Business Class Travel Secrets The Pros Know And Use

The average business traveler makes seven to nine long business trips per year; most American leisure travelers make about three. There are several tricks of the road warrior trade that will help you save money the next time you do some traveling, and some “reverse tricks” that may be worth your while.Timing and Location Matter: When you’re staying at a hotel, look at the business class hotels rather than the “boutique hotels” near the sights. Most business class hotels offer amenities like a kitchenette in the suite, and free internet access, and they tend to be near convention centers, with ample parking and near interstates. You may have to drive to see the sights, but the hotel will usually be as nice. Even better, during peak business travel season (February through October), most of them will slash the price on the room rate if you’re staying in on the weekend, just to fill empty rooms.It’s also worth it to ask for package rates and mentioning that you’re staying over on Saturday night; a lot of these hotels, to get the weekend booking, will cut their weekday rates as well.When you’re flying on airlines, there are also usually cheaper air fares if your arrival and departure dates are more than four days apart, and stay over a weekend. You may have to ask for these discounts.And speaking of locations mattering, if you’re going to rent a car, the worst place to rent one is at the airport; nationwide, auto rentals at the airport are typically 40-50% higher than if you go downtown. If you’re trying to stretch a tight vacation dollar, spend the money on a taxi to go off site for your car rental.Loyalty Programs: Most business travelers belong to an airline miles program, or a hotel perks program; often times both. Airline miles can be banked up to buy more tickets, and if you ever get bumped, you can usually get a voucher and extra airline miles for the inconvenience. If you find you’re mostly flying on one airline anyway, the miles program is almost always worth it. Even more worth it are hotel programs, where you get points for staying at a hotel; the thresholds for getting a free night stay at a hotel are lower.An added perk of these programs is that you get notified of cheap upgrades to business class or first class, and you’re less likely to be involuntarily bumped on an overbooked flight.Give Me Space: If you’re not one of those people who fits comfortably into a coach class seat, look into the airlines with exclusive business class seats; for off-peak flights, you can usually get a seat with more leg room and better food for less than half of what an upgrade would cost on a mixed seating airline, though it will still cost more than coach.Book Online: There are several price comparison sites; it’s worth it to check them out – even if you’re using an airline voucher. You can often use them to find deals where you get extra hotel points or airline miles for booking at certain times.