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Packing Tips from a Hyatt Hotels VP

Katherine Melchior Ray's Travel Uniform

Hotel executive Katherine Melchior Ray knows how to stay stylish on the fly.

Although Katherine Melchior Ray, the vice president of luxury brands at Hyatt Hotels, is on the road at least twice a month, she never forgets to pack a touch of home. “I bring my own coffee mug. That way, I don’t feel like I’m in a hotel, especially if I’m in bed and the sun’s coming in.”

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The Best Hotel Loyalty Program Promotions for Fall 2014

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These days, competition is heating up in the hotel industry. The big chains are not only competing against each other, but they’re also competing against online travel agencies and startups like Rocketmiles and Hotelied for your business. When you book through the hotel directly, it’ll give you points, whereas reserving through online travel agencies generally disqualifies your stay from earning valuable hotel points and possibly even getting your elite status. So if you want those points, book directly with the hotel—especially during the busy fall travel season when many brands offer lucrative promotions.
 
Here are the major hotel chains and their promotion details. You should always double check and make sure that the hotel you want to book isn’t listed as an exclusion—a lot of hotels opt out of these promotions because they get charges for the extra points. You may also want to plan your stays around the days where you’ll earn the most points.
 
Starwood: More For You
 
SPG members can earn either double or triple Starpoints depending on which nights of the week their stay is with Starwood. This promotion is valid for stays between September 15 and December 15, 2014.

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What Business Travelers Really Think

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What do some of the most experienced travelers think of life on the road? T+L and Fortune surveyed them to find out. Readers of both magazines offered insights into the best—and worst—parts of business travel. 

Travel Habits
Besides work, here's what business travelers have done while on the road:

• 71% snuck in sightseeing between meetings
• 71% only bring a carry-on bag
• 68% said they maintained their regular exercise and eating habits
• 54% have extended a work trip for leisure
• 40% ordered room service
• 28% say scrutiny of expense reports has increased from five years ago
• 23% have not removed liquids from their bag at security
• 7% got "creative" with their expense report

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Expert Travel Tips from Mashable's Seth Rogin

Mashable's Seth Rogin

Seth Rogin, the chief revenue officer of Mashable, shares his business travel tips, from must-pack items to his favorite airport amenities.

Q: How often do you travel?

A: About one trip per week. My nephew Michael recently pointed out that I've flown enough miles to take three trips between Earth and the moon.

Q: What are your must-pack items?

A: I always have extra international plug converters and a solar phone charger. Power is power.

Q: Airport lounge amenity you can't live without?

A: Being connected is everything to me, so strong, reliable Wi-Fi is key.

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Expert Travel Tips from the Founders of Yabu Pushelberg

Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu

Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu, founders of the design firm Yabu Pushelberg, share business travel tips, from their favorite carry-on bags to the lounge amenities they can't live without.

Q: How often do you travel?

GP: We're flying at least twice a week–sometimes more. At least once a month we're doing a five- or six-day international trek.

Q: What is your go-to travel app?

GY: Luxe City Guides app. It has cheeky and opinionated guides, featuring insider stuff in big cities from Beijing to Bangkok.

Q: What are your must-pack items?

GP: A sweater for the plane, comfortable sneakers, and my Mophie iPhone battery pack case.

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Expert Travel Tips from NBC News' Katy Tur

Katy Tur

Katy Tur, a correspondent for NBC News, shares her business travel tips, from how to she survives red-eyes to her favorite airport terminal. 

Q: How often do you travel?

A: I'm gone at least a full four months of the year. In the news business, it's feast or famine. A slow cycle can keep you home for weeks. Then suddenly, something bubbles up and you're gone for months. In March, I packed for a week in London. It turned into a seven-week journey that took me to Italy, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Australia.

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Airplane Wi-Fi Just Got Better

Airplane Wi-Fi

It's easier than ever to stay connected in the air. Early next year, Gogo—offered on nine North American carriers, including Alaska, American/US Airways, United, and Delta—will increase bandwidth to a whopping 70-plus megabits per second (mbps) on 800 planes. It's the difference between surfing the Web and streaming an HD movie. Also on tap: an app for texting in flight. JetBlue has launched Fly-Fi, a proprietary 20-plus-mbps service (free; $9 per hour for streaming video) on part of its fleet; all A320's will be equipped by early 2015. On the international front, OnAir is available on airlines ranging from All Nippon to Etihad; Singapore Airlines is the latest to sign on, with Wi-Fi on its A340's, A380's, and Boeing 777-300ER's ($10 for 10 MB, or $12 per hour). British Airways recently joined up with Inmarsat, which plans to roll out Europe's first ground-based (as opposed to satellite) 4G broadband network by the end of 2016. Speeds will be in excess of 70 mbps.

Photo: iStockPhoto

Eat a Healthy Breakfast While Traveling

Eating Healthy While Traveling

We asked Bonnie Taub Dix, a New York City–based registered dietitian and author of Read It Before You Eat It, how to start your day the healthy way.

Continental:

Choice of pastry, bagel, or toast with butter and preserves; orange or grapefruit juice; coffee or tea.

"Carb-heavy breakfasts will give you a burst of energy–followed by the desire for a nap. Go for whole-grain toast, but ditch the butter and preserves and use nut butter instead. (No, that doesn't mean Nutella!) I travel with packets from Justin's. Juice is a good source of nutrients if it's made from 100 percent fruit."

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How to Exercise in Your Hotel Room

Four quick but effective exercises from fitness guru Josh Holland, of New York's Core Club.

Stationary Chair Step-Up

1. Stationary Chair Step-Up

Plant right foot on a stable seat and step up, lifting your left knee into a slight bend. Repeat for one minute, then switch sides.

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Expert Travel Tips from Twitter's Melissa Barnes

Melissa Barnes

Melissa Barnes, Twitter's head of global brands, shares her business travel tips, from how she fights jet-lag to her go-to app.

Q: How often do you travel?

A: Between 50% and 60% of my time is on the road.

Q: What is your go-to travel app?

A: American Airlines app. I've checked into many a flight as I'm speeding to the airport. (Disclaimer: I'm usually in the back of a cab and not driving when I'm checking in via my phone)

Q: What are your must-pack items?

A: A charger for my Mac, an international converter, workout clothes, a pair of heels, and a good dress. And I'm always packing a few extra super chargers for my phone. As long as I've got power, I can figure the rest out.

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