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:
Southwest Airlines offers a Companion Pass to anyone who earns 110,000 Rapid Rewards in a calendar year (with a few restrictions). Today (April 5) they made a change, effective today, that will make this more difficult for most people.
In general, from now on you will probably need to own a business in order to get the Companion Pass.
Award Wallet has a blog post listing credit cards that offer trip-delay insurance, and the details for each one. In general, the best insurance is offered by the credit cards with the highest annual fees.
For example, four cards with $450 annual fee (Citi Prestige, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ritz-Carlton Rewards) will pay out up to $500 for delays as little as 3 or 6 hours.
All the other cards listed (with exception of Barclay Arrival Plus) require that your delay be at least 12 hours.
The frequent-flyer community is excited about a new offering from Chase: the Chase Ink Cash business credit card. This new card has a sign-up bonus of $500 after spending $3000 in 3 months, and is a no-annual-fee card!
Under certain circumstances you can convert the $500 bonus into 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which may be used to purchase up to $750 worth of air travel or converted into frequent-flyer miles.