I’ve used Airbnb twice before and always had great experiences, and this trip was no different. The great thing about Airbnb is there is something for every budget and every taste, from entire apartments to a single bed in a shared room, and everything in between. Airbnb is a great way of traveling on a budget, but it’s also a great way to see how locals really live, and to feel like a local yourself.
To Try Airbnb for the first time follow this link for £16 off
As a non driving tourist in a car dominated city Uber is invaluable. The app is so easy to use, you don’t even need to know the name of the street because the gps tells you where you are. Once you request a car you can see exactly who’s driving it and how long it will be. It’s also really affordable; an Uber from where we were staying to down town Nashville only cost $7. I’ve never used Uber in London as I find it easy just to get the tube, but if you’re traveling somewhere new I would definitely recommend downloading the app. Get your first Uber ride free here.
To try Uber for the first time follow this link for a free first ride.
Skyscanner is a really useful website for finding flights. It makes it really easy to compare prices and flight times and it shows all the prices in pounds. I used it to book almost all my american flights, and it got us a great deal on our flights to and from New York. There are a few things to watch out for though. Skyscanner often redirects to you to a third party site to buy your ticket, not to the airline itself, which can make changing details and checking in online trickier. Also it doesn’t show flights from every airline. For our Nashville to New Orleans flights we had to go directly to Southwest Airlines to book our tickets.
The day before we traveled we decided to forget the big suitcase and do hand luggage only, and I’m so glad we did. As we were making five flights in two weeks I wanted to spend as little time in the airport as possible. Carrying just hand luggage means you don’t need to queue to check in luggage or wait around to pick it up afterwards.
I found it easy to pack light as I like wearing a capsule wardrobe. Being able to wash a load of laundry makes life a lot easier, and fortunately many Airbnb hosts allow guests to use the laundry facilities, just check before hand.
Forget the must see sights
People will give you recommendations when you’re visiting somewhere new, and will tell you there are places you MUST visit. Really it’s your holiday and you need to do what’s right for you, even it that means visiting the same place twice or skipping a big tourist attraction. It’s good to keep in mind what drew you to your holiday destination in the first place. For us it was music, and that remained a focus throughout our holiday.
Take time to enjoy yourself
This is your holiday, take the time to enjoy it. I think it’s better to only visit one museum and really enjoy it than rush round three in an afternoon just to say you did them. When I was in The Metropolitan Museum of Art I saw a young man walk past a row of display cabinets and take a photo of each one without even looking in them. It was the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen! He spent less then two seconds in front of each display and instead of memories he will only have blurry iPhone pictures (it wasn’t even close to closing time).
Speaking of which, do put the phone down occasionally. I took plenty of photos in the daytime but kept our evenings technology free, which was actually really nice.