Thursday, March 05, 2009

Travel Tip Thursday: How to Score Free Stuff

Before I start on this post, I wanted to thank beautiful Kelly Hamilton at Hamilton Happenings for this adorable “Travel Tip Thursday” button. I love it!!!



How to Score Free Stuff While Traveling


1. Join a frequent flier program (or two) and every time you fly be sure to provide your Frequent Flier Number. Then fly the same one or two airlines when you fly to build up miles. Ex: I always fly Southwest, United, or Jet Blue because I already have miles on all of those. I’ve earned LOTS of free tickets from these three airlines.

2. Join a Hotel’s Frequent Guest Program. It’s free to become a Hilton Honors Member, Marriott Rewards Member or a Starwood Preferred Guest. Be sure to always provide your number when checking in. You can earn free nights and upgrade pretty quickly. The BEST frequent guest program is Starwood (Sheraton, W, Westin, etc). You earn free nights the fastest with Starwood. However, Hilton has the most locations and cheaper properties (Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, and Hilton all fall under the Hilton brand). As long as you stay one time a year your account stays active and your points don’t expire. Also as frequent guest at a hotel chain you often get free breakfast, free upgrades, free internet, etc.

3. Get a credit card that give you travel rewards. I’ve had a Hilton American Express, a United Airlines Visa, and a Starwood American Express. Using these for your travel expenses will earn you lots of points/miles and many of them give you a free night/ free ticket just for joining. I personally prefer the hotel cards over the airline cards because some airlines have been bit less financially stable in recent years. (Note: Credit cards are great for earning rewards… just remember to be a responsible spender with them!)

4. Ask for upgrades. It never hurts to ask when you check into your hotel if they have any bigger rooms, view rooms, etc. available. Especially if it’s a special occasion and you let the front desk person know that, and they will often upgrade you.

5. At a hotel if something is not to your liking, don’t be afraid to speak up. Hotels are all about Customer Service. The key is voice your complaint and ask them what they can do to compensate you (don't demand a free anything). Some personal examples: I had no hot water in my room once, they gave me a free night. I had a super noisy room and told the front desk, they changed my room and gave me a free breakfast. Just be really polite and don’t be ridiculous and the hotel will usually take care of you.


Does anyone else have any advice for how to earn free stuff traveling? I’m sure there are some other good ideas out there.

13 comments:

Caitlin said...

Thanks for the tips!

Miss Adventure said...

These are awesome! I've always wondered how you get frequent flier miles, is signing up for it free or do you have to pay extra per ticket, year, or something like that? I would get a card but currently I only really need one and didn't want to pay the huge amount it cost to earn points.

Katie said...

I love your blog! It is so cute!

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Omni Hotel in SF for our anniversary, once the front desk staff found out about the special occasion they left us a fabulous fruit/champagne tray in our room while we were out to dinner!

Lucky in Love said...

Great tips!

Justin and Jenn said...

I have a question!! We are members of Marriott rewards & we're planning our next vacation. The hotel is cheaper on through a third-party (like Orbitz) but they told me in order to get "credit" with our rewards, you have to book through them. Is there a way around that?!?

Niki said...

Great tips! Thanks:)

Sarah said...

Thanks for the great tips!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the shout out! The new design looks great- good choice for the color scheme! =)

Shoshanah said...

I do love JetBlue and while JetBlue does fly out of both New Orleans and Long Beach, they don't actually fly between the two. Otherwise I would fly that ALL the time. And you earn flighs really with them too! I have friends who how wound up with 4 or 5 free flights with them!@

Good Gals Inc said...

I've just learned that when you are booking a hotel room at a place with a casino, you should call the front desk (NOT THE 1-800 number and ask for a Casino hostest and talk to them for the casino rate) That will get you a discount if not free room!

My name is Megan... said...

these are great tips!! :) I'm loving your new header!

Lucky in Love said...

Tagged you!

StylishSuburban said...

Great tips thanks for sharing.
I left you something on my blog

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