There are dozens of ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Setting out on an actual trip is the most conventional way to earn miles and points. You earn frequent flyer miles for taking a flight, but you can also actually earn bonus miles for car rentals and hotel stays as well.
For example, the Hilton HHonors program offers its My Way Earning Style Option where you can select your preference to earn HHonors base points during you stay plus additional HHonors base points or airline/rail miles. You can decide to earn Points & Variable Miles (10 HHonors base points plus 1 mile per dollar spent on your room) or Points & Fixed Miles (10 HHonors base points per dollar spent on your room plus 500 airline/rail miles per stay). (Some brands in the chain like Home2 Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites offer fewer points/miles.)
For shorter or cheaper stays, you’re better off with Points & Fixed Miles. Say you stay three nights at Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista near Walt Disney World. The nightly rate is $84 so you’ll spend $252 plus tax and fees on the stay. With Points & Variable Miles you’d net 2,520 HHonors points plus 252 airline miles. If you opt for Points & Fixed Miles, you’d get 2,520 HHonors points and 500 airline miles.
Airlines also often offer bonus miles if you do business with their partner hotels and rental car agencies. Car rental bonuses will usually net 50 miles per day though there are sometimes special promotions that offer 1,000 or more. Check the airlines website for information.