Score travel upgrades without spending extra cash

March 4, 2011 6:11:26 PM PST
Traveling in style doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune.

Saving with 6abc has some tips on how to score travel upgrades and perks without spending an extra dime.

Did you ever wonder how the people you see sitting in first class on a plane or staying in fine hotels swing the deals that put them there?

Stephanie Oswald of TravelGirl Magazine says they may not be spending any more money than you are; they're just taking advantage of available perks or upgrades.

"To me an upgrade is any perk that saves you money or improves your travel experience," says Stephanie Oswald.

Oswald says first thing you should do is join every travel rewards club you can, even if you think you'll never get enough points to reap those rewards.

"Never say never. So never think that you are not going to make enough points or that you're not going to reach the elite status. You should always take the time to sign up for a program, fill out the form, the points add up faster than you might think," says Oswald.

She also says to check your credit cards to see if charging will earn you additional hotel nights, miles, or even things like free airline baggage checks.

And she says it pays to stay organized by keeping all your reward account numbers in one accessible document, and if you use someone to book your travel, make sure you share those numbers with them.

Also, if you don't get upgrades when you book, don't be afraid to try for one once you get to your destination.

"Depending on the season and depending on how busy the hotel is, if they have an extra room that is upgrade available, they might just give it to you just because they want to give you a better experience," explains Oswald.