It’s no surprise that Chicago Lyft drivers are experts on navigating the Loop, but what about the streets of Tokyo or the nightlife in Buenos Aires?
Enter Lyft drivers Angelica and Andrew, a soon-to-be husband and wife team of world travelers. Angelica studies law full-time and interns as a prosecutor, so when she wanted to make some extra money, she was drawn to the flexible schedule of Lyft. She loved it so much, in fact, that Andrew now also drives. The two plan to use their savings for their upcoming wedding.
As an employee of United Airlines, Andrew is lucky enough to fly for free with Angelica, and the two make sure to take advantage of their good fortune: they’ve made eight trips to places all over the world just within the past year. Thankfully, Angelica passed along her wisdom with her must-have travel tips:
1. Do your research
Stop “winging” it — spontaneity costs money. The best way to travel on a budget is to plan ahead. This doesn’t mean that every minute of every day has to be planned. Instead arrive at your destination with a gaggle of coupons. You can find coupons for food, activities, drinks, and everything on the internet!
2. Talk to strangers
Strangers are a traveler’s best friend. Striking up conversations with random people will make your trips better than you could imagine. They give the best recommendations and they know all the secret spots. On a trip to Argentina I struck up a conversation with a woman who was a promoter for a new club in Buenos Aires, and she put my friends and me on a VIP list complete with free drinks for the night.
3. Always take the flyer (unless you are in Vegas)
Always, and I do mean always, accept a flyer. They will give you inspiration about where to go, what to do, and even a coupon or two. I was on Waikiki Beach and I took a flyer from a man wearing a sign, and found out the place was nearby, had a discount for bringing in the flyer, AND it had been featured on Food Network!
4. Be the goose
In the game of Duck, Duck, Goose, the goose is the one who jumps out of his seat. That is what you should always aim to do when you are flying somewhere. Airlines constantly overbook flights, which, forces the gate attendants to make an announcement about giving up your seat. ALWAYS GIVE UP YOUR SEAT! Your reward will most likely be flying vouchers worth the cost of your ticket and then some. Just because you took a later flight, you could be looking at half of another trip paid for.
5. Try a hostel
Ok, so maybe not a hostel per se, but the trick is to not spend a lot of money on a hotel. When most of us travel, we purposefully spend as little time as possible in our hotel room. So why waste your money? When you are traveling internationally, hostels can be just as nice as hotels, but can be as cheap as $15 per day. Imagine enjoying everything Rome has to offer for less than $30 a night. I did it, and so can you.
6. Think a compliment, say a compliment
If you think something is nice, then say it, for goodness sake! Nothing brings people together better than a kind word. My friend and I were in Tokyo eating at a restaurant in an alley when we struck up a conversation with the table of businessmen beside us. I complimented him on his card case, and he not only gave me the beautiful case, but they covered our bill. This fantastic night was complements of a compliment.
7. Beware the single brief
Anguish is: being stuck in an airport forced to wear the same underwear for 72 hours. Chicago is the king of the canceled flight. Packing at least 1 pair of undies in your carry-on will allow you to travel without fear.
8. The 6 a.m. shuffle
Catch the earliest flight. Yes, you will have to be up super early. Do it anyway. Security lines are non-existent, check-in is effortless, and you can sleep on the plane. People always miss the 6 a.m. flight, so chances are you will be able to stretch out. It’s quiet, so sleeping is easy. Plus, you won't waste a day traveling!
9. Mind your elders
When we travel most young people only want to be around young people. But that’s a huge mistake! When I travel with my fiancé, we make it a point to take a day tour. We are often the youngest people there, and that’s just fine with us. Older people love to eat, have a good time, and they don’t care what others think. They live with a sense of freedom that most young people simply don’t understand. Plus, whether its dinner, drinks, or souvenirs, older people love sharing their experience with those around them.
10. Walk it out
Lyft is not yet available everywhere, so when you can’t connect with an awesome local Lyft driver, public transit and walking are the best ways to explore your surroundings. Nothing will get you more connected with a new culture or a new environment than being amongst the locals. Asking for directions makes you talk to others and public transit is the cheapest tour of the city available. So, talk to a Lyft driver, but when you can’t, walk it out.
Learn more about your local Lyft community with Lyft profiles, coming soon to the Lyft app.