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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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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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