Admit it, I won’t tell: as a business traveler, you sometimes wear your miles logged as a badge of honor, right? We all do it! It means we’ve got exciting places to go and important people to see.
The main reason we love racking up those airline miles is that many airlines have some pretty great frequent-flyer loyalty programs. They’re designed to reward airline travelers with accumulated points they can redeem for air travel (or sometimes other rewards). Depending on the specific program, your points earned under these frequent-flyer programs can be based on the class of fare, distance flown on that airline, or the amount you paid.
If you regularly travel for business, you’re not alone.
A 2016 survey by the Global Business Travel Association found that:
- The number of business trips taken annually in the U.S. is 488 million.
- 3 million business trips happen each day in the U.S.
- The number of women traveling for business has skyrocketed over the last decade! Women now account for about 47% of all business travelers.
Traveling for business isn’t always as glamorous as it seems.
There’s the jet lag of course, and studies also show that business travelers tend to get less exercise and eat less healthily than people who stay put for work. Frequent flyers can also experience “travel disorientation” from changing places and time zones so often.
Another secret truth of the business traveler: time spent traveling isn’t usually offset by a reduced workload – your inbox continues to accumulate!
Most significantly, frequent business travel can be an isolating and sometimes lonely experience. You’ll spend less time with your significant other, your children, and your friends.
So what can a business traveler do to maximize the benefits of life on the road (or, in the air)?
Make up for lost time by using your frequent flyer loyalty rewards points for something truly fun and memorable.
Back when I was traveling, I made it a focus to travel with family and friends to make memories to “replace” the time lost while I was working – I visited Alaska, Costa Rica and London with my cousins. We made amazing memories and it gave me something to look forward to along the way!
What are some other ways you can make the most of your hard-earned points?
- Arrange a reunion with your best friends from college.
- Working in a great location? Stay the weekend and fly your best friend or significant other to see you for the weekend.
- Send your parents on a vacation for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Attend a yoga retreat or a self-improvement seminar.
- Pick a state you have never visited and plan a weekend trip.
- Donate your airline points to a non-profit.
- Go see your favorite sports team play at an out-of-town game.
- Plan a spring break trip for your family – and make it a surprise!
How about you – how do you use your loyalty rewards points?