Most of us have too many things on our mind at work and at home. That’s why when you land at the airport, you don’t want to be stuck waiting at the rental counter for your car. How many more important things could you be doing? If you’re like most frequent travelers, you already refuse to wait around to pick up checked luggage. You also need the option to roll up to your vehicle and stash that carry-on without stopping.
One of the most important things you can do as a frequent traveler is sign up for rewards programs like National Car Rental’s Emerald Club. This program keeps your payment information, driver’s license, and preferences on file so you never need to stand in line again. It’s easy to stick with National wherever you go thanks to their global footprint and award-winning mobile app. In fact, I’ve made it a point to avoid any company that doesn’t offer a self-service selection.
Besides saving time, the Emerald Club can help you get an upgraded ride or free rental days for the weekend. This is great for those of us who are looking for ways to add some R&R to a work trip, something that is becoming increasingly common — in fact, National’s annual State of Business Travel survey recently found that most business travelers (81%) engage in some sort of “bleisure” travel such as booking a vacation around a business trip (33%) or extending business travel into leisure trips (41%). I know some consultants who never head home, exploring a new city every weekend after their work is done.
You might be familiar with bleisure even if your role doesn’t require a lot of business travel. My employer encourages us to work remotely, and it’s common for people to call into the office while taking extended trips. A few coworkers and I have enjoyed our weekends and evenings heading to the beach or visiting art galleries in another city. While it’s not the perfect vacation, it does let us travel more often than if we relied solely on paid time off.
The 2020 State of Business Travel survey showed that those who engage in bleisure travel report higher overall satisfaction with their quality of life while on the road and find more time to engage in healthy practices like regular exercise. In fact, 79% of business travelers reported that they’d be more likely to volunteer for a business trip if they knew they could extend their stay.
Ultimately, being able to travel is a requirement for many professionals to get ahead, whether as a part of their regular duties or to help them stand out for a promotion. People who embrace bleisure are more likely to believe that their business travel contributes to their career success (86% vs. 69% of non-bleisure travelers). Whether that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy or simply a positive attitude, it probably doesn’t hurt to enjoy yourself more when you need to be on the road. Read the full 2020 survey results for more interesting findings.
The next time you travel, take advantage of National Car Rental’s Emerald Aisle — a dedicated zone for any Emerald Club member who reserves a midsize car or larger. You can pick the one you like, grab the keys off the dash, and finish your paperwork when you exit the parking lot.
And if you’re a frequent renter with 12 paid rentals in a calendar year, you’ll get upgraded to Executive status. These members get access to a special Executive Aisle in the U.S. and Canada that includes full-size cars and larger while still only paying the mid-size rate. It’s a great way to make sure you always get an upgrade, even if your boss makes you fly in coach.
Disclosure: I was compensated by National Car Rental for writing this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.