It’s that time of year again. U.S. residents can look forward to the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) annual Thanksgiving travel forecast.

Last year, AAA predicted 51 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The 2018 forecast is not yet available, but the prediction will be similar.

If you’re like me, I’m sure you’d like to find ways to save while traveling. Not just over Thanksgiving, but year-round.

Whether it be discounts on lodging, car rentals or airfare, there’s always an opportunity to not pay full price if planning ahead.

For example, my friends recently visited Orlando, Florida, for the weekend.   They told me their two-night stay at a four-star hotel was free (other than the resort fee of $19 per day). How did they get such a deal?

One word: rewards.

Not all loyalty rewards are the same, however.

Some are easy with little hassle. But others have fine print that needs to be read carefully before signing up.

So, is it worth participating in a reputable travel loyalty reward program?

What to Look for in a Travel Rewards Program

When choosing a travel rewards program, you first want to sign up with a company that you’re certain to use often.

Do you find yourself staying at Marriott International hotels when traveling for business or leisure? If so, then it’s best to participate in its Marriott Rewards program.

Over time you’ll accumulate points. You can spend them on priority late checkouts, room upgrades and even free nights.

U.S. News & World Report has compiled a robust list of the best travel rewards programs for 2018-2019.

To find the travel rewards program that will best fit your travel lifestyle, please visit the U.S. News & World Report website.

If you’re wondering which travel credit card best fits your needs, NerdWallet has several tips to help you make a wise decision.

Check out the best travel credit cards for 2018.

I wish you a safe and economical holiday travel season.

Until next time,

Amber Lancaster

Senior Research Manager, Banyan Hill Publishing