First Class.

My husband is kind enough to adjust our budget so we can invest some money and accumulated miles and fly First Class when we go on vacation. I’ve always said any seat on an airplane is an awesome seat, and I firmly believe that to still be true, but the other truth of the matter is seats get even more awesome the closer you get to the front of the airplane. If I am not able to be in the cockpit, I want to sit in the single digits.

I’ve been spoiled.

I joke a bit while we’re up here, talking in my best Thurston Howell III voice and not making eye contact with the riff raff as they make they’re way to the back of the airplane where the recycled air is and kids scream at the top of their lungs. In the back of my mind I know our ability to travel in style could change in an instant and we are very blessed to be able to do what we do.

But I do enjoy traveling this way while we can.

I follow several bloggers that spend their days flying from one continent to the next, usually with a more luxurious experience, all on airline miles earned while hacking the credit card system. I admire this. My husband, being at the very tail end of the Baby Boomers, believes in debit cards. “Can’t spend it if we don’t got it” (in his best Philly accent). On the other hand, I’m one for gaming and hacking the system the best I can. Let’s build those miles and enjoy the caviar, dahling. While he says, “use the United card only for restaurants and hotels”, I believe in buying everything and anything on whatever card is going to get us the biggest bang for the buck. Cash rewards? Check: Apple card. Mileage rewards? Check: United.

What debit card?

The key to enjoying this frivolity and not going broke while doing so is part of the mantra I have lived by for my entire adult life: “always be aware of your surroundings”. This includes knowing your balances, knowing your budget, and remaining within your parameters. It’s like being a private pilot. It may look clear and sunny and an utterly gorgeous day to fly, but if the crosswind exceeds your personal minimums, stay on the ground.

Don’t go in the red and bang up the airplane.