This post brought to you by Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Surf and Sunshine.

Whether I’m traveling for business or for pleasure, I’m always looking for ways to get more out of travel. Collecting miles on flights or finding ways to sneak in a few sights after working hours are just a couple of our tips to get more out of your travel…

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Travel During the Shoulder Season

This is one of the most shared secrets to get more out of your travel. The weather may not be perfect every single day, but who needs perfect? I would much rather deal with the occasionally rainy day than spend hundreds extra to spend my days waiting in long lines with thousands of other fellow tourists instead of out meeting the locals and seeing the sights. Instead of going in the middle of the off season, travel on the shoulder which is towards either end of the high season. That way you get the better weather with the lower flights and hotel rates. Plus, if you wait until the true off season in remote areas some options may closed off to you as it’s not profitable for businesses to stay open and airfares will skyrocket with limited flight availability.
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Less is More

If you want to spend your vacation cranky, exhausted, and rushing around, then feel free to book it to capacity. Expecting to power your way through a Top 10 list in 5 days while having time to relax, eat and breathe probably isn’t reasonably feasible. Instead, skip the “I need a vacation after my vacation” and think about what you really want to see and do and then create an itinerary that includes your top choices. Then schedule in plenty of free time, lunches and leisurely dinners, mornings for sleeping in, and leave time free for the unexpected gem you stumble upon. By slowing down your travel to spend more time exploring less, your travel will feel more intimate and you’ll leave with a sense of connectedness instead of exhaustion.  

Sign Up For Rewards

I can’t tell you how many loyalty memberships I’m a part of. From where I shop for my clothes and groceries, to the airlines I fly and the hotels I stay at. But to really rack up the rewards you need to think about how to make them work for you. For instance, did you know most rewards programs offer additional points for shopping through their partners? You can also take advantage of partnerships between hotels and airlines to really rack up points. 

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As a matter of fact, Country Inns & Suites just announced their Double the Fun offer. When you stay at one of their 470 locations worldwide and provide your airline loyalty membership details at check-in, you will earn double the rewards that you normally would earn! The Rest Comes Easy

  Qualifying Airlines:

  • Southwest Airlines – Earn Double Rapid Rewards Points March 1st through May 31, 2015
  • American Airlines – Earn Double Miles April 15 through June 30, 2015 
  • United Airlines – Earn Double Miles April 15 through June 30, 2015
  • Air Canada – Earn Double Miles April 15 through June 30, 2015

Book Now to take advantage of this sweet deal.

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Travel Like A Local

Not only does traveling like a local save you money, but it also gives you a better experience. By taking a taxi or hiring a private guide, you’re going to miss out on a lot of interaction with the people who live there. Instead, try taking the bus or a subway. Not only will you get a much better sense of the location’s layout (for when you inevitably get lost, of course) but you will also be able to spend time making small talk, interacting with the culture and maybe even make a new friend. Plus, locals can be incredibly friendly to polite-genuine travelers. Because of them, I’ve found the best little bar on a helicopter pad in Kuala Lumpur and discovered the best dishes at the local restaurants in Hawaii

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