I thought I’d pass along some of my wisdom of travel… Priority Points. Much like a Kroger Card or Gas Card or any other rewards card passed out by a store chain, Travel Rewards or Priority Points that are offered by hotel chains are as good as money. Guess what else….they’re free.
You don’t have to be a business man or women to collect points. All you need to do is go to the hotels website and sign up. some will even give you 5000 points just for doing that. The average free room at say a Holiday Inn Property (Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites) is anywhere from 10,000-25,000 points. Every quarter they put on promotions that give you the opportunity to earn extra points by just staying 1-5 nights. Sometimes is stay two nights get a free night, sometimes it’s earn double points, sometimes its stay 5 nights from January – June get 20,000 points. Any way you look at it adds up to free room or vacations for you and your family. As you collect points, you also become valuable to the hotel. you move up to their Gold Club or Platinum Club with entitles you to earn extra bonus points for just staying. You also gain access to the club level rooms and Concierge Room…free food and Beer and Wine.
Another tidbit I’ve learned over the years of traveling for work…You don’t need Priceline to get a discount or free upgrade. upgrades are free most time when you belong to the hotel’s rewards club…but always just ask for the upgrade. A lot of the times they will just give them to you for free if it’s a slow night. Regardless of memberships in any of these clubs, you should always do your homework. By homework I mean, look to see if there are any corporate offices located near or in the same city as your travel destination. If so start making the call…to the hotels. You will want to pick higher end hotel chains for this mission…Hilton, Holiday Inn, Marriott, etc. A lot of the times these hotel chains compete for their business clients and will offer blanketed discounts. In my experience I’ve never been asked to show proof that I am associated with those businesses. All you need to do is find out what business is located near…say for example when going to Detroit, ask the hotel clerk (on the phone) if they have a special rate for Ford. If so, just let them know You are coming in from out-of-town for a meeting. That’s all it takes. You can get up to 30-50% discount for the rooms. Sometimes that’s a difference of a meal for 4 sometimes. Either way these hotels are not out anything, most offer discounts through one avenue or the other, just to fill rooms.
My last bit of travel news is the coveted Airport Sky Lounge. If you fly 2 or more times a year, you will want to join. Check with your credit card company, most have partnerships with one or more of these that will give you free access to them. Why you ask do I want in….Let’s say you arrive at an airport and get through security and have 1-2 hours to spare before your flight. you go to your gate and find…no seat. Or, the very uncomfortable seat. Say you are hungry for a snack….any sandwich or beverage will cost you an arm and a leg. But if you have access to the Sky Lounge….you get for FREE….snacks and beverages. Along with FREE WiFi. If you are traveling with your family, it won’t take you long to figure out you just saved $30-$50. Most times very comfortable leather chairs or couches….some recline. This is great, say if your flight gets cancelled and you have to wait longer than expected. Some airports even have an open bar in which you go make your own cocktail….FREE!!!!
I will end this Blog by this….COLLECT THE POINTS…YOU CAN”T LOSE!!!!