July 10, 2018. Today I celebrate life for so many reasons. A decade ago I turned 30. I was a free spirit and had great experiences, but I was lost. Surrounded by love but always pushing it away—preferring to keep everyone at a distance.
Exactly two months after my 30th birthday I was in a horrific car accident. I was t-boned by a drunk driver. I broke 14 bones. My lung collapsed. My arteries were mangled. My organs were in my chest cavity. I had a traumatic brain injury. I was code blue. I was in ICU for a month.
Airfare is one of the most expensive purchases for a trip. That’s why we do so much research before booking. Here are some of the ways we’ve recently saved a ton of money by doing more than plugging our starting and ending points into a search engine. Now we can take even more trips!
This one has saved us abroad more than once. Either before you leave home or while you’re at the hotel with Wi-Fi, make sure to update Google Maps with the city you will be exploring. Once it’s downloaded, you can see where you are through GPS on the map, even when you’re offline.
This has helped us a few times when we were lost or couldn’t find our destination.
You may have access to upgrades, online changes and other perks you won’t have if you use a third-party booking site. For example, we like to purchase upgraded seats and early boarding. We travel so much that the money we spend on this can save us a lot of time, provide a lot more comfort and eliminate stress. So when we flew Aer Lingus recently, we booked through Orbitz and the airline would not let us make online changes. We called Aer Lingus twice and were on hold for an hour each time without anyone answering. We tweeted our frustration, Aer Lingus immediately responded and got us in touch with a lovely customer service rep who upgraded our seats. We had a great experience with Aer Lingus and will 💯 fly with them again. The frustration would have been a nonissue if we booked directly.
We love Orbitz and the rewards points we get for booking through the site. If it costs less to book a flight and hotel together through Orbitz, we absolutely will. If we have trouble with navigating an international airline’s website, we will also use Orbitz to book. Otherwise, we go directly through the airline.
Don’t leave home without this universal travel adapter. I take it with my everywhere I go—domestically and internationally. Not only does it work in every country, but it also has two USB ports and a regular plug, so I can charge my phone, earbuds and laptop all at once. Sometimes it’s hard to find more than one outlet, so being able to charge 3 devices is great! And I don’t have to worry about hanging onto a bunch of international adapters.
When using a credit card internationally, always have the vendor charge you in the local currency. The conversion rate the vendor offers for your home currency may be a lot more that you’d otherwise pay. If you have a credit card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees, use it whenever you can. It will give you the best exchange rate.