From first-class seats on the plane to chauffeur service at the hotel, Brides.com reveals how to make your trip more luxe and fabulous without spending any extra cash
The upgrade: First class seatThe strategy: If the two of you have “elite” status with an airline's frequent flyer program (by having flown a certain number of flights or a specific amount of miles), you're more likely to be bumped to First or Business Class without even asking. Delta Air Lines sends upgrade vouchers to members; American offers upgrade certificates online and will move you up, depending on availability, if you call 48 hours in advance to request it; and Continental sometimes upgrades members automatically if there's an opening when they check in at the airport using their membership card.
The upgrade: Better roomThe strategy: Book your stay at a just-opened hotel. A property that's in the process of establishing itself is more likely to upgrade your room based on availability.
The upgrade: Better roomThe strategy: You'll have a higher chance of scoring an upgrade if you ask for one at 2 p.m. or later rather than in the morning, since the front desk will know at that point which of the nicer rooms are still available.
The upgrade: Romantic extrasThe strategy: Sign up a year or so ahead of your honeymoon for several resorts' e-mail newsletters. These typically include exclusive deals featuring free extra nights or add-ons like champagne and spa treatments, so you'll be among the first to know about these insider offerings that can make your honeymoon more special.
The upgrade: Free internetThe strategy: Join the resort's complimentary guest-recognition club. Many of these programs, such as Wyndham ByRequest and Fairmont President's Club, offer free high-speed Internet service starting with your very first overnight stay.The upgrade: Chauffeur serviceThe strategy: If you have dinner plans nearby, inquire about a “house car”; some upscale resorts offer a complimentary private car service to transport guests to their destination (within 15 blocks or so) that's available on a first-come, first-served basis. You may even end up traveling in A-lister style: The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, for example, offers guests a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.
The upgrade: Free treatThe strategy: As you're being seated at a restaurant, tell the maître d' you're on your honeymoon and are excited to try this particular chef's food. He may have a special hors d'oeuvre or cocktail sent to your table, and the chef may even come by.
Sites and attractions
The upgrade: Exclusive accessThe strategy: Do your research. Choose a hotel that has special partnerships with local attractions. For example, Walt Disney World offers “Magic Hours” to visitors who stay in one of the hotels onsite, allowing them to visit the park an hour prior to the official opening time and stay up to three hours past closing time. At Universal Studios, showing your room key from one of the onsite resorts enables you to cut to the front of the line for most of the parks' rides and attractions.
The upgrade: PamperingThe strategy: Make sure you know the perks that come with your credit cards. For example, with a Platinum American Express card, you automatically get access to the VIP lounge in many airports and may be able to score a last-minute reservation at an acclaimed restaurant. Discover and VISA offer members free travel assistance, helping with such tasks as rebooking a flight.
This content originally appeared in Modern Bride magazine.