Why Bloggers Should Stop Calling What We Do a Hobby or a Game

I have vehemently maintained over the years that what we do pertaining to miles, points and travel is not a “hobby” or a “game” — and bloggers should stop using those words to describe it as such for one reason.

Why Bloggers Should Stop Calling What We Do a Hobby

Before I cite the main reason why bloggers should stop calling what we do a hobby, the word is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.”

Many bloggers get paid to write articles about miles, points and travel — myself included — and for some, that is exacerbated by blatantly selling items such as credit cards as a vehicle to profit from their readers as a higher priority than providing them with a service which is useful to them: content which is considered informative, valuable, educational, and perhaps entertaining.

Once a person gets paid to do an activity, it can no longer be considered a hobby — even if the income is minimal and the activity is done on the side.

As an example, Ariana Arghandewal — who has written articles for FlyerTalk, Frugal Travel Guy and PointsChaserused the term hobby no fewer than six times in this one article; and it is not the only article in which she uses that word to describe what we do. I suppose that it might indeed be a hobby for her — but only if she did not get paid a single penny for writing articles related to doing what she does pertaining to miles, points and travel, which I highly doubt.

Why Bloggers Should Stop Calling What We Do a Game

The word game is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “an activity that one engages in for amusement or fun”; but I believe that the definition of the word game as a verb more accurately describes how many bloggers feel about miles, points and travel: “Manipulate (a situation), typically in a way that is unfair or unscrupulous.”

How many times have you read articles written by bloggers which describe ways to manipulate or “game” the system in ways which may be considered on the borderline of ethical — or even blatantly unethical? What was your reaction or thought process as a result?


“An intense desire or enthusiasm for something” is how the Oxford Dictionaries defines the word passion — and that is the word I use to describe what I do.

I did not decide to become a blogger solely as a means to enter the world of travel — as well as for earning and redeeming miles and points. I have had the passion for travel all of my life — long before there was a BoardingArea or a FlyerTalk; and writing articles about it is a natural extension of that passion. I do not get a similar feeling from many bloggers who treat what we do as more of a hobby or a game than a passion.

Perhaps travel in and of itself can technically be considered a hobby if someone does it during his or her own leisure time for pleasure; but for some reason, using that word seems to cheapen what we do and decrease any significance and importance it may have — as though the person using the word hobby to describe either travel or collecting and using miles and points to travel does not really take it seriously. Using the word game in a similar context is even worse, in my opinion — to the point of disparaging and perhaps even insulting.

I would not be the least bit surprised if some readers do not take the articles of some weblogs seriously as a result if only because the authors blatantly do treat what we do as a hobby or a game — but I can assure you that I never thought of miles, points and travel in general merely as a hobby or a game.

To me, travel has unquestionably been; is; and always will be a passion of mine.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

7 thoughts on “Why Bloggers Should Stop Calling What We Do a Hobby or a Game”

  1. Jeremiah says:

    So by that metric, writers who are paid to write content about stamp collecting, hiking or MMORPGs can’t refer for those things as hobbies or games?

    If a blog’s readers consider all of this a game or a hobby, can’t a blog refer to it the same way even if it’s the blogger’s livelihood?

    Certainly don’t expect Gary or Lucky to refer to themselves as credit card salesmen in their bylines…

  2. Ryan says:

    Well said! I also think perpetuating terms like “game” and “gaming” doesn’t help, from an “optics” perspective, when something from our world pops into the mainstream media. “Travel hacking” is even worse in that respect.

    It’s even more hilarious when the more blatantly commercial, credit-card-sales-focused, bloggers make a big show out of insisting that their blog is merely there to “help my friends and family”.

  3. Christian says:

    While I think you’re on to something overall, for many people this actually is a hobby or game. On the other hand I’m with Jeremiah on getting Gary or Ben to rename themselves credit card salesmen. I’d love to see it in the interest of honesty, but think it’s wildly unlikely to happen.

    1. Nigga Please says:

      Nigga please!

  4. Nigga Please says:

    It’s a stupid game for homosexuals

  5. You have a solid point here. Words do matter and they form the foundation of people’s impression of you. I will be more thoughtful in my choice of words related to travel and rewards going forward. The same goes for people in their daily lives… for example, is your work a “job” or a “career.”

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