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I was thinking about you last week when I was in South Florida.

I had to rent a car to get from the airport to my hotel and I had heard that if you simply ask for a free upgrade at the rental-car counter, you’re likely to get one.

I tried it. And sure enough, I got a convertible. No extra charge.

What’s nice about a convertible (aside from the obvious fresh air and sun on your face) is the look on your co-workers’ faces when you roll up next to them in one. After all, we were in South Florida and the weather was gorgeous.

Now, my colleagues assumed I got the upgrade because I had told the clerk I was a travel writer. And it’s true, travel writers get this sort of treatment all the time.

But that wasn’t the case last week. I wasn’t working on an assignment and the woman behind the counter had no clue who I was. I simply walked up and said, “Do you have any free upgrades today?” To which she replied, “Let me check.”

It was as simple as that.

And the truth is, if you travel regularly (or you’ve been reading this newsletter long enough), you ought to have quite a few travel secrets like this up your sleeve by now. Secrets like…

… ask for that hotel-room upgrade… ask for the rental-car upgrade… book an Around-the-World ticket from the U.S. to Australia instead of a round-trip ticket because it’s likely cheaper… book your first-class seat through an air broker instead of through an airline as that’s likely cheaper, too… etc.

We recently published a 57-page book that includes all sorts of tips like those, titled: Travel Better for Less: 101 Secrets for Traveling Well (And Even Getting Paid to Do It).

Although — bear with me here — I don’t think you should buy it. I’d like to give it to you.

Because you probably know at least some of what’s in there. I know I did.

Though I must say: I flipped through this report again yesterday and discovered a few things I didn’t know, like…

Dawn dishwashing soap is great for removing stains and washing clothes when you travel.

I would have thought to pack Woolite or some other kind of laundry detergent. But Dawn makes sense because it fights grease on dishes — so why not on clothes? You can bet I’ll try this on my next long trip.

And, of course, I like the tipping guide that’s inside. (I never know what to tip.) And I like the unusual hotel ideas — staying in a lighthouse in Croatia, a monastery in Greece, and castles in Italy.

And I like the listing of hotels rated by International Living’s staff. I like their quirky tastes, so the next time I travel to France or Spain or any of the other countries they mention, I’ll check their recommendation first.

In the end, I guess there’s a lot in this book you might find valuable. I mean, I think it’s a great little guide.

Even so, I don’t think you should buy it.

My suggestion is that you get it for free by buying something else from our holiday sale.

I’ll watch the orders this week. And if you buy something (even our $24 photo tip cards), I’ll send you this $29 guide for free.
Again, it’s a great little book. I just don’t want you to pay for something you can get for nothing.
Almost all of our products are discounted this month on our holiday order form.

And it would be my pleasure to send you a free copy of Travel Better for Less when you order something — my holiday gift to you.

Now — before you click over to go shopping — don’t forget to scroll down to today’s writing prompt. It’ll give you something to think about this weekend when you’re out looking for gifts.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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