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Vacationing is great, but traveling like a VIP is undeniably greater. Even the very important types have tricks for upgrading travel up their Burberry sleeves. Here are five easy ways to take your trip from ordinary to out of this world.

RELATED: 20 best places to travel in 2020

Find the right loyalty program

Frequent flyer miles, hotel points and credit card rewards can be converted to anything from tickets to pro sports events to theatrical premieres and spa packages. Points can be earned making everyday purchases, joining affiliated dining programs, shopping through the program’s online partners or even filling out online surveys, though the easiest way to score points fast is through sign-up bonuses.

Orbitz Rewards, for example, offers up to 5% back in Orbucks on hotels (1 Orbuck equals $1 USD) good toward your next hotel stay. You can also earn on flights and packages, as well as up to 10% off when using the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card and up to 5% back in Orbucks at more than 11,000 restaurants, bars and clubs with Orbitz Rewards Dining. Also, be sure to check Orbitz Rewards promotions often for exclusive limited time offers that could double or triple Orbucks earning potential.

Status matches

One way to slip into First-Class airline seats, swanky airport lounges and the front of the boarding line is by earning elite status. Gain elite status on the airline of your choice through accumulating miles on either that airline or partner airlines (book on Orbitz and you can earn miles on top of Orbitz Rewards), and other carriers will compete for your business by offering automatic status matches or by lowering the requirements for getting elite status. Individual airline requirements vary, so read the fine print before making the switch. As for lounge access, airline credit cards often come with a free day pass or two, or you can purchase access through sites like LoungeBuddy.com.

ALSO: Travel dollars good toward hotels, VIP hotel perks and travel benefits like TSA PreCheck are all part of Orbitz Rewards—it’s free to join!

Eleventh hour upgrades

Sometimes waiting until the last minute does pay off, especially when it comes to landing a hotel upgrade. A 2016 survey by Consumer Reports showed that among people who asked their hotel for an upgrade or reduced rate, a walloping 78% succeeded in getting a deal! Politely asking, “Is this rate negotiable” or “How much does an upgraded suite cost” could take your trip to the next level. Of course, a good tip never hurt either.

Bulk perks

Cocktails by the pool with beach in the background. There are sun lounges with towels. The drinks are Pina coladas with fruit. Copy space (Cocktails by the pool with beach in the background. There are sun lounges with towels. The drinks are Pina colad

If you really want a fully upgraded VIP travel experience, check out vacation packages. On Orbitz, you can often save the entire equivalent cost of your flight when you book your flight and hotel together. Looking for more perks like free breakfast, waived resort fees or free parking? Orbitz Rewards members should look for the VIP Access badge when booking a hotel—these properties are some of the best around and offer additional freebies for Gold and Platinum Orbitz Rewards members. In addition to investigating deals through Orbitz, city tourism offices can also offer information on discounted tour packages.

Local connections

Want to find the best kept secrets of your next destination? Make some friends. Locals know better than anyone where the best happy hours can be found, how to get reservations at the most romantic restaurants and where to find day getaways that aren’t flooded with tourists. Friends (and friends of friends) on the ground are your easiest ticket to discounts and hard-to-find upgrades, but if you don’t have any personal connections, asking waiters, taxi drivers, tour guides or even local bloggers for help—it could lead to adventures you’ll never find in a travel guide. You can also follow @Orbitz on Twitter and Facebook to tap into other like-minded travel lusters.

Orbitz, app, iPhone, travel, deals

Tagged: Feature

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Christina Couch

Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a permanent traveler who moves to a different place every few months. Her writing work can be found in Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, Playboy.com, Hemispheres Magazine and Time Out Chicago. Follow her on Twitter at @couchcs.
Christina Couch

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