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Skip the hotels on your next business trip and stay at a local inn
A decade ago, I had a great alternative to traditional hotel stays dropped in my lap, but I was too consumed by points-lust to realize it. I was on a project in central New Jersey and was in Bernardsville for a team dinner. On the street, we ran into a person from another project team on the sidewalk as she was walking into a small inn. She explained to us that she was happy to give up the points – the experience she had at that property was worth it.
We all laughed about her unicorns-and-rainbows perspective as we finished our walk to the restaurant, and for a few years, I found the notion so absurd that it became burned in my memory. That's why it came back to me Tuesday, as I checked into the Cowpers Inn in Palo Alto.
The greater lesson, however, is that business travelers have options. Rather than become a slave to the loyalty programs, you can assert your independence while enjoying your business trip more. Get out of the chains and into a small B&B the next time you go out on the road, or if you're in a city, stay at a small independent hotel. They'll get to know you, and the treatment you receive will be far superior to anything a large hotel can provide.
And if you hit the same destination regularly, that small inn will start to feel like a true home away from home.