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Traveling for business? Make sure you are earning rewards points that you can use for future vacations, says Conde Nast Traveler.
“There are more upsides to business travel than room-service breakfast or clean sheets every day. With a little smart planning, work trips can underwrite part—or even all—of your next vacation,” writes Mark Ellwood.
It it’s possible, Ellwood advises business travelers to take control of their bookings.
“First, if not already, take total charge of all bookings, so only you pick the airline and hotel for each trip,” he says.
He then suggests joining any and every free rewards program.
“This is basic travel hacking: see how, for example, you can double up on rewards when booking plane tickets via Orbitz. You can earn both frequent flyer miles and Orbucks, the website’s own reward program,” Ellwood points out.
Ellwood also suggests strategizing hotel stays with hotel rewards — and he points out that you may want to start with smaller chains.
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“If you’re just starting out, though, consider an alternative like Kimpton’s Karma, or Omni’s Select Guest. The reason? These smaller hotel chains have to front-load their programs with freebies to bolster their customer base,” he says.
For long-haul travel, Ellwood recommends downgrading to premium economy to bring a friend.
“Before you book any flight, if your employer permits premium ticketing for long-haul trips, consider downgrading your own ticket; you can then apply the savings to seat for someone to fly as your companion,” he notes.
For more tips, such as advice on stopovers and adding a weekend away, read on here.