Traveling for work has its pros and cons. I have to travel frequently for my job (I’m currently going to four cities in 14 days), and it’s definitely a love/hate relationship.
Let’s face it, modern air travel can be an unpleasant experience. Airports are crowded, noisy, and dirty. Planes are even worse. Security is an exercise in patience, and if an airline’s ever lost your bag, you know a whole new level of frustration.
On the flip side, there’s actually a lot to like about traveling for business. For one, it gives me a chance to get out of the office and shake up my routine. It also offers an opportunity to explore a new city (or maybe a new room service menu?), albeit briefly. However, those are the intangible things. The thing I like most is much more quantifiable: MILES!
As a person who loves to travel personally, miles are like gold to me. The more I travel for work, the more miles I earn (for free). My miles have earned me priority status on one airline, which makes the travel experience much more tolerable (especially when I score an upgrade). Even better, miles are basically currency that can be exchanged for a number of different things.
I use miles to purchase airfare, rent cars, pay for hotels, buy flowers, subscribe to magazines, and even trade them for gift cards on occasion using services like Points.com. I’m definitely not one to let miles languish in my account—I either plan to use them for a major trip, or I use them in smaller batches for any one of the above.
There is one key thing to remember about earning miles, however. You MUST be consistent in your airline choice. Of course, this can sometimes be hard when flying for business, and you have to pick the most economical flight option. Usually, however, if you choose an airline that has a hub in your city, or regularly flies to the places you fly, that airline will often be the best priced option.