As points become harder to acquire and quick to expire, the price in points for a ticket continues to rise, blackout dates block key travel windows and fees and tax charges for "free" tickets become more common. You have to work harder and be smarter to cash in on past travel for future adventures.
Fortunately, there are ways to save points and miles by as much as 50 percent -- a welcome reprieve for families on a budget. Here are five tricks for making reward travel more attainable for you and your clan.
As you enter the plane and prepare yourself for the next four hours of misery, you'll probably pass some happier passengers sipping on pre-departure beverages and sprawling across their roomy first-class seats.