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Some people think – how do I get to go on vacation so often and afford living in NYC? This is before my recent career change to being a flight attendant fyi but this still continues. My flights may be free now but I do still pay for hotels and purchase an airplane ticket here and there.
So how does an average New Yorker like me do it?
Here are 5 major tips that you, as a New Yorker, any big city person, or anyone can use. Trust me, they work!
1. Know when to go Low-Season- You want to go on vacation during the holidays, a 3 day weekend, or in the winter? Guess what – so does everyone else! Look up (meaning, Google search) when countries experience their low seasons. This may be due to more risk of clouds and rain, whether children are in school or not, or if it’s in between seasons. Hint – spring and autumn make it an easy time to travel to certain countries if they experience spring and autumn as well. Travel then, the hotels and flights will be about 50% less and less crowded too.
2. Don’t shoot for the 5 star hotel – The lavish hotels look amazing, and I bet they are! I stayed in a solid 4 star in the Bahamas and it is different. Really ask yourself if you’re going away for the resort experience or if you will be venturing outside the hotel grounds and not really spending time in the hotel? I go for the 3 stars, rent a condo through Airbnb or Home Away, or get a bed/breakfast sometimes! It’s just as great and I get even more extra’s sometimes such as free Wifi, free bikes, free pickup from airport. Look for what can get you the most money.
3. Spread out your shopping and spending on food and drinks a home- It may sound hard, but it’s easy once you start to do it. Grocery shopping and packing your own meals to work and home save you lots of money. It’s probably healthier too, but it depends on what you’re eating. I pack my food everyday, maybe buy out here and there. Drinks? Calculate how much you spend on drinking every week – $150, 200, 300? You can cut that cost widely and put $50 each week into a “vacation bank”. From eating out alone, lunch is over $10 easily in NYC. Save the $10 daily and you will see more in your bank account.
4. Don’t travel for 7 days straight- Just because you’re going away doesn’t mean you have to take a whole week of work off. Us NYC-ers usually only get 2 weeks off anyway. See where it’s flexible to take two days off from work and you got yourself a 4 day weekend. Sometimes that’s all you need and you will think you were away much longer!
5. Go for more frequent, but shorter trips – Tieing in with my point before, the less time you spend away, the more opportunities you have to go away a second, third, and fourth time! I took about 8 trips last year alone, some only required me to take 1 day off of work at a time. I got to experience more places and feel happier. Being able to leave work more often, made my life less stressful and my boss actually was proud of me being able to enjoy life and not be “all about work”.
There are so many more pointers I can give about living in NYC and how to keep a trip under budget, the list goes on. The main thing is internet search and keep reading up online. You will find plenty of information and sign up for airline’s newsletters. They send out deals all the time!