Unfortunately, by depleting our travel rewards, it means that we do not have a giant stash of miles and points to help pay for fun travel, at least not very much of it. Yet, for those unexpected travel arrangements, we have had to make, the points and miles have been a blessing. They have provided us with comfortable lodging and one-way flights home. In this respect, our accumulated travel rewards have been the equivalent of a family emergency fund. Some of the travel would either not have been possible or would have been a bit painful on the budget if we had to pay for it out of pocket.
It seems like as soon as we accumulate enough points to go somewhere, another unplanned need pops up. In this regard, travel hacking is not just about fun and adventure. It can also serve as a family safety net with regard to being able to show up when you are needed or invited.
Perhaps you don't have plans to travel to foreign lands or take a tour around the country. However, at any time you may be called upon to take care of some urgent business or to attend a family event. Having airline miles or hotel points to burn can make such affairs less stressful.
Eventually, we may be able to accumulate a giant stash of travel rewards and go on some grand vacation. In the meantime, we are glad that travel hacking allows us to travel to where we are needed.