Been gone fore a minute now I'm back hoes! What up! I had to get my mind together to figure out what else I wanted to run my mouth about on this blog and I really had to stop overthinking it. So, here I am. I wanted to speak about something that is near and dear to me; traveling. It has become one of my favorite things to do and I do it every chance I get. I'm waiting for money to start falling from the sky so I can do it continuously and not have to wait to go places because.... well... I deserve it damnit.
I want to touch on a couple topics when it comes to traveling. Group trips, travel buddies, how/when I book, hotels vs. air bnb, etc. So, stay tuned. If you are the type of person who looks for the CHEAPEST places to stay - this is not for you. I'm a fan of convenience, and I pay in that manner. I will not stay somewhere 45 minutes away from my destination because its cheap. No ma'am, no sir.
Let me say this: I HATE ROAD TRIPS. Planes have spoiled me. I hate being in the car, so my absolute maximum is 3 hours, and that's only if I absolutely can't fly to that destination. When I purchase plane tickets, depending on where I'm going I use Google Flights. It helps compare all the major airline prices, and times. This helps me because I am normally coordinating my travel with my friend out of town and we like to arrive around the same time. My favorite airline is JetBlue. I've only had good experiences with them, plus they have spoiled me with Direct TV on their flights which makes it easy to relax in the air. *BIG TIP* Sign up for whatever rewards/flight mileage plan for ALL major airlines. It's free. Stay signed in on the app on your phone and when you're ready to book, book directly through the app to gain the points. I've gotten a few free/discounted flights using their programs - it also helps when you run into an issue; if you're a repeat/respected customer they'll value your business and go the extra mile to assist with whatever they can to help. I don't book on certain days when flights are cheaper, I do, however, use a private web browser to search. This little trick will keep the sites from knowing what flights your watching and most of the time give you the cheapest rate. Keep in mind South West is not on Google Flights, but don't forget about them especially if you're in the Buffalo area and you're going to Vegas, they have a straight flight. No TV's, but whatevs.
I have never stayed in an Air bnb, so I really can't speak to their comfort level or how it actually works. I know a lot of my friends have especially when they take group trips. It seems to be much more cost efficient for them. I've only taken two girls trips in my life and each time we stayed in hotels. Which, is my personal preference. Why? My number one reason: Security. If something happens in a hotel there are cameras everywhere to know who is coming in/out of these locations. In addition to that, similar to the flights, you gain points when you stay at certain hotels and are rewarded free nights/discounts just for continuously staying and their properties. I will absolutely not stay in a hotel/motel where the door to get into your room is outside. No. Absolutely not. Call me bougie, call me what you want... I ain't finna do it. Fight me. I also don't like hotels with shower curtains, only glass doors (hear me out) how often do you think they change those shower curtains? Somebody else's dirt is just on there... living its life. No thank you.
*sigh* Now... I know we've all tried to plan a group trip, a birthday trip and it hasn't gone right because you're "friends" aren't down. We've all been there. I get it. I hear people say "go by yourself" a lot. But the reality is, a lot of people don't want to. It is weird for some to go to new places alone. It's great to have someone to share experiences with. If you're comfortable going alone, by all means, do so. However, if you aren't, search for travel buddies and groups! Instagram and Twitter and oozing with groups of people going places and meeting up and having a ball! My friend & I just talked about going to the Hamptons in with a travel group! There are so many experiences and opportunities waiting out there, you just gotta look for it! Now, back to business. I don't know about ya'll but I don't like sharing my immediate space with multiple people. I like 2 maximum. I like my things a certain way and I realize not everyone is going to be that way and you have to accept it. This is why hotels work for me. Can't have more than 4 people comfortably in a room anyways :)
The two group trips I've been on were to Atlanta, GA and Philly. Atlanta was for Hennypalooza (now Dussepalooza) and Philly, for Made In America Festival. Both trips had pretty much the same group of girls. We split two rooms, right across from each other, and it worked out. Everyone did their own thing, someone (who shall remain nameless) brought a shorty back to the room and nobody had any issues. We drank, ate and had a ball! I know this will not be the same for every group - but make the most of it. Know yourself, know your group. If you know you need more space, opt out for your own room or a room with just one other person. If you know you're strapped for cash make that known in the beginning, that way you can plan accordingly what events you can/cannot participate in. No one wants to go on a trip with someone who asks "how much is it" every 5 minutes.
Lastly. Get you a travel buddy. Find someone that is just as passionate about travel as you are. Someone willing to help plan, and likes to move similarly to you. I've been lucky enough to find my travel partner, however, she is a terrible influence because she knows I AM POOR. I told the lady in 2018 that I wasn't traveling as much in 2019 and she agreed. Then I get a text saying "so..." and I already know that means I'm about to spend money in the foreseeable future.
The one thing she and I have in common is that we're both foodies. We love trying new restaurants and will share little to no expense on those experiences. We have similar interest as far as concerts, the type of places we like to stay, things to do, etc. Leaving early from concerts and or parties to eat and sleep is our favorite past time. Thus far, we have been 5 places together (I think) and we have 2 and a possible trips this year... I say a possible because I'm sure there's something that will pop up later in the year. I also travel with my mom... a lot. NYC is our fave spot and we go once a year. Shopping, eating, people watching. It's our thing.
I hope this helped and gave you all a little insight on how I travel and inspires you to do the same. Also, if you're in a new city or you just want to meet some new people the Meet Up app is how I met my travel buddy! The entire Meet Up story is for another blog post, but luckily something good came out of it!