HOUSTON --Dreaming of a European vacation? What about a cruise to the Caribbean?
If you think you can't afford it, you just might be able to by using your everyday spending.
One area mom has mastered the art of scoring cheap and even free travel.
"My family has taken probably a dozen trips so far this year. We have gone to places like Vail, Hawaii, Europe and everywhere in between," said mom Summer Hull.
But she doesn't pay full retail for her world-class vacations. Instead, Hull uses what she calls Mommy Points.
"What it basically means as a mommy I am still earning hotel points, airlines miles, credit card points, and give my family what we would have never could have afforded if we had to pay cash," Hull said.
She scores the points and rewards while shopping at the grocery store, getting gas, and online shopping. Hull says you can score big points too by following her strategy.
Pick a grocery store that rewards you not just on groceries, but all purchases. Her choice is Kroger.
"Mostly because they have the best gift cards and they have the a really good fuel points for cars," Hull said.
Because of those rewards, she has found a way to make every single reward program work for her by making one purchase at Kroger.
"We buy gift cards there to places we are going to visit anyway, like restaurants and clothing stores. We will earn double, sometimes quadruple fuel points to get gas really cheap, but we will also pay with credit cards that earn bonus points at grocery stores," Hull said.
By stacking Kroger points with credit card points, her mommy awards go way up!
Another way to earn reward points is to pick an airline credit card that will rack up miles with everyday spending.
"In Houston, the United Mileage Plus Explorer Card is huge," Hull said.
Then, she uses that credit card to shop online through the United Mileage Plus shopping portal.
"Say I need to buy something at Kmart, I can go through their shopping portal when maybe they are offering nine times points at Kmart. My $100 purchase on school supplies may rack up 900 miles in the process at no cost to me," Hull said.
She will then use all those miles for airfare to travel, hotel accommodations, and even dining out.
For more on Hull and her saving strategies, she has a blog called MommyPoints.com.