I've been cleaning up my studio/office. It's well past time, I've let it pile up pretty badly this year. I came across an alarming number of room card-keys for hotels I stayed in this year. I usually don't turn them in at the end of a stay and I've been throwing them in a basket.
I was curious, looking at this stack of 40 or 50 room keys, about exactly how many nights I spent in a hotel in 2009, so I went back through my schedule.
As closely as I can tell, I spent at least 176 nights in a hotel in 2009 (probably more). Most of them were spent in Hilton properties (Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites), about 30 or so were Marriott, a few Omni, some Renaissance. Hilton was my brand of choice due to the fact that you can "double dip" there: earning both frequent flier miles and hotel points.
People who don't travel much always think it's glamorous and fun. I admit that I do like to travel, but it's rarely glamorous and the travel itself is seldom fun. Being somewhere I've never been is fun, or seeing family and friends is fun, but the travel itself--not so much.
So the points you get, the miles, the little perks and bennies of being a frequent flier or frequent guest or whatever, become like a little game you play. How can I best maximize my points? If I have to do a three-leg trip tomorrow, how can I get the best benefit with the fewest hassles? (Hint to anyone: avoiding Chicago O'Hare Airport is always a good call).
I've seen the ads for the new George Clooney movie, Up In the Air. I suspect that I'll find a little of myself in his character.