Skift Take

Whether for work or for pleasure, travel presents both stress-inducing challenges and blissful opportunities for indulgences. The latter can make even a tough trip satisfying, especially when travelers make smart use of well-earned loyalty and rewards programs.

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Ernest Hemingway – quite the globetrotting adventurer – had some advice about travel: “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” The 25 percent of business travelers who have been forced to share a room with a colleague, and the 20 percent who have seen a colleague in his/her underwear while on the road, will certainly agree.

However, road warriors – whether bunking with the boss, or a loved one – are eager to make the most of it. The Global Travel Tracker, a new survey from Marriott Rewards, SPG and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, polled 6,600 travelers in 14 international cities. The online survey revealed that business and vacation travelers all over the world treat themselves with activities and/or exhibit different behaviors than they do back home.

For instance, nearly one-third of travelers say that not having to make the bed or tidy up their hotel room is their biggest travel indulgence, while 25 percent splurge by staying in bed and ordering room service.

Despite the fact that 81 percent of Millennials and 61 percent of Baby Boomers say they exercise regularly according to Nielsen’s Consumer Exercise Trends Survey in 2014, nearly two-thirds of Global Travel Tracker respondents said they would choose a nap over a long run while on the road. The Global Travel Tracker also shows 40 percent of leisure travelers say they return to work feeling less stressed, which is a start, but what about the 60 percent of travelers who return to work with the same level of stress or higher?

Earn and Indulge
For travelers who return to work with the same level of stress or higher, here are a couple of tips that may help ensure their time away from home – whether for work or play – is more relaxing, rejuvenating and rewarding:

● Work a bit harder to disconnect while on the road, especially on vacation. Less than half (47%) of those surveyed are able to completely cut off email and business calls while vacationing – though women far better at temporarily cutting the office cord than men (34% vs. 23%, respectively.)

● Better optimize the use of airline, hotel and credit card loyalty and rewards programs, and apply points earned to comforts that make the journey more enjoyable.

“Now, more so than ever, it’s easy for customers to earn sizable credit card reward points for travel-related purchases – such as hotels stays – and put the rewards they earn to work toward future travel,” noted Vibhat Nair, general manager, Chase Card Services. “With the Marriott card, that becomes even easier as cardmembers can now earn accelerated points at both Marriott Rewards and SPG properties for purchases using their card.”

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase lets travelers earn Marriott Rewards points on all purchases – including five points for every $1 spent at more than 5,700 Marriott Rewards or SPG properties worldwide – so they can accumulate free night stays faster. New cardmembers receive automatic Silver Elite Status just for signing up, and can also earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months from account opening.

Visit Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase to learn more.

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Tags: loyalty, marriott bonvoy

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