As “road warrior,” I decided today that I would share some travel tricks of the trade and wanted to blog about them. I hope my tips help you prepare for your next trade show or out-of-town event.
HOTELS & ROOM STAYS:
When booking hotels, most hotels when booked directly with the property offer a decent cancellation policy, up to 24 hours before check-in. Many of the frequent traveler programs available nowadays offer great opportunities for points. Lately, a lot of these programs have extra promotions. For example, Hilton offer the Hilton Honors program, which includes “Base Points” and sometimes promotional program – where you can obtain double points or even triple points for each stay. Marriott Rewards offers a roll-over of nights to help guests reach the next service level. So if you stay in a Marriott 11 nights in 2021, these will rollover into 2022 and will help you get to “Silver” or “Gold” status faster during that following year.
Most trade shows will offer a Hotel Booking agency, often through the CVB, through which you can select rooms from room blocks with negotiated rates. Please note that you will still be eligible for points during these stays. Make sure you share your rewards card number with the front desk as check in just to make sure you get your credit! The points can add up quickly.
If you don't want to stay in a traditional hotel, there are also options with Air BNB or VRBO . Both of these websites are portals/search engines where individuals can own and host their space out to people that want to stay at their property. Sometimes these are rooms in a house, a full house, a condo, or an apartment - and many offer a variety of amenities that you might not find in a hotel. Be sure to read the ratings, and if you have questions, reach out to the host to get the answers you need.
Flights!!! Book early to save money on flights! This is usually the most painful part. It’s tough to predict the best day to book your flight – but try to book on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, as prices tend to be lower mid-week. The theory is that people are searching for flights on Mondays, when they don’t want to be at work, and on Fridays/weekends, when people are ready for the weekend! Try to book on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also, www.kayak.com is a fantastic search engine to use for searching multiple airline sites at the same time.
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT:
If your city offers a Park ‘N Fly, this is a GREAT place to park your car while you are out-of-town. Park ‘N’Fly offers a Frequent Parker Club, where you can register and log-in to collect points for days parked. The service is great – and the shuttles will drop you right off at your door. Plus, when you return, they’ll pick you up, so you don’t have to remember where you parked your car.
UBER OR LYFT:
Both offer business accounts, and both offer a ton of flexibility for you to get to and from the airport and to and from your hotel. You can set up an account, let the driver know where to pick you up and where you're going, right within the app, and there is no need to exchange cash. If you want to tip the driver, you can do so right in the app - which offers you the safety of not having to open a wallet with a stranger (or have the right amount of cash on hand!)
I could go on and on, but figured this would be a good place to start. May your next trip be smooth – and safe!