Whilst the financial situation in various fronts around the world seems to become more precarious, luxury hotel rooms, flights with beautiful first class service and empty leg private jets continue to operate.
Read on, for some logicial advice on how to get such value, it will not only drastically improve the quality of your next voyage, but leave you questioning how it is even possible that various travel companies are turning a profit on you as a customer — They probably aren’t, but the plane was taking off anyway, the suite still had to be cleaned in the hotel and the over water villa in the Maldives needs to be maintained — Thus, having a loyal, valuable customer, enjoying the finer things offered by travel companies makes good business sense for them too.
Marriott Bonvoy (It’s not what you think 😉)
I know. There is nothing amazing or unique to be gleaned by blurting “Marriott Bonvoy” — It’s the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, and probably similar articles would have me quickly encouraging you to get credit cards and buy points from a special source — If we were to follow basic business principals pre-loading points, taking out a point rewarding credit card is time consuming, inherently has risk and is sub-optimal as when pre-purchasing points one is giving away cashflow, flexibility (once you’ve bought the points, they cannot be reversed for cash at the same rate — unless you plan on becoming an expert trader in the second hand points market, which is probably extremely competitive at it is).
Here are 3 “ideas” on how to glean the most value out of being a Marriott Bonvoy member:
- 🗓 ️Make Your Travel Plans Now — As a Marriott Bonvoy member, especially of a decent level, Marriott allows you to reserve rooms up until about 12 months in future without making a deposit and without any cancellation fee.
Browsing the rates presented for hotels in the Marriott group in locations around the world, shows that when you begin to view hotels 3,4,5 months in the future, the prices in general are around 50% of their price vs. if you were to book a room for the next couple of weeks and 33% of the price for their absolute peak price which comes to play if the hotel begins to become close to occupancy.
- 🔐 Upgrade Locking — For those seeking the most expensive possible room for as low a rate as possible, here is an interesting strategy. It is not guaranteed (although very effective) and not for everyone, but follow the logic.
If a guest checks in with for a period of 14 days, giving an upgrade becomes difficult, or at least giving an amazing upgrade is tricky, because there is likely a very high standard room the staff would love to upgrade you to, but it’s impossible because it’s reserved (probably not paid for), for maybe only 1 of those 14 nights.
Now, flip the situation and imagine on check in you are booked for 3 nights only. A whole host of rooms to upgrade you to, that are unlikely to be reserved over the next few days are now available and if you are nice, fit a certain profile, then there is probably very little reason for them not to upgrade you.
Personally, I do not mind normal hotel rooms and the big ones can feel a little too much, but if you plan to entertain or are staying with friends it’s of course extremely useful and it’s always nice to be appreciated.
Once you think you actually like the room you have been upgraded to, if you plan to stay for longer and wish to do so at the rate of a regular room, it can be as simple as extending your stay on the Marriott App or by phoning reception and provided it’s not an obvious exploitation of their goodwill, you will most likely continue to stay in one of the best suites in the hotel for the cost of the most basic room.
- 🚀 Join Now — As Marriott Bonvoy includes not only Marriott, but Sheraton, St Regis, Ritz Carlton and many more, if you or anyone you know to travel even semi reguarly then you are roughly probably overpaying 15% by simply not being a member of the program and missing out on various perks, which in some cases are worth a decent amount of money.
Many larger hotels have lounges for Bonvoy members and although these have their own peculiarities I might write about in a future post, in theory, lounge access means (if you are counting the money very closely), you do not need to pay for any food, coffee or even alcohol during your stay — But, your diet will be limited.
If you do not currently have a membership with Marriott Bonvoy or Turkish Airlines use the links below to sign up and if you have a special trip planned, do not hesitate to get in touch and maybe some upgrades can be secured for your next trip.
🛫😚 Travel Safely