“How on earth do you travel so much?”
This is THE question my husband and I get asked A LOT! I may have a work at home job where I can set up shop anywhere in the world at any given moment, but my husband works a normal, wake up early in the morning 5 sometimes 6 days a week type of job. His co-workers, who have the exact number of vacation days as he does, still bombard him with this question & he has known most of these people for years now!
The truth is that we really don’t travel nearly as much as many people you see in the Blogosphere living a jet set life (even if my instagram seems like I’m constantly generating new pictures).
Nonetheless, with the constraints of my husbands “normal job”, we can still manage to see a lot of the world by being strategic about our time and money. You don’t have to be a full-time backpacker to see several fabulous destinations every year.
we have found that if you just prioritize travel, it can make a GIGANTIC difference in how much you really get out there exploring the world around you.
Here are a few ideas on how YOU can travel more without a radical change in lifestyle!
1. Travel in the off season
Have you ever looked at hotel prices during spring break?!?!! The cost of hotels and transportation can double during the busiest months. It’s hard to imagine that a trip can cost nearly 50% of its high season price if you just wait a few months! And in a lot of warmer places, like Florida or even the Caribbean, early Autumn has more enjoyable weather, just as much sunshine AND fewer crowds!!!
1B. It's Easier to get time off of work in the offseason
Depending on where you work, spring break and Christmas break are usually the most popular times to ask for time off since the kids are out of school! Which makes it an outright competition to request vacation time off. Traveling in the off-season means fewer coworkers are likely to be out at the same time as you, making it easy for your boss to approve the request.
2. Take more long weekend trips
Don’t limit yourself to a few big trips per year! When you don't have a ton of vacation days, it’s easy to think that the only kind of travel that makes sense is a single long break. But I’m here to challenge that idea. Most people have Saturday and Sunday off of work. Use your vacation days on a Friday or Monday off! Hello long weekend and an awesome long weekend getaway. Just imagine how many long weekend trips you can take a year if you use your vacation days one or two at a time?
3. Travel close to home. STAYCATION
There are so many hidden treasures in our own cities and within a tank of gas away!!! It really is unbelievable the places you can find when you look at a map!! This year it has actually been a blogging goal of mine to do more of these staycation type of trips and showcase all of these local hidden gems. I have been searching NY and PA for all the touristy things and believe it or not, have been having the best time ever playing tourist! None of these trips required any vacation time to be consumed, and we have been making life time family memories on these local adventures.
4. Shop Around for Cheap Flights
This is obviously something we all do, regardless if we are professional travelers or not. If you're family is like mine, on a mission to see the whole world, sometimes taking a scan of all the discount flights and where they are headed is the best option for planning that getaway. One of my all time favorite sites to use is skyscanner.com. I wasn't paid to suggest this site, it's the real deal and I use it all the time!!! Just type in your local airport and select a month, and it will tell you EVERY killer deal for that specific airport! This is where traveling during the off season can really come in handy as well. So when your friends are shelling out thousands for that spring break airline ticket, you can just giggle knowing that you can vacation a few more times than your work bestie that year since you planned around peak seasons and paid the same price your your two-three trips as they did on their one!
New Pigeon Forge attraction offers a rare glimpse at the vehicle O.J. Simpson made famous in June 1994!
The anniversary of the scene made famous when 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson flee the police in a white Bronco is quickly approaching. June 17, 1994 is a date many recall because of the news he made that day, having been accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend. Rather than turn himself in, as ordered by police, the former football star fled with cameras rolling and millions watching. Today, that infamous white 1993 Ford Bronco is on display Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Although the vehicle has been largely out of the public eye for two decades, it came back into the public eye in 2016 with the popularity of the shows “O.J.: Made in America” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
“We are fortunate to have this piece of history in our collection,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “It’s something that many of us watched and remember, as it sparked so many conversations that influenced our views. This case was important for so many aspects of law enforcement from police procedures to DNA.”
It is estimated that 150 million people tuned into the verdict in the Simpson trial in 1995 where he was acquitted. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery, where he remains, but is eligible for parole later this year.
“This is a part of our country’s history that millions are interested in,” states Vaccarello, “Visitors are coming to the museum just to see the infamous Bronco and our other Simpson artifacts. There’s nothing quite like seeing such an iconic piece first-hand.”
The Bronco was kept hidden in a garage between Las Vegas and California for years but was always kept in running condition and preserved in the same condition as it was in 1994. Simpson’s previous sports manager, Mike Gilbert, worked directly with the museum to handle the preservation of this important piece of crime history.
“When I was working with ESPN on the documentary 'O.J.: Made in America,' I knew there would be an increased curiosity surrounding this case," says Michael Gilbert, co-owner of the vehicle and Simpson’s former manager. "Not only would people learn details they never heard, but there would also be a new generation learning about it for the first time. This partnership with Alcatraz East has been important to me. I wanted the Bronco in a place where it would be protected, as well as be part of a bigger story- a part of history.”
Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.
The 25,000 square foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.
General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.
About Alcatraz East
Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages - so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.