I travel 150,000 miles a year as CEO of www.thegrocerygame.com. I have
a whole system of getting the most value for my travel dollars, and
still without sacrificing comfort. My favorite…I love to bid for
hotels on Priceline. I’m able to stay in 4 star hotels for less than
the cost of a 2 star in most cities I visit. My method is to choose 4
star, and see what 4 stars are going for in the area I will bid on.
Then, I typically bid about half the cost. The only pitfalls can be
1 . If you are traveling with two people or a family, and need two beds. You can
only ” request” two beds by calling the hotel after you get your bid. Some older classy boutique type hotels only have two beds as an upgrade. And it can be difficult to get an upgrade if you’ve bid on priceline.
2 . You cannot cancel and get your money back. If your travel plans
change, your hotel booking cannot change. You own that room whether you use it or not.
Ask for Free upgrades for rental cars: when checking in for rental cars,
sometimes certain categories are in bigger demand than others. That’s
why sometimes I have gotten a luxury car for an intermediate price. If
I’m not driving a lot of miles and don’t have a lot of fuel to burn, a
free upgrade to a luxury car can be a nice perk. It never hurts to
Cheaper rental cars: I’ve saved money on rental cars two ways:
1 . Bid on priceline. Again, like hotels, I try for half the going
rate, and often get it.
2 . Book off airport for savings of up to half off or more. I’ve been
thrilled with the service in many cases. I’ve been picked up at the
airport curb with my “off site” rental car. Many off airport rental
offices provide transportation to and from the airport. And it can be
more convenient than using the rental car shuttle and dealing
with huge crowds.
Free upgrades at hotels: If you book a hotel directly through the
hotel reservations or on their website, you just might be able to
score a free upgrade. Upon checking in, if the hotel is not booked up,
and if premium or deluxe rooms are available, hoteliers often want to
give you the better experience. Especially if it’s my first time to
stay in a particular hotel, I will book a standard room. Then upon
check in, I ask if they have any rooms with a view available, and what
the cost of upgrade would be. I let them know it’s my first time, and
would love to have the view if it doesn’t cost too much more. About
half the time, they give it to me at no extra cost, if they have a lot
Traveling on off peak days and times of the weeks can give great
savings on flight costs. Typically, travel on Tuesday, wednesday, or
Thursday is cheapest. Also staying away from peak travel times like the
flights at the beginning or end of the work day can reap big savings.
For example, a 6 pm flight out of new York will typically cost more than a 1 pm
Opting to fly into alternate airports can make for huge savings. Many
travel sites like orbitz have a box to check other airports in the
area. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by flying into a different
airport across town, or in a nearby city.