When DH and I got married, we ended up with weddings and receptions in different countries since we knew neither family sets could afford to travel across the world and we didn't want to leave anyone out. We were so touched when his sister decided to fly across the world to be the only person from "his side". She didn't need to, but it was sweet and I'm sure he appreciated it. My mother and brother flew out to be with me at our Cdn wedding and it meant a lot to have them there with me.

That said, we declined attending my nephew's destination wedding. We could afford it but it was more than we wanted to spend. We wanted to be there, but ultimately, only his friends, the bride's side, and his mother's side of the family went. The groom's father has 3 siblings (incl my husband) and we were the only ones invited. To top it off, the groom's 2 sisters were not going to be able to attend. I finally figured that the only people we would know there was my nephew (who we were not close to) and his mother and father. It just didn't "feel" right. I tried my best to travel hack it and even got a CC for it. But when rates came out, only business class seats were available for the points we had and the vacation price kept going up and up despite my best efforts. So we said no. We still feel sad we couldn't be there...but frankly, I think it was the right decision. I did attend the bridal shower and gave a generous gift.

Kaminoge

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2015, 09:32:50 AM »
As lots of other peope have said it totally depends on your family. In mine weddings aren't really a big deal (not sure why, there's been no divorces at all in my family so it's not like we have a lot of them). I'm getting married in a few months in the US (where I don't live). My brother lives on the other side of the US. I specifically told him and his family that they are very welcome to attend but I won't be at all bothered if they don't. Seems ridiculous to me to ask them to fly all the way across the US for a short ceremony.

But I'm only saying that because I REALLY don't care. It would be nice to see them but I'm not going to have my feelings hurt in the slightest if they decide not to come.

My poor parents on the other hand get to fly from literally the otherside of the world to attend... but I figure they should have known when they chose to have kids that they'd be troublesome :-)

Richmond Savers

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2015, 10:58:26 AM »
Like many people have said, unless there are some family dynamics that we are unaware of, I'm not sure you can miss a sibling's wedding because of a fairly small financial outlay.  Even if you take travel hacking out of it, can it cost more than $1,000 for 2 round trip flights to the Bay Area and 2 nights in a mid-tier hotel?

Travel hacking
:  If you have some time to plan this, a trip like this would be EASY to put together with rewards points. 

The absolutely simplest way would be to open two cards like the Capital One Venture (Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Cap One Spark Miles for Business would work as well) -- one each for you and your wife.

Each one will get you $460 in free travel, so you'd just put the flights on one of your credit card accounts, the hotel on the other and after the fact you could wipe out a total of $920. 

Nobody knows or cares you have points -- just pay for the travel with your cards and after you've hit the minimum spend on each, you redeem your points. 

There are of course many ways to do this with rewards points, so if you went the traditional route it would generally cost 25,000 miles each for a round-trip ticket in the continental US.  So 50k total there. 

Depending on the hotel and your flexibility, you can find lower point requirments.  We have family in the Bay Area and I scouted out a Hyatt House near Oakland that is 8,000 Hyatt points per night.  My sister-in-law said it's really nice, so we're going to stay there. 

You could get Chase Ultimate Rewards points (Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus primarily) and put together that trip fairly easily.  Hyatt and United for instance are Chase UR transfer partners.  64,000 Chase UR (50k send to United and 16k to Hyatt) and you're on your way. 

Like Alexi (Miles Dividend MD) said above, we offer a free travel hacking course that was designed specifically for Mustachians.  We'd love for you to sign up -- it's free, there's no time commitment and it walks you through the concept with articles and videos. 

monkeytree

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2015, 11:12:23 AM »
YES! I agree with what most people said - just go!

But, if you do decide to go, whether you travel hacked or just paid for the whole thing yourself, please try to just enjoy the festivities and spending time with the family. Don't spend the whole time regretting or worrying about how many months of setback this is for you (which, if you're already saving 45% of your income, shouldn't be that much anyway).

codemonkey

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2015, 11:39:54 AM »
Thank you everyone for your advice.  There was far too much good advice to pick out specific people to reply to.  It's always helpful for me to hear objective advice from other mustachians.

We both want to go to the wedding, we were just starting to look at the length of the flight and the potential cost and were starting to think that it conflicted with our financial goals.

I did offer to stay home and watch the children so that my wife could go by herself and she declined that.  My parents have already said they could help with at least three of the children, so childcare while we are gone has no expense and our kids love hanging out with their grandparents so they probably won't miss us at all.

It is a first time wedding and we both really like the girl he is getting married to.  We don't see her brother much now that he's across the country, but we have a good relationship with him and always have a good time when we do get together.

We'll definitely be attending and I'm going to go get started on travel hacking as soon as I hit Post. 

« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:29:07 PM by jonsauce »

asiljoy

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2015, 11:52:02 AM »
YES! I agree with what most people said - just go!

But, if you do decide to go, whether you travel hacked or just paid for the whole thing yourself, please try to just enjoy the festivities and spending time with the family. Don't spend the whole time regretting or worrying about how many months of setback this is for you (which, if you're already saving 45% of your income, shouldn't be that much anyway).
This. There's Mustachian and then there's just cheap. Don't be that guy.

Noodle

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2015, 12:18:09 PM »
The only time I have seem someone skip a sibling's wedding when it didn't cause hard feelings was when the person in question had very young twins, the kids were at a stage where they needed two adults to keep things from going off the rails and the wedding was a destination wedding. All the local family who would have been willing to help out with two toddlers for several days were going to the wedding and the other side was across the country and would have had to take vacation time to come help. Everyone felt that was an unreasonable ask of people who weren't related to the bride and groom so no one gave the sibling any flack.

In your case, glad you're going. I think everyone will feel it was worth it in the end.

elaine amj

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2015, 02:42:41 PM »
The only time I have seem someone skip a sibling's wedding when it didn't cause hard feelings was when the person in question had very young twins, the kids were at a stage where they needed two adults to keep things from going off the rails and the wedding was a destination wedding. All the local family who would have been willing to help out with two toddlers for several days were going to the wedding and the other side was across the country and would have had to take vacation time to come help. Everyone felt that was an unreasonable ask of people who weren't related to the bride and groom so no one gave the sibling any flack.

In your case, glad you're going. I think everyone will feel it was worth it in the end.

I think there is a lot more leeway given to destination weddings.

Like I said earlier, I declined my nephew's destination wedding. His two sisters did not attend either. The one has two small kids and couldn't afford it. The other had a baby about 3 months before the wedding. All this was known when they were planning the wedding. When I feel a little guilty about declining (we went to Disney the following year for half the cost), I remind myself that they planned a wedding they flat out knew the groom's sisters would not be able to attend. It was even dicey whether his father was going to be able to make it (health problems). I figured if it didn't bother them too much that immediate family couldn't be there, they sure weren't going to care much if an aunt&uncle pulled out. (unless they were counting on our bookings to pay off their own rooms - and yes, unbelievably enough, there are destination wedding brides who do it so they can have a "free" vacation!)

Jouer

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Re: Fly Across The Country For A Sibling's Wedding?
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2015, 08:10:13 AM »
I agree about the extra leeway for destination weddings. I had a destination wedding (Dominican Republic) - there was no expectation on my part for people to come. My only sibling couldn't attend because his wife was having a baby the exact same time. One of my best friends couldn't come because of money reasons - I told him not to sweat it.