People ask me all the time, what is the best approach to finding traveling deals? Seems like a fair question right? Everyone wants to travel the world, experience other cultures, and eat great food. However, unless you are multi-millionaire or your business reimburses you for work, traveling can be expensive. So, what’s the big tip….
You may ask what does loyalty have to do with saving money on travel. Well, it actually has everything to do with travel. Many earn loads of points and miles from various programs and ALWAYS focus on the program their the most familiar with. See, most people love traveling domestically on Southwest or Delta because of their miles. Some love staying at Starwood Preferred Guest Properties or Hyatt’s (yes, I’m guilty). However, the psychological aspect of being loyal to one or two specific travel programs prevents you from researching or trying other programs which may save you money or miles/points. Of course every travel situation is different and many factors go into choosing a specific program like travel date and time, weather, connections, etc.
One can fly from nonstop BNA – PHX on Southwest for $100:
However Frontier Airlines you can fly BNA – PHX for as low as $59:
In full disclosure Frontier limits your baggage and Southwest has the best baggage policy in the industry. However, if you a looking for a quick getaway and know how to pack light, Frontier might be an option. Southwest may not always be the most cost effective option. Shop around, spend 30 minutes comparing other airlines or use Google Flights. Note: Southwest Airlines won’t show on Google Flights website.
So say you want to stay downtown Phoenix on April 11th and don’t have any hotel loyal points.
Here are a couple of options:
Hyatt Regency Phoenix for $609/night
Hilton Garden Inn for $300/night
In this example, the Hilton Garden Inn is a great option, but you would never know if you only stayed at Hyatt’s. Personally, I always look for Hyatt because Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards but only if the value is there. I have no problem paying cash to save valuable points when other options are cheaper but won’t comprise quality for price. I would rather pay a few hundred bucks for a product I know is of good quality and customer service. I won’t stay at a $30 hotel, just because it’s only $30 bucks. You get what you pay for.
Above are just two examples of how you should be open to all airline and hotel programs when looking for deals on travel. You may have to fly an Asian airline to Europe or US based airline to the Caribbean, deals are to be found everywhere. Don’t limit yourself. Sure, loyalty will earn you status and status is great, but something you can find better options.
Do you find yourself loyal to one brand?