I travel so much that I often get a lot of requests for tips and advice on how I do it. The vast majority of my travel is for business trips, i.e. speaking at conferences or meeting out of town clients. A small segment is for personal adventure trips. An even smaller segment is for pure enjoyment or family outings. Most of the time, all three are combined in one. In other words, I’ll have a conference pay for my travel to come and speak. While I’m there I’ll line a few local adventures to make the best use of the ‘new location acclimation’. If it works out, the family goes along with me.
My disclaimer is this…I’m only going to tell you how I do things and possibly point you to other people who are more experienced than I. I can’t promise that the way I travel is best for everyone, so be willing to experiment.
I’m currently in Greensboro NC, about 220 miles from home. I have another week and a half on this trip and drives through numerous states in the southeast on my grand multistate speaking tour. My itinerary looks like this… SC>NC>SC>GA>SC>NC>TN>VA>TN>NC>SC>GA>SC…all in the course of 2 weeks. Don’t worry though. There are a couple of rest days planned in there as well.
So how do I plan? I’m a big organizer. I’ll start at least a month out if it’s a planned trip. I use Kayak for all my hotel, flight, and rental car plans unless I have a sweet deal offered to me elsewhere or I’m trying to use travel points. I hate it when the conference folks try to control every aspect of the travel for the speakers. They don’t know my preferences, and it keeps me from getting my travel points. I’d rather get paid a flat rate for speaking with travel included. I come out better that way.
Once I see what Kayak pops up, I’ll choose a hotel based on location, amenities, price, and reward points. I like hotels with fitness rooms, pools, refrigerators, microwaves, free internet, and onsite free parking. When the family travels with me, we usually look for places with kitchenettes. All of these things help me save money and make my stay cheaper in the long run. Right now, I’m staying at the Sheraton Four Seasons right beside a big mall. I like mall hotels. It makes it easy to navigate, find food, offers lots of parking, and gives me a great place to walk if I get bored.
That’s me. What do you look for when you book a hotel?