This post is sponsored by National Car Rental. I’m a paid influencer for them. While they have paid me for this post, the opinions and ideas in it are mine and mine alone. #ad #sponsoredpost
I speak between forty and sixty times a year, which means I travel a lot. We all know that traveling can be expensive. I know a lot of people that spend time looking for deals, booking airfares in the middle of the night or comparing the prices on dozens of travel websites. Those tactics may work sometimes. But there’s really just one secret I’ve learned that will save you money over the long run: it’s being loyal.
I’m a loyal traveler. I primarily use just one airline, one hotel chain and one rental car agency. Sometimes this doesn’t always mean the lowest price. But for me, it’s not about getting the cheapest airfare or hotel room. That’s because I’ve learned from other smart travelers that the price that’s paid up front isn’t the only – or most important – component of a traveler’s cost. Time is the biggest and most expensive factor and the more loyal you are, the more time you save and the more perks you accumulate.
For example, I’m a member of National Car Rental’s Emerald Club. There’s no cost to join. But the benefits over the long term are significant. Of course, National Car’s rental rates are competitive. But that’s just the beginning. I book on the mobile app and when I arrive at an airport my car is always waiting. I’ve received updates on my smartphone the entire time. I drive away within minutes. When I return from my trip I just drop the car off and go. I am not waiting in line, answering questions or filling out paperwork. I’m just on my way and I am saving time.
But that’s only the beginning. If I want, I could get air miles or hotel nights every time I rent with National through their partners. But I don’t do that, mainly because I’m accumulating miles and nights with those partners on my own. Instead, I choose to accumulate free rental car days – I get a credit for every time I’m renting with National and I get a free day after only accumulating seven credits. What this means is that besides saving time (i.e. money) whenever I rent a car I’m also building up credits (i.e. money) that I’m using to get free car rental days.
You’d think that with all the traveling I do the last thing I’d want to do in my free time is travel more. But that’s not the case. My business travel is boring: it’s airport to hotel to conference center to airport again. But my leisure travel is fun – I’m with my family and we like to go to resorts and do touristy stuff. By building up miles, nights and credits at my favorite airline, hotel and National Car Rental I’m able to significantly cut down on the cost of these family vacations.
The secret to saving money isn’t about getting the lowest price. It’s about building loyalty. The more you stick with a travel partner the better you’re treated and the more perks you build. The smart travelers I know aren’t about getting a quick deal. They’re about saving money and time over the long term. The next time you want to save money on travel then take this advice: partner with an airline and hotel. Join National Car Rental’s Emerald Club. Save time initially. Then save money in the future. When you look back you’ll see just how valuable loyalty can be.