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Loyalty programs

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on August 14, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Josh Roberts, vacation package.

Loyalty programs

Being loyal to one company often results in a past-guest discount. This is usually an automatic price reduction for taking multiple trips with the same company.

Vermont-based Country Walkers rewards repeat customers with a five-percent discount that kicks in once a traveler has taken two tours with the company. It can be combined with another five-percent discount for past guests who reserve a tour prior to December 15 of the year before they travel, for a total discount of 10 percent. "We actually encourage travelers to book in advance," says Carolyn Fox, the company's marketing and public relations director. Mountain Travel Sobek offers a similar 10-percent discount to its "best" customers if they book by the end of November for the next year's trips.

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Adventure Center's loyalty program, AdventureSET, adds another wrinkle. It offers a five-percent discount on every trip for customers who've booked through the company four times, with additional "milestone" discounts of 10 percent for your tenth trip and 15 percent for your fifteenth trip. It also delivers a special members-only email, and extra discounts if you refer friends to an Adventure Center trip. You can sign up for AdventureSET before your fourth trip for a one-year membership fee of $45.

The iExplorer's Club from iExplore is a free program that awards points for purchasing a trip, travel insurance, or airfare through iExplore. The points can then be turned into benefits and discounts.

Smaller companies offer discounts as well. I've taken multiple trips to the Swiss Alps with Alpinehikers, which gives a $200 discount to past guests.

NEXT >> Group and family discounts

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