After spending a few days in Dallas, TX for work I was able to hop a flight down to Austin, TX to visit Brian and Laura. Brian and I have been friends since elementary school and were roommates for about five years in Boston in my late 20s and early 30s. He moved to San Francisco where he met his wife, Laura, who is in the photo with me, wearing this ridiculous, over sized foam cowboy hat. A few years after they met and married they moved to Austin, TX where Laura had family.
We had a fantastic dinner at Searsucker. Sorry, no pictures or food reviews since it was all about drinking red wine, enjoying each other’s company and getting caught up. My last visit to Austin was back in January 2010 when I flew down with a group of friends to surprise Brian for his 40th birthday, which I wrote about in my post Brian’s birthday party in Austin.
Here is a photo of Laura (without the cowboy hat) and Brian from my first visit to Austin, TX back in 2009.
For the past few years, I’ve been writing posts in the fall to help people prepare for the oncoming winter. Feel free to share these tips; pass them off as your own if you like. Please feel free to share your own personal suggestions and tips in the comment section for this and the forthcoming, related posts.
BosGuy Tip #1: Book a vacation now. Our winter is at its worst in January, February and March so make plans now to get away someplace warm. If you wait until the end of the year or early January not only are flights likely to cost more but you’ll also be saddled with paying off your credit cards during or after the busy holiday season.
You will be amazed at how therapeutic it is to get away – even if only for a long weekend. Flights to Fort Lauderdale and other destinations in Florida tend to be quite affordable. Sergio and I prefer Puerto Rico and have lucked out in the past finding affordable non-stop fares on Jet Blue.
Travel Tip: When you book your flight check out departures / arrivals during the middle of the week; the flights are often more affordable. I like flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so I have a short work week leading up to and following a vacation, but if you can’t take that much time off, treat yourself to a long weekend. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did.
Once again work has me traveling this week, but this time it is for meetings in Dallas, Texas and then some fun in Austin, Texas.
I leave on Tuesday for a two day meeting in Dallas and then will fly down to Austin to visit a friend and his family. I have not been back to Austin for about 3 years so I am looking forward to the visit.
Part of me wishes everyone had to do this. It seems like we could get rid of all those wasted minutes with passengers throwing fits once they get on board a plane either insisting their bag will fit or more disturbingly they will fit.
I just flew across country in a middle seat for 6 hours and my 6’2″ frame didn’t appreciate the lack of leg room. It adds insult to injury when the passenger next to you also invades what little space you have.
Work is taking me to San Francisco this week. Unfortunately the way the meetings are structured it leaves me with virtually no time to spend apart from my colleagues and will likely mean that I’ll be slow to respond to any questions or comments. That doesn’t mean I won’t try to get out and enjoy an hour or two on my own but I do wish I had more time to enjoy San Francisco.
Perhaps I should have written this a few months ago since so many take summer vacations, but I save most of my travel for later in the year, preferring to enjoy summers in New England. Regardless, these money saving travel tips remain true year round.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates. Why does everyone plan vacations that start and end on weekends? You can take the same number of vacation days and leave mid-Week. The upside is airfares are often cheaper and you have two short work weeks.
2. There have never been more lodging options. Americans tend to stick to US chains when traveling abroad, but try local chains or independent hotels. You can often read reviews of these properties on sites like TripAdvisor.com and the popularity of sites like AirBnB and GayHomestays give you even more choices if you’d like to look beyond traditional lodging establishments.
3. Check out the destination’s tourism sites. Cities in particular often have websites set up to promote tourism that include discounts to places of interest to tourists and public transportation. It is worth checking out before you go.
4. Eat where the locals eat. Every city has great “cheap eats” that locals know and love. We always go out and splurge on a few meals, but some of our best dining experiences have been at places frequented by locals. Do a little homework up front or when you arrive ask locals for tips and suggestions.
5. Check local blogs for tips. You must’ve seen this one coming from a mile away. There are bloggers everywhere now and chatting with a local on where to stay, what to see (and more importantly what to avoid) can save you more than just money.
As I was perusing Facebook yesterday I stumbled upon this breathtaking photograph of the Sydney Opera House at sunset. It reminded me how much I loved Sydney (and all of Australia) when Sergio and I visited back in November and December of 2009. I wrote about that trip quite a bit. Here are two posts you may find interesting if you share my fascination / love of Australia, An Americans’ observations about Australia and Seductive Sydney.
Much thanks to Marc Keeper who posted this on his FB page. It made my evening.