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Learn how to travel like a celebrity

Customized travel plans allow everyone to enjoy the same fashionable treatment celebrities savor.
January 19, 2005 - From a bouquet of their favorite flowers on the table to a minibar stocked with their snacks and drinks of choice, celebrities get what they want without having to ask.

Most people, however, don't know that they, too, can enjoy such personal attention when traveling for business or fun.

You don't have to occupy the penthouse suite to receive star treatment. The travel industry has realized that travelers want to customize their experiences, rather than settling for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Next time you travel, put yourself first for a change with these tips:

Join the club

Hotel membership programs offer more perks than ever, and benefits increase with each stay. One program creates personalized member profiles that include room amenity and upgrade preferences.

If you prefer five towels and an extra blanket in your hotel room, they'll be waiting for you without your having to ask.

Maximize mileage

with car rentals

Car rental companies also reward frequent travelers and can provide ways to personalize your driving experience. Just a few examples of the extra amenities a savvy traveler will know to ask about are child-safety seats, ski-racks and satellite radio.

Some car rental companies will create a customized itinerary for your trip. Court-esy pickup service, free airport parking and a prepaid full tank of gas are other options that can take the hassle out of your trip so there's more time for fun.

Customize your cruise

You'll get more from your cruise if you book with a company that helps you add tailored features on-line. You can customize your on-board meal, wake-up and activity preferences and even pre-reserve shore excursions months in advance.

Some companies even can arrange for extra nights in a hotel before or after your cruise, plus a visitor guide to let you make the most of destination or departure cities.

Find flights

that work for you

Tired of your computer battery dying halfway through a flight? Try booking with an airline that offers battery-saving systems to extend your laptop's battery life.

Personal telephones and increased console space are also cropping up in business class to make flight time more productive.

Trim flight-booking time to just a few clicks of the mouse by creating a profile on your favorite airline Web site. You also can sign up for personalized airline Web mailers with special offers that fit your needs.

Make it personal

The best way to personalize your trip is to take advantage of frequent traveler programs that provide great benefits and cater to you.

Look for deals that apply to your life-style, such as those geared towards families, students, seniors or business travelers.

Try using online resources to make planning more convenient. Then sit back, relax, and revel in some good old-fashioned pampering.

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