Summer’s Last Hurrah: Austin, TX

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Hey All!

I was lucky enough to say farewell to summer 2014 with my Andy in Austin, TX.  We try to take as many trips to as many new places as we can and as cheap as possible. Austin is an  amazing city for twenty somethings like us! Its like the entire city is one giant Wick Park/ Logan Square, where every bar has an outdoor patio decked out in string lights!

We had  a fantastic time, but couldn’t get our Midwest bodies to adjust to 100 degree weather. Here are a few highlights from our trip that you should definitely check out if your heading to Austin

1. Pools & Springs

It didn’t take long for us to realize its nearly impossible to be outside during the day if you are not in some kind of water. But not to worry, Austin has a ton of really fun and gorgeous places to go if you’re trying to beat the heat.

We paddle boarded on Lady Bird Lake (not as hard as I thought it would be), took a drive to Hamilton Pool,visited Barton Springs, another natural spring right in Austin.

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Hamilton Pool 
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Paddle Boarding on Lady Bird Lake 

2. Lodging & Transportation

Andy and I stayed at an AirBnb with a young couple who lived just a few miles from downtown. The room was only $45 a night (sooo cheap) and we were able to use their fridge, coffee, and TV! This was our second time using Airbnb and I would totally recommend it if you’re traveling on a tight budget.

So Andy and I aren’t 25 or older, so renting a car would have cost us our souls. BUT Austin just got Lyft and Uber, which made getting downtown and back super cheap. If you’re traveling to a big city, check and see what ride share programs they have and you could save yourself from wasting a ton of money on rentals.

We also rented a ZipCar for one day to get to Hamilton Pool. Its a really good idea to get a membership to ZipCar or Enterprise because you can rent cars by the hour AND they cover insurance and gas! Not a bad way to get around town.

3.  Food & Drinks

Obviously saving the best for last, FOOD and DRINKS. Let me tell you, Austin has no shortage of delicious food (TACOS) and craft cocktails, and the best part is they’re supa cheap. My favorite places were recommended by my friend who is from Texas (thanks Dacy!). The first being a hamburger place with all fresh local ingredients and buns made in house called Hopdoddy Burger Bar. We also went to a fantastic ice cream shop, Amy’s. It was decked out in superhero and cartoon creations and had a photo booth (I can never pass up a good photo booth)! It was a great place to beat the heat and enjoy a treat.

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IMG_1594Rainy St. Bar

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Yellow Jacket Social Club

Here are a few more pics!

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Baylor Street Art

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Salt Lick BBQ

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Congress Bridge (home to the largest bat colony in North America-so squeaky!) 

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BBQ Pit at Salt Lick

 

What was the highlight of your summer?

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Spring Break That Won’t Break the Bank

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This Spring Break Kayla and I and our two beaus decided to explore a new city: New Orleans! As four college students, our budget was pretty tight, so planning was a must. We wanted to see the city, eat the food, and have lots of fun, but on a small budget. Our 4 day stay cost us about $300 (this includes housing, gas, food, and activities)! So now I’m here to share with you my bountiful travel advice for you poor saps who are also on a budget.

1. Housing

One of the  most expensive parts of vacation is the housing. Hotels can be an enormous toll on your bank account, and all for what?! You’ll hardly be there for anything other than sleeping. Enter the internet. When we were planning we didn’t even bother looking at hotel prices; we went straight to a website, Airbnb, that allows you to search for cheap housing in tons of cities. Airbnb consists of a network of people who rent their places out to travelers like yourself. They are WAY better than a hotel because you can get an entire apartment for like $80 a night! Our hosts were the absolute best and left us freshly baked cookies *yumm*, local beer *extra yumm*, and other New Orleans treats *supa yumm* (is my love of eating obvious here?)!

 

 

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2. How to get from here to there

Public transportation is your BFF. Trust me on this one. Once you get to your destination, check out the different bus, train, or streetcar systems the city has to offer. Also, don’t forget about those two wonderful legs you have attached to your body, yes I mean walking, do lots of it. When we were in NOLA we were lucky enough to be super close to the bus stop and streetcar. Even though we had our car since we road tripped down there, we pretty much never used it and saved a ton of money.

 

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3. Do Free Shit

Guess what doesn’t cost money?! LOTS OF THINGS! You don’t have to pay to go to a park, walk around a city, there are even some art exhibits fo’ free. The only activity we dropped a dime for was the swamp tour we went on*. We were able to save a lot of money by just walking and exploring the French quarter and a couple of other streets

*Lets be real, we also spent some moneyz on going out

 

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4. Sharing is caring

Guys, I know how hard it can be to share things. Trust me, as a twin I’ve had to share many many things with my beloved sister; including, but not limited to: faces (hello we’re identical), birthdays (duh), and everything I’ve ever owned. But sharing as a young adult has taught me a valuable lesson, it can save you a butt load of money. Restaurant portions are massive, so Kayla and I split nearly every meal while on our trip and it saved me big time. So if you’re on a trip and aren’t that hungry, or want the same dish as someone else, make your momma proud and consider sharing the meal with your bestie.

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Did you go anywhere fun for spring break?!

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