What’s going to happen? Nobody really knows. Not for business travel. Not for leisure travel.

Here’s what we do know: Travel will be different next year. Different than it’s ever been. Or ever will be again, probably.

These nine strategies will help you make the most of it:

1. Think outside the travel box Relying on the same old travel strategies is folly. Think differently in 2009. For example, if you don’t have a lodging budget for your next trip, don’t fret. “Home exchanges have been rising in popularity during the past year,” says Zach Everson, a travel blogger. “I think they’ll see a sharp spike next year.” (He and his wife just bought a house in Louisville, Ky., and they’re looking for ways of making it more attractive for a home swap.)

2. Be a ‘frugalist’ — even if you aren’t one Almost everyone seems to be cutting back on travel in ’09, and hopping on the cheapskate bandwagon may have its advantages. Guido Adelfio, president of the Bethesda Travel Center, calls these travelers “frugalists” and believes 2009 will be their year. “With deflation, buying-power increases, which is a huge plus for the typical traveler,” he says. “Hotels are all feeling the pressure, as are the airlines.” In other words, buy a pool-view room or an economy class ticket and then wait for the “special offer” to upgrade to business class or get into the suite.

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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