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My personal preferred way to explore a new city is to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour the first day. If you have a 48-hour ticket, you can ride around once to get an overview, then ride again with stop-overs at the places you found interesting.
Another idea, particularly if you want to meet some locals, is to check Eventbrite and Meetup for the city you plan to visit. I’ve found a multitude of happenings that way, mostly free.
Lifetime Learning Institute of Austin (LLIAustin.org) has been in operation for over 40 years, providing economical classes on an eclectic range of topics. The primary group served is persons 50+.
Registration for the Spring 2019 semester opens on January 16, but it’s not too early to take a look at the classes that were offered in the Fall because many will also be available in the Spring.
Many LLI classes fill up within hours, so it pays to register as soon as possible. You can take a look at the list here to see which Fall classes filled (shown in red) and which still had room.
I usually take 2 or 3, sometimes 4, LLI classes each semester. My favorites are T’ai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong, and Yoga Fit. This time I enrolled in classes about American Comedy Films, Exercise for Men and Women, and India. My other recommendations are How to Listen to Classical Music, and Geology.
LLI is run as a non-profit by volunteers, and part of what keeps Austin wonderfully weird.
I was talking with a friend this morning about a long layover he had a few days ago. He was flying from Austin to Charlotte via DFW, in order to attend a family get-together. His American Airlines flight from DFW to Charlotte was cancelled, and he had to wait several hours for the next available seat.
The information in this well-done article at CreditCards.com would have helped him:
Whenever you are planning a trip out of Austin, it’s always a good idea to check Frontier Airlines.
From time to time the discount airline has sales, reducing its already low airfares. For example, Secret Flying had a recent post on one of their Flash Sales which featured ticket prices as low as $19 one-way.
Aloha! There are still some great deals for flights to the different islands of Hawai’i. The Points Guy has a blog post about some $293 round-trip airfares from Albuquerque and Denver, both of which you can reach inexpensively on Southwest.
Airlines offering these fares include Alaska, American, Hawaiian and United. If you can wait a year, Southwest should be in the mix also.
Search Google Flights for your particular date pair(s) to see the low prices available now. Aloha.
Solo Traveler World occasionally re-runs this informative post describing no- or low-cost ways to get a tour of a city when you travel.
One of the sources listed is Global Greeters. This is a network of individuals in 25+ locations around the world who will show you their city free of charge.
Another idea is the “free walking tours” that you can find online. Note, however, that the guides on these tours are charged (by the website owner) for every person who shows up for a tour…therefore, you should tip your guide generously so they don’t actually lose money.
While the blog post lists 7 sources of free guided tours, one of the commenters adds an eighth source…couchsurfing.
Back in the day, not long ago, parking at casinos along The Strip in Las Vegas was free. Nowadays that free parking is becoming a thing of the past, as budget buffets did.
But, there are still a few opportunities for free self-park on The Strip, and even free valet parking. MommyPoints has listed six, and a commentor added a seventh. Here is the list, generally from north to south:
As reported on Travel Weekly, a new record has been set by passengers caught trying to take firearms through security at U.S. airports. In the week cited, 104 guns were found by TSA agents at checkpoints, breaking the old record of 97. Of the 104 guns found, 80 were loaded.
In all of 2017, the TSA found 3,391 firearms in carry-on baggage.
Many, probably most, of the firearms were carried by properly-licensed individuals. It’s likely that most were brought to the airport accidentally, with no sinister motives.
On Jan. 6, 2017, a passenger legally checked his 9mm handgun onto a flight headed for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Upon landing, upon retrieving his luggage he loaded the gun and shot 11 people at baggage claim, killing five of them.
There are other scams, of course, and if you travel you will encounter them at some point. I’ve been very lucky so far in avoiding loss, but am aware that could change at any time while traveling.
My best advice is to make a photocopy of the information page of your passport, keep a spare credit card and some cash somewhere other than your purse or wallet, and (men) keep your wallet somewhere other than your back pocket.
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