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Travel Hacks: 8 Ways To Vacation Like A VIP At A Fraction Of The Cost

Travel Hacks: 8 Ways To Vacation Like A VIP At A Fraction Of The Cost

Studies have proven that traveling is good for people for a wide variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people can barely afford a staycation, let alone a fancy trip. The good news is that there are many travel hacks that not only help you see the world but also make it possible to have a VIP experience.

1. Use Proven Tricks For Getting Upgraded To First Class

There are several ways to receive a complementary upgrade to first class, but most people do not get to experience this VIP style of travel because they leave everything to chance. Instead of merely hoping for an upgrade, you need to take action! One of the best things that you can do is be friendly and polite to the gate attendants. It is also wise to arrive at the gate as early as possible, and do not hesitate to ask if a first class upgrade is available. Being part of an airline’s frequent-flyer club is another way to increase your odds of getting bumped to first class, especially if you are above the first membership tier.

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2. Take Advantage Of Empty Legs For Large Discounts On Private Charters

Have you ever dreamed of chartering a private jet? This is definitely a VIP experience, and it comes with a luxury price tag. While it could be out of reach for budget-conscious individuals, booking an empty leg can make a private charter much more affordable.

An empty leg is an aviation term for flying a plane from one place to another without any passengers on board. This happens when a private charter needs to meet people at an airport other than the one where it is currently located. Budget travelers can save up to 75 percent with an empty leg via services such as Air Charter Service. This will still be more expensive than flying coach, but if you split the cost with several friends, you can fly like a VIP.

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3. Utilize Rental Homes To Save Money And Improve Your Travel Experience

Most people assume that hotels and B&Bs offer the most affordable non-hostel lodging worldwide, but this is not always correct. In fact, rental homes such as those found on Airbnb and VRBO are often cheaper and more strategically located. Even if the rental homes in your desired area have pricing that is on par with the local hotels, you will earn the convenience of being able to cook your own meals. This one aspect often makes rental properties a more appealing and cost-effective choice.

4. Lock In VIP Experiences Through Discount Sites

Groupon, Living Social, and other similar online discount sites frequently feature VIP experiences at a dramatically reduced price. For example, NASCAR fans can ride-along or even take the wheel during the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, which Groupon discounts by up to 55 percent. Doing something of this nature would be a dream come true for many individuals, but the regular price is not very affordable. By turning to an online discount site, you can lock in unusual VIP experiences at a fraction of their original cost.

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5. Watch For Flash Sales To Get The Best Airline Prices

Most airlines offer at least one or two flash sales per year, and you may also be able to take advantage of flash sales for hotels and rental cars. The trick is to pay constant attention to your airline of choice because these sales go very quickly. It will also be necessary to choose one of the designated routes to get the often heavily discounted price. In other words, it helps to be flexible with your exact travel dates and the locations you are willing to visit.

6. Choose A Destination With A Good Exchange Rate To Stretch Your Dollar

If you select your destination based on the best possible exchange rate, it is possible to save as much as 50 percent on your basic traveling expenses. Right now, U.S. residents can get the most bang for their buck from desirable destinations such as Canada and South Africa.

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7. Use A Traveler’s Credit Card And Join Every Applicable Rewards Program

Getting a traveler’s credit card and combing this with hotel and airfare rewards programs is the best way to leverage your money. Paying for all of your monthly expenses with a traveler’s credit card will enable you to save up enough points to fly for free. Just make sure that you pay off your card monthly to avoid interest fees.

8. Dress The Part

You can improve your odds of getting complimentary upgrades to first class by dressing the part. Even if you are going on vacation instead of traveling for business, it is best to dress as if you are headed to a business meeting. This will not guarantee you an upgrade, but it will make others more likely to treat you like a VIP and give you any potential upgrades or perks.

Now that you know how to enhance your next trip without spending a ton of money, it’s time to start making travel plans! After all, traveling boosts creativity and health, so it is truly one of the best things that you can do for yourself.

Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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