How to get VIP treatment when you travel

Have you ever wondered how to get an upgraded room when you arrive at your hotel? Or what it takes to have your hotel throw in free breakfast for your stay, or maybe some spa credit for you to enjoy? 

Do you wish that it was you sitting in those first few rows of the plane enjoying a nice glass of champagne before take-off, without actually having to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Well, I am here to give you my best tips and tricks. This is how I help the clients who truly want to feel special and pampered be able to have those special perks available to them, as well as a few of my own tried and true methods.


Use a Travel Agent who can VIP you

It matters how you book hotel rooms, and it matters who books the hotel room for you when it comes to getting special perks and amenities. Don’t ever use an online discount site and expect to be rewarded.  Your reward is in the discount, but hotels can see how you booked their property, and there is no loyalty with those online sites. They honor the relationships they have with travel professionals especially.

For all of my clients, I reach out to the hotel specifically before your arrival letting them know you are a special client, and to make sure you have an enjoyable stay. I want them to see you as more than just another guest, and to treat you as such.

Tip for honeymooners: I almost always can get special amenities for my honeymoon clients. And believe me, it really is better for someone else to ask on your behalf, than asking for yourself.

In addition, as a luxury travel agent I also have access to special negotiated preferred rates and VIP services to some of the top hotels in the world. This often means that when you book these amazing properties, you get potential room upgrades, free breakfast and/or resort credits, special amenities specific to the property, and more.  

Hotel Lungarno Florence Italy

These are quantifiable perks you receive by booking through  agents like myself when you are staying at some of the best luxury properties around the world. These perks, in conjunction with the fact that these are some of the best properties available, should make how you book an easy decision. Travel advisors have global connections to make your trip better. 

When you check in, you’re a VIP.

Dress nicely, Ask nicely: VIP yourself

Acting like a jerk and looking like you just rolled out of bed won’t get you very far.  When you travel, it’s important to look the part, so to speak. It’s also really important to be genuinely kind and respectful to the person you are dealing with.  These two things in conjunction actually work more times than not in getting you a little something extra.

Here is the important thing to remember — you won’t get what you don’t ask for. 

Asking for a room on a higher floor, further from the elevator, with a view perhaps and being kind and respectful when you do so, works wonders.  Be willing to wait, or willing to switch rooms at a more convenient time even. 

How to get upgraded. Fairmont San francisco

Just this past weekend I wanted a room on a higher floor with a better view while I was in San Francisco.  I asked for it, and while they were fully booked that night and couldn’t accommodate me, they promised that the next day they would move me to a better room. All I needed to do was have my bags packed in the room when I left for the day and they would take care of the switch.  

Be Loyal

A little bit of loyalty can go a long way for many travel components.  For hotels, many times by just signing up for their loyalty program you will receive things like free wi-fi, continental breakfast included, etc. You don’t even need to have stayed at the property before to receive these extras so it really is a no-brainer. 

Flying frequently can pay off

For flights, it is best to try and stick to one airline as much as possible. Many times the convenience of this is dictated by the city where you live and where you fly out of.  Airlines are most likely to upgrade their frequent fliers above everyone else. 

You are better off booking your ticket in premium coach if you are hoping for an upgrade. You will almost never have the chance to be upgraded from coach all the way to business is there is a premium economy class. And if you don’t get upgraded, you’ll definitely be more comfortable regardless. 

Tip for honeymooners: If you are traveling for your honeymoon, bring evidence that you just were married. You certainly are not entitled to an upgrade, but it’s worth the ask if they do have the space available.

Many times airlines also give you the option of upgrading your seat after purchase all the way up until takeoff for a fee that is less than what it would cost to purchase a business class ticket. Understand that the longer you wait, the more your chances of their being availability may diminish.

There also is no harm in going for a hail mary once you are at the airport.  Try asking at the gate or in the lounge if there is any way they can improve your seating on the plane, and at times some airlines will sell upgrades at the gate for a very nominal fee. 

How to travel like a VIP


I believe that everyone deserves to travel like a VIP. Let me help make that a reality for your next vacation.